Writings

Dhammalogue no.6


In our Dhammalogue today we'll discuss further, the topic of detachment.
Dhammalogue no.6
Igor: Hi dear

Jenny:
Hello love

I: Let's further inquire detachment that you brought up yesterday. Buddha looked and looked and couldn't find anything which stayed the same, all changed continuously, always moving towards death. He saw this could not be altered, impermanece is permanent, he saw that the even the most skillfull of us could not cheat pain, death, illness, loss or heart break and that undesired consequences could and would inevitably occur due not only to our lack of skill at the game of life but also to the enormosity of the game itself, a game with a countless amount of factors and game players which makes it impossible to control 100% any situation. And so he prescribed: dive into anything you do with so much commitment and presence that you almost dissapear in your action and let the consequences be as they might. Love and live fully and unconditionally without expecting anything in return, satisfied by the acts of loving and living themselves, which you explained so beautifully in your essay yesterday. I love your way of putting it: "to detatch is not to not care, which is kind of how the young me interpreted it, but it is to care so much that you don't expect anything in return. To detach yourself so completely from outcome, desired response, solution, praise or feeling that your words and actions become unconditional"
However, this is so difficult to do that many seekers choose to live monastic lives, distancing themselves from some of the main triggers of attachment, such as family ties, possesions or wordly responsibilities. They choose to simplify life to some extent and 'renounce the world' in order to dedicate themselves fully to the art of being present in meditation, study or prayer. The Buddha, for instance, renounced his former life as the prince Siddharta Gautama and pursued this ascetic life style himself. It was later on, after he attained enlightenment, that he decided to come back as the great teacher we all know.
My question today is: is it possible for us, family and house holders, busy with our lives and the people in them as we are, to exercise detachment? While we rush to work, change diapers, take care of our dying parents, or wait in line for a court hearing, while everyone else has expectations on us and our actions, how do we do to 'not expect'?
And another one, of a more personal nature, you are the most committed person I know to the discovery and exploration of truth and freedom, do you see yourself as a nun in a few years, is that in your charts?

J: Detachment like anything is empty of meaning until we apply it to a certain scenario, which means it is not at all exclusive to the hermetic/monastic tradition and our lives certainly provide a very full playground where we can practice detachment, like I was pointing to yesterday. The trick with detachment is to seriously, honestly and wholeheartedly choose happiness, the real kind, not the momentary chocolate flavoured type. That is the only way that you'll be able to detach from anything, you have got to want to understand and move towards the real version of happiness. This reveals something radical and almost impossible for us to consider, to truly not mind what happens.
All you really need in order to keep unveiling the mystery of real happiness is for your compass to be pointing towards happiness, not towards being a success at what you do and or pleasing others. Those exterior elements of life that we invest so much of our time effort and energy in, are not be the ticket to that happiness you claim you want. Fully subscribing to that is the only way that you can intelligently detach. So, we need to deeply see what we in our current place in life relate to as happiness. Once you've wrestled with life a bit, had your desires be fullfilled, experienced hurt and disappointment you will realise that true happiness is intrinsically linked to compassion. To love. Imagine what you feel when you love somebody, really love somebody, depite their many buts, ifs, and shoulds. That love is a very deep feeling of happiness. Now imagine to feel that for everyone, everything, any circumstance you may encounter. The cultivation of compassion is intimately linked to the cultivation of happiness and detaching from outcome relates to both.

That being said, to answer your next question, I want to live this life in a very wide context, get down and dirty and relate to suffering, pain, loss, love, attachment in the realm of relationships so at the same time that I do not outrule anything as possible in what has so far been a very varied and surprising life, I don't think nunhood will ever be a full time choice. I would love to set aside longer periods for retreat, which I because of circumstance can not do now. But you and Iomi are such a gift, such a blessing, that I would be a fool to not fully enjoy this short time we have together.

I: I am glad I am your monastery...

J: Me too, let's go for dinner! 

 

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