Breaking through

OM

Buddhists believe that our attachment (craving desire within) to witness or to be a part of specific outcomes, as well, as our aversion to other outcomes is the cause of unhappiness.

When there is a sequence to our thoughts, they have as their object either something pleasant or something unpleasant. If the object of our thought sequence is pleasant we begin reacting to the thoughts with liking that grows into craving, a clinging, an attachment. If it is unpleasant, we begin reacting with dislike, which develops into a rejection, a hatred, an aversion.

Four types of attachment

attachment to my desires, to the habit of craving

When I desire something the thought arises first in my mind and is accompanied by physical a sensation. As soon as my desire is fulfilled the sensation is gone but my mind generates a fresh desire so that the sensation can continue. I become addicted to craving and I multiply my misery.

attachment to “I” and “mine”

I cannot bear any criticism of my “I” or any harm to it and that attachment includes to whatever belongs to “I” and whatever is mine. The attachment would bring no suffering if whatever I believe to be mine could continue to be mine eternally and the “I” could remain to enjoy it eternally but the law of nature is that sooner or later one or the other must pass away.

attachments to beliefs and viewpoints (preconceptions)

I have an  attachment to my viewpoints and beliefs and cannot bear criticism of them and I suffer to accept the viewpoints and beliefs of others that differ from the ones the “I” calls “mine”.

attachments to rites, rituals and religious practices

When I fail to acknowledge that these are just outwards displays that contain no essence of power other than what I give to them I suffer.

Breaking the Links

The opposite of allowing things to be as they are is trying to change things to align with our attachments, and there are very few things we have full control over. Allowing things to be as they are is about choosing to become detached, yet, keenly mindful and living a conscious life

in the now moment.

The six ways to begin doing that are as follows.

(1) Awareness – Become intensely aware of the world around you. Take note of what is going on without judging or trying to change anything it.  Examine petals on flowers and veins on leaves, notice the tracery of branches in the trees. See, hear, smell, feel and touch what’s before and around you.

(2) Acceptance – Calm your mind and  accept things as they are. Practice accepting things that are absolutely out of your control. Start sorting and saying “yes” to the realities of daily life. Notice things like the weather, remind yourself of the fact that you cannot do anything to control it and be at peace with that.

(3) Acknowledgment – Record your negative thoughts and feelings. If you feel out of control and you want to rant or express any intense negative emotion then write  your thoughts and feelings down on paper or in an online journal to help take the power out of them.

(4) Breathing- Start by paying attention to your breathing. The practical effort of focusing on just that takes your mind away from the “mind clutter” that constantly tries to invade and eliminate feelings that will lead to a time of calmness. With repeated effort the state of thinking of nothing does occur, and the process of meditation takes on its own energy. The result will be peaceful calmness, eventually opening you to new insights.

(5) Mindfulness - Mindfulness points to: Being aware of and paying attention to the moment in which we find ourselves. Our past is gone, our future is not yet here. So what exists between them is the present moment. If I can observe and not get caught up in my thoughts, it is all that I have. The here and now, the present is the link which holds what was and what will be.

(6) Practice forgiveness -  Truth be told it takes just as much energy to offend as it does to choose to be offended. And I believe that the greatest beneficiary of forgiveness is the party who does the granting of forgiveness.

By choosing to forgive anyone who you chose to give the power to offend you in the first place, it removes you from the role of being a victim and releases the control and power that you gave to the offending person, and situation, and that continually manifests in your memory.

Choosing forgiveness means agreeing not to yield to actions driven by bitterness. When you let go of bitterness and grudges, you no longer define your life by how you have been hurt, and you are able to find compassion and understanding for the person who you chose to allow to offend you.

I can now say that I am not choosing to be bitter and to hold a grudge. I am on the path of the peaceful warrior, who has recommitted to not giving her power away.

Come, come, whoever you are
Even though you have broken your vows a thousand times
Come, come and choose to love again.

Related posts found in this blog:
Mindfulness
The Simple Life: Present Moment Living

31 thoughts on “Breaking through

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  5. In my case, I would say, the aversion has made me cold and hostile toward things. I have always been able to control my emotions when it comes to attachment. Now I have been following the first 5 ways but the last is where I do a mistake. I can ‘forgive’ people very easily but the problem is, it isn’t anger I exhibit when we become estranged, it’s sheer indifference.

    rampanthearts last blog post..Are we escaping reality?

  6. As always Timethief, this is yet another great article.

    The aw important ego, can get us into so much trouble. Our minds are in constant thought, many of which we don’t even take notice to, and thoughts become things, and every moment in time is leading us toward good, or away from it. For this thought will bring you to your future, and everything in your life is a reflection of them.

    As far as forgiveness, the one that so many seem to have the hardest part with, I have found in my own life, that it is me that I must forgive first, and then forgiving others becomes automatic, as if one with my own forgiveness.

