Attachment

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Attachment

Postby SteveP » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:39 am

Hello everyone,

I am new here, and new to buddhism also. I have been ill recently, depression anxiety etc. I do beleive that much of my illness has been due to delusions. I endevour to eliminate these delusions, not only so that I can be a healthier, happier man, but so that I can be of more use to other people.

My knowlege of Buddhism is limited, and so I am here to learn.

At the moment I have one question concerning attachment. Although I can see that attachment can lead to suffering and non virtuous actions, how can I avoid attachment with other people? In a sense, should I apply equal attachment to all people, without favourites? If so, how do I acheive this?

X
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Re: Attachment

Postby Thug4lyfe » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:13 am

I suppose if you noticing your being "extra happy" around a certain Derpina, your already on the way to reduce your attachment. It's just simply won't do to go along with our preferential liking and not notice it until after the happy encounter!

I hope dat makes sense homes...
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Re: Attachment

Postby sangyey » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:17 am

Usually eliminating attachment to loved one's , freinds, etc., is a teaching found in the four immeasurables - love, compassion, joy, and equanimity, namely equinimity in this case where you try to develop an even-minded attitude towards loved one's, enemies, and neutral persons so as to form a basis for developing unbiased love and compassion towards all beings.
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Re: Attachment

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:25 am

SteveP wrote:Hello everyone,

I am new here, and new to buddhism also. I have been ill recently, depression anxiety etc. I do beleive that much of my illness has been due to delusions. I endevour to eliminate these delusions, not only so that I can be a healthier, happier man, but so that I can be of more use to other people.

My knowlege of Buddhism is limited, and so I am here to learn.

At the moment I have one question concerning attachment. Although I can see that attachment can lead to suffering and non virtuous actions, how can I avoid attachment with other people? In a sense, should I apply equal attachment to all people, without favourites? If so, how do I acheive this?

X

Can someone give this friend a good answer, please? :smile:

It's very late here!


I'll just make two points before I forget. I'm sure someone will give you a good detailed answer.

1) Don't mistake not feeling attachment with not feeling loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and many other positive feelings about others. Attachment is detrimental because it objectifies others and is based on our deluded view of reality. You can love someone without being attached to that person. I'd say that's really the best kind of love.

2) Equanimity is not something you can force. It arises as we free ourselves more and more from delusion. The more we realize that afflictions (cognitive and emotional) are adventitious, not intrinsic, the more we approach others with equanimity. Usually we "cartoonize" people reducing them to a few of their features as if those features were the whole and all of them. Reality is not like that. So by becoming more and more realistic, we start gaining insight about what we really are and this brings about equanimity.

Attachment is a distortion of loving-kindness. Don't beat yourself up too hard. We all have attachments. They tend to disappear naturally (also can't be forced) as we gain a deeper perspective on reality.

I'm sure someone will give you more answers.

Welcome to the board, by the way! :smile:


Best wishes.
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Re: Attachment

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:26 am

sangyey wrote:Usually eliminating attachment to loved one's , freinds, etc., is a teaching found in the four immeasurables - love, compassion, joy, and equanimity, namely equinimity in this case where you try to develop an even-minded attitude towards loved one's, enemies, and neutral persons so as to form a basis for developing unbiased love and compassion towards all beings.

Thanks sangyey. You posted while I was writing. :twothumbsup:

All the best!
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Re: Attachment

Postby mint » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:39 am

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Re: Attachment

Postby Quiet Heart » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:19 am

:smile:
Attachment, huh.

Well, it's important to undersatnd what is meant by "attachment".
As another poster pointed out there are two sides to attachment.
One could be called unhealthy attachment...a connection to objects, people, and things/ideas merely for YOUR gain.
Then there can be a healthy attachment...not just for your gain, but the gain of others also.
An "attachment" to helping others...say training the unemployed to find a meaningful and fulfilling job...is an attachment, but may be thought of as a healthy attachment.
Whereas an attachment to clothes...aways wanting the newest and costliest clothes...would be considered and unhealthy attachment.
So, you see, you have to consider your :attachments carefully...does this attachment benefit only me, therefore it is unhealthy...or does benefit others also...and may be healthy.

But to answer the question of where your attachments come from...and this is just my personal opinion...I believe that attchments come from is called your "Ego Mind".
Your "Ego Mind", is that part of your mind that says "I" and "other". Your Ego mind says "I like", "I want", "I have", and "I need".
It also says "I don't like THEM', "I don't want THAT", and so on.
Your Ego mind defines the object called "I/Me/Myself/Us/Mine" as "good"....and the object called "others/them/not mine" as "bad".
Both this "I/Me/Myself/Us/Mine" is "good" feeling and that "others/them/not mine" is "bad"feeling are really only deluisons/illusions of your Ego mind.

