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  #11  
Old 05-28-2011, 02:35 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Originally Posted by islandgy9 View Post
"art to developing detachment"
ive been rolling around with this for 'daze'... initially thinking "developing detachment" was the saddest statement I ever heard in my life.
Hey IG,

Haven't been back to the program for a bit - sry.

Do you still feel it's "sad" ?

Language is funny............ The 'concept' is old and well recognized. It especially shows up a lot in eastern philosophy.

Not allowing ourselves to form addictions is far from a 'sad' goal. And it doesn't mean we lessen our appreciation for the beauty one iota ! In fact, it may be more the case. Our appreciation deepens.

Make any sense ?

GS
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  #12  
Old 05-28-2011, 04:51 PM
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rubyslippers rubyslippers is offline
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GS..."not allowing ourselves to form addictions" is a helluva statement...where did you get your psychology degree?
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:57 PM
Snowbunting Snowbunting is offline
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I've read this whole thread through three times now, and I think that there may be some misunderstanding in connection with the words "detachment" and "addiction". On the other hand, I may be way off; if you think I am, then just disregard what I'm about to say.

In my experience (I've had some experience with a local Zen Buddhist community and I've sat in on several "Introduction to Buddhism" classes aimed at the general public), the word "detachment" can lead to big misunderstandings. I think that many people view the word "detachment" as having negative connotations; they view the word "detached" as being roughly synonymous with words or phrases like "emotionally cold", "unfeeling", or "uncaring". On the other hand, in at least some Buddhist circles, the word "detachment" is roughly equivalent to the word "equanimity". To have equanimity with respect to something is not to regard it in a way that is cold or unfeeling or vacant; rather, having equanimity involves having a good, healthy sense of proportion - it's the opposite of clinging to something in an unhealthy way.

When I think about equanimity, I sometimes think of the short poem (called "Eternity", I think) by William Blake that reads: "He who binds to himself a joy / Doth the winged life destroy; / But he who kisses the joy as it flies / Lives in eternity's sunrise."

In Buddhism, equanimity is one of four Brahma Viharas, i.e., divine abodes, or divine states of mind. The other three are compassion, loving-kindness, and sympathetic joy. One teaching I've often encountered is the idea that all four Brahma Viharas should be cultivated and that each should be cultivated in proportion to the others; they complement each other, and the capacity for each is fully developed (within a particular psyche) only when the capacities for the three others are fully developed as well. (I could qualify the word "capacity" here, and distinguish between latent and active capacities, but I don't want to over-complicate things - I hope that the gist of what I'm saying is coming through.) So, a person who has a great deal of equanimity also has a great deal of compassion, experiences much sympathetic joy, and loves abundantly.

In my experience, the word "addiction" causes almost as much misunderstanding as the word "detachment". In the Buddhist circles I'm familiar with, the word "addiction" often means something like "unhealthy attachment", so that being addicted to something (whether it be a person, object, behavior pattern, type of event, state of mind, etc.) involves clinging to that thing in a way that is unhealthy & out of proportion and in a way that gives rise to unnecessary suffering (in oneself and, possibly, in others as well). When the word "addiction" is used in this sense, it can be perfectly natural to say that a certain person is addicted to things like his studio, his hometown, his job, air conditioning, the affirmation of his co-workers, the state of being in charge, or a zillion other things.

Islandgy9, I hope that the above comments about senses of words have been at least somewhat helpful! (And, to GroundedSpirit: I hope that I haven't misunderstood you!) By the way, Islandgy9, I can completely sympathize with your missing the pattern of sleeping with someone (here I meanliterally sleeping with a loved one, of course). You associated the pattern of having a sleeping partner with many things, but putting those associations aside for just a moment, it does seem that sleeping next to a loved or trusted person (or multiple persons) is really comforting to some people, comforting in a kind of primitive way. It's interesting, for instance, that the pets within a given household tend to sleep near others (animals or people) much of the time (at least, that's been my experience); I've long felt that I kind of understand, in a visceral way, why many pets do that - there's a deep kind of comfort and contentment that can come from sleeping with someone loved or trusted nearby. Though lots of people are very content to sleep alone, some of us would really rather be near others.

Again, I know that your desire to sleep (literally) with someone encompasses a lot more than simply a desire for the kind of primal comfort I just described; it just makes a lot of sense to me that you'd put sleeping next to someone at the heart of what you miss & would like to have.

In any case, I wish you the best.

