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Thread: What is it that attaches to things?

  1. #1

    What is it that attaches to things?

    This could be a dumb question. But tonight while sitting I was watching my thoughts and trying to keep an eye on whenever I got caught up in them, and it made me wonder: what is it that gets caught up? I expect the intellectual answer is that there is just the experience of attachment but nothing doing the attaching. Which is quite a mystery.

    Steve

    Sat:today

  2. #2

  3. #3
    The mind is what grasps, but there's nothing really behind the mind doing the grasping. Attachment is a habit born out of our experiences and expectations in life.

    Gassho
    Sat, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  4. #4
    I think during zazen, and correct me if I'm wrong, (using traditional metaphors): all that's happening is the passing of thoughts and feelings like a changing sky reflecting in a body of water. Like the sky and water, existence is whole and complete with nothing to gain and nothing to lose. Cloudy or clear the sky is just the sky, the moon reflected in the water is just the moon no matter how turbulent the water. I like metaphor of "opening the hand of thought" from that Wonderful book of the same name--- attachments come and go as they please but the mind is neither grasping or rejecting.

    As for what the mind is? Who knows?

    Gassho,
    Tom

    SatLah
    Last edited by StoBird; 05-27-2021 at 02:57 AM.

  5. #5
    Member Seikan's Avatar
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    Hi Steve,

    I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the answer to your question lies in the question itself ("What is it that attaches to things?"). By asking the question, you're already halfway there. When you sit and notice attachment happening, can you actually locate anything that is doing the attaching? Or do you only ever find the attaching itself?

    FWIW, I am still looking as well. Please let us know if you find (or don't find) anything.

    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -stlah-
    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  6. #6
    I can't answer the "what", but my mind tends to fixate on what it cannot solve and doesn't let go without a fight sometimes.

    Usually it's a person I'm in a difficult relationship with, a troublesome situation, or something from the past that my mind is trying to resolve.

    My brain wants to fix things, solve problems. Humans are good at getting into messes (at least I seem to be!), so my brain dredges up old narratives and tries to analyze what went wrong, but it's the same old story each time.

    Attaching solves nothing -- just plays the same old record on repeat. At least for me it does. When I detach and just observe my mental theater, things go better.

    Sorry to run long.

    Gassho, meian st lh

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  7. #7
    I cannot recall where I've read it, I'll post the quote if I find it but it was something in the lines "it's not only about finding the thief but also about catching the stealth".
    So also being aware how this attaching happens.

    Gassho
    Sat

  8. #8
    Well, really, it is the sense of "myself" that the human brain creates, with all its desires and aversions, which craves things and wants more of what it finds pleasant, and less of what it fears. The sense of self is cut off from the mind's mentally created borders of all the "not myself" world. I don't feel that the answer is more mysterious than that. It holds onto or pulls after the "not myself" things that it craves.

    Of course, when those borders soften or drop away, then this wonderful wholeness of 'whatever' is our Original Face. We don't seek to name or define this 'This' too much as doing so turn 'it' into another name or thing to stuff in a mental box between the ears.

    By the way, Steve, don't spend too much energy in Zazen pondering such questions!

    Tom, a lovely description of Zazen ...

    all that's happening is the passing of thoughts and feelings like a changing sky reflecting in a body of water. Like the sky and water, existence is whole and complete with nothing to gain and nothing to lose. Cloudy or clear the sky is just the sky, the moon reflected in the water is just the moon no matter how turbulent the water. I like metaphor of "opening the hand of thought" from that Wonderful book of the same name--- attachments come and go as they please but the mind is neither grasping or rejecting.
    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-27-2021 at 10:55 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    The Fictional Self; Where is the self??
    (hint; click on left hand image)
    Triangle1.jpgTriangle3.jpgTriangle1.jpgTriangle2.jpg

    stop thinking and you disappear.

    gassho, Shokai

    p.s. Thought experiment from "No self, No problem" by Chris Niebaur
    Last edited by Shokai; 05-27-2021 at 03:24 PM.
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  10. #10
    I believe that if one understands impermanence deeply, the concept of attachment fades away.

    Gassho,
    Sat today,
    Guish.

    Sent from my PAR-LX1M using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    The Fictional Self; Where is the self??
    (hint; click on left hand image)
    Triangle1.jpgTriangle3.jpgTriangle1.jpgTriangle2.j pg
    Did those Pacmen just eat the self?

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  12. #12
    Seems to be that way

    gassho,Shokai
    stlah
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  13. #13

  14. #14
    These are all really excellent comments. I think you're right. It's not really attaching, more leaning generally, both for and against. It's just weird that it feels as though there's something there, although I suppose that is the point.

