Friday, September 9, 2011

On Attachments

One cannot go through the world without attachments, and yet all such attachments - to our pets, to our children, to our spouses, to our vocations, to our possessions, to our various 'identities' etc. - are all bound to create suffering, either in the short-term or the long-term. What is one to do?

The Tao Te Ching seems to suggest that we recognize but neither "assert" nor "abide in" such attachments. It recognizes that unfettered enjoyment of such temporary attachments as "extravagances" which prevent us from living in accordance with "the Way."
"Who is puffed up cannot stand,
Who is self-absorbed has no distinction,
Who is self-revealing does not shine,
Who is self-assertive has no merit,
Who is self-praising does not last long.

As for the Way, we may say these are
   "excess provisions and extra baggage."
Creation abhors such extravagances.

      One who aspires to the Way,
            does not abide in them."

In the two related dharma talks (below),  Buddhist teacher, Ajahn Brahmili explores our deep-seated attachments and how we can move beyond them to live a more liberated and awakened life.

We need to create an inner refuge, separate and apart from our attachments, Ajahn suggests, if we are to begin the task of moving beyond attachments and the innate suffering that comes with them. In this way, it is possible to live in the world of attachments, but not be wholly attached to that world.

Creating such an inner refuge, he points out "is really a path of beautifying the mind, of making the mind more bright, and of having an internal source of happiness."

No comments:

Post a Comment