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what is non attachment?

NamadaNamada Veteran
edited May 2016 in Buddhism Basics

We attach to alot of things in this world, family, friends, places, computers, tv show, music and
our health and the list can continue forever, there are many things to be happy for.

what is your thought about Buddhas teaching about non attachment?

Zen teacher John Daido Loori said,

"[A]ccording to the Buddhist point of view, nonattachment is exactly the opposite of separation. You need two things in order to have attachment: the thing you’re attaching to, and the person who’s attaching.

In nonattachment, on the other hand, there’s unity. There’s unity because there’s nothing to attach to. If you have unified with the whole universe, there’s nothing outside of you, so the notion of attachment becomes absurd. Who will attach to what?"

lobster

Comments

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    what is non attachment?

    Anatta ....

    herberto
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    <3

    @Namada said:

    what is your thought about Buddhas teaching about non attachment?

    You make an important point. Dharma is involvement in the cessation of ignorance and dukkha. How do we comprehend the three mystic apes?

    Personally I am not attached to non-attachment. Quite happy to engage with flaccid Buddhists who feel being placid, indifferent and isolating is the height of 'spiritual practice'.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Non-attachment to me means accepting what is happening without expecting it to be other than it is. Including moments, people, pretty much anything. Non-attachment doesn't mean not caring. It means caring openly without attachment for what you are getting out of it. It means caring for the sake of caring, not for your gain.

    NamadaBunkslobsternamarupa
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited May 2016

    @Namada said:

    Zen teacher John Daido Loori said,

    "[A]ccording to the Buddhist point of view, nonattachment is exactly the opposite of separation. You need two things in order to have attachment: the thing you’re attaching to, and the person who’s attaching.

    In nonattachment, on the other hand, there’s unity. There’s unity because there’s nothing to attach to. If you have unified with the whole universe, there’s nothing outside of you, so the notion of attachment becomes absurd. Who will attach to what?"

    To me nonattachment is not necessarily the opposite of separation. Nonattachment comes from the realisation that all (conditioned) things are impermanent and belongs to no one(anatta) - that ultimately there can be no security in them.

    Sabbe sankhara anicca, sabbe sankhara dukkha, sabbe dhamma anatta.

    "Bhikkhus, when a noble follower who has heard (the truth) sees thus, he finds estrangement in the eye, finds estrangement in forms, finds estrangement in eye-consciousness, finds estrangement in eye-contact, and whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful- nor-pleasant that arises with eye-contact for its indispensable condition, in that too he finds estrangement.

    "He finds estrangement in the ear... in sounds...

    "He finds estrangement in the nose... in odors...

    "He finds estrangement in the tongue... in flavors...

    "He finds estrangement in the body... in tangibles...

    "He finds estrangement in the mind, finds estrangement in ideas, finds estrangement in mind-consciousness, finds estrangement in mind-contact, and whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with mind-contact for its indispensable condition, in that too he finds estrangement.

    "When he finds estrangement, passion fades out. With the fading of passion, he is liberated. When liberated, there is knowledge that he is liberated.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.028.nymo.html

    The whole universe is realised to be a mental construct - it is constructed through our senses and is "empty".

    Always mindful, Mogharaja,
    regard the world as
    empty,
    having removed any view
    in terms of self.
    This way
    one is above and beyond death.
    One who regards the world
    in this way
    isn't seen by Death's King.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.5.15.than.html

    lobsterRuddyDuck9
  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited May 2016

    @karasti I agree with you accepting what happens right now in the moment. And it is what it is, pleasure or pain .

    It reminds me of This parable about being shot by two arrows, one arrow is physical and the second one is mental.

    Is it really possible to avoid being shot by the second mental arrow?

    If so are Buddha then refering to awarness /the observer/the one who knows which is just observing the natural mind?

    the observing mind is not able to feel any pain, it can just observe, therfor the observer can not be hit by the mental arrow.

