"dissattachment" is and what it entails...

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"dissattachment" is and what it entails...

Postby Demarous » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:26 am

With regards to Dissattachment, what does it actually mean?

My conception of it i believe is wrong, and the only thing holding me back from committing to Theravada fully as my path.

Everything else seems to work and sit well with me but this word Dissattachment and disspassion, as a family man, concern me, if i intend to keep them of course!!!

I've got confused somewhere here!!!!

Metta,
Demarous.
"Happy, at rest, may all beings be happy at heart. Whatever beings there may be, weak or strong, without exception, long, large, middling, short, subtle, blatant, seen & unseen, near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart."
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Re: "dissattachment" is and what it entails...

Postby Ben » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:39 am

Hi Demarous

I'm a family man as well. There is no embargo on lay people forming meaningful romantic relationships and to have families. The Buddha taught householders as well as monks and nuns and he, as far as I am aware, did not instruct lay people to abandon their wives, husbands and children.
But as Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity). Having said that, it naturally takes time. You don't have to renounce your relationships to be a practicing Theravadin, but you might find the quality of those relationships may improve in unexpected ways as you mature in your practice.
Metta

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Re: "dissattachment" is and what it entails...

Postby Demarous » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:03 am

Thanks Ben, that has helped alot,

So the dissattachment, is the removal of needing and clinging, to realise the cycle of life where everything is inpermanent, and to accept that???
Is that right?

Metta,
Demarous.
"Happy, at rest, may all beings be happy at heart. Whatever beings there may be, weak or strong, without exception, long, large, middling, short, subtle, blatant, seen & unseen, near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart."
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Re: "dissattachment" is and what it entails...

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:16 am

Greetings Demarous,

Demarous wrote:So the dissattachment, is the removal of needing and clinging, to realise the cycle of life where everything is inpermanent, and to accept that??? Is that right?


Yes, that's a pretty good little summary!

In time as one comes to see these things, attachment and clinging begin to drop away naturally on their own accord. An extreme example perhaps but it's a little like once you know the danger posed by an electric fence, you'll have no desire to go near it and you won't feel like you're missing out on anything good by not touching it, because you'll understand the danger that it poses.

Don't feel that you need to forcibly remove yourself from everything.. especially in the beginning, just trying to stick to the five precepts will be a good start.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: "dissattachment" is and what it entails...

Postby appicchato » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:22 am

I believe the term is nonattachment...dissattachment is not in the dictionary...any I've seen...
:focus:
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Re: "dissattachment" is and what it entails...

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:28 am

Greetings,

A couple of useful and somewhat related terms for you to investigate...

Upekkha (equanimity)
http://www.buddhanet.net/ss06.htm

and...

Nibbida (disenchantment)

as featured in the Upanisa Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el277.html

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: "dissattachment" is and what it entails...

Postby christopher::: » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:08 am

Ben wrote:Hi Demarous

I'm a family man as well. There is no embargo on lay people forming meaningful romantic relationships and to have families. The Buddha taught householders as well as monks and nuns and he, as far as I am aware, did not instruct lay people to abandon their wives, husbands and children.
But as Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity). Having said that, it naturally takes time. You don't have to renounce your relationships to be a practicing Theravadin, but you might find the quality of those relationships may improve in unexpected ways as you mature in your practice.
Metta

Ben


:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: "dissattachment" is and what it entails...

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:23 am

Greetings,

Yes, a good point.

I won't see my son today... I'd left for work before he woke up. When I get home he'll be at his grandparents where he'll be for the night. So that's how it is today.

Other days he's around a lot, and we spend a lot of time together. So that's how it is that day.

And so on with anything inbetween... on any given day, it will be how it is.

No need to go on a rollercoaster of emotions, simply because each day is different.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: "dissattachment" is and what it entails...

Postby christopher::: » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:55 am

Hi Retro,

Yes, I think i've experienced my relationships with my sons in a similar way. Great joy and metta, frequently, when we are together. But when apart the challenge is to focus on what i am doing and where i am for that moment, cultivating equanimity as best i can...

A thought that came to mind here is that of "connection" vs. "attachment"... I think that cultivating the 4 virtuous mindstates brings a sense of closeness in relationships, the boundary of self and other is less powerful. There is less clinging in these relationships then I'd experienced in the past when "love" had been cultivated in the traditional Western way, where "I" love "you" is the dominant paradigm...

Does that make sense?
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: "dissattachment" is and what it entails...

