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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:24 am 
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Hello I am new to this philosophy & religion. I have always been a 'philosopher' and very analytic so i find myself thinking and thinking over the Buddhist ideas. Specially, as you can tell from the heading, on Desire and Attachment. I read that attachment means a cclinging to some idea, object, teaching, etc. I want to specifically talk about something that came to my mind... I am not saying i am right or that i am wrong, i'm very open minded and i want to understand.

Alright, I have seen that attachment which in clinging, causes suffering. So if a person for example aims to achieve wealth, prestige, an education, do music etc. These are all desires without any doubt, most people will cling to these ideals, but is it alright to desire such things without clinging to them (according to your Buddhism understanding). So if they do not manifest, most people will be hurt since their 'future' has been crushed, but how about if the individual desires/aspires to achieve something but does not cling, so if their goals fail they do not suffer. They simply let everything take their course simple as that.

I guess what i am trying to say is: Is it alright to do what you love, as long as you don't cling, and don't let the things you enjoy doing define your 'self' and control the happiness within your life...?

(i hope i made sense) :thanks: for listening/reading to me...


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:42 am 
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Paliut wrote:

I guess what i am trying to say is: Is it alright to do what you love, as long as you don't cling, and don't let the things you enjoy doing define your 'self' and control the happiness within your life...?


Hi Paliut.
Yes, its ok to enjoy and experience things in your life. We have to work with our circumstances in order truly enjoy them rather than ignorantly cling and chase after them.
For instance, there is nothing wrong with driving a nice car, just make sure the car doesn't drive you.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:04 am 
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Well as you are very analytical I have a question for you....what do you mean by alright? Please elaborate in depth.

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"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:30 am 
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Nangwa thanks for the reply, i just wanted more 'assertion' on the subject.


ronnewmexico wrote:
Well as you are very analytical I have a question for you....what do you mean by alright? Please elaborate in depth.


Sorry by 'alright' i mean within Buddhist philosophy on attachment and desire. I don't mean it as a supernatural moral code. For me alright can mean several things, at the moment i hardly have words to say what is ok since Buddhism is changing the way i think to some extent.

I believed doing anything you want without hurting any individual/animals (sentient beings) was the definition of a moral code and it was alright by those standards. Buddhism has made me realize that although this method may be good it doesn't deal with the self-centered human ideology which worries about me and forgets others, ike my community, family, and just to be honest all living things around me.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:07 am 
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Yes this....."I believed doing anything you want without hurting any individual/animals (sentient beings) was the definition of a moral code and it was alright by those standards" is a moral standard.

A buddhist moral standard....I'd say not.
A possible Buddhist moral standard as I read it, amounts to removing onself and others from suffering(through dharma), and doing least harm along the way to the realization of that aim.

Doing anything one wants even without hurting any sentient beings covers a lot of ground and would consist of several things I can think of offhand that would not fit in with a possible buddhist moral standard nor be moral actions under any possible standard.

Buddhists do not abscribe to strict moral standards of action as I read it. Jains for instance are always strict vegetarians and may not harm other beings in any manner, restricting even their occupations to those of no potential harm...buddhism is not like that. It is always prefered not to harm but harm is to a degree implicit in our being human. Buddhism is refered to as the middle way for many reasons some primary and some secondaey.
A secondary one may be it abscribes to no pure codes of conduct,generally. Some things of course must absolutely not be done such as killng ones parents but there are no strict ten commandments that must be followed to reach a heaven.

So basically I'd say what is proposed covers to wide a ground for buddhists.

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"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:14 am 
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ronnewmexico wrote:
Yes this....."I believed doing anything you want without hurting any individual/animals (sentient beings) was the definition of a moral code and it was alright by those standards" is a moral standard.

A buddhist moral standard....I'd say not.
A possible Buddhist moral standard as I read it, amounts to removing onself and others from suffering(through dharma), and doing least harm along the way to the realization of that aim.