SB

PS: A quick afterthought - I didn't mean to imply that GroundedSpirit or anyone else is a practicing Buddhist - that would be really presumptuous. I've been assuming that there are many people who may embrace vastly different sorts of spirituality (or possibly dislike even the notion of a spiritual life) who sometimes use words in ways that Buddhists do. Okay, afterthought done - this post is already way too long, I know...

Last edited by Snowbunting; 05-29-2011 at 04:40 AM. Reason: quick PS
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:11 AM
islandgy9 islandgy9 is offline
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"art to developing detachment"
ive been rolling around with this for 'daze'... initially thinking "developing detachment" was the saddest statement I ever heard in my life.

Yes GS... it still seems so very sad. I must not be seeing this for how it is meant.*
*I don't feel adiction... *I feel joy, peace, excitement, enthusiasm, contentment in knowing and feeling a deep connection, yes connection with someone. Understanding them AND absolutly knowing they want to be understood and accepted and they understand, accept *me. *NOT always agreeing, with each other but accepting of differences. **
I know this may scare the shit out of some people for whatever reason; they may fear they will 'get lost', loose 'themselves'... Loose CONTROL... I've been told this by people who will not let go of themselves. *
This deep connection I know I have felt is like the complete abandonment of ego durring a profound orgasm. *That amazing feeling of utter release that takes over your entire being, only it stays with you in a subtle everpresent way.*
It's NOT NRE ... It's way past that. This feeling takes a long time to establish. Time, that is the key factor. Lots of time. *
It's an amazingly joyfull presence that is there because it is sustained by the bond between people. It would be fantastic if it could be felt for more than one at the same time. I imagine that could happen if we allowed ourselves to feel it.*
What I find sad is the thought of never feeling that joy again because it is 'wrong' to feel that way... *
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Old 05-29-2011, 06:57 AM
islandgy9 islandgy9 is offline
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"On the other hand, in at least some Buddhist circles, the word "detachment" is roughly equivalent to the word "equanimity". To have equanimity with respect to something is not to regard it in a way that is cold or unfeeling or vacant; rather, having equanimity involves having a good, healthy sense of proportion - it's the opposite of clinging to something in an unhealthy way."

Snowbunting,
THANK YOU!!!!!!! * **
I think (I hope) I get it now! *I read "detachment" in it's literal form and missed the point. *Although Blakes "eternity" is in a manner 'detaching', I understand now. *Thank you for so humbly and thoughtfully pointing this out to my un-enlightened self. *

It seems as though my emphisis on "sleeping" with the person I care about came off as more omniportant than I intended. *Although I do associate sleeping (actual sleeping) with all the "primal" efects considered by Snowbunting. *"Pack-like" might be a good way to associate how sleeping with beloveds; *be they human and the dog variety make me feel. **
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:55 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islandgy9 View Post
............
It seems as though my emphisis on "sleeping" with the person I care about came off as more omniportant than I intended. *Although I do associate sleeping (actual sleeping) with all the "primal" efects considered by Snowbunting. *"Pack-like" might be a good way to associate how sleeping with beloveds; *be they human and the dog variety make me feel. **
I completely get what you are referring to IG.

And thanks Snowbunting for helping explain what sometimes is a difficult concept to grasp - depending on one's cultural background and vocabulary. Like I said - language is SUCH a slippery tool for communication because it's an evolving device. A hug, a kiss, something more, is so much clearer sometimes

IG - back to that feeling of closeness, connection, fulfillment......
I understand..........I believe.

You framed it in a concept of 'sleeping' - closeness, cuddling etc. But I think you are also expressing that you/we can feel that connection and closeness all the time - not just when we're physically close. But our brain confuses one with the other - 'physical' closeness and .......let's pick a new term....."energetic" closeness. Our energies intertwined.

And when we suffer 'physical' separation we tend to think we are or will suffer that same energetic separation. But that's a falsehood ! One is not automatically connected to the other. But believing that can trigger all those nasty fears that can show up as anything from 'jealousy' to despondency.

It's somewhat natural I guess but we have to cultivate our ability to not "assume" ! We learn that some of the biological stuff that gets activated in our brain is nothing more than that - just a chemical fire. We have to appeal to our wisdom to put that fire out.

I like how Snowbunting substituted a term/phrase........'equanamity'. It helps take away that automatic association to distance, coldness etc. The language trap again.
Developing 'detachment' (equanamity) simply means that we celebrate fully the specialness and beauty that we encounter in our life, but that we don't 'assume' it belongs to us, is permanent (nothing is), or is the whole foundation of our existence. The next moment may change everything. It will change everything in at least some fashion.
If we have tied our rope too tightly to any particular buoy we may get swamped as the tide rises.