Postby Fede » Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:33 am

appicchato wrote:I believe the term is nonattachment...dissattachment is not in the dictionary...any I've seen...
:focus:


Or maybe even DEtachment.... ever being the grammatical pedant.... for which I humbly apologise. :namaste:

Whatever the word - it royally sucks.
Because we know it is the key to the liberation from Suffering - but how we do so like to suffer!
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: "dissattachment" is and what it entails...

Postby Jason » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:09 pm

Demarous,

Demarous wrote:With regards to Dissattachment, what does it actually mean?

My conception of it i believe is wrong, and the only thing holding me back from committing to Theravada fully as my path.

Everything else seems to work and sit well with me but this word Dissattachment and disspassion, as a family man, concern me, if i intend to keep them of course!!!


It's a common misunderstanding that, in Buddhism, attachment or clinging is the cause of suffering. But the second Noble Truth actually states that the origination of suffering (dukkha) is "the craving [tahna] that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming" (SN 56.11). As Thanissaro Bhikkhu explains in Wings to Awakening:

    Craving for sensuality, here, means the desire for sensual objects. Craving for becoming means the desire for the formation of states or realms of being that are not currently happening, while craving for non-becoming means the desire for the destruction or halting of any that are. "Passion and delight," here, is apparently a synonym for the "desire and passion" for the five aggregates that constitutes clinging/sustenance [III/H/ii].

Upadana is the Pali word that's generally translated as "addiction," "attachment" or "clinging," and which can also mean "the act of taking sustenance" (which is why clinging is often described as the feeding habits of the mind). In MN 9, clinging is defined as:

    "And what is clinging, what is the origin of clinging, what is the cessation of clinging, what is the way leading to the cessation of clinging? There are these four kinds of clinging: clinging to sensual pleasures, clinging to views, clinging to rituals and observances, and clinging to a doctrine of self. With the arising of craving, there is the arising of clinging. With the cessation of craving, there is the cessation of clinging. The way leading to the cessation of clinging is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view... right concentration."

Much like the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who we're told in Plato's dialogue Cratylus believed that all things flow and nothing stands (401d), the Buddha observed the characteristic of impermanence that's inherent to all conditional things as well. In Buddhist philosophy, all things that are conditional, or in other words all things that arise from causes and conditions, are seen to be impermanent, subject to cessation, to dissolution. In the discourses of the Buddha that are preserved in the Pali Canon, this idea is presented in numerous ways, with the basic formula being, "Whatever is subject to arising is all subject to cessation" (SN 56.11). Everything in this world is in a state of flux, i.e., nothing in this world remains unchanged, and it's precisely because of this characteristic of existence that attachment gives rise to suffering.

To begin with, what is attachment? Attachment involves clinging to some object of sensory contact (forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations or ideas) due to of some degree of gratification and pleasure derived from that object. When pleasant feelings arise, our initial reaction is to grasp at that pleasure and cling to whatever it is that happens to give rise to such pleasant feelings. Therefore, with the presence of attachment, the object of contact along with the corresponding feeling associated with that contact becomes essential to our experience of happiness.

How, then, does attachment give rise to suffering? The Pali word dukkha, often translated as "suffering," is philosophically complex. The Buddha detailed three types of suffering, one of which is called viparinama-dukkha—the suffering that results from change. Suffering of this kind arises when either the object of contact or the pleasant feelings that arise changes in some way, whereby the gratification and happiness that's dependent upon those conditions ceases, thus giving rise to unhappiness. Hence, separation from that which makes us happy is suffering.

This particular form of suffering isn't as obvious as the suffering experienced in the form of physical pain, but it's a sense of sorrow that one experiences when the moments of happiness, moments of sensual gratification and pleasure, fail to last. Therefore, unlike the unhappiness that arises when we experience something unpleasant, the suffering that results from change arises because a particular form of gratification and pleasure that we've become accustomed to producing an emotional state of happiness fades away.

The way I see it, the human organism is a complex assortment of mental and physical processes, and since one of the underlying motivations behind our actions is the desire for happiness and pleasure, it's no wonder that the ever-changing circumstances in life are sometimes so hard for us to bear. But most people have trouble understanding the teachings on clinging from a Buddhist standpoint. People often take it to mean that they should give up everything completely—that all possessions, relationships, likes, dislikes, etc. must be discarded. That's not a correct understanding of this concept, however. How can you discard a feeling for example? Is it any more possible to get rid of your brain? Ha, imagine that! No, to truly become free of "clinging" we need to understand the mental process itself, not throw away all of our belongings.

