Buddhaflower wrote:It does not seem possible <for me> that the contemplation 'I will have no attachment to the eye' can instantly cut off clinging to the eye, etc.
jeeprs wrote:Buddhaflower wrote:It does not seem possible <for me> that the contemplation 'I will have no attachment to the eye' can instantly cut off clinging to the eye, etc.
I take 'clinging to the eye' as 'being attached to visual sensations'. When you sit in meditation, you are relinquishing visual sensations. This doesn't mean you don't have any visual sensations, but you are not seeking them and are not attached to them. They simply come and go, like all sensations do.
It is similar in day to day life. We are visual beings - those of us who are not blind, of course! - and so we are constantly taking in visual perceptions (as well as auditory, tactile, and so on.) I think the teaching is about not being attached to such sensations, which doesn't mean not having them or walking around with your eyes closed, but letting them go whenever they cease, and not craving for them when they are not present. That is 'detachment', not 'suppression'. Whereas one who is attached to sensations, wishes to see certain sights, or is attached to particular perceptions or stimuli. How does that usually show up in life? I would think in terms of addictions and dependencies of various kinds, as well as wanting things that you see. 'Ah, I must have that. I love the look of that particular piece of jewelry, I would like to have that. I love that car, that is the car I must have. (Or woman/man/house/computer/ and so on....)
It is hard to understand what 'severe pains' means in that passage. I don't think it is referring to an actual medical condition, but the emotional distress caused by clinging. That usually is based in 'wanting things to be a certain way'. 'I don't want this to happen, I want that instead'. I suppose that can manifest in all kinds of ways - for instance in neuroses, in being unhappy about one's identity or appearance. That would be how I would understand 'attachment to appearances' in this particular context.
Of course again it is normal to be concerned with one's identity and appearance to some degree. It is when it becomes a something you cling to compulsively that it causes emotional distress. So here the advise is 'just notice this is a sensation, that is all. It is not substantial, it has no real own-being. When you notice it is empty of own-being then you are less likely to be attached to it, it looses its importance to you and you don't need to cling to it.'
That would be my interpretation.
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