    Gassho

    Steve

    sat:today

  15. #15
    “It is the great earth with the mountains and rivers, sun, moon and stars...”

    “tiles, stone, and fences”

    “simply the five skandhas”

    “pure and simply your very mind is Buddha”

    “it is all Buddhas”

    - various descriptions of the mind by Dogen

    This reminds me of the existentialism of Satre, Heiddeger and Jaspers, to give the short version of what they wrote entire books to say: the mind isn’t something so much that exists between the ears as it’s the relationship between us and the outside world, it exists as not us and as us at the same time.

    Gassho,
    Tom

    SatLah
    Last edited by StoBird; 05-31-2021 at 09:46 AM.

  16. #16
    Amazing things happen when you just stop thinking.

    Gassho

    Dick

    Sat

  17. #17
    Let go of it, then there is, boundless ocean and limitless sky 海闊天空.

    Gassho,

    Koutoku
    Sat
    Koutoku

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Dick View Post
    Amazing things happen when you just stop thinking.

    Gassho

    Dick

    Sat


    And maybe we should clarify what to "stop thinking" means lest people try to have the goal to not think altogether. From 'The Zen Master's Dance' After quoting Master Dogen “How do you think of not thinking? Beyond-thinking.” Jundo says:

    “How do you think of not thinking? Beyond-thinking.” It sounds mysterious. Let me offer my interpretation. Human beings engage in thought from morning until night. We analyze, plan, categorize, and judge. We divide the world into mental images, some of which we love, some of which we don’t. This is thinking. During zazen, thoughts continue to come and go, but we do not engage them. By not engaging them, we encounter space between and behind the thoughts where the analysis, categorization, division, and judgment stops. As I have mentioned, many traditional commentators have compared this state of mind to a clear, open, boundless sky. There is a sense of clarity, a lack of friction, a feeling of peace in our minds. This is not thinking.
    Let go of it, then there is, boundless ocean and limitless sky 海闊天空.

    Gassho,

    Koutoku
    Sat


    Gassho,
    Tom

    SatLah
    Last edited by StoBird; 05-31-2021 at 01:06 PM.

  19. #19

  20. #20

    What is it that attaches to things?

    Over the past thirty-five years I have collected a too much excessive computer stuff. I sold hundreds of dollars in camera stuff and I am giving to recycling all excess complete stuff. I gave away five computers over 10 years and I feel lighter. I own one beautiful computer. One backup old computer and essential less expensive stuff. I feel much, and I think with the best, and my practice is good. I feel lighter.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 06-12-2021 at 09:58 AM.
    A monk asked Yun-men, "What are the teachings of a lifetime?" Yum-men said to him, "An appropriate statement." Zen Mondo

  21. #21
    I think it's more anout the why not the what. I agree with what others have posted. I notice if I don't sit regularly then I have a mind full of myriad things. After I've sat regularly for a few days things calm down a bit and I slowly can sit longer. I take this as time to observe my thoughts and not just ruminate on problems. My question has always been why Iam I still attached to such and such event that I didn't like from 15 years ago? Why am I upset at this current issue. Then I return to following my breath until it drops again for the moment. Wash,rinse,repeat. As others have said it is more in how we have been experiencing life before coming to Buddhism and sitting. I love questions like these personally I always learn something new.
    Dave
    SAT/LAH

  22. #22

    What is it that attaches to things?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shonin View Post
    I think it's more anout the why not the what. I agree with what others have posted. I notice if I don't sit regularly then I have a mind full of myriad things. After I've sat regularly for a few days things calm down a bit and I slowly can sit longer. I take this as time to observe my thoughts and not just ruminate on problems. My question has always been why Iam I still attached to such and such event that I didn't like from 15 years ago? Why am I upset at this current issue. Then I return to following my breath until it drops again for the moment. Wash,rinse,repeat. As others have said it is more in how we have been experiencing life before coming to Buddhism and sitting. I love questions like these personally I always learn something new.
    Dave
    SAT/LAH

    This is not cluttered and shows no clutter and no windows. Shows only color.,
    Gassho
    sat/y lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 06-13-2021 at 03:36 AM.
    A monk asked Yun-men, "What are the teachings of a lifetime?" Yum-men said to him, "An appropriate statement." Zen Mondo

  23. #23

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Geika View Post
    The mind is what grasps, but there's nothing really behind the mind doing the grasping. Attachment is a habit born out of our experiences and expectations in life.

    Gassho
    Sat, lah

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