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If only giving up desires was this easy

The great sage Ramakrishna from a conversation on Aug 24, 1882:

“Sometimes I used to assume a rajasic mood in order to practice renunciation. Once I had the desire to put on a gold-embroidered robe, wear a ring on my finger, and smoke a hubble-bubble with a long pipe. Mathur Babu procured all these things for me. I wore the gold-embroidered robe and said to myself after a while. ‘Mind! This is what is called a gold-embroidered robe.’ Then I took it off and threw it away. I couldn’t stand the robe any more. Again I said to myself, ‘Mind! This is what is called a shawl, and this is a ring, and this, smoking a hubble-bubble with a long pipe.’ I threw those things away once for all, and the desire to enjoy them never arose in my mind again.”

For most mortals, giving up is hard especially when the desires are stronger. Which is why the wisdom of Dr. Fogg appeals to me. It’s hard to acquire new habits (or give up old ones) so a pragmatic way forward is to get into the habit of creating habits, ala tiny habits.

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