The Perfection of Renunciation - All the perfections support one another

  The perfection of renunciation is the elimination, the giving up and the subduing of attachment to sense objects, the departing from them. We only realize with regard to this life that we cling to visible object, sound, odour, flavour and tangible object. To what extent can we gradually become more detached from these objects? We may see the benefit of developing the perfection of renunciation. Someone may have given up the lay life and become a monk, but if he still clings to the five sense objects just as a layman, there is no difference between being a monk or a layman. Therefore, the perfection of renunciation does not merely mean leaving the household life and becoming a monk. Renunciation means having the energy and courage to eliminate the clinging we all have to visible object, sound and the other sense objects. So long as we have not attained the excellent state of the non-returner, we have not eradicated clinging to sense objects. We should know ourselves as we are, we should know whether we are sincere and have the firm determination to eliminate the clinging to the five sense objects. We are, for example, attached to colour, when we look at pictures, when we find them beautiful and delightful. Generally, when we see something beautiful, we are likely to have enjoyment and clinging, lobha. If there is heedfulness, it can be known that at such a moment this is only a reality, a dhamma, that appears. Attachment can decrease by not trying to obtain the attractive object so that we do not accumulate more attachment. Thus, when there is a pleasant object, we can see it, but when it is not there and we cannot see it, we should not search for it.
We may usually eat delicious food, and when we eat too much it is bad for our body. However, the citta that is attached to the flavour of food causes us to eat even when we are not hungry. If we can eliminate clinging, if we can have renunciation with regard to flavour, we shall eat just enough to satisfy our hunger, and if possible, we shall not even relish the food so much. Someone may not be hungry, and he knows that he will feel uncomfortable if he still eats. However, because the food is so delicious, he will just savour one morsel. This shows that he does not have renunciation. Whereas, if someone has renunciation, he can begin to train himself by endurance, and thus, he needs to have also the perfection of patience, so that he will eat just sufficiently to satisfy his hunger; he knows when the amount of food is just enough to sustain his body.
We can understand that it is most difficult to be free from clinging to the sense objects, because even training oneself to decrease clinging is already difficult. Therefore, we should develop moral strength so that all the perfections can assist satipatthana to be aware more often of the characteristics of realities in daily life.
If we have patience we can endure the experience of heat or cold. When the weather is hot, we do not need to make special efforts to have a cold bath, or when it is cold, we do not need a warm bath. For some people it may be necessary for their body to take care of the right temperature of their bath. However, when this is not the case, we may be attached to the temperature of the water. Some people, when they have a warm bath, feel comfortable and pleasant; even though their body is strong and they do not need a warm bath, they like to have this pleasant sensation. Or sometimes they take pleasure in having a cold bath. When someone understands the perfection of renunciation, he can have more endurance, no matter whether he experiences heat or cold. He also needs the perfections of patience and of energy.

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