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Attachment vs Non-attachment

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#1Attachment vs Non-attachment

Where to begin when it comes to non-attachment? Why not be attached I hear some ask? What is the problem with attachment & letting the mind cling to sensorial experiences? When should we attach & then detach? (not detaching by pushing away or being repulsed which leads to further destructive behavior, detaching by letting go & seeing things as they really are).

In the grips of intense passion & deep longing to feel loved, how can we replace the most powerful natural drug on the planet [love] to one side & completely detach? Can one love without attachment? Clearly this is becoming quite a dilemma & before one even attempts to manage attachments emanating from the mind of a Klingon, it may help us to understand how the mind desires/seeks/attaches/clings towards entertainment & further pleasures. Swamiji Mandala

Of course if you like your steak raw & sensorial, if you like the illusory world of the senses your experiencing 24-7, just remain cool & calm, stay plugged into the Matrix – no need to even inquire further. However, if we are all brutally honest with ourselves we are ALL attached to something. Usually these minor attachments are disguised as habits therefore justified as excusable; more often than not the attachment forms to the object which is perceived as desirable. Entertaining or stimulating the senses appears to be at the root of our attachments.

Whether constantly checking social media, reliving & duplicating that game on the console until ‘complete’, watching our latest episode on ‘catch-up’, enjoying mild stimulation of the senses via caffeine (or perhaps a more suitably addictive ‘fizzy’ beverage), smoking, placing that current song on ‘repeat’, stimulating the tongue with favourite ‘finger’ foods, planning our next adventurous but ravenous throws of passion with our partner – whichever way the mind chooses to escape its vacuity is irrelevant (or even unimportant to some). What is evident is that the mind always seeks a way to ‘escape’ placidity & replace such with one experience that feeds the boredom, fuels the agitated & distracted mind. KB at BSY

As Ajahn Dhammvidu would assert, this craving or clinging originates with the ego first developing a sense of ‘self’, of a “me/my or I” holding dear to experience (wasting time debating the existence of ‘self’, ‘non-self’ or macrocosmic Self is one we’ll leave for those that way inclined). As Ajahn Dhammvidu clearly & mindfully describes, this sense of self comes into being when the first sensation of mother’s milk is longed for once more. How to locate this warm addictive loveliness? Yes, cry your lungs out until one takes notice & succumbs to the demand! Ego is born, self established & a pattern of behaviour laid bare for time immemorial – the mind will desire/clinging & attach to whatever it desires for pleasure & sheer entertainment.

We could go a tad deeper, really breaking down the mind & its sub-constructions, enquiring to where the nature of attachment actually arises based on sense contact; however, at present this information isn’t of relevance here. I’m sure by now we can see how the mind cultivates its desires, longs to cling & repeat once more, then before we know it a habit is born & a firm attachment takes place. We can be quick to point the one finger at others less strong than ourselves (many battle with inner demons & addiction); but really with the one finger pointing, are those other three fingers pointing straight back at us highlighting our own ‘self’ disguised addictions & attachments? Ganges at Munger

We’re building some blocks here, setting some stones – leaving the patio construction till a much later date. For now we can begin to understand the mind & how it constantly looks for stimulation of some form or another. If we have a choice to just sit outside in nature & ‘be’ – watch & listen as the natural beauty unfolds between our eyes – would we choose to do so or would we reach straight for the phone/internet & social media? Therefore why to worry, this is just the mind doing what minds do – relax, the game is being played to fruition & the intellectual elite continue to reap the rewards. However, should we wish to step outside this box, begin by looking towards the inside from outside the box – we endeavour to develop non-attachment/dispassion & correct discrimination.

So, non-attachment is a state of mind which is full of viveka (discrimination). In fact, we can even call it viveka. Have the ability to discriminate and act accordingly. That is the yogic concept of non-attachment. – Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Hanuman

The Spiritual Ego

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Temple of Void [Sri Anandamayi Ma Ashram (Omkareshwar)]The Spiritual Ego

All spiritual practices culminate in annihilating the ego (here the ego represents the internal chatter of the mind; the continuous movement of thought, between here & there / this & that). Many religions also have this goal in mind but whether this practice of eliminating the ‘spiritual’ ego is at the forefront of their concerns is another matter (one which we won’t discuss here).

However, as one appears to make progress on their intended journey, is it not only natural they will want to share their positive experiences with others? This can be where the trap awaits; the spiritual “ego” is already rubbing its hands at the joys of toying with another seekers mind. “Ego” here (in parenthesis) can be related to the sense of achievement, a gladdening of the mind & a feeling of pride.

Deity of Emptiness [Sri Anandamayi Ma Ashram (Omkareshwar)]As one talks of “inner” experiences, giving advice on what to do / what not to do; even distances oneself from others; is there really any reduction in the ego or in fact is it not escalating with its over elaborate claims & statements? Giving advice can be perceived as a form of massaging the “ego” therefore best left alone…or is it?

At times sharing our “inner” experiences may help but it more usually than not confuses & then dissuades others from the validity of their own experiences. Are “inner” spiritual experiences not only for the experiencer? As one tries to substantiate & cross reference it can at times lead to discussion, debate & even arguments – which can be neither productive nor informative.

On the other hand sharing can be extremely productive & beneficial to both parties. As one shares the other grows; then the other imparts & likewise both parties can benefit from the discussion as further insights & confirmations are revealed. However, does it not depend on where the intention is whilst not only sharing but also whilst being receptive? If listeners’ minds are self opinionated & already full, then why have any intention to share at all? Can we actually listen without being comparatively critical?

Emptiness in God [Sri Anandamayi Ma Ashram (Omkareshwar)]Whilst giving advice, one could always ask themselves what their own intention is for administering advice in the first place…one must be careful as the spiritual “ego” can appear in full effect when we are least expecting it. Periodically it can sneak up like creeping Jesus in fact!

Therefore, what the HELL am I doing writing this garbage in the first place? No matter which way you look at the futility of it all, I’m heading for a no-win situation. The main thread of this article is to highlight our intentions & then ask ourselves if they are present, when we realise the spiritual “ego” is manifesting. However, sometimes we don’t have the time or awareness to catch our reactions with the ego firmly embedded & in control. One may continuously witness the mind in reflection but during reaction, of course this becomes rather difficult.

Ego Exit [Sri Anandamayi Ma Ashram (Omkareshwar)]This process of self-reflection can be taken as a sadhana as we tread carefully along the journey. Swadhyaya is encouraged to understand the Self (inner / larger); however before tackling such a momentous task, perhaps it is easier to understand the ego-self? (outer / smaller). If continuously reflecting on our actions, eventually we begin to monitor our habits & then reform them (SWAN).

On the other hand, I must stop pretending. In the world here the ego is developing its own agenda!!

That I can’t tell you. Every man is different. My benefactor never told me what he learned. He told me how to proceed, but never what he saw; that is only for oneself. “Don Juan