    While the natural mind will be hit, and feel pain, greef, hate and so on, our job is then just to observe the natural mind and use wisdom to reduce the pain.

    Because if we put Buddhas teaching really on the edge, let say someone killed his Son, he would not feel any mental pain? It is what it is?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Namada said:.... Because if we put Buddhas teaching really on the edge, let say someone killed his Son, he would not feel any mental pain? It is what it is?

    I'm sure there would be an element of emotional pain, but the wisdom would be in knowing how to manifest, channel and convey that pain.
    Everyone is human, and subject to the emotions we learn to experience.
    Experiencing those emotions wisely, is what counts.
    Suppression and elimination is, in my poor and I'm sure, uneducated opinion, a 'Wrong' View...

    lobsterNamadakarastiherberto
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @federica said:

    Everyone is human, and subject to the emotions we learn to experience.

    I wish I was human :3 still working up to it ...

    Experiencing those emotions wisely, is what counts.

    Exactly. The animal nature, blood affiliations, monkey minded gibbering does lessen with experience and practice. However are we are lotus born rainbows of pure Buddha Power, floating up and down from the Purelands? Mostly we are still susceptible to physical, emotional, hormonal, road rage (no Buddha killing allowed in such a state) or other conflicted behaviour.

    Suppression and elimination is, in my poor and I'm sure, uneducated opinion, a 'Wrong' View...

    Suppression is conflicted emotion, wrong view indeed. Sublimation is more skilful. Elimination is not in my experience entirely possible. However it is perfectly true that our riles, buttons, anger arousals, fearful anxieties etc are lessened. Increasingly conflicted emotions are exposed as empty or dependent on wrong view ...

    herberto
  • @Namada said:.... Because if we put Buddhas teaching really on the edge, let say someone killed his Son, he would not feel any mental pain? It is what it is?

    To not feel any pain is not realistic for us "mortals" who still have attachments. To me, the Buddha is freed from all mental pain as he would have been freed from any illusion that there is anything that belongs to a self. So even emotional pain is not taken personally.

    "Suppose a person were to gather or burn or do as he likes with the grass, twigs, branches, & leaves here in Jeta's Grove. Would the thought occur to you, 'It's us that this person is gathering, burning, or doing with as he likes'?"

    "No, lord. Why is that? Because those things are not our self nor do they pertain to our self."

    "In the same way, monks, the eye is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit... The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The intellect is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit... Whatever arises in dependence on intellect-contact, experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that too is not yours: let go of it.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.101.than.html

    RuddyDuck9
  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited May 2016

    @pegembara if its not my pain, how did it occour there in the first place?

    There are something that is mine because I can feel it.

    I belive mental pain is unvoidable, even for the Buddha, he was also human.

    We can reduce the mental pain with wisdom and mindfullness, but to reduce and transform this mental pain to zero is not possible.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    Just sneeze once and we can find another topic of conversation. :)

  • @Namada said:
    @pegembara if its not my pain, how did it occour there in the first place?

    There are something that is mine because I can feel it.

    I belive mental pain is unvoidable, even for the Buddha, he was also human.

    We can reduce the mental pain with wisdom and mindfullness, but to reduce and transform this mental pain to zero is not possible.

    If mental pain is unavoidable that would mean there is no way out of suffering, only to mitigate it. Friend, the Buddha found the way to end suffering completely. It's difficult but not impossible.

    Shoshin
  • NamadaNamada Veteran
    edited May 2016

    @pegembara its correct as I you say, he found the way out of suffering.

    But for me the path seems to be unhuman, let say if you one day eat dinner with your family members and the next day you come home from work and you finde them all dead, cause one bomb was dropped there.

    You will then react like, this is not self, impmermanent, it is what it is, life is just lump of foam,
    and then you go back to work next morning like nothing had happend with no emotinal pain.

    Maybe its possible?

    lobster
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited May 2016

    @Namada said:
    @pegembara its correct as I you say, he found the way out of suffering.