Clinging in this context is basically when our sense of self (our ego or sense of identity if you prefer) creates the illusion of need through its craving (i.e., want or desire to the Nth degree). In the simplest of terms, clinging is our security blanket in life. Anything that comforts, protects or gives rise to a continuation of the our sense of self is a security blanket, and the mind and body use many things effectively for this purpose.

There's rarely a moment when the mind is not clinging to this or that in one or more of the four ways (MN 11). Our identity jumps from one thing to another, wherever the clinging is strongest. Our sense of self is something which is always in flux, ever-changing from moment to moment in response to various internal and external stimuli, and yet at the same time, we tend to see it as a static thing. It's as if our sense of self desires permanence, but its very nature causes it to change every second!

Change is, of course, a fact of nature. All things are in a perpetual state of change, but the problem is that our sense of self ignores this reality on a certain level. From birth to death, we have the tendency to think that this "I" remains the same. Now, we might know that some things have changed (e.g., our likes and dislikes, our age, the amount of wrinkles we have, etc.), but we still feel as if we are still "us." We have the illusion (for lack of a better word) that our identity is who we are, a static entity named [fill in the blank], and we tend to perceive this as being the same throughout our lives.

For example, we cling to our names. "I am Jason." Nevertheless, if we hear a name that we like better, a nickname perhaps, we'll cling to that. We may even get angry if someone calls us by a different name. "I'm not James, I'm Jason!" It's clinging that gives rise to this sense of ownership, this sense of "mine." With the presence of clining, our mind is not unlike one of those horrid glue traps for rats. Whatever gets stuck in there becomes a part of it, even though they're truly two separate things. (Just as we can "feel" and yet our feelings are not "us.")

That said, the conventional use of personality is a function of survival, as well as convenience. However, clinging to our personalities as "me" or "mine" is seen as giving continued fuel for becoming (bhava), i.e., a mental process of taking on a particular kind of identity that arise out of clinging. Our sense of self, the ephemeral "I," is merely a mental imputation — the product of what the Buddha called a process of "I-making and my-making" — and when we cling to our sense of self as being "me" or "mine" in some way, we're clinging to an impermanent representation of something that we've deluded ourselves into thinking is fixed and stable. It becomes a sort of false refuge that's none of these things.

So from a Buddhist perspective, all of this clinging is unhealthy for our mind. The weight of all these things we pick up internally creates huge burdens, burdens which we then must carry around with us. They oppress our heart, they cloud our judgment and they cause us suffering.

Meditation and contemplation are seen as excellent methods for developing insight into this process. From the Buddhist point of view, we're simply slaves to our craving and mindfulness is our best weapon. Constant attention and awareness of these things is said to help shed light into the dark corners of our mind. Meditation allows us to see these processes in action, and once we begin to see the potential stress and danger that's hidden within the process of clinging, we become less passionate about it. We remove its appeal and cease to be blind to our predicament. Dispassion is then said to lead to relinquishment — to letting go of our craving fully — thereby ending our mental addictions and enabling us to enjoy life with a truly free heart.

At least that's what I make out of it.

Jason
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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Re: "dissattachment" is and what it entails...

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:44 pm

:goodpost:
Jason wrote:Much like the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who we're told in Plato's dialogue Cratylus believed that all things flow and nothing stands (401d), the Buddha observed the characteristic of impermanence that's inherent to all conditional things as well. In Buddhist philosophy, all things that are conditional, or in other words all things that arise from causes and conditions, are seen to be impermanent, subject to cessation, to dissolution. In the discourses of the Buddha that are preserved in the Pali Canon, this idea is presented in numerous ways, with the basic formula being, "Whatever is subject to arising is all subject to cessation" (SN 56.11). Everything in this world is in a state of flux, i.e., nothing in this world remains unchanged, and it's precisely because of this characteristic of existence that attachment gives rise to suffering.

