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Thread: Simple Spirituality and Attachment

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Simple Spirituality and Attachment

    I do try to practice daily some common spiritual concepts that bridge almost all religions.

    One of these is the concept of detachment. I understand it, I love the idea of it, I truly believe that letting go of attachments is key to peace, Nirvana, heaven, enlightenment, whatever your idea of ultimate spiritual attainment is.

    This can mean for...

    Christians: "And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Mark 10: 1-17

    Buddhists: … Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world." Thich Nhat Hanh, 1st Mindfulness Training

    Hinduism: “When a man has let go of attachments, when his mind is rooted in wisdom, everything he does is worship and his actions all melt away". Bhagavad Gita

    Anyway, you get the idea. And I think detachment and simple living go hand in hand in many respects. So, aside from your loved ones, what attachment do you have that is the hardest to detach from? This can be a dogma, belief, material possession, feeling, whatever.

    For me, I am too attached to the past, and I think that's why I get upset when I think about my great-aunt's cottage being torn down, and when I find it hard to get rid of old diaries and photos.

    What are your strongest attachments? What would you like to be able to let go of?
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    Food. I cannot lose the weight I want because I love eating too much.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    Food. I cannot lose the weight I want because I love eating too much.
    Great example. Psychiatrist Gabor Mate (author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts) said that everyone has an addiction, which sounds like a serious word (I doubt you have a food addiction, Jeppy), but as an example, he said his addiction is collecting CDs. We all have cravings, which are forms of attachment for sure.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I’m with Jeppy on the food thing.

    There are other things that I “should “work to be rid of, but I don’t really want to. I know they do not make me a good person but yet I don’t want to be a good person? Not enough to be rid of them anyway. I justify this to myself, telling myself that well at least I recognize these things are not exactly healthful, and maybe I will work to be rid of them someday.


    Someday.

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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    I used to be very attached to things and had difficulty getting rid of stuff. A few cross country moves with 5 people and a uhaul only holding so much helped cure that problem. I have also realized that the less stuff the easier my life is. I fixed my weight problems by eliminating alcohol. It was wasted calories and made me hungry. My biggest attachment now is my kids and dogs.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Oh I know, thought of one. I have an ongoing thought-worm, had it for for years. I’m not gonna talk about what it is about, but it is just not a good thing to focus on. There’s no reason for it.

    Clearly I am “attached” to the idea and have probably worn grooves into my brain. Not good.

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    This will sound absurd but the thought of leaving plants behind that I grew from seed is my strongest attachment. Yesterday we drove by a house in Tx we owned 30 yrs ago. I had planted a little Lacey Oak seedling back then and now it is a towering tree. That thought makes me feel better about leaving them.

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    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    I'm with you Catherine, the past. All my past mistakes, big and small. They really get me down and contribute to lack of joy. Intellectually I know this, but it's hard to let them go, especially when I think about the effect they had on others. It's really something to work on.

    Physical things and possessions-- I can only think of one or two things I would have a hard time giving up. Seriously. I could give up any of my material possessions except for what I need to survive, I think.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

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    This afternoon I sat out on the deck, enjoying my yard and gardens. There was a fledgling robin in the grass, with a parent seeking food for it. It was a force of nature, as the parent fed the fledgling.

    A bit later I cut four spears of asparagus to eat raw, with soup and sandwiches. Another force of nature: Sabores divinas! the flavors divine!

    I have an attachment to all that my senses pick up. Eventually, I believe I must let go... (Not today though!)

  10. #10
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    Ah, yes - not today. We must all let go at some point, it's an inevitability - and that will be soon enough for me.

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