What Are You Desiring?


A beautiful poem by 13th century poet Matchild of Magdeburg inspired me to question myself. I will post the poem in here as well.

What am I desiring? What are you desiring?

Are you desiring comfort, security, safety, guarantee of existence through material, impermanent stuff?

Are you desiring comfort, security, safety, guarantee of existence through your relationships with others who are desiring the same?

Are you desiring pain free, suffering less life through these impermanent and materialistic relationships to things and people?

We all desire the same but with different intensity and focus. I know I do.


Somewhere in that web of desires, there is a pocket that is craving for happiness and peace for self and family.

No matter how trapped we think we are in the big web of relationships to things and people, ultimately we are all desiring to be in that tiny pocket of the massive web – the pocket that quivers wildly every now and then as the breeze of the Divine touches it asking to break free from the rest of web and join with it so our love can be perfected free from the web of pain and suffering.

Isn’t that the journey we are actually on? A desire to create and enjoy lasting happiness and peace for us?

But that desire is buried under the layers of our immediate desires.  What is your immediate desire that masquerades the real desire?

I know my immediate desire is to break free from the intense egoistic attachments that make me feel indispensable.

If I stop thinking I am indispensable to my family and not anticipate every need of its members and provide in advance, while reeling in the need for recognition, resenting that feeling at the same time, then, perhaps, I can understand the real desire behind the desire – a desire to be happy, to be free, to be peaceful, to be – just TO BE.

What is stopping me from doing that? The egotistic me that thinks I am needed/wanted/required by others to lead their lives.  Really?

Truth is – They do and they don’t – need me, want me and require me.

I certainly don’t need that  for my existence.  Oh what a blow to my ego? What would I be if I am not a wife, mother, sister, daughter to someone? Who would I be if don’t have those roles to define myself and identify with? How am I to derive happiness and feel the love without playing a role?

Do I desire to be in these roles in order to perfect my love?  Is that the only way I can experience love – in relationship to something?  A love that can easily turn into a dislike or even hatred – is that real love? or is it a desire to protect my identity that is changing constantly? Can I detach from that clingy desire that makes me forget who I truly am…

Divine love

Metchild of Magdeburg (1207> – 1282> or 1297?) in her poem “God Speaks to the Soul” says

“And God said to the Soul:
I desired you before the world began.
I desire you now
As you desire me.
And where desire of two come together
There love is perfected”

So what am I desiring then?  Do I really desire to come together with Divine to perfect my love? Not consciously.  My desire and I am sure yours too is to live in this day to day life with that perfect partner, lover, child, sibling etc., who will exactly reciprocate our love the way we give.

In that desire arises the unrecognized competition that says – I have given, why can’t you give back in exact proportion and intensity?  Is that a sustainable desire that will help perfect love or find lasting happiness?

When the desire of two coming together is laced with expectations and attachments – it cannot last nor can that love be perfected.

Well the answer, at least, theoretically would be – I AM…


Every word I fill in after that I AM… is a role I created in this drama of attachment and entanglement of desires I play.  All I need really is to be aware of those roles i fill in whilst rooted in my being ‘I Am.’

If my prime desire to fill in the blank after I AM is LOVE – how would I behave? Worth trying?

When I AM LOVE, my desire would be to merge with that LOVE and that is the only desire I am born with to fulfill.  Every other desire in this journey is a stepping stone to recognize that true desire for which we are born.

As the poet Kabir said

My body is flooded
With the flame of Love.
My soul lives in
A furnace of bliss.

Love’s fragrance
Fills my mouth,
And fans through all things
With each outbreath.”

Can we desire for that perfect LOVE only and break free from the trapped web of attachments and expectations?

What do you think? Is it easy, worth trying? Would love to hear your thoughts…

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari






I AM….

If we don’t have anything to mull over about the past and get caught in the cycle of guilt & shame mostly, laced with pride and satisfaction occasionally or think about future with worry, anticipation and hope, mixed with anxiety and fear sometimes – what have we got to say in the present moment?

Nothing really. Only experiencing remains – experiencing the constantly rising, surging and receding waves of thoughts – the waters of past and future.

