Lust, Fear and Duty: Buddha

“There are three impediments to enlightenment: lust, fear, and duty.” -Buddha

That’s a quote from my morning meditation that gets delivered to my inbox daily. Lust is treating another person like an object rather than a human being so it’s obvious how that keeps you in the dark. Lust has become an accepted part of our culture, even celebrated. I didn’t see anything wrong with it until I gave up sex and found that my lust was keeping me trapped in a lower form of living. Unenlightened.

Used to be if you caught a guy staring at your ass he was in trouble. Now we encourage it with words written across our behinds and tight lululemon pants that are designed to make your ass appear attractive to the opposite sex. Used to be that pornography was a dirty secret that no one would admit to partaking in because it as an embarrassing sign of a soul sickness. Now, it’s as mainstream as any sitcom. And more than ever, women are contributing to their own demise. Before, we could say porn stars had sex on camera for money and that way we could somehow grasp how a woman could so debase and humiliate herself. Now we have Girls Gone Wild where they do it for free!

Fear is the opposite of love. Fear is what stops us from going to that uncomfortable place where we grow and become the best person we can be. Fear keeps us stuck. Fear keeps us safe but in the most horrible way. Fear makes you wonder what you could have been if only. Fear makes you envious of others who are fearless. Nothing good ever came from fear.

Duty is doing something because you “have to”. Duty is obligation and it takes the joy out of everything. I believe duty is related to the attitude with which we approach a task rather than the task itself. If we can find a way to accept or even embrace the task at hand it ceases to be a duty and becomes fulfilling. Duty is something for which there is no payback; something you do and get nothing in return. Like the punishment I heard of a soldier being forced to dig a hole six feet deep only to have to fill it in again. Devoid of purpose.

Lust, fear, and duty. I want these all out of my life. Starting with the first one.

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