The language of love does not, in any way, correspond with the language of desire.
When one person, or even one being, loves another, their primary concern always lies
with how to remove the suffering and pain of another. It begins, continues and ends with thinking about ways to bring pleasure and happiness to another, and will even focus upon the needs and wishes of all beings. This is not because it is trying in any way to deceive another simply to fulfill its own selfish gratifications.
Love aims to avoid creating losses for another person or being. Simply, it aims to protect
the integrity, morality and self-respect of another person. Desire attempts to do the opposite. Desire does not care if damage is created in the experience of another person. It cares nothing for the self-respect, morality or aims of another.
Love aims to protect and nurture the happiness, contentment and health of people and all
beings. It has no interest in trampling on the needs of others in order to bring about some superficial, short-lived and impermanent experience of satisfaction.
In my experience, the Buddha will think, devise and perform limitless actions aimed at protecting, nurturing and sustaining the happiness and fulfillment of another person. He has no commonality whatsoever in the mundane, selfish and destructive motivations of ordinary, self-possessed beings. An ordinary being, on the other hand, has no thought or care about the consequences of his self-centered actions. An ordinary being with no insight or love will, without hesitation, create suffering and misery in the mind and experience of another. True, deep, endless love, aims to transcend the boundaries of space, thought and time. It can move beyond the limitations of the human form and reach far into the realms of space to bring peace, contentment and joy.
May all beings identify, recognize and be conjoined with the supramundane love of a Buddha. May they transcend their sufferings and recognize without any shadow of a doubt, that a Buddha can and will free all beings from their limited, miserable lives and transport them to a state of never-ending happiness, peace and everlasting joy.
 Desire means thirst. Like drinking salt water. A taste that cannot be satisfied. Quote from The Buddha
The word ‘diet’ has several different meanings. The Collins Dictionary defines it to be ‘the food and drink one regularly consumes’. An alternative to that is the definition given in A Kind Diet, which states that diet is “a way of living, or thinking, a day’s journey.”
The time we spend on shopping for food, planning our meals, thinking about what it is we like and do not like to eat and what adhere’s to the medical profession’s recommendations surrounding the subject of diet is indeed considerable. We spend many of our waking hours working out this basic survival function and the money that goes towards keeping this human body of ours in good shape and healthy is enormous. Having thought about that, and briefly looked into some popular diet trends that are heavily advertised on local media, I thought to divert away from the consumerist approach to food for a moment and consider the Buddha‘s teaching on non-attachment.
One symbol the Buddha employed as a means to convey his teaching on non-attachment was the use of an alms or begging bowl. Alms are charitable donations of money or goods to the poor or needy, yet the Buddha was neither of these things, so why bother with the use of a begging bowl? The alms bowl is considered to be symbol of the monastic life or life of a renunciate, and an aid to the life of the holy and those interested in seeking the truth. Once made from clay, which broke easily, the bowls were then forged with iron for added durability.
Specifically, the alms bowl refers to the time in the Buddha’s life just before he attained enlightenment, when a young girl, named Sujata offered the Buddha a bowl of milk rice. Although the Buddha was practicing the austerity of eating only a little food at the time, he realised that to achieve the final stages of enlightenment, he would need to partake of the offering of rice from Sujuta. After partaking of the meal, one tradition states that the Buddha then threw away the small amount of food left in that bowl to symbolise the Buddha’s complete non-attachment to material possessions. Another legend tells the story that the Buddha threw away the begging bowl itself into the river to symbolise the mind of non-attachment.
The point of all this is to question the validity, or lack thereof, of the attached state of mind itself. The mind of attachment is traditionally explained in Buddhist philosophy to be a mind that exaggerates the good qualities of an object and ignores it’s perhaps less apparent flaws. One apparent flaw in all objects of this world is their impermanent nature. Of the Four Seals of Buddhism, the first is that all compounded phenomena are suffering. The second is that all contaminated objects are impermanent. At Daily Buddhism, stained or contaminated actions are explained as follows;
The use of the word stained or contaminated refers to actions, emotions or thoughts that are stained by selfish attachment, or by hatred, greed or ignorance.
When we are motivated by an attached state of mind, and cling onto material possessions, relationships or even ideas, we fail to recognise the objects intransigent and impermanent nature. That does not mean to say that we are not in need of food and other such things to ensure our survival and good health. It does indicate however, that having a more open and loving outlook towards other beings is more important. Given the violent nature of our human history and past, the gross lack of regard for the lives of others and destruction of the environment and other species, it is most definitely time to act to lighten our environmental footprint and reduce our grasping towards the status symbols of the wealthy. Instead of spending big bucks on expensive living and chasing the latest fad or diet trend, I suggest that there is much more happiness and satisfaction to be gained and maintained from living a more moderate and simple lifestyle with a focus more upon ensuring a happy state of mind. If we spent more time ensuring our mind itself is in a positive and peaceful state, through the practice of meditation, this would naturally lead to a more balanced and healthy lifestyle which would not only benefit the practitioner, but others on the planet as well.
I will leave you here with a totally different interpretation of the word diet, from one of the founders of Buddhist literature and Mahayana thought. The great Nargajuna once wrote of the Five Diets being;
The Diet of Concentration
The Course Diet
The Inner Diet
The Diet of Touch and
The Diet of Volition.
Whilst I am no expert, I would say that the Buddha with his Alms or Begging Bowl is an important symbol of peace, happiness and prosperity to keep in mind as we go about our daily habit of foraging for food, drink and clothing, if in the least to try to minimise our ever-expanding impact on this precious planet.