Do we have to give up all attachments and pleasant feelings?

 

Question: I understand that attachment is not wholesome. Does this mean

that we have to forsake all the joys of life, such as listening to nice music,

going to a disco, reading books, laughing with our friends or going shopping?

Do we have to give up all these attachments and all pleasant feelings?

Answer: It is precisely our daily lives that have to be understood. We should

live our daily lives naturally, in order to understand our inclinations, our

defilements. We should understand our attachment and aversion as they

naturally arise. One can enjoy all the pleasant things but there can be more

understanding of the realities of our lives. There can be more understanding

of the true nature of attachment, aversion, kindness, pleasant feeling or

unpleasant feeling. The wise person can live with pleasure and with

understanding.

 

Question:  We like pleasant objects and we dislike unpleasant objects; that

is natural. Like and dislike do not always lead to bad deeds. Are they always

unwholesome?

Answer: There are many degrees of like and dislike. They may be slight or

they may be more intense, leading to unwholesome deeds. One may like

something to the degree that one wants to take it away and then it is obvious

that there is unwholesomeness. But when like is of a lesser degree it is also

not beneficial, not wholesome. After seeing, hearing and the other sense-

impressions there is very often attachment which we may not notice at all.

We are attached to all the sense objects and thus attachment is bound to

arise. At such moments there is selfishness; there is no generosity. Since

attachment arises time and again it is accumulated. Also, dislike can have many degrees. It can lead to violence and then it is obvious that there is unwholesomeness. When it is of a lesser degree there is uneasiness or moodiness. We have no peace of mind. Whenever there is unpleasant feeling there is the reality of aversion. As I said, attachment, aversion and ignorance are the three unwholesome roots for unwholesome moments of consciousness.


Topic 155