Understanding the meaning
Many people outburst after hearing this. They think not having any material desires is same as not having any goals. Material desires simply means that desiring the things that you “want” but do not actually need.
This does not mean not enjoying yourself, enjoying yourself is the need of human beings, so it does not stop you from eating junk food. But there’s twist.
Not having any material desires only means that you should only eat so much of junk food that is enough to keep you happy and do not make you fat.
What isn't counted as material desires
Goals : Having goals and dreams are not material desires, it is a purpose to live. Even if your goals are at a material level, they are not counted as material desires and is a totally subjective topic. Do everything that your goals require to get completed unless you have to do something unethical.
Money : Money in itself isn’t material at all, money is just a tool that can either help you to complete your dreams or it can provide you with the proper help you need. Money being counted as a material desire is totally subjective and to be honest, nearly every one of your dream’s byproduct will be money, so we can’t avoid it and if we do, we have to face the consequences.
Money only becomes materialistic the moment money starts controlling you instead of you controlling money.
What is it then?!!
Anything out side of your goals can be counted as material desires and also, anything outside of your health and mental well being. For eg: If you set your goal to become an athlete, eating junk food will be material desire for you.
Material desires often prevent us from achieving our goals and thus, cause suffering.
How to avoid suffering
Suffering can’t be avoided, that’s the truth. We suffer because we live, and there is only one way to end suffering and that is to end life…..which is a horrible idea. Although, suffering can be reduced by avoiding material desires.
Most of the suffering is caused by the things you don’t need. For eg: You avoid pain of going to the gym and choose material desire like junk food, the outcome is that you now suffer from overweight.
Material desires seem all fun and laughs for a moment or a day or a month, but after that, all you would be left with is suffering. So avoiding material desires is the best thing you can do to avoid suffering.