The Clarity of an Undistracted Mind Has No Preferences

words & photo by Brian Thompson.

As long as you continue to want, you will never receive what you’re looking for.

This is why no amount of money is ever enough. This is why one new pair of shoes will never satisfy the “need” for more. This is why as soon as you get what you crave for, you immediately want more.

Desire—wanting, of any sort—only serves to propel the ego further, it fuels it, it sustains its virtual presence.

Ego and Desire (and it’s partner in crime, Aversion) are inexplicably linked, where there is one, there will be the other.

In psychology this behaviour is referred to as Hedonic Adaptation, or the Hedonic Treadmill, but it typically only refers to greed and our needless desire and consumption for material goods. But it goes much deeper than simply realizing that no amount of money or jewels will ever bring happiness.

The truth is, EVERY search will ultimately leave you unfulfilled—it is the very effort itself that is the barrier to realization.

It is desire—any desire—that tightens the grip of the ego onto the Self. As long as you keep wanting, then you’ll continue to want—there will be no end. As long as you keep seeking, you’ll never find.

This is true no matter if it's in love, art, sports, science, success, spirituality, peace or war.

When all wanting drops away, so then too does the ego. Without wanting anything further, and becoming perfectly content, the ego no longer has any wishes to cling to. Without any desire to feed it, the ego will disappear and leave only the True Self remaining, free and clear.

The tricky part is to not desire any more desiring, because that in itself is a desire.

Even the wanting to be free from wanting will block your goal. Only when the goal is allowed to completely drop away, and is allowed to dissolve all on its own—without any hoping, clinging or desire—only then will the thing you seek be found. But by then, it won’t even be sought.

It’s a paradox for sure—to get what you want, you have to no longer want it.

This is the truth of our being—and this is why it is said that the most powerful man is the one who wants no power whatsoever. The one who is in absolute control is the one who is influenced by nothing.

This is why the harder you try, the harder you fail—the more you try to hit the nail on its head, the more you’ll hit your thumb.

You must allow your mind to completely fall away, to become one with the task at hand, and to immerse yourself in the doing itself—not to not hope of a particular end result. Your wishing distracts you.

The perfected mind is the one that's uninfluenced by any distinction, immune to personal preference, and undistracted by any opinion or outcome.

Wherever there’s hope, there’s a divided heart, and wherever there’s a divided heart, there’s a distracted mind who’s clinging to one side rather than the other. A divided heart is steeped in the murky waters of duality, it will struggle to be clear for as long as it continues to deny the non-dual truth of what is.

Without having a preference of any sort, with no opinion for or against, you become free.

All desire comes from the ego’s addiction to comparison, for its attachment to preference, for its conceptual distinction and discrimination between two seemingly separate things. This propensity for comparison is what divides all things in two—it’s what keeps you from realizing your True Self.

The ego will dissolve once you realize that all you need to be happy, is to no longer be torn in two.

The means having no wish for the light to be green rather than red, having no concern for vanilla over chocolate, having no desire for the wind to stop blowing, and having no hope for future success.

In having no preferences, you become perfectly content.

This doesn’t mean that you can no longer strive—it only means that you can no longer be attached to the end result.

We only need to BE—un-wanting, un-hoping, un-wishing, un-grasping—free from desire, perfectly content in the eternal present moment, craving for nothing to be different, and with complete trust in the perfection of whatever presently is.

Undistracted by desire, happiness abounds.

In Zen, this is what it means to have single mind of one-pointed awareness.