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 Post subject: Re: Love vs. Attachment
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:43 pm 
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Epistemes wrote:
...If one person is trying to be non-afflictively attached but another person is afflictively attached then this creates the illusion of being non-afflictively attached for the person who thinks they are non-afflicitvely attached when, in fact, because of the emotional barriers created by the one who is afflictively attached, the non-afflictively attached person is actually afflictively attached as well.


No, if this were so then Buddhas would be afflictively attached to sentient beings, and they are not. The afflicitively-attached person owns their afflictions. There is no principle of samsaric co-dependence between Buddhas and sentient beings, which is what you are describing.

BTW, there is no such a thing as "trying" to be non-afflictively attached. One is either afflicted, not afflicted, or possess patience regarding the arising of one's own afflictions. If one possesses affliction, it is better to recognize that fact and not pretend one is above affliction.

Afflictions (desire, anger and ignorance) generally only function freely when one is not in possession of recognition of the operation of mental factors driven by affliction and b) when one's mind lacks stability. When one attains patience towards one's the arising of one's afflictions, they arise but lack force that propells one to act upon them.

In terms of parenting or caring for others, when one is purely under the infleunce of affliction, to some extent that care is blind and filled with self-interest. When one's afflicted relationship is characterized with patience, one is better able to make universal choices affecting all involved without falling under the fog of blind selfish interest. When one is free from affliction, one's caring for others comes from a place of pure altruism and equanimity.

Pretending that one is free of affliction is bullshit. That is not how afflictive attachment works. A realized bodhisattva possesses non-afflictive attachment towards all sentient beings. A non-realized bodhisattva possesses bias and attachment. If one is not realized, it is better to just recognize one's own state and work with it.

I.e. if you are attached to your kids, don't pretend not to be, don't pretend you are free from suffering around it, and work with it. Bodhisattvas can work with attachment and desire -- the one thing they cannot work with is anger and hatred. From a Mahāyāna perspective therefore, attachment is workable and it is fine. If you combine your afflicted relationships with altruistic motivation, you can even bring them onto the path, and make them part of your path.

N

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
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 Post subject: Re: Love vs. Attachment
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:56 pm 
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Thank you. I am most humbled by your answers.

:namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: Love vs. Attachment
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:23 pm 
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Namdrol wrote:
No, if this were so then Buddhas would be afflictively attached to sentient beings, and they are not. The afflicitively-attached person owns their afflictions. There is no principle of samsaric co-dependence between Buddhas and sentient beings, which is what you are describing.

BTW, there is no such a thing as "trying" to be non-afflictively attached. One is either afflicted, not afflicted, or possess patience regarding the arising of one's own afflictions. If one possesses affliction, it is better to recognize that fact and not pretend one is above affliction.

Pretending that one is free of affliction is bullshit. That is not how afflictive attachment works.


Thank you again for taking the time to answer these concerns of mine and helping me overcome my own anger and ignorance and resume practice.

I understand now that only we, ourselves, can create emotional barriers and attachment - others cannot create them for us. If another person is afflictively attached to us, they cannot create the emotional barriers that we sense - our senses are our senses and the emotional barriers are there because we are still afflictively attached to that other person, as well.

I also appreciate your comment regarding acknowledging attachment and living with it, rather than denying it and feigning enlightenment. Though I have much studying to do, nothing I've read yet has offered this type of unproscriptive advice. Most authors - even in the so-called beginners books - intimate "Get off your ass and get enlightened," which is very intimidating.

All of the designations in your post have made a world of difference in my understand of the dharma and my practice of it.

Again, :namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: Love vs. Attachment
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:52 pm 
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Epistemes wrote:
I also appreciate your comment regarding acknowledging attachment and living with it, rather than denying it and feigning enlightenment. Though I have much studying to do, nothing I've read yet has offered this type of unproscriptive advice. Most authors - even in the so-called beginners books - intimate "Get off your ass and get enlightened," which is very intimidating.


The Dharma, as I understand, begins with understanding our real state and acknowledging it, and not having fantasies about samsara or ourselves. Dharma is not an all or nothing venture. It is progressive, and one only has to practice as much if it as one understands.

For example, you are not ready to drink the Buddhist koolaid and buy rebirth, karma, and so on hook line and sinker -- you may not even really beleive in awakening. But what you can believe is your own experience, and the painfulness of desire, hatred and ignorance, as well as the joyfulness that connection with other sentient beings can bring.

The Buddha's own advice for people who were not able to adopt his perspectives about rebirth and karma automatically is that they focus their attention on cultivating loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and ultimately, equanimity.

