Letting go 放下

Someone asked me on facebook about the Buddha’s teachings on “Letting go”, below is my reply. (English right below)
有人在面簿上问我有关佛陀宣说的『放下』。以下是我的回答。

 

 

First off, don’t let go.  Start by observing the people, matters and things that we cannot let go and find out what all this is about.  Apply the Buddha’s teachings on impermanence, dependent arising, emptiness (of inherent nature) or no-self to reflect and observe.

When we slowly see clearly the inter-dependent-arising relationship between all of us, we would not be so attached to our self and esteem, and our unreal projection on others will cease.

However, this gradual “letting go” in reality does not exist.  Without attachment, there is no need to “let go”.  Further, “letting go” is not “giving up”.  “Let go” of our deluded thinking and attachment, not give up on people, matters and things.

Amituofo. 🙂

 

Non-attachment vs Care-less

Cultivating non-attachment does not mean a careless detached attitude, instead it is a very active concerned
care and love for others. By non-attachment, we remove, or at least initially reduce, our strong emotional upheavals, moving our focus and attention from ourselves to others.

Attachment leads to much emotional baggages in us that does not help us or our loved ones; they mostly create the friction between us!

A Ring

People wear rings for various reasons.  Some rings are ornamental while others are decorative.  A wedding ring or wedding band, is supposed to symbolise the love or feelings between two person.  Similarly, rings may be given to others in exchange to celebrate or cement mutual feelings for each other.

What was equally interesting is that while the rings are meant to celebrate a happy emotion or link between two, these rings can often be stressful.  Ever misplaced your ring?  Dropped it somewhere?  In the pool?  While washing the dishes etc?  If you have, you would know how stressful it can be.  How we can become flustered and panicky all so suddenly.  Why, even as you read this article, you may find yourself reaching out for your finger, just to be sure it is there.  We are worried because it means something to us.  We also worry because of the inevitable conflict that may arise when your other half start asking about it.  The very thing that symbolises love and happiness can become a source of stress and panic.

Now consider yourself on the other side of the counter.  If your love one loses the wedding band or a special ring you gave, would you get upset?  Is it right?  Should we get upset over it?  Is it worth the while?  On the other hand, if we do not get upset over the loss of the ring, would the other party start wondering if it even mattered to us at all.  If we get upset, we make him or her all stressed up over losing the ring.  If we don’t, we may risk appearing like we don’t care.  How do we strike a balance?

Striking a balance may be the hardest thing and is probably different for different people, but perhaps it can be reached with communication.  Perhaps it is important for couples to talk about such things, as ridiculous as it may seem.  Afterall, you don’t end a candle-light dinner with conversation like “Say, would you get upset if I ever lose my ring?”.  But I think it is important, ‘cos it helps to draw up realistic expectations of each other.  And it can be ring, or a watch.  Or something.

But this is the easy part.  The harder and more important part is for both to recognise that the ring is but a symbol and not to attribute to it more than it deserve.  Try as we might, sometimes it happens, and it gets misplaced.  We get upset usually because we infer that we do not treasure the love or feelings that the ring is supposed to symbolise.  But is that always true?  I say, free ourselves from this attachments to rings, even if we cannot be free from suffeRing yet! 😉  Be mindful not to lose it when wearing a ring, and be forgiving if our partner loses theirs.  Then the ring is meaningful.  Then the ring indeed symbolises love, whether when it is around or not.  For at the very least, shouldn’t love be forgiving and not petty?

For me, I’m pretty done with wearing rings.  So I have one chance less to offend others and one thing lesser to be worried about.  Also, others can know that I am concerned for their welfare and happiness without me having to wear some ring to symbolise it.  Good thing
isn’t it?  Else you will see monks and nuns with rings all over!

So, how many rings do you have?  How do they serve you?  Or they you serve them?

EDIT:

Did a mass correction of “loose” to “lose” … thanks to a kind someone! Thanks! 😉

The Car or a Million Ways of Getting Scratched!

A long time ago in a living room far far away … … ok, it was not so long ago, more like 7 to 8 years ago, and it’s not really far away, if you happen to live in Singapore.  There was a time, before I became a monk, when I owned a car, a green Mazda 323.  Decent car, got me around.  After the company transport allowance, I only had to top up $200+ monthly for the car loan.  Life was good.  Until The Dent.  Or The Scratch. Read More …

I Still Have Attachments …

The other day, I received an email informing me of the recurring charges for this site. I was somewhat bemused and thought that this was a mistake. You see, the hosting for this site is charged annually. And these matters were handled by my kappiya (steward) so I thought that this was yet another rip-off by some obscure hosting site. Indignantly, I accepted that if the account was not duely cancelled, then the charges would be honored but to prevent future charges, I sent a request for account cancellation, not forgetting to just rant as a surprise that the account was still active eventhough I’ve not used it for awhile. I promptly received a cancellation confirmation email with a footnote that as per service policy, accounts not cancelled will be automatically charged with recurring bills. Fine and good. I’m all for policies and was not the least trying to get a waiver or anything. I thought that was the end of this episode, but boy, was I wrong.

Read More …