    But for me the path seems to be unhuman, let say if you one day eat dinner with your family members and the next day you come home from work and you finde them all dead, cause one bomb was dropped there.

    You will then react like, this is not self, impmermanent, it is what it is, life is just lump of foam,
    and then you go back to work next morning like nothing had happend with no emotinal pain.

    Maybe its possible?

    I don't think the Buddha was devoid of any feeling. He was not a zombie but one who had awakened to the truth ie. all conditions are impermanent and therefore can cause suffering. I am pretty sure he would not be breaking down into tears and tearing out his hair if you get my drift.

    If anything, he pointed out that truth to all who listened. There is no refuge in conditioned things. That doesn't mean you don't love or miss them. That is why he gave the greatest gift to his son, wife, parents and friends which is the gift of Dhamma.

    "And what may be said to be subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement? Spouses & children... men & women slaves... goats & sheep... fowl & pigs... elephants, cattle, horses, & mares... gold & silver [2] are subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement. Subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement are these acquisitions, and one who is tied to them, infatuated with them, who has totally fallen for them, being subject to birth, seeks what is likewise subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement. This is ignoble search.

    "Then, monks, being subject myself to birth, seeing the drawbacks of birth, seeking the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke, Unbinding, I reached the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding. Being subject myself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeing the drawbacks of aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeking the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, unexcelled rest from the yoke, Unbinding, I reached the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.026.than.html

    Namada
  • namarupanamarupa Veteran

    If I had to briefly explain non-attachment as it relates to practice, I would say that it is simply not being caught in dukkha's whirlwind. Sometimes we would need to let go of things in order to do that, and the way to let go is the Eightfold Path and the middle way.

    WalkerShoshinpegembara
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited June 2016

    @namarupa said:> If I had to briefly explain non-attachment as it relates to practice, I would say that it is simply not being caught in dukkha's whirlwind.

    Yes, I think of it as a point of stillness, like the eye of the storm. Though it seems like you have to be fully present and aware of the storm to find the stillness.

    lobsterRuddyDuck9
  • @federica said: Suppression and elimination is, in my poor and I'm sure, uneducated opinion, a 'Wrong' View...

    There seem to be different approaches. Full acceptance of whatever arises is one approach, alternatively there is the application of Right Effort and Right Intention, consciously "replacing" unskillful mental states with skillfull ones.

  • RuddyDuck9RuddyDuck9 MD, USA Veteran

    To suppress grief and suffering do not make them go away, do not make you separate from them. Suppression is like the static cling plastic from a DVD case.... Suppression is like the sap from a Conifer branch... Suppression is like bailing out water from a canoe instead of plugging the breach. How does this help us grow? It won't. Getting to the root of the issue which makes us suffer is SO much harder... but as @SpinyNorman says, "Full Acceptance" is really one of the better options here...... but I know I'm terrible at that, myself. It's hard to see the big picture when we are all so centered in our internal monologues. I know I'm better at mediating this with others than I am with myself. How is it that I "know" these things, but can't "act" them? Frustrating! <3

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited June 2016

    Right Effort and Right Intention can be interpreted thoughtfully which the only point I am making is that you cannot say those who use acceptance approaches (and might not be 'full' acceptance incidentally) you shouldn't conclude they are on the sixfold path haha. Rather they are interpreting effort and intention in a different context of belief and practice.

    So some might consider right effort as being awake to whatever is there. And that is intention too. So the intention is what you set out to do. So in meditation if you think in your head that you are setting out to be 'awake' that is your intention. And then in your meditation you have already made an effort not only to sit down but also to notice your mind and think if you are 'awake' or not. And further 'awake' might mean to you letting go of doubts about how your experience should be and realize that you have all you need to be awake. All you need to be awake is your present experience and you do not have to get a different one (experience or brain or 'life context' or what have you) to be 'awake'.

    RuddyDuck9
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