5 AM…If I remain still and notice, I hear the crickets drone and the rooster from the neighbor’s backyard, the fridge humming, my neck bones creaking, my left shoulder hurting, the silence I am surrounded and cocooned in intercepted by the soft clicking of the keys on the laptop as I am typing these thoughts.

In this present moment silence, there is a recognition of my solidity as well as the fluid awareness of the ‘I’ that is making these observations quietly noticing everything – alert and present. There is no emotion in this state – only a deep calm interjected by next sentence rising in my mind to be penned.
I am aware of myself as well as my surrounds, far and near. My mind is trying desperately to create a particular chain of thought, but as soon as a thought is arising to a certain height, it is popping like a bubble. There is the recognition of a thought arising. I have nothing to say, nothing to worry about, nothing to look forward to either – I am quiet, calm and rested in this deep echo in my heart of “I AM” – that’s it. “I AM” is the only reality – anything added after the ‘AM’ is the drama that we play on the screen of this world.

“Is this a thought regurgitated from acquired knowledge?” asks my mind, unable to comprehend that it has no hold on me and not carrying me away.

“No!” says the Awareness. “I acknowledge your existence, but you, my mind, are in my control and I will only use you to continue to make you know that I am in charge. I decide when you can or cannot talk through your thoughts. I have to use you for me to know who I am, but I will use you with full awareness and not let you cover me like storm clouds and take over. You may have hopes, desires, wishes, worries, frustrations, fears and anxieties, but ‘I’ am not them.

“I AM…” – anything after that is you jumping up and down with your theatrics. My mind! I own you and not the other way around. I am the charioteer, you are the horse drawing the chariot at my command, in a direction and speed I choose, and so I will know and live in that recognition that “I AM…”

How To Create a “Culture of Care”

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We know that the world is in utter chaos and we all crave for a world order to be brought about – by Governments, by Scientists, by others…..

Pope Francis’ Encyclical entitled “Laudato Si – On Care for Our Common Home” that sets out a program for change calls for the need to develop a “Culture of Care” in society and it starts with each individual.

A friend of mine asked “Why do we need to listen to a religious leader talking about climate change when the scientists who are the authority on the subject cannot get heard? My response – Pope’s call is not just for religious followers but for the entire humanity, because Climate Change is not just a scientific issue but it is a moral problem.

In order to fully comprehend Pope’s message, we need to first unpack what is a “Culture of Care” and how it looks like and then perhaps connections can be made how the world’s chaos needs spiritual solutions.

A ‘Culture of Care’ is based in Love.  When Love permeates a human being, he/she will do nothing but care for themselves and the others, wherever they are, which has a domino effect eventually.  When enough people care, societies transform. Caring nature results in beauty in character.

Sai Baba said – ” When there is beauty in character, there is harmony at home; When there is harmony at home, there is order in the nation; when there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.” 

So a Culture of Care results in world peace.  Sounds far fetched? Let us explore what that Culture of Care actually looks like.  A Culture of Care looks like:

  • Content humans with what they have, which grounds them in the present.
  • A grounded person in the present has a solid identity of who they are.
  • A person who knows who they are is not competitive or an aggressive consumer
  • A non-aggressive consumer does not focus on ‘getting.’
  • When the focus in not on getting, the natural opposite fills in the void – which is ‘Giving.’
  • What can a content and grounded, non-aggressive consumer give?
  • A natural compassion because there is no comparison or competition.

What does natural compassion look like?

A Kind, Satisfied, Happy, Caring, Sharing Person because a naturally compassionate person has

    • Love in their thoughts – therefore Truth prevails
    • Love in their actions – so Right Conduct manifests
    • Love in their feelings – and Peace penetrates
    • Love in their understanding – thus a non-violent world results.

Is this formulaic? I don’t think so. Do you see the connection?

It starts with stopping being an aggressive, competitive, jealous consumer and be content with what we have and live in gratitude. There is always someone who has less than us.

A content and caring individual recognises the interconnectedness as they see the world from within.

If contentment is an answer to create a ‘Culture of Care,’ how can we remain content when the world screams at us that we cannot be happy unless we have more?

Pope’s answer is “Growth marked by moderation” In fact this principle has been given as a “Ceiling on Desires” program four decades ago by Sathya Sai Baba.

