A young monk asked the master for advice: “What are human desires?” The old monk told the young monk to come back tomorrow, but do not eat or drink until then. When the little monk came back the next day, he was very hungry and thirsty, and felt that he could eat a whole loaf of bread.
The old master monk asked him to go to the orchard to pick some fruits, but asked him to bring them back to the temple to eat.
After a while, the young monk returned to the temple with a basket full of fruits. The old monk told him to eat as much as he could. The young monk felt full after just eating two and could not eat any more.
The master asked him, “What’s the use of these fruits that you brought back after all your hard work, but you didn’t eat them? They’re just useless burdens.”
“Now you may understand, for each of us, what we really need is only two fruits that are enough to satisfy our hunger, and the rest is our desire.”
Every day we are driven by our own desires to keep running and toiling. We believe that if our desires are satisfied, we will be happy. But that happiness is very short-lived. Think about when you got new beautiful clothes, a pair of fancy shoes, luxury jewelries, or an expensive car — how long does that pleasure last? It may be a year, a month, or just several days, and then we want more to replace these fleeting pleasures. Our desires are endless, they keep on growing until they wrap us completely like a cocoon. Our desires lead us to focus on the various commodities of the outside world, and squeeze out all of our time and energy. Thus, our desires can actually make us feel enslaved and unhappy, and cause suffering.
In Buddhism teachings, the origins of suffering and unhappiness come from craving, desire and attachment. The way to end suffering is letting go of these cravings, and finding your true self. Of course Shakyamuni Buddha had taught many ways in the Buddhist Sutra to reach the eternal happiness and find our true selves. The contemporary Buddha H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has expounded many Buddha Dharmas to help us as well, such as What is cultivation? , Learning from Buddha, and several thousand audio-recorded Dharma discourses. By practicing the Buddha Dharma, one can break through the cocoon of life and death, and reach libration.
Hope you can find your own way to be free, happy and healthy.