title: Opening to the Deeper Current of Desire - Practice

Is it possible that the contraction of craving is a result of not allowing the energy of the deeper desires to unfold and be felt?

Rob talks about this in Opening the Dharma of Desire pt 1 of the retreat (Talks - Eros Unfettered - Opening the Dharma of Desire - Rob Burbea ), as a practice to play with when there’s dukkha, whether or not it is obvious that there is a desire there.

Just let go” is certainly an option, but it comes at a cost. What are we losing if we do so?

3 Steps to the practice

1. Ask what am I really/deeply wanting?

  • Sit with the question for some time
    • Not seeking an answer from the mind, but from the whole being, the citta
  • Unhook the desire from its immediately obvious object (form desire vs feeling desire)
  • Usually we find out that what we really want is something more general/abstract and deeper than our initial thought
    • In Rob’s example of being upset with Gaia House’s policy, he found his desire to be freedom from constraint

2. Change perspective on desire

  • Clear away (negative) preconceptions (e.g. happiness is the absence of desire) of desire
  • Introduce some trust in the desire
    • Play with the idea that there might be a deeper intelligence of desire

3. Open to the currents/feelings of desire

  • Allowing as fully as possible the energy/stream/flow of desire throughout the Energy Body Practice
  • We may experience a release from the dukkha, as we find out that we already have what we’re deeply desiring for

…shouldn’t we be with the sense of lack?

  • Sometimes, if there is is a sense of lack, we may need to be with it, feel it and care for it. But we shouldn’t let that be our only or default approach
    • The sense of lack may gradually soothe
    • But doing this keeps it at a feeling of lack
  • We may think that being with the lack is being with what is
    • But thinking so fails to see dependent co-arising
      • The way of paying attention to it may keep building those emotions
      • We don’t see we are constructing our experience
  • This practice is not about just accepting
    • We are actively playing with trusting the wisdom of desire

Differences with Imaginal Practice

  • In Imaginal practice the image is primary, it may change a bit but it is retained
    • We’re not reducing the image to a meaning or representation
  • In this practice, the image is secondary, the image may be regarded as a representation
    • What’s primary is the deeper current of desire


  • Woman in long distance relationship desiring her partner
    • Found out she wanted the opening of the heart, wanted to love, wanted to be received
  • Rob’s desire made him impatient to learn more about modern physics
    • felt like he was unable to read fast enough
      • wanted to get to the end of the process
    • at first the desire seemed to want to end the inquiry, to understand all there was to be understood
    • opening to the desire opened a sense of joy to the process of inquiry itself
      • urgency was released

Rob Burbea | Desire