Monday, August 11, 2008

wisdom of non-attachment

For what purpose, friends, is the spiritual life lived under the ascetic Gotama [the Buddha]?
It is, friends, for the fading away of lust [clinging] that the holy life is lived...
Excerpt from SN 45:41-1

I added clinging to the passage above because when we read lust we usually think of lust of a sexual nature. But lust or clinging (attachment or grasping) refers here to a more general wanting, any effort to escape the flow of our experience of the present moment.

The result of effort away from what is true in the moment, whether we do it through grasping, avoiding, or ignoring, is a cause of suffering. Lust is the root of hostilities and violence. Choosing openness to the moment is the most important thing we can do to end suffering in our lives and open to happiness.

Dealing immediatly with these automatic responses is not the same as actions we might want to take. Skillful actions can only arise out of awareness and acceptance of our experience as it is. This is what is true in the moment. It is then skillful to take action when circumstances require it. This is Wisdom.