I'm not helping clarify anything here I don't think.....better stop.

But you get it I think. But it DOES require practice and training because the culture we live in has taught us from childhood that grasping and constraining things - possession - is "the way" !
The way to unhappiness and frustration as we only find out later.

Better to find another "way"..............

GS
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:23 PM
islandgy9 islandgy9 is offline
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Thank you GS for your patience... and persistance... while *"walking" with me through this. *I am understanding... *Allbeit agonizingly slowly.
Funny you brought up the analogy (my brain thinks in analogies!) of: "If we have tied our rope too tightly to any particular buoy we may get swamped as the tide rises." *RS and I sometimes refer to ourselves as boats (...preferably sailboats..) *I like the idea of building a "boat" ( ie. relationship ) together that we both live on ( share together/with each other) *but we also have a dingy that we use to "visit" other "boats", sometimes together and sometimes on our own. BUT always comming back to OUR boat after visiting someone elses boat , or even another harbor. *That's my ideal...
**RS wants her own boat, perhaps tied to mine but her own ship nonetheless, her own helm, be captain of her own ship. *I managed to tie the lines too tightly and a few of them are 'reluctant' to loosen... I'm trying to untie them. *
I recently got smacked in the head with the boom of her boat... Efectively knocking me off of her boat. When I reached to have her pull me back aboard it became apparent I was welcome aboard her vessle "idealy" 3days/nights a week....*
Not my idea of a livaboard.
Now I'm trying to figure out how to singlehandedly sail my boat and hopefully be able to share an ancorage with hers from time to time.
Meanwhile I have a sore head, I'm cold and soggy and I need to bail out my own boat because it sprung a few leaks... I'll light a fire in the ships stove, dry out the cabin and my clothes (they needed washing anyway) fix the leaks and maybe go fishing. *I'll also pay closer attention to the boom... * * **
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:35 PM
Catfish Catfish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
If I'm understanding you correctly, this would be my thought......

We have to be careful of trying to cling to the wonderful things we come across in our life. Therein lie the seeds of dependency (and despondency).

Whether it's a thrilling experience, a great new food or anything else, there's an art to developing detachment and yet still savoring every moment or taste.

Maybe this is what you are trying to explain ? You discovered something wonderful. you want to wrap it up tightly in a box so you can always have it whenever you want/need.

Something about life doesn't allow that.

I suggest looking for a better alternative.

GS
I really, really needed to read this. Thank you.
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:38 PM
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Today, in another thread, I read a fascinating theory about jealousy, in which jealousy (regards loving relationships -- if we may call them that) is understood at root as a fear of losing the precious connection. What was fascinating to consider in what I read was how this fear emerges within a cultural-historical context, a context in which nearly everything (even sex and love) are now treated like commodities. A commodity, to be a commodity, must have some degree of scarcity, since no one would buy a thing that is both valuable and ubiquitously abundant (e.g., air).

Commoditization hasn't always existed, and things have become commoditized gradually over thousands and thousands of years of history and pre-history. Our ancient ancestors often lived in a state of extraordinary abundance, such that no one ever considered food a commodity, or treated it as such. Same with land, and -- likely -- loving relationships.
These things were valued, but not scarce -- and so there was much less cause to fear loss.

I am, of course, imagining "primitive" or tribal people whose human neighbors were cooperative and collaborative with one another, rather than competitive and greedy. Imagine being held in a community like that, a community in which you are included and valued by everyone you regularly see around you. Then go out onto the city streets and observe carefully.

NOTE:

I carefully chose my words "treated like commodities" above. Before doing so I had a look at various technical definitions of the term and realized that we may well treat things as if they were commodities while at the same time they don't meet the criteria of the term.
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Last edited by River; 05-29-2011 at 07:47 PM.
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  #20  
Old 05-30-2011, 01:07 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islandgy9 View Post
Meanwhile I have a sore head, I'm cold and soggy and I need to bail out my own boat because it sprung a few leaks... I'll light a fire in the ships stove, dry out the cabin and my clothes (they needed washing anyway) fix the leaks and maybe go fishing. *I'll also pay closer attention to the boom... * * **
Good plan IG,

It's healthy. I think it's always useful to remember that part of what bonds us to others is respect. And respect comes (at least partially) from seeing our strength and independence. The fact that we have our hand firmly on the tiller, compass and chart close by.

Good luck. You're doing fine.

GS
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