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Attachment & Impermanence

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, we're going to talk about the relationship between impermanence and detachment. I'd like to start by sharing a story. When I was in Burma, living as a monk, I remember the early stages of that retreat being very difficult. We were sleeping only a few hours a night, eating two small meals before noon and meditating over 14 hours per day.

For me, it was very difficult, but there was one monk who was there. His name was Usamangkala who became a bit of a silent mentor for me. I say silent because we weren't really supposed to talk, but he could see that I was struggling early on. Then he approached me when no one was looking and said, How are you doing? Do you need help with anything? And we developed a bit of a relationship, even though we didn't talk too much. But anytime that I'd be struggling, he'd ask me how I was doing.

And he, in some ways served as a father figure while I was there, someone that I could trust, someone that had a practice that I've respected and knew I could count on if things were going difficult. Early on in that retreat though, a couple months in, I remember one day he came up to me and said, Just so you know, I'm leaving tomorrow. And it felt like a dagger in my heart. It was so painful. I didn't realize how much I had connected with him.

And the next day, I remember going into one of the teacher meetings that I had and and telling them about this experience. And I said, you know I experienced the pain of impermanence. And the teacher looked at me and smiled and said, no, you didn't experience the pain of impermanence. You experienced the pain of attachment. And that was a big aha moment.

Because what it communicated to me is that the impermanent nature of life is not what causes suffering, it's our attachment to things that are inherently impermanent. And I still have a complicated relationship to this because a part of Macy's such beauty in the pain that I experienced in my separation from Usamangkala. To me, it represented that there was a lot of love there, a lot of care and a lot of connection. And at the same time, it was still painful. And I'd prefer not to feel that pain in other areas of my life.

So I think we can look at attachment through a positive lens and also look at it as something that we can slowly do some work on so that we're not gripping so tightly to the things in our life. It's possible to appreciate what is here and also develop the wisdom that it won't always be here. A meditation practice helps us do this. Each time we focus on the breath, we watch it come, we watch it pass. That training is the training to see impermanence more deeply and organically the mind starts to loosen its grip on holding on to moments staying the same way over and over.

So you could trust your meditation practice for this, and you can explore bringing it into your day to day life. As always, thank you for your practice. I look forward to talking to you in the meditation and until then take care.

Cory Muscara

4.8

Attachment & Impermanence

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, we're going to talk about the relationship between impermanence and detachment. I'd like to start by sharing a story. When I was in Burma, living as a monk, I remember the early stages of that retreat being very difficult. We were sleeping only a few hours a night, eating two small meals before noon and meditating over 14 hours per day.

For me, it was very difficult, but there was one monk who was there. His name was Usamangkala who became a bit of a silent mentor for me. I say silent because we weren't really supposed to talk, but he could see that I was struggling early on. Then he approached me when no one was looking and said, How are you doing? Do you need help with anything? And we developed a bit of a relationship, even though we didn't talk too much. But anytime that I'd be struggling, he'd ask me how I was doing.

And he, in some ways served as a father figure while I was there, someone that I could trust, someone that had a practice that I've respected and knew I could count on if things were going difficult. Early on in that retreat though, a couple months in, I remember one day he came up to me and said, Just so you know, I'm leaving tomorrow. And it felt like a dagger in my heart. It was so painful. I didn't realize how much I had connected with him.

And the next day, I remember going into one of the teacher meetings that I had and and telling them about this experience. And I said, you know I experienced the pain of impermanence. And the teacher looked at me and smiled and said, no, you didn't experience the pain of impermanence. You experienced the pain of attachment. And that was a big aha moment.

Because what it communicated to me is that the impermanent nature of life is not what causes suffering, it's our attachment to things that are inherently impermanent. And I still have a complicated relationship to this because a part of Macy's such beauty in the pain that I experienced in my separation from Usamangkala. To me, it represented that there was a lot of love there, a lot of care and a lot of connection. And at the same time, it was still painful. And I'd prefer not to feel that pain in other areas of my life.

So I think we can look at attachment through a positive lens and also look at it as something that we can slowly do some work on so that we're not gripping so tightly to the things in our life. It's possible to appreciate what is here and also develop the wisdom that it won't always be here. A meditation practice helps us do this. Each time we focus on the breath, we watch it come, we watch it pass. That training is the training to see impermanence more deeply and organically the mind starts to loosen its grip on holding on to moments staying the same way over and over.

So you could trust your meditation practice for this, and you can explore bringing it into your day to day life. As always, thank you for your practice. I look forward to talking to you in the meditation and until then take care.

Cory Muscara

4.8

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