I want to post a note of Ven. Bhikkhu Ñanavira Thera related to the underlined part above:
It is sometimes thought possible to modify this interpretation of paticcasamuppāda, confining its application to the present life. Instead of temporal succession we have continuous becoming, conceived as a flux, where the effect cannot be clearly distinguished from the cause—the cause becomes the effect. But this does not get rid of the temporal element, and the concept of a flux raises its own difficulties.
The notion of flux can be expressed thus: A = B, B = C, A ≠ C, where A, B, and C, are consecutive (Poincaré's definition of continuity). This contradiction can only be concealed by verbal legerdemain. (The origin of this misleading notion, as of so many others in the traditional interpretation, seems to be the Milindapañha, which, to judge by its simile of the flame, intends its formula na ca so na ca añño to be understood as describing continuous change.) The misunderstanding arises from failure to see that change at any given level of generality must be discontinuous and absolute, and that there must be different levels of generality. When these are taken together, any desired approximation to 'continuous change' can be obtained without contradiction. But change, as marking 'the passage of time', is no more than change of aspect or orientation: change of substance is not necessary, nor is movement. (See ANICCA [a], CITTA [a], & FUNDAMENTAL STRUCTURE.) Kierkegaard (op. cit., p. 277) points out that Heraclitus, who summed up his doctrine of universal flux in the celebrated dictum that one cannot pass through the same river twice, had a disciple who remarked that one cannot pass through the same river even once. If everything is changing, there is no change at all.

The assumption of a single absolute time, conceived as a uniform continuity (or flux) of instants, leads at once to a very common misconception of the Dhamma:

A.Even if I now perceive things as self-identically persisting in time, my present perception is only one out of a flux or continuous succession of perceptions, and there is no guarantee that I continue to perceive the same self-identities for two successive instants. All I am therefore entitled to say is that there appear to be self-identities persisting in time; but whether it is so or not in reality I am quite unable to discover.

B.The Buddha's teachings of impermanence and not-self answer this question in the negative: In reality no things exist, and if they appear to do so that is because of my ignorance of these teachings (which is avijjā).

But we may remark: (i) That A is the result of taking presumptively the rational view of time, and using it to question the validity of direct reflexive experience. But the rational view of time is itself derived, ultimately, from direct reflexive experience—how can we know about time at all, if not from experience? --, and it is quite illegitimate to use it to dig away its own foundations. The fault is in the act of rationalization, in the attempt to see time from a point outside it; and the result—a continuous succession of isolated instants each of no duration and without past or future (from a timeless point of view they are all present)—is a monster. The distinction in A (as everywhere else) between 'appearance' and 'reality' is wholly spurious. (ii) That since our knowledge of time comes only from perception of change, the nature of change must be determined before we can know the structure of time. We have, therefore, no antecedent reason—if we do not actually encounter the thing itself—for entertaining the self-contradictory idea (see Poincaré above) of continuous change. (iii) That, whether or not we do actually perceive continuous change, we certainly perceive discontinuous changes (so much is admitted by A), and there is thus a prima-facie case at least in favour of the latter. (iv) That the experiments of the Gestalt psychologists indicate that, in fact, we perceive only discontinuous changes, not continuous change (cf. Sartre, op. cit., p. 190). (v) That if, nevertheless, we say that we do at times and in the normal way have intuitive experience, distinct and unambiguous, of continuous change, and if we also say that continuous change, in accordance with B, is what is meant by the teaching of impermanence, then it will follow that at such times we must enjoy a direct view of 'reality' and be free from avijjā. Why, then, should we need a Buddha to tell us these things? But if we reject the first premiss we shall have no longer any grounds for having to assert a uniformly continuous time, and if we reject the second we shall have no longer any grounds for wishing to assert it. (On the question of self-identity, see ATTĀ.)

Our undeniable experience of movement and similar things (e.g. the fading of lights) will no doubt be adduced as evidence of continuous change—indeed, it will be said that they are continuous change. That movement is evidence of what it is, is quite certain; but it is not so certain that it is evidence of continuous change. We may understand movement as, at each level of generality, a succession of contiguous fixed finite trajectories (to borrow Sartre's expression), and each such trajectory, at the next lower level, as a relatively faster succession of lesser trajectories, and so on indefinitely. But, as discussed in FUNDAMENTAL STRUCTURE [h], our ability to perceive distinctions is limited, and this hierarchy of trajectories is anomalously apprehended as a series of discrete continuities of displacement—which is, precisely, what we are accustomed to call movement. In other words, it is only where our power of discrimination leaves off that we start talking about 'continuous change'. (Consideration of the mechanism of the cinematograph—see the foregoing reference—is enough to show that continuous change cannot safely be inferred from the experience of movement; but it must not be supposed that the structure of movement can be reduced simply to the structure of the cinematograph film. See also FUNDAMENTAL STRUCTURE [m].)
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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Re: "dissattachment" is and what it entails...

Postby Demarous » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:23 pm

Thank you all for your input into this subject, it has made alot of sense!

Metta,

Demarous.

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