Author Topic: Clinging versus loving  (Read 922 times)

Offline allen-uk

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Clinging versus loving
« on: June 24, 2015, 07:59:32 am »
Hello.

I hope you will be able to understand my problem, and possibly offer some guidance.

For a long time, I have been trying to understand the difference between CLINGING to life, and simply loving life.

Although I am disabled, I love being alive - all the 'nice' things like blue skies and nature, but also the nastier aspects, like disability, pain, and so on. (What I mean is that I prefer the nice aspects, but I even find joy in the others).

Similarly, I love my memory. I relish the ability to go inside my head and flick back 30, 40 years, and see faces, hear voices, of those long dead. It is a function of the brain that I really enjoy!

I don't think I am 'attached' to these things; I don't think it is 'clinging'. But I would be hard put to describe the difference to anyone.

Is there a straightforward distinction between loving, enjoying, on the one hand, and the sort of clinging that we are advised to guard against?

With thanks, and metta,

Allen.

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Clinging versus loving
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2015, 08:56:18 am »
Hi Allen and welcome to FreeSangha.

I would have to say that it comes down to attachment vs. non-attachment, that this would be the distinction between loving something and clinging to it --- if a person is clinging to something it's usually because they're also craving it, so non-attachment goes hand-in-hand with acceptance.

Offline Wonky Badger

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Re: Clinging versus loving
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2015, 11:48:06 am »
I would have to say that it comes down to attachment vs. non-attachment, that this would be the distinction between loving something and clinging to it --- if a person is clinging to something it's usually because they're also craving it, so non-attachment goes hand-in-hand with acceptance.

So in this case non-attachment would be accepting life for what it is and that it will, and might at any point, end?
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
---
What would Buddha do?

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Clinging versus loving
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2015, 01:07:12 pm »
It's kind of funny, but if I were to speak from my own experience, I had something similar to that occur when I was hospitalized a couple years ago. Although I certainly would have preferred not to physically suffer due to my inability breathe and the other complications that come with acute pneumocystis pneumonia, at the same time I was at peace due to the fact that I wasn't craving or clinging to life, but actually accepting everything as a part of life.

Offline allen-uk

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Re: Clinging versus loving
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2015, 07:55:03 am »
Thanks Dharmakara, W.Badger.

I didn't expect a cut-and-dried answer, of course, and I haven't got one, but you have pointed me back towards thinking about attachment and non-attachment, and how this relates to what I am asking.

One scenario I have often dwelt on (meditated on) is this. I can contemplate my loved one leaving me in death, although that would cause me deep desolation. Death, like life, happens. Whether she would 'move on' to a different life isn't really relevant, at least not to me.

But if she were to move on (after 40+ years) to a place/person where she was happier, could I breath deeply and 'accept' that?

The first reaction, i.e. to death, is I think what I should feel - not coldness by any stretch of the imagination, but acceptance. I think that is non-attachment.

My reaction to the second possibility (purely hypothetical by the way, or so I believe) is different. My intellect would tell me to breath deeply, accept, and be happy for her. I am unsure of my 'non' intellect's reaction, and that is what I am trying to explore.

With thanks,

Allen.

 


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