Doing anything one wants even without hurting any sentient beings covers a lot of ground and would consist of several things I can think of offhand that would not fit in with a possible buddhist moral standard nor be moral actions under any possible standard.

Buddhists do not abscribe to strict moral standards of action as I read it. Jains for instance are always strict vegetarians and may not harm other beings in any manner, restricting even their occupations to those of no potential harm...buddhism is not like that. It is always prefered not to harm but harm is to a degree implicit in our being human. Buddhism is refered to as the middle way for many reasons some primary and some secondaey.
A secondary one may be it abscribes to no pure codes of conduct,generally. Some things of course must absolutely not be done such as killng ones parents but there are no strict ten commandments that must be followed to reach a heaven.

So basically I'd say what is proposed covers to wide a ground for buddhists.



thank you very much for your insight. It is greatly appreciated, i understand more as i go.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:01 pm 
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Nangwa wrote:
Yes, its ok to enjoy and experience things in your life. We have to work with our circumstances in order truly enjoy them rather than ignorantly cling and chase after them.
For instance, there is nothing wrong with driving a nice car, just make sure the car doesn't drive you.


One probably also should mention, that clinging causes one kind of suffering. Buddhism distinguishes different kinds of suffering.

Driving a huge, heavy or fast car with a very high fuel consumption, maybe with a big and dangerous cowcatcher can still cause suffering - even if one isn´t clinging to the car. E.g. once you had an accident and would know that nobody would have had to die if you had a lighter car without cowcatcher, or if you realize that every time you drive the car you do your part to destroy the environment (and are concerned about it).


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:08 pm 
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Paliut wrote:
I guess what i am trying to say is: Is it alright to do what you love, as long as you don't cling, and don't let the things you enjoy doing define your 'self' and control the happiness within your life...?




This is what Buddhists try to work on. Philosophically is correct but needs practice.

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NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Linjii
―Listen! Those of you who devote yourselves to the Dharma
must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:01 pm 
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It is good to set reasonably high goals for yourself, top achieve whatever it is you define as success,
but if you look to the fruits of that success as bringing you lasting happiness,
then that is where clinging is most evident, where problems arise.

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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:34 pm 
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Paliut wrote:
Hello I am new to this philosophy & religion. I have always been a 'philosopher' and very analytic so i find myself thinking and thinking over the Buddhist ideas. Specially, as you can tell from the heading, on Desire and Attachment. I read that attachment means a cclinging to some idea, object, teaching, etc. I want to specifically talk about something that came to my mind... I am not saying i am right or that i am wrong, i'm very open minded and i want to understand.

Hi there and welcome!
It's quite natural that now and then you feel right about what is wrong and wrong about what is right. Don't let that hinder your participation cause none of us do! :lol: If I had an euro for each time I said something wrong while being quite confident it was right, I would be a rich man.

Quote:
Alright, I have seen that attachment which in clinging, causes suffering. So if a person for example aims to achieve wealth, prestige, an education, do music etc. These are all desires without any doubt, most people will cling to these ideals, but is it alright to desire such things without clinging to them (according to your Buddhism understanding). So if they do not manifest, most people will be hurt since their 'future' has been crushed, but how about if the individual desires/aspires to achieve something but does not cling, so if their goals fail they do not suffer. They simply let everything take their course simple as that.


Imagine there was a state of absolute knowledge, luminosity, radiance and plenitude. A state of non duality without afflictions whatsoever, either cognitive of emotional, experiencing reality as it is. This would be enlightenment. Anything less than this means that there is a stain. This is the destination, the goal of the practice.

The first mental "poison" is called ignorance (avidya), and precedes desire, craving (trishna) or "thirst". This said, you can immediately understand that the problem lies deeper than simply wanting things. When we experience desire we are already suffering from that lack of plenitude, that dissatisfaction with the present experience we live in. So we suffer from both cognitive and emotional afflictions. Cognitive because we are already caught in duality desiring for an object we believe to be external and emotional because we feel dissatisfaction with our situation.

