Mar 23, 2014

My First Dharma Talk

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the ideas of non-attachment and non-possessiveness. They talk about how suffering comes from clinging to possessions, people, or even a thoughts; how you’d like something in the future to turn out, or reliving how something in the past did turn out. These things, people, and emotions can start to define who we think we are. And when life changes and circumstances change, as they always do, it’s this attachment that causes us to feel like we’ve lost something, that we’ve lost a part of ourselves, or that we are somehow less than we were before. And we suffer.

A lot of depression is said to come from looking to the past and anxiety from anticipation of the future, which is exactly why the right now is so important. What we should try to do—which is difficult at best—is to let go of expectations, of the idea that if we get the next iPhone or a new outfit that we will be happier, or that someone else can make us feel complete. Sure, you might feel a sense of excitement after a shopping spree, but as time goes by you find that those things that at one time made you so happy just don’t anymore.

Non-attachment does not mean to stop caring but it does mean to not depend on someone or something external as a necessary condition for our own happiness and contentment. But the great thing about that is that everything you actually need to be happy is inside of you. I read a great quote that sums all this up succinctly, “Detachment is not that you should own nothing. It’s that nothing should own you.”

So take a moment and think about something that is owning you at the moment. Your job? A relationship? A new car? A fight with a friend? As you in inhale think, “let,” and as you exhale think, “go.” Let. Go.

No comments: