Less desire is the willingness to be lonely without resolution when everything in us yearns for something to cheer us up and change our mood. Practicing this kind of loneliness is a way of sowing seeds so that fundamental restlessness decreases. In meditation, for example, every time we label "thinking" instead of getting endlessly run around by our thoughts, we are training in just being here without dissociation. We can't do that now to the degree that we weren't willing to do it yesterday or the day before or last week or last year. After we practice less desire wholeheartedly and consistently, something shifts. We feel less desire in the sense of being less solidly seduced by our Very Important Story Lines. So even if the hot loneliness is there, and for 1.6 seconds we sit with that restlessness when yesterday we couldn't sit for even one, that's the journey of the warrior. That's the path of bravery. The less we spin off and go crazy, the more we taste the satisfaction of cool loneliness. As the Zen master Katagiri Roshi often said, 'One can be lonely and not be tossed away by it.'"
The second kind of loneliness is contentment. When we have nothing, we have nothing to lose. We don't have anythign to lose but being programmed in our guts to feel that we have a lot to lose. Our feeling that we have a lot to lose is rooted in fear - of loneliness, of change, of anything that can't be resolved, of nonexistence. The hope that we can avoid this feeling and the fear that we can't become our reference point.
Contentment is a synonym for loneliness, cool loneliness, settling down with cool loneliness. We give up believing that being able to escape our loneliness is going to bring any lasting happiness or sense of well-being or courage or strength. Usually we ahve to give up this belief about a billion times, again and again making friends with our jumpiness and dread, doing the same old thing a billion times with awareness. Then without our even noticing, something begins to shift. We can just be lonely with no alternatives, content to be right here with the mood and texture of what's happening.