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Mara Pacers

Thoughts on attachment

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I've spent a lot of time thinking about attachment. I've decided to make this little space a place where I can jot my meanderings.

It is so difficult to use language and not to convey a sense of self. If one is 'self referential' there are only certain words available, self, me,I, mine, myself.. Etc.

In order to make it easier and clearer, I'm going to refer to the aggregate representing as Mara - as samsara Mara, SM. Could this be why people who ordain are given monastic names?


Meandering thought #1

No Self > No Attachment > Bliss
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  1. Mara Pacers's Avatar
    These are just meandering thought, not meant to be right or wrong....

    This past month I have spent more time with people than I have done in years. And this weekend I had family come to stay.

    What has this got to do with attachment? It strikes me that sense of self does not simply come from within, but a certain 'identity' is also projected onto us by others. I'm sure many people must experience this amongst the different groups they associate with. For me, this weekend, I was reminded of the way that my family (siblings) viewed me. This is totally different from how the local community has come to view me, let alone from how the ego sees itself.

    Having spent so much time investigating 'no self' it has been fascinating to observe how Samsara Mara is pulled about from one identity to the next...

    And they are such different identity constructs. All-in-all it makes it easy to see that none of them is true.

    As such, to fit into society (not being confined to isolation or a monastery), our human selves adopt a series of roles, so that we can interact with other humans.

    Being alone is such bliss, as none of this is necessary, one is free from imposed constructs and expectations from others. One only has to focus on ones own interactions with samsara.

    It has been an interesting time also from the perspective, that samsara Mara decided to take an active role in a community issue that was causing a lot of problems down here, with the potential to do a lot of long term damage. It was so funny, remembering what is required to lead community action, being sucked in to reacting in unskillful ways, and then slowly trying to apply Dhamma to the problems. Which samsara Mara finally managed to some degree.

    All of these things are what has led me to consider that without a sense of self, there can be no expectations - one just lives from moment to moment, experiencing each one fully and being guided by the Dhamma, there is no pull from the future (expectations or wishes) and the past is just the past and no longer relevant. This is bliss :-) Since there is no pull from the future - it equates to no more craving, no more disappointment, which just leaves contentment and equanimity - bliss

    It makes me wonder whether Nibbana can be attained in this world
  2. Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
    Love it. Thank you. I hope you don't mind me posting here. Some very good food for thought. Be well my dear friend.
  3. Mara Pacers's Avatar
    Dear Jerrod, always a delight to hear from you. I hope all is well in your world.

    with Metta

    Mara
  4. Jong Woo's Avatar

    Again, I like your idea.
    At first, I was not sure what topic you were trying to bring up but from the reply you posted yourself, became quite clear!

    The process of how others perception or expectations imposing and re-enforcing your identity reminds me of the psychology term, Persona.
    Persona is what you think you are in a given circumstance such as work place or a family. It defines your identity and your role in such circumstance.
    Basically it is the force that drives us keep playing a certain role in a game, that we call ‘life’

    What I find the most interesting about the term, Persona, is that it is buried deep down in our sub-conscious level so we normally are not aware of its acting on us.
    Without knowing, we are manipulated by the force and firmly believe that ‘I am this kind of person’ or ‘I must behave some certain way to meet certain people’s expectation’
    Mind you that we spend a ridiculous amount of our energy, only to meet the demand of such a force that we are totally unaware of.

    From Persona, you moved onto the topic how the sense of ‘self’ is deeply related to ‘expectations’
    Again, I totally agree with you.
    I think the sense of ‘self’ is the product of evolution. Evolution that has taken an unimaginable amount of time. Perhaps from a universe after a universe, every kind of organic creatures has repeated a simple process of meeting its demand for survival over and over again, virtually to the infinity.
    Therefore the sense of ‘self’ is the product of the relationship between the expectations and the method to meet such expectations.
    In other words, we are ‘what we expect’ and ‘how we achieve it’
    ‘What we expect’ and ‘how we achieve it’ are the main elements of our personality and thus they define who we are.
    It is very dry and simplified definition of who we are(I know a lot of people would hate to hearing this) but I think that reveals some part of truth about us.