So if you really want to rid yourself of attachments, here's what you do.
When you feel an attachment, stop and consider...what is the source of this desire, this attachment.
You will usually realise that that attachment is an illusion/delusion of your Ego mind.
Then ask yourself, well okay, but is this attachment healthy or unhelathy...does it benefit myself only, but harm others...or does it benefit others also.
When you ralise the source of that attachment and whether it is healthy or unhealthy, you can control all your desires and attachmengts.
Then you've got them beaten...they don't control you, you control them.
But it requires you to train your mind that way...it can be done...but it takes some practice t first.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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Re: Attachment

Postby wisdom » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:06 am

SteveP wrote:Hello everyone,

I am new here, and new to buddhism also. I have been ill recently, depression anxiety etc. I do beleive that much of my illness has been due to delusions. I endevour to eliminate these delusions, not only so that I can be a healthier, happier man, but so that I can be of more use to other people.

My knowlege of Buddhism is limited, and so I am here to learn.

At the moment I have one question concerning attachment. Although I can see that attachment can lead to suffering and non virtuous actions, how can I avoid attachment with other people? In a sense, should I apply equal attachment to all people, without favourites? If so, how do I acheive this?

X


Heres my opinion:

Signs of unhealthy attachment are things like jealousy, anger or depression when a person can't be around us. Any feeling of clinging to another person is bad, when we don't want them to leave, or go, when we feel that we couldn't live without them, if we are depressed without them, we are too attached or attached in the wrong ways. People often justify this form of attachment under the guise of "love", yet for these people love means jealousy, attachment, co-dependency, fear, and possessiveness. All these things lead to or are manifestations of sorrow. Real Love transcends them all. As the saying goes "If you truly love someone, you will let them go". This is the truth, even if its never necessary for us to do so.

Unhealthy attachments also allow for relationships which produce unhealthy things. Such an example might be if you were attached to someone who constantly treated you like crap and disrespected you. This often happens under the same guise of "love". Stuff like that shouldn't be tolerated or allowed no matter who the person is. People are just people, even if they are family or our spouse, if they treat you like crap they don't deserve your company. One of the worst things I see is when people think they can mistreat others and get away with it in the name of "but we're family" as though that exempts people from contemptible behavior.

Healthy attachments are spending time with people who bring out our best qualities, whoever they are. People who support us, love us unconditionally, who do not treat us like crap, don't judge us, who are honest and straightforward, who understand us, who accept our shortcomings and flaws as humans, and who are not unduly demanding of our time and energy (IE: They are not clinging to us). This might mean you will end up with far fewer friends, but the ones you do have will be much higher quality.
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Re: Attachment

Postby LastLegend » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:18 am

SteveP wrote:Hello everyone,

I am new here, and new to buddhism also. I have been ill recently, depression anxiety etc. I do beleive that much of my illness has been due to delusions. I endevour to eliminate these delusions, not only so that I can be a healthier, happier man, but so that I can be of more use to other people.

My knowlege of Buddhism is limited, and so I am here to learn.

At the moment I have one question concerning attachment. Although I can see that attachment can lead to suffering and non virtuous actions, how can I avoid attachment with other people? In a sense, should I apply equal attachment to all people, without favourites? If so, how do I acheive this?

X



Who are you attached to? And how are you attached to that person?
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NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Attachment

Postby edearl » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:49 pm

I think of Buddhist attachment as a mild obsession, rather than loving or liking. Although, attachment is not really a mild obsession; my thinking of it that way helps me to remember that attachment causes suffering. Loving and liking are good. However, realize that whatever you love or like may not always be there for you, and your happiness (i.e., lack of suffering) does not depend on the people and things you love or like. Your happiness is a state of mind that you may control.

For example, I have two brothers, whom I love.

One is a fundamentalist Christian, who believes I shall go to hell for not following his faith. I tried for years to keep him in my life, but it was wasted effort. I am sad about it, but I do not suffer--I have discarded my attachment, yet I still love him.

The other is a drug addict. He comes and goes in and out of my life, depending on whims or fate, IDK why. I do not suffer when he is out of my life, because I have discarded my attachment for him, yet I love him regardless of whether he is sober, drunk or otherwise drugged.
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Re: Attachment

Postby SteveP » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:19 pm

Thank you all very much for your many, kind replys. They are very useful.