Let's move backwards from your initial proposition. You see the problem as being clinging, a sort of obsessive desire. That's correct. If we dig a little more, we discover that the objects we desire in fact only provide a temporary form of happiness. They are impermanent and, perhaps more important, our desire for them is also impermanent. Nothing ever completely satisfies us, because nothing can fill that hole of lack of plenitude. Only enlightenment and as you probably figured out by now, enlightenment is not a thing he can have. So we lose interest in everything we gain given enough time, like someone who quits a remedy that isn't working.

So we step down another level. We had the 1st -clinging - the 2nd -objects we crave are not stable and permanent sources of happiness - and 3rd -the fact that we desire due to a mysterious and pervading lack of plenitude that we can't satisfy.
We can go deeper still.

Why do we feel that lack of plenitude? Because we got caught in duality and took reality for something it isn't. We see a warped version of it that implies subject/object. So this would be, I think, a sort of ground level. Could we cut the problem at its root and we would solve the whole thing. But this is not very easy to do, so we need methods. One of them is exactly understanding that clinging is a problem. It's a problem in itself and results of series of afflictions that gave rise to its presence. If we realize things as they are, or at least closer to that, we can enjoy without delusions, expectations and frustration.

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I guess what i am trying to say is: Is it alright to do what you love, as long as you don't cling, and don't let the things you enjoy doing define your 'self' and control the happiness within your life...?

(i hope i made sense) :thanks: for listening/reading to me...

Well, it depends. There are people who love to explode others! :?
If what you love doesn't bring harm, there's nothing wrong about doing them. We can do things that bring positive results and make life easier. We have to hang on when things work badly and we must keep in mind that we aren't enlightened. A lot of stuff we do is pretty much useless in terms of path. Still, most can't plunge to a life entirely devoted to practice (mind you that it may even look externally that no practice at all is going on) because we are in deep sh**. So we need to work according to our circumstances, doing what we can and trying to improve. It's important to keep the view in mind though. So have present that your love for something always rises in contrast to your hate for its opposite. If you can't do what you love and have to do what you hate, you will feel awful! That's very natural when we are beginning the path (or even when we have progressed to some extent). But in the end, even the things we love and hate are both illusory because we only love or hate things (actions, objects, others) due to that lack of plenitude that was the consequence of fundamental ignorance (avidya). In a way, to live the dream in order to finish with it (enlightenment), there are some rules we need to observe. If we become robbers we will accumulate bad karma and perhaps we go to jail. This will make our practice very difficult and we may end up losing the circumstances that we need to do it. Our view should be vast, but our actions very careful, not because they have some grand ultimate meaning (they don't), but because we need to gather the conditions to wake up from the dream of samsara.

I hope this helped a little to make things clearer.

Best wishes! :smile:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:15 pm 
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As you practice the clinging drops away naturally like ripening fruit falling off a tree. Don't try to think about it too much or force it. Ajahn Chah used a good example of your practice being like a pet duck. Its your job to feed it, how fast or slow the duck grows is up to the duck. You just have to make sure you feed it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:06 am 
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Paliut wrote:
Is it alright to do what you love, as long as you don't cling, and don't let the things you enjoy doing define your 'self' and control the happiness within your life...?


I can't think of a better way to spend a lifetime.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:33 am 
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Thank you all who replied I has become clearer to as i read everyone's reply to my post. Dechen thank you specifically for taking the time to type so much haha.

Quote:
Cognitive because we are already caught in duality desiring for an object we believe to be external and emotional because we feel dissatisfaction with our situation.


When you say 'we are desiring an object we believe to be external' what exactly are you referring to? To any object in general or
to the object of believing happiness lies within the object.

Can you also further define object/subject i know it deals with duality but i guess i'm asking for more clarification.

