Be Here Now [ VI ]

Q.: What does attachment aim at?

Bhikkhu: To    keep the object.

Q.: What is the main reason why it is no good?

Bhikkhu: Attachment is the condition for suffering. You cannot possibly

have aversion if you don't have attachment. There is nobody who wants

aversion. Nobody likes to dislike, to hate, to be angry they want to be

happy. But aversion is conditioned by attachment which we believe makes

us happy. We are fighting a losing battle the whole time, trying to be

happy through attachment. We try to avoid misery through attachment.

But this is the cause of more misery, again and again. Attachment can

cause one to kill, steal or to perform other unwholesome deeds, which can

condition rebirth in lower planes and the experience of unpleasant objects

also in the human plane.

One would not want to steal, take and keep something if one did not have

the wrong view that there was something there to keep. Attachment to

wrong view conditions many kinds of unwholesomeness. One may believe

that there is something there that can be kept and enjoyed. And someone

to enjoy it.  One may think, “I get it now, and I enjoy it now”. One may

believe that something has carried on from the moment of getting it to the

moment of enjoying it. However, there are only different realities which

arise and then fall away. Also understanding arises and falls away. There

is no self who has understanding. Understanding today is not the

understanding of yesterday, which fell away as soon as it arose. Also

understanding today falls away.

Who wants to be aware now? Would we rather wait until we are in are

better mood or until it is quiet: One may find that there are too many

people around, one wants to think first. There is always something else to

do instead of being aware of the reality which appears now. If there is no

awareness now how can there be any conditions for awareness tonight,

tomorrow or next year? The only way that there can be awareness in the

future is awareness now, without selecting the object of awareness, or

the time for awareness. One may think that it is not the time for

awareness when one enjoys oneself. Or one may set a certain time for

awareness, for example, one hour a day. There can be awareness when

there are conditions for it. There will never be conditions for it so long as

we are trying to control it, to direct it, to do certain things first in order to

have more awareness. One may be inclined to think, “If I could only get rid

of this pain in my back, if people would turn the radio down first, if I could

be alone, then I could be aware.” Can't one be aware of sound, be it loud

or soft? It is the reality which can be heard. So long as you are not aware

you have the idea of “somebody” putting on the music too loud. And then

you have just aversion. There is no awareness of sound, of thinking, of

aversion, because one is full of an idea of “self” who is upset by what

other “selves” are doing. The aim of right understanding is not to avoid

being upset. If we believe that we should be aware in order not to be

unhappy, not to have aversion, then there is still an impure motivation.

Happiness and unhappiness should be known as they are: conditioned

realities, not self.

One may have one's own idea of what awareness is. One may consider

it as a means to control, to have less unpleasant feeling. One's real aim

may be just to be peaceful, relaxed, undisturbed, undistracted. One's aim

may not be understanding whatever appears, be it the reality of happiness

or the reality of visible object. If it is a pleasant object, does one want to

be aware of it? Does one want it to last, or does one want to see that one

can never have more of the same, that it does not last?

Topic 52