Accordingly, Desiring is a natural human phenomenon and cannot be eliminated completely. So, we put a Ceiling on our Desires to consume, whether it is food, money, time or energy.

  • If we learn to stop with one piece of chocolate cake, there is more to share – Ceiling on Desire for food can be connected to relieving world hunger – you do the maths.
  • If we learn to use less energy, there is less burden on natural resources, which means more to share and a safer planet.
  • If we conserve and manage our time, we overcome unhealthy anxiety which means happy families and peaceful societies engaged in meaningful activities.
  • If we desire less, we don’t have to buy more, which means savings. More savings, better lifestyle and happy individuals.

Our consumption of food, money, time and energy are directly linked with our capacity to be content or discontent.  Sounds simplistic? Don’t answers to large problems often have simple solutions?

So, ‘Culture of Care’ starts with an individual and can happen only if we stop excessive consumption and be content. When we are content, we create a ‘Culture of Care.’ Love blossoms as a result and Inner Peace that is directly related to care for ecology and common good results. This is each and every one of our responsibility.

Without a moral and imaginative structure that links our wellbeing to that of others, so that their suffering feels as urgent as ours, or is at least measured on the same scales, we will render our planet uninhabitable.  Not only do we urgently need to understand the human nature but live with the knowledge that Love is the undercurrent of everything and that Love is our true nature.

Ceiling on Desires is a simple ANSWER for today’s complex crisis in the world – from micro to macro.

Shall we start a revolution by creating a ‘Culture of Care?’ Share your thoughts and action plans please….

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

“4 Fundamental Desires That Fuel The 3 Enemies – Part II”

"Energy Crisis!" ...
“Energy Crisis!” … (Photo credit: Toban B.)

Desire to Create & Desire to Experience

  • A comfortable lifestyle
  • A safe and secure future
  • Fun
  • Pleasure etc.,

Translated as physical manifestations, these two desires equate to Money and Energy.  You need money and energy to Create and to Experience.  This is what drives you to work and earn.

Now,  that desire in itself is quite noble because you don’t strive to create and experience all that just for yourself but your loved ones as well.

But when these two desires drive you constantly, incessantly and continuously, then they are prime sources for the cause of worry – don’t you think?

Excessive spending (consumerism) in the hope that somehow it creates comfort, safety, security, fun, pleasure etc.,  =  Waste of money and Waste of energy.

How do you put a Ceiling on Desire to Create &  Desire to Experience?

Do you need so much of……………., so many of…………….( You can fill in the blanks)

Do you have to keep up with what your friends have?

Are you conned by the media that unless you have X, Y, Z, you are not complete?

More = Clutter = Maintenance = Money = Energy = Worry.

Can you not have just enough of everything?

I know ‘enough’ is subjective and relative but you do know what I am talking about.

Enough shoes, enough clothes, enough stuff, enough as you are

Etc., Etc.,

How does putting a Ceiling on Desire on Money and Energy help?

It saves you money because you are not accumulating and consuming more than necessary

It saves your physical energy when excessive shopping is reduced

It saves your mental energy spent in deciding what to buy

It saves Mental and Emotional energy at the thought of storing, maintaining the stuff

It stops you from worrying as you don’t have to work so hard to keep up, nor do you have to worry about paying for things you can’t afford

It stops you from fear that you will lose

Most importantly, you will be living in the present, content with what you have

Money and energy are two powerful resources you have at your disposal.  A Ceiling on Desire on how you spend these two precious resources will result in a life that is much more balanced, centered and in the now.

The worry in the drive to create experiences, the worry that you may not be safe if you don’t have enough, will minimize immensely if you learn to live in the now, not at a future moment always.  Living in the now frees our energy.

Ceiling on Desire on Money & Energy = Contentment & Satisfaction

What do you do with all the saved money and energy?

You help others.

You find satisfaction through contribution and your longevity increases as a result.

How are you going to put this into practice?  

If you want to get ideas on how to minimize,  visit this comprehensive blog (my favorite) at http://www.zenhabits.net, particularly this post on scarcity

What areas of expending money and energy are you going to put a ceiling on?  Please leave your comments.  Love to hear from you

With Love and Respect
Padma Ayyagari