On the weekends, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago. Aspire Without Attachment was originally published in March 2012.
As I mentioned in my last post, Move Your Mat!, I was trying to work on detaching myself from a favored spot in the hot room. I recently started reading a book, Just One Thing, that focuses on developing and applying Buddha principles. I was inspired to read this after finishing my last book, Nothing Special. Nothing Special also had a Zen/Buddist focus that (I think) zeroed in on many of the concepts found in Just One Thing. A key difference though is that I can understand Just One Thing better.
Just One Thing devotes each chapter to one Buddist principle – like how to Aspire without Attachment. Whereas Nothing Special, I think, integrated the principles more which of course is how life really works. These ideas are always interacting with each other and are not really separate. But to get a basic grasp on these principles, I needed to explore them one at a time.
Right now, I’m thinking about things that I am attached too. The author says that attachment leads to suffering (and suffering of course can range in terms of what it looks and feels like). So I am curious about what I am attached to and how that might lead to suffering. Here are a few things I have decided I am attached to:
1. Warm weather. I crave it. Today, the temperature dropped back down, and the high was only 60. I was flipping cold. “Where is my warm weather!” I screamed. “I want it back.” True, I do not like cold weather. True, my definition of cold may be very different from yours. I don’t have to ever like the cold, but by being attached to the warm weather I did make some suffering for myself today in the form of being grumpy and no fun to be around.
2. The second row in yoga class. Not only was I attached to a specific spot in class, but I also figured out I am attached to the second row. I feel safe there. It’s not the super-scary front row, but I’m not stuck all the way in the back either. Today I made myself go into the front row and had a great class. At some point I will make myself go into the third row and see what that spot is all about.
3. Mark asked me if I was attached to snowcones. Possibly. The snowcone thing may have crossed a line into addiction territory. I know I did suffer terribly when the stand was closed for four months.
The author says that when I feel like I gotta have something right then and there to try to relax into it and accept that my life will be ok without it. Anyways, for now I am simply paying attention to things I might be attached to. I’m trying to acknowledge them first and then ponder them a bit. Why am I attached? What would happen if I let go even just slightly? So far I’ve really only tested this idea out in yoga by moving my mat and going to the front row. I have to say these were great experiences. Not only did I have a great class both times, but it also showed me how silly my attachment to a particular spot in the room was.
What are you attached to? What if you let it go for just a moment?