    ~Best Wishes~

  7. The hard part is having the determination to keep implementing them in our daily lives.

    I’ll second that. I struggle to implement the 6 in my life everyday. Some days I’m completely off track and some days I’m on. The important thing is that I’m making the effort and the more effort I put in the better I get at committing myself the following day.

  8. I grew up as a Buddhist and that sparked some memories of this “Sunday school” class I had to go to as a kid :P But the six ways you listed are definitely true and surprisingly effective at eliminating stress and worry. The hard part is having the determination to keep implementing them in our daily lives.

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  10. Thanks so much fro dropping by Lydia. I’ve spent some time admiring the wonderful posts you did on elephants recently but didn’t take the time to say so. And now you have posted Dream Waif. I’m humbled by your writing skills and so grateful you are continuing to be my friend through this awful time when I’m having so much trouble with migraines and inability to focus and concentrate.
    Love and peace

  11. @Melinda
    You have said: I have had experiences regarding people that I have not been able to forgive – and to be honest, I am not sure if I need to.

    Actually I was just been targeted in an insane personal attack in a post on blog of a BC member, who is desperately in need of therapy. I won’t be granting her forgiveness or even the time of day because she has chose to poison her own mind with such a degree of malice towards me that it would be pointless to do so.

    I don’t even know her and she doesn’t know me. Yet she has developed such a maniacal hatred that it’s obvious the she has an endless source of poison welled up within her that she can draw on at will.

    Sadly, she’s a teacher, who apparently has custody of a young child, who she will be role modeling that insane hatred to.

  12. I like the way you say it better than the way I do, but the fact that we share this perspective is encouraging to me. I appreciate the way you make your points clear and simple to implement. Truth is truth, and if that is kooky then I’m hopelessly nuts!

    I also very much like your new pic… pretty lady to match the profile.

    Thanks. — jb

  13. timethief–I agree with Doc Nicole that the last point (forgiveness) is the hardest. I think it is most important to forgive ourselves for whatever past mistakes we have made. I have had experiences regarding people that I have not been able to forgive–and to be honest, I am not sure if I need to. I think it is important to overcome–and that one should do whatever possible to achieve this. I know that I am a long way from forgiveness for certain people–perhaps I still just need to go further in my journey to see this but I am not there yet.

    Melinda

  14. What you have written is good inspirational material. When I am younger, these do not appeal to me. However as days go by and I experience more events in life, the “6 ways” presented become valuable. Thanks for the sharing. They come in useful.

  15. @DocNicole
    Oh my. You have just described the kind of grudge holding onto background that my mother’s side of the family has clung to for generations. What’s worse is that they are Christians! Self righteous and unrelentingly attachment to misery runs through that side of my heritage so I know what you mean when you say forgiving is tough.

    Example: My mother had a tiff with her sister and held on to a grudge for 25 years. She then then suffered 3 brain stem strokes and became demented. Then and now she couldn’t even remember who her family members are. She invested 25 years of anger and bitterness into holding onto that grudge, rather than forgiving my aunt and enjoying some good times together while they still could.

    My mother’s situation became a motivator for me. Some years ago now I attended a Buddhist retreat that was solely dedicated to forgiveness and I will always be grateful that I did.

  16. @Pentad
    Thanks for making me laugh at myself. I have suffered so many times from being attached to my pride, anger and bitterness that I cannot count them Each time I get to the point of forgiving and receiving the benefits that flow from that I struggle and I struggle, until I finally do it.

  17. @Kelly
    Thanks for visiting and for reading too. I know you are a busy mom with three kids and that finding the time to disconnect is difficult, but the rewards of just being in the moment breathing and feeling peace envelope you from the inside out for twenty minutes each day are beyond compare.

  18. @roadgurl5
    Buddhist principles and practices have had a great influence on my personal development. I find the concepts to be both profound and practicable as well. I’m glad you find this post inspiring too because, truth be told, I posted it to inspire myself. For me these six practices are key to maintaining balance in my life. Thanks for visiting. I hope you will come again.

  19. Thank you for this. I had to give myself much the same reminder just yesterday, when most of my art was rejected from a show.
    I’d quit painting many times in the past over similar things & when I started again in the last few years I made sure I only painted because I ENJOYED it, because it made me HAPPY. There was no judgments about it then. In trying to pursue more as a career (as I have this year,) I left the realm of pure enjoyment somewhere along the line. I need to step back into “painting for happiness” again.

  20. I think the last one is really tough for a lot of us. I am German/Scandinavian and it is in my blood to hold a grudge against someone forever…My own grandpa held a grudge against his brother over a tee time, and although they lived side by side on the same golf course they never again spoke for over 20 years. I didn’t even know the brother was still alive until my grandpa’s funeral.

    This was a great summary of key Buddhist principles. Thanks so much, loved it!

  21. Such a nice post! As my beliefs tend to follow Buddhist principles, I think I understand the concept of living in the moment and mindfulness, but it takes such dedication, which I often lack. Your post inspires me to practice it as it truly does help put your mind at peace. Thank you!

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