A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘detachment’

Balance re: attachment, detachment ~

marefoalI do sometimes wish that the English language were more diverse. There are times like this when one word does not fit all. Attachment can mean anything from an area where a plug connects with its socket to the relationship between a mother and her young.  Detachment of a type is an important concept in Buddhism, and also a sign of sever emotional dysfunction in a child. Gads! What a world! I may get quite verbose on this one, as it’s a tough nut to crack.

First, be aware that detachment in Buddhism is a type of disentanglement when one is so embroiled and enmeshed in the lives of others that the attachment causes  severe discomfort for both parties, where neither party knows a gentle way to ease out of the situation. It is not intended to dissolve one’s compassionate interaction with other humans, or even other beings. Quite to the contrary, it is intended to teach that the truest form of compassion will always be there to help, but will never interfere if the person has already bgmade up their mind the direction in which they intend to go. When that person is injured as a result, there is no recrimination, simply help with getting back on one’s feet. It is not an easy way to live or see the world. There are so many times when pure temptation would have us say “I told you that would happen.”

Only when it becomes apparent that even with the hard knocks the person hasn’t learned are we to take a further step back, even then, no recrimination, simply not allowing their need to learn the hard way to devolve us out of the path we are supposed to be walking. The concept being that once you have done everything you can, and are praying about those areas where you cannot reach out and make a difference, (the prayer that some one somewhere can.) BTW, the serenity prayer helps with that (Neibuhr), you can move on to learn the next step of your path. One of the things that attracted me to Buddhism was that there are those, (called bhodisatvas) who chose to stay on this plane to help those of us who lag behind. They reincarnate not because they must or stay in a low position on the wheel of life, but because they have “made it” and are here to show the rest of us the path of kindness that will bring us all home.

the_dalai_lamalargeRemember, Buddhism is a personal path of study and learning about mastery of self  and about personal attitudes, it is not a religion, it does not address in any way if there is a G-d in the heavens, it is about you taking responsibility for your actions and learning to live a better way. You are free to believe in God, it does not interfere with being a Buddhist also, you may be a Taoist, (pantheistic belief in compassionate living, a Christian, a belief in g-dman that “saved” you; a Jew, a monotheistic belief in compassionate living, or any other belief system you choose. It is easiest if you choose a belief system where compassion is a chief cornerstone, so that you have no conflicts between your path and basic Buddhism.

It is the need to live in balance, called the Middle Way by the Buddha, that finds itself addressed in living a “detached” life that holds neither attachment to things or people so tightly that they cannot breathe, nor detachment from things or people so lightly that one forgets to be kind to all other beings. Finding that balance is not easy, but it is possible. HH Tenzin Gyatso, the dalai lama,  is a wonderful example. I bow to his teaching and mastery.

The Heart ~

0214-human_heartI had seen this particular graphic at NatGeo and, because it was a bit different, I kept a copy until I could do more research. All of those little corollaries are due to the heart having some blockage in the main artieries that feed the heart and keep it pumping moment to moment. The more blockage in your heart’s arteries,  the more profound will be the umbrella of little corollaries that are feeding your heart and trying to keep you alive. The heart has no backup organ, unlike the kidneys and lungs. so it is up to us to live heart healthy lives.

Since the dietary knowledge is relatively new, say the last 30 to 40 years, we are still readjusting our daily intake at the “comfort” level to try to teach ourselves and our children how best to eat and stay healthy. Our sweet and salty snacks that everybody loves are pretty much a no-no. We need to eat more fruits and vegetables, and I am not one to have neglected those, as I have had diabetes for years. Oh well.

There is a part of the cardiac regime, however, that is not part of a culinary artist’s work. That is the disturbing emotions. These are dealt with in quite a different way. It is “right” that we remain “engaged” with our world, too detached a point of view is as unhealthy as hearttoo attached a point of view. Most often it is not the events themselves we fear, but how they will change our lives and the lives of those we love that we fear.