Once, in response to a statement by Shariputra that friendship was half of the life of a Dharma practitioner, Buddha replied that was incorrect, friendship was the whole of the life of a Dharma practitioner. Thus, cultivating loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity are Dharma practice and relationships forged on these bases are deeply fulfilling and satisfying. Not only that, any relationship, positive or negative, one presently is in can be immensely transformed by these four cultivations. Positive relationships are enhanced and deepened, negative relationships will weaken their grasp and one will come to a place of evenness regarding other people's suffering afflictive behavior, an eveness suffused with genuine care for others along with a sharp recognition of one's own limitations around helping others. Equanimity is not indifference, it is recognizing what one is and is not able to accomplish.

In other words, we don't have to a) fix the world b) be emotional unavailable c) persist in unhealthy relationships -- instead we can slowly work at opening our hearts with love and compassion and work with where we are at the present moment without having to condition it with unattainable idealism.

Learning calm-abiding or shamatha meditation is very helpful, since this trains us in mental stability. Shamatha creates a container where we are able to see how the mind thrashes, bolts, revolts, jumps around and so on. It gives us a pillar through which to measure the rest of our experience. We do not have to begin with hour long sessions, we can sit for 5 minutes. Then 10. Then 15, and so on. Following the breath is an ideal practice for beginners as well.

Anyway, the main point is that Buddhist practice is not about waking up to some abstract "enlightenment". It is about knowing one's own state, right here and right now and working with that, along with various means to do so.

In short, understanding our present condition is Dharma practice, and it is the only Dharma practice we have.

N

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http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


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 Post subject: Re: Love vs. Attachment
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:41 pm 
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Namdrol wrote:
The Dharma, as I understand, begins with understanding our real state and acknowledging it, and not having fantasies about samsara or ourselves. Dharma is not an all or nothing venture. It is progressive, and one only has to practice as much if it as one understands.


So much of what you say is precisely what I need to be reading and understanding at this stage in my life. While I'm sure that so much of what you say is based upon a synthesis of your experience, reading, learning and teaching, are there other resources available that explain the dharma as such? Or is it all based on finding the gems among the pile?

As I've already said, Buddhism for Beginners seems to suggest "Thou shalt not be angry," "Thou shalt not be attached to people, places or thing," "Thou shalt love equitably and impartially," "Thou shalt...". I, personally, am tired of all the precedents. I want to continue the relationships that I have, cultivate them through my thirst for Buddhism, cultivate myself, and see where I get. Buddhism for Beginners punches one's mind like clay, strangles it and makes it feel suffocated and threatened.

Other more advanced resources suffocate the mind with their deep experience and complexity. It seems that there is no middle way in The Middle Way.

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 Post subject: Re: Love vs. Attachment
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:59 pm 
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Epistemes wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
The Dharma, as I understand, begins with understanding our real state and acknowledging it, and not having fantasies about samsara or ourselves. Dharma is not an all or nothing venture. It is progressive, and one only has to practice as much if it as one understands.


So much of what you say is precisely what I need to be reading and understanding at this stage in my life. While I'm sure that so much of what you say is based upon a synthesis of your experience, reading, learning and teaching, are there other resources available that explain the dharma as such? Or is it all based on finding the gems among the pile?

As I've already said, Buddhism for Beginners seems to suggest "Thou shalt not be angry," "Thou shalt not be attached to people, places or thing," "Thou shalt love equitably and impartially," "Thou shalt...". I, personally, am tired of all the precedents. I want to continue the relationships that I have, cultivate them through my thirst for Buddhism, cultivate myself, and see where I get. Buddhism for Beginners punches one's mind like clay, strangles it and makes it feel suffocated and threatened.

Other more advanced resources suffocate the mind with their deep experience and complexity. It seems that there is no middle way in The Middle Way.


Well, this is the problem with sorting out the Dharma for oneself. There is a Dharma teaching for whatever stage of practice one is at. But that is the point, one has to work with where one is at.

So if you read a text that seems not to address your present state, well, put it aside. And that is a middle way.

Having a teacher helps, but in the end one must integrate these things into your own practice.

Rather then looking for a "beginners" Buddhism (since there really isn't such a thing), look for Dharma teachings that speak to you, and work for you in a practical manner. Take what you can absorb and leave the rest.

In the end, great compassion is the essence of Dharma. Great compassion comes from compassion. Cultivate that, and that is sufficient.

N

_________________
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


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 Post subject: Re: Love vs. Attachment
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:11 am 
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The difference between love and attachment is that attachment is limited to concepts like mother and child, but love is limitless. It is a display of the unobscured nature of phenomena because it is limitless. Attachment is integral to the cycle of suffering because it imposes limits where there are none.


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