:thanks:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:55 pm 
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Paliut wrote:
Thank you all who replied I has become clearer to as i read everyone's reply to my post. Dechen thank you specifically for taking the time to type so much haha.

Quote:
Cognitive because we are already caught in duality desiring for an object we believe to be external and emotional because we feel dissatisfaction with our situation.


When you say 'we are desiring an object we believe to be external' what exactly are you referring to? To any object in general or
to the object of believing happiness lies within the object.

Can you also further define object/subject i know it deals with duality but i guess i'm asking for more clarification.

:thanks:

You're welcome.
Any object in general. We only crave it because we believe happiness lies in its possession. Otherwise we wouldn't crave for it. Mind you that while experiencing this samsaric existence we need things. For instance, we need to eat, to have a decent shelter and to do stuff that helps us keeping our mental balance.

Let me give you an example. Imagine a yogi with many years of practice who feels perfectly at ease living alone in a cave in a mountain. He lacks food, has a precarious shelter and nobody to talk. There may be the case that while doing such retreat this practitioner realizes enlightenment (or does great progress in his practice). In contrast imagine someone unprepared trying to do such thing. Probably such person would become both physically and mentally sick. Death by malnutrition or disease or some serious psychological trauma would be quite plausible scenarios. So it would not be very wise for someone unprepared to try such an adventure.

So, where's the problem? In the retreat conditions? Surely not, otherwise everyone would fail miserably when doing such retreats and we know that is not the case.
The problem can be found in the relation individual/circumstances and this varies according to many factors, especially the deepness and vastness of the practitioner's experience regarding the view and the path.

So, the average folk need stuff that the yogi doesn't need. This stuff (material possessions, circle of close emotional relations, leisure time and so on and so forth) is not worthy by its own value, but because of our particular needs. They have no intrinsic value per se. The yogi can have all these, but will not be fooled by taking them for what they are not. We need them like an addict needs a drug. If we don't have them, we go crazy. So, although these are but illusions, they are not nefarious in our stage. Doing drugs, picking up fights and so on could be considered very unwholesome at any stage, because it causes harm really quickly. What we consider pleasant activities and relations can be quite positive, even fundamental to our path, because they allow us the emotional balance we need to start practicing. With time there are many things we will quit while others we will experience differently, but this process is somehow fluid and evolves naturally along the way.

So we have to consider our circumstances and practice according to them, doing what we can, the most we can while maintaining a realistic approach.

The second point of your post, regarding the clarification between subject and object, I risk telling you that according to the teachings, ultimately there's no such thing. But while unenlightened you experience reality as if it was like that. To have some intellectual understanding about this you need more than a post and there are different views according to the school you choose to study. However, according to Dzogchen teachings that I consider to be the highest in my case, it can be said that the energy aspect of the Base is essentially formless and free from any duality. However, karmic traces give rise to two kinds of forms, the ones that the individual experiences as his body, voice and mind and those he experiences as an external environment, while in fact there is nothing external or separate. All that manifests in his field of experience is but a continuum and what appears a world of external phenomena is the play of this energy.
You can prefer other views so feel free to explore!

Best wishes.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:48 pm 
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Desire and clinging are bad but how about desiring non-clinging or clinging to non-desiring?

This is very difficult and counter-intuitive but ultimately openness and acceptance are what is needed. It's so hard because the tendency as part of our biology is to be very judgemental and critical, constantly. And when one first approaches anything spiritual, the tendency is to want to apply this judgementalism and critical thought to judgement itself, and it simply doesn't work.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:40 am 
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Mag761138 wrote:
Desire and clinging are bad but how about desiring non-clinging or clinging to non-desiring?

This is very difficult and counter-intuitive but ultimately openness and acceptance are what is needed. It's so hard because the tendency as part of our biology is to be very judgemental and critical, constantly. And when one first approaches anything spiritual, the tendency is to want to apply this judgementalism and critical thought to judgement itself, and it simply doesn't work.

It's clear you didn't live in the 60's or the 70's... :lol:


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