Currently I do at least one meditation focusing on compassion and kindness to all beings. In the past I have had people I considered foes, as they worked against me. However, now I realise that I was projecting a bad image upon them, and that, in reality, they are good people who are unware of their actions upon others. I knew this all along, I chose not to beleive it! I thank these people now (not in person!) for the opportunity they have presented me to practice patience and compassion, and to overcome situations.

The hardest part for me, is that I have a strong attachment to one person, I am unsure of the nature of this attachment, and it might be posessive desire, although this is combined with real feelings of love. For me, this is hard to over come.

Thank you for your wealth of replies, I very much like this forum!
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Re: Attachment

Postby SteveP » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:23 pm

I should add, based on your replies, this attachment probably is an unhealthy one. We are no longer together. I shall have to continually train to adopt this view and allow its to become manifest.
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Re: Attachment

Postby mint » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:50 pm

I am very attached to my girlfriend - who, I strongly suspect, will one day be my wife. Any thought of any type of permanent separation pains me, but this pain provides the seed for realization. It is precisely because of this attachment that realization is possible. We accept the attachment and pain for what it is, not regarding it as evil or bad and turning it away. Turning it away only reifies the dualistic mind. When we accept the attachment and pain, we can then work with it, using it as a means to effect realization for it is through samsara that nirvana is attained. This is the way of the bodhisattva.
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Re: Attachment

Postby SteveP » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:20 pm

Thank you.

I interpret that as I need to use this pain to realise the nature of attachment as being bad, so that I can then work upon eliminating non-virtous attachment. Is this what you mean?
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Re: Attachment

Postby SteveP » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:23 pm

I have been reading the dharma on the four immeasurables, thank you for this advice.
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Re: Attachment

Postby mint » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:58 pm

SteveP wrote:Thank you.

I interpret that as I need to use this pain to realise the nature of attachment as being bad, so that I can then work upon eliminating non-virtous attachment. Is this what you mean?


You must work on getting it out of your mind that attachment is "bad." This only reinforces the dualistic mind, and since attachment and pain are a part of you then this would be cheating yourself. This does not mean that you go on collecting more and more attachment because this would be unwise and would miss the point. Regarding attachment as "bad" is like knocking out one thing but then having another spring up in its place which gets you nowhere at all. You cannot cultivate what you cannot accept. Bodhisattvas cannot work with fantasy or denial. When you examine the pain and attachment for what they are with all their associations, you gain a more thorough understanding of what you are. Only then can afflictive attachment be transformed.

I recommend reading Chogyam Trungpa's short book Meditation in Action.
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Re: Attachment

Postby LastLegend » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:03 pm

There will always be attachments until we are enlightened but over time we get better.
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Re: Attachment

Postby edearl » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:39 am

SteveP wrote:...
The hardest part for me, is that I have a strong attachment to one person, I am unsure of the nature of this attachment, and it might be posessive desire, although this is combined with real feelings of love. For me, this is hard to over come.

Attachment to my first wife was, upon separation, devastating, but in retrospect she was neither my soul mate nor good for me. Ultimately, it was good for me to experience the attachment and subsequent suffering; such things teach us about life.

I'm sure you will recover, and expect you will also learn about life. I pray for your quick recovery.
HHDL: "My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."
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Re: Attachment

Postby SteveP » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:35 am

mint wrote:
SteveP wrote:Thank you.

I interpret that as I need to use this pain to realise the nature of attachment as being bad, so that I can then work upon eliminating non-virtous attachment. Is this what you mean?


You must work on getting it out of your mind that attachment is "bad." This only reinforces the dualistic mind, and since attachment and pain are a part of you then this would be cheating yourself. This does not mean that you go on collecting more and more attachment because this would be unwise and would miss the point. Regarding attachment as "bad" is like knocking out one thing but then having another spring up in its place which gets you nowhere at all. You cannot cultivate what you cannot accept. Bodhisattvas cannot work with fantasy or denial. When you examine the pain and attachment for what they are with all their associations, you gain a more thorough understanding of what you are. Only then can afflictive attachment be transformed.

I recommend reading Chogyam Trungpa's short book Meditation in Action.


Again, thank you for your responses. I was worried that I was practicing denial, and that I would have a build up of repressed feelings/ideals, which would come back to bite me.

I am trying to accept pain, and learn from it, and thus transform it into a postive experience. Its easier said than done :thinking: I can see that there will be no quick transformations, and that need to train for a long time. This is fine with me, because this is way of life and not a tablet.
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Re: Attachment

Postby mint » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:07 am

SteveP wrote: Its easier said than done :thinking: I can see that there will be no quick transformations, and that need to train for a long time. This is fine with me, because this is way of life and not a tablet.


"Hasten slowly and you will soon arrive."
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