buddhism and life

It seems that Buddhism is the antithesis to human life.  If there is no desire, then there is no suffering.  Perhaps in theory it would be nice to live life at peace and without suffering, but if one has no desire whatsoever in life, how can one continue living?  If there is no desire in the strict sense, how is there motivation to even continue living?  At least one has to desire to continue living on some level in order to live, right?  And there goes the suffering and struggles that come along with desiring to live.  I guess Buddhism is about not being concerned with material gratification and that everything in this material life is pointless. So, true Buddhists should relinquish their desire to live and end their lives?  But then, is there still some sort of desire for some sort of ultimate enlightenment that will be achieved in a world beyond this material life? 


Up before the sun

Many people start their commute in the dark.  In the summer months, the routine involves seeing sunrise during each morning commute.  However, in the winter months, the entire drive is one of darkness.  Sunrise is not witnessed until about an hour or so into the workday.  Is this depressing?  

Perhaps most things in life are not hard or not hard to bear.  The key lies in what we are used to.  Aware or not aware, we have habits.  Some are bad and some are fine.  One we are comfortable with holding pencil in certain way for twenty years, we find other people’s methods as difficult.  However, in reality, one is not more difficult than another.  It is a matter of being accustomed or not.  Our minds and bodies are the same way.  However, our malleability declines with age, at a rate that is not equal for any two persons. 

Often, life is a process of training oneself.  We are training ourselves to become more adept for this society.  In life, we are our own coaches.  We battle our bodily desires and extrinsic temptations daily.  Why does America run on coffee?  Daily, we are combatting our desire and, often, need to sleep by engaging in socially-endorsed substance abuse.  Really, it is no different from a monastic lifestyle.  We are constantly training ourselves.  We are all trying to achieve something, whether the attainment is material or spiritual.  We continue to live because somewhere in the depths of darkness, we each seek something.  That something can be as basic as the evolutionary desire to perpetuate life.