“I see now that wanting things is dangerously likely to lead to disappointment. Not wanting them is a much easier path to serenity.”
Perhaps, speaking hypothetically, you want a child who remembers to lock up his bicycle at school. It’s not an unreasonable thing to want. Perhaps that want leads to disappointment (and all manner of practical difficulties) because your child is the kind who forgets to lock up the bicycle. Perhaps you decide to give up wanting the kind of child who remembers to lock up his bicycle. After all, it is not the worst thing a child can do. So you surrender the wanting and put yourself squarely on a much easier path to serenity.
Or so you say.
But it seems to me what you’ve done is change the object of your wanting. Instead of wanting the kind of child who remembers to lock up his bicycle, you’ve decided instead to want an easier path to serenity. Not wanting is just another kind of wanting. Wanting serenity does not put you on the path to serenity any more than wanting a child who remembers to lock up his bicycle puts you on the path to a child who remembers to lock up his bicycle.
When asked to explain enlightenment, the master Bankei said, “When I’m hungry, I eat; when I’m tired I sleep.” His answer reminds me of another answer I read recently, “1. work; 2. take care of kids”.
The secret is that there is no secret.