ATTACHMENT

“Grasping at things can only yield one of two results:
Either the thing you are grasping at disappears, or you yourself disappear.
It is only a matter of which occurs first.” 

[Goenka]

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In the South of India, people used to catch monkeys in a very special way. Actually they let monkeys catch themselves. What they did is cutting a small hole in a coconut, just large enough for a monkey to put its hand in. Next, you fix the coconut to a tree, and fill it with a sweet. The monkey smells the sweet, squeezes its hand into the coconut, grabs the sweet and …. finds that the fist does not fit through the hole. Now the trick is, that the last thing the monkey will think of is to let go of the sweet; and it holds itself prisoner. Nothing could be easier for a human being who comes and catches it.

Ajahn Sumedho mentioned in “Teachings of a buddhist monk”

Desire can be compared to fire. If we grasp fire, what happens? Does it lead to happiness? If we say: “Oh, look at that beautiful fire! Look at the beautiful colors! I love red and orange; they’re my favorite colors,” and then grasp it, we would find a certain amount of suffering entering the body. And then if we were to contemplate the cause of that suffering we would discover it was the result of having grasped that fire. On that information, we would hopefully, then let the fire go. Once we let fire go then we know that it is something not to be attached to. This does not mean we have to hate it, or put it out. We can enjoy fire, can’t we? It’s nice having a fire, it keeps the room warm, but we do not have to burn ourselves in it.

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Definition: Exaggerated not wanting to be separated from someone or something.

Main quality: exaggeration of positive qualities, which can only lead to disappointment.

Near “enemy” (or not to be confused with): Real appreciation, love and compassion.

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