My roomate at the hospital was a lovely woman whose attitudes in life had pretty much kept her alive even with a heart whose major arteries were suffering profound blockages. as in 100% and 90%, dang! She has 3 sons, the older two exemplary sons that are good to their mother, her 15 year old, however, is one of those children who loves his freedom and keeps his mother awake at night. It is in fact, worry about him that had stressed her so much that she sought relief from that stress, only to find that she is in need of bypass surgery of the heart.

How does one detach enough from the actions of one’s children to survive one that is more self-determined than helpful at this stage in his life?  Such self-determination may serve him well in his later years, but is certainly disrupting the peace of his parental home. Unfortunately, answers anyone can give her are going to be incomplete, as it is at the center of her own being where she will have to find the peace that passes understanding in order to weather the storms of a young person’s trip into adulthood. There are good things that one can learn, I have sent many to Coping.org, as the Dr.s Messina are quite helpful, though this 2242949998_db416180711lovely lady does not do the internet.

I suggested that after her surgery she seek the councel of a professional, though only time will tell if she chooses that route. The various Buddhist teachers that have chosen to interrelate with those of us outside the monestary, such as Thich Nhat Hann, and HH Tensin Gyatso, the Dalai Llama, all have some wonderful teachings on meditation and detachment from the disturbing emotions, if she can get past the religious barriers, as she is a Roman Catholic Christian. One can never be sure what the best answers are for another, as most times we must find the answers for ourselves. I shall most certainly keep her, and all such troubled parents in my prayers. It breaks the heart, literally to see the babies we have loved from infancy choose a crooked path at so young an age as their teens.

Controlling . . . . .

Aren’t buzz words great? Heavens, 20 years ago, recovering alcoholics were the only people that even had a clue that their problems came about because of their own control issues, and now we all know that’s a problem each of us has in differing degrees, Right? Well, sort of. Like all buzz words, having control issues is pretty much a joke for many people.

But we do all have the silly things. If they interfere with our lives, they can render us quite dysfunctional. There’s a rather nice website that I refer people to on a relatively constant basis, it’s just called Coping, and for the person who simply needs help sorting out what’s going on in their lives, The Dr.s Messina have set up some very nice check lists. When the crisis becomes something one cannot sort out alone or with the help of a listening friend, it’s time to consult a professional.

The website addresses control issues with the concept of detachment. They explain it in such a way that you understand it as a healthy response to stimuli. There are things that are just not yours to “fix” or render better, and the Dr.s Messina post an excellent checklist to help us understand where our boundaries should be and what to do to bring them into healthy alignment. The problem is that many of us grew up in families where proper psychological and physical boundaries did not exist. This is much more common than currently understood, and has led us into most of the issues that face us as a people today.

The Native American teaching regarding Sacred Space is one that is sorely needed by us as a society if we are going to learn to cope with the pace at which our world currently spins. I have discussed it at Wild Garden Arts, the website for my art, if you go to the site, click on the leaf labeled “Sacredness” and you will be at the page on which the picture of the tree in the medicine wheel is displayed.

Often, it is only with the understanding that each of us is actually born with a “sacred space” or the right to it, that we can realize that even interference that we feel is “for their highest and best” may be interfering with their lessons. This does not mean that one should ignore a friend or loved one’s bent toward self-destruction, it simply means that we cannot remain respectful of their sacred space and try to take over their lives. If a person is bent toward the use of drugs in such a way that it detrimentally affects you, you may need to choose to leave. These are the things that a professional can help you sort out.

When you can learn a healthy compassionate detachment that will love without trying to own or even manage, then you yourself are in a much better position to assist those you love and care for. This is a tough one, I know, I have had my own “issues” with boundaries. The Buddha addressed this many generations ago, his teachings are as salient today as ever. Elizabeth J. Harris gives an excellent rendering of the meaning of detachment and compassion as the Buddha taught it, and will help anyone on a search for the knowledge of how a person can develop healthy boundaries toward living a happier life. The mandalla above is a wish for peace to you and yours.

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