What does “detachment” mean? Or in other words, what does freedom from attachment mean? How do we live this?
This basic concept which was taught by the Buddha and other great teachers seems to be often misunderstood. Many folks think that somehow it means “Don’t give a $&^%” That somehow it is us caring about people and things which makes us suffer……
Buddha taught that our suffering is rooted in our desires and attachments.
The Buddhas teaching is echoed in the Xin Xin Ming (Affirming faith in Mind) by Seng Can (died 606 CE) (or one of his disciples). The first portion of Xin Xin Ming deals with how to make “the Great Way” clear… how to see it clearly……
Here are some excerpts:
“If you would clearly see the truth,
discard opinions pro and con.”
“To founder in dislike and like
is nothing but the mind’s disease.”
“Just calmly see that all is One
and by themselves false views will go.”
“Do not go searching for the truth,
just let those fond opinions go.”
The point here is, freedom from attachment is not accomplished through detaching from our life, but rather is accomplished by “letting those fond opinions go”
Freedom from attachment means letting go of our clinging to our attitudes and opinions.
Freedom from attachment does NOT mean to let go of our caring for others.
Thus the mantra “Caring for something does not mean Carrying something”
How do we care without carrying? How do we free ourselves from our clinging attaching attitudes?
Here is a practice which is teaching me to live “in the middle of it all …. participating fully without suffering”
– The realm of the mind is often filled with opinions and attitudes …… learn how to drop them.
– The realm of the body can filled with tensions
,,,,,,,learn how to drop them.
These two rascals work together to create suffering.
The mind cannot be filled with opinions and attitudes without using the body as its soldier.
The mind holds onto attitudes via tension in the body.
Let one go, and the other will become evident, and can also be dropped.