Monday, July 17, 2017

Refining Disenchantment

     A recent post concluded with: "We can prevent a great deal of unnecessary suffering by carefully observing how craving & aversion operate in our daily life, recognizing their arising early, ... and shifting attention from these towards matters that will actually benefit us."
     Easy to say, but how can we actually put this into practice? First of all, we need to become disenchanted with life as it is. For some, especially those who've had a challenging childhood, and are reasonably in touch with what's going on internally & around them, disenchantment can start early in life. For many, disenchantment hits like a sledgehammer on their deathbed. For others, disenchantment ensues from major trauma, shattering their illusion of control, self-concept & worldview all at once ("shipwreck")
     "Disenchanted" is an interesting word, implying that our default tendency is sