I've been contemplating and meditating on this important passage for years.
It represents one of the most profound insights in The Diamond in Your Pocket (to me, one of the great spiritual classics of our time, especially in its audio version, read by the author.)
However, much as I admire and resonate with her insight, I am convinced that Gangaji does not go far enough, and has not succeeded in clearly articulating what is meant by the practice of desire. There is a tremendous amount of confusion around this, on several levels. One level of this confusion (evidenced in some posts here) is not so hard to clear up: Some you seem to think that she is saying the equivalent of "If I give in to a desire, I suffer," or even "If I have too much desire, I suffer." No, it does not mean that. She makes that clear in other passages, not quoted here, where she says that 1) simple, non-neurotic desires pose no problem; and she also implies that there is a hierarchy (hier-archy = "sacred order") of Desire, so that 2) if the Desire for Truth/Freedom/Awakening is truly allowed to take its place, then this Desire will swallow up all other desires. No, "desire" itself is not the problem. The problem is in the practice of desire. And the confusion originates in that word: "practice". What does it mean, in this context?
Instead of trying to explain what Gangaji herself does not succeed in explaining, I propose that we ask ourselves the following questions — without being in a hurry to find the answers.
When Gangaji speaks of practice here, does she mean it as in the common usage: "I practice the piano so I will become a good player" ? Or does she mean it in in the sense of "I practice medicine (or law)" ? These two meanings not at all the same. In the first meaning, the practice is future-oriented. In the second, time and futurity are not necessarily implied. Perhaps it is the first one that causes suffering? In other words, if I act out a desire simply and wholeheartedly, as an action in the present moment, without any images and fantasies of future gratification (or resistance, or guilt, or scheming...), then that desire is not the cause of the suffering she is talking about. However, as soon as I bring futurity into it, and then entertain thoughts about the impending pleasure (or thwarting) of the desire, then it immediately becomes what she calls "the practice of desire"...ï»¿