    Therefore, if we somehow, managed to eliminate such expectations from our life, the sense of ‘self’ would simply collapse!
    The sense of ‘self’ can not exist without getting fueled by expectations.
    Yes, you said that expectation can not exist without the sense of ‘self’ but I take it the other way around.

    Since I believe that the sense of ‘self’ is the product of such lengthy and complicated process, we can not simply get rid of the sense of ‘self’
    That would be impossible(unless someone has built enough wisdom or Karma).
    However, there may be a way that we can do something about what to do with such expectations.
    Maybe that opens a way for us and our Buddhist path has a lot to do with dealing with such expectations.

    You seem to be wondering if experiencing Nirvana is possible in our real world.
    I would say that it is possible.
    A simple process of meeting expectations has evolved up to this kind of complicated reality that is our universe, which means that basically anything is possible.
    We are evolving and which means that we are overcoming who we are and how we are conditioned within.
    End of such evolution is Nirvana, a state that overcomes all of its previous conditioning and that actually wonders if Nirvana would really be the end?
    What if it may be an opening door to another?
    I know that I am crazy!
  5. Mara Pacers's Avatar

    Jong Woo
  6. Mara Pacers's Avatar
    Further refined thoughts on attachment and the mind made world.

    Having lived in isolation for so long, over 16 years now, and having been consciously celibate for half that time, I felt quite detached from the human world. Then I was pulled back into it when I got a new neighbor.

    Anyway..... I have been struggling with increasing attachment to this person. No matter what I tried, it only worked to detach temporarily. I knew that if one lives with temptation in front of ones face, it is very difficult to practice. So I was on the point of physically removing myself when I had a lovely insight.

    The whole feeling of attachment and sensual love was mind made. It existed because I was still attached to a lingering desire/hope to find a partner and live happily ever after. I realised this while with the person, and as I did, the scales fell from my eyes, their very face changed, the universe of my perception changed and it became clear that the past year with this person was all mind made by me. Knowing it and seeing it change was just wonderful. It was nothing about that individual, they just represented my deeply hidden desires, that I thought had been extinguished. Now when they appear I so clearly see them for what they are.

    This difference is much bigger than I expected. I knew it in my mind/brain before, but it was like I was convincing myself. This time it is like "seeing" it like it truly is as it is happening.

    I just wanted to share, both because I am so thankful that this is resolved and that I don't have to move to seek better conditions for practice, and as an illustration between intellectually understanding something and convincing yourself to think in a certain way, and when one's perception of reality actually changes.

    The mind made world is powerful - it is only when one watches bits of it (like a facade) crumble and fall away that there is no more doubt. Right effort and complete faith become natural states instead of a discipline.

    I know many think this level of relinquishing contact is not meant for lay people. But my aim is to get as far along the path as possible all the way to extinguishment... But not within the monastic community. So I try to follow the path to the best of my ability here, and participate in the wonderful online community and Dhamma resources of BSWA.
  7. Marcia Beloved's Avatar
    Wow! Wonderful! Thank you for sharing.
    Mind as the chief leads the way.
    It is inspiring to me as a lay person that the arising of wisdom and the peelling away of ignorance is not confined to the monastery.
  8. Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
    Congratulations on you relief and the insights that lead to it. I am joyful for your having this experience. Be well.
  9. Mara Pacers's Avatar
    Thank you for your kind words Marcia and Jerrod

    May you find peace and happiness and loose the burdens that cause suffering... That goes for me too lol and for everyone else as well
  10. Jarrath Boll's Avatar
    It is comforting to read your revelations. I am new to this forum and find myself looking for those who are committed to liberation beyond what seems the norm for laypeople. In contrast to yourself, I have a partner and a daughter yet have so much faith that becoming atleast a streamwinner is not exclusive to this. We are not alone in our striving and everything that manifests is surely fruit for the the path.
  11. Jerrod Lopes's Avatar
    Welcome, Jarrath. I am glad that you are finding use abd comfort here. I agree with our view regarding the possibilities of stream entry in lay-life as I am certain Mara does. Be well.
  12. Mara Pacers's Avatar
    Greetings and thank you Jarrath, and yes Jerrod is absolutely right, I believe it too Ajahn Brahm has given examples of this as well.

    I look forward to seeing you around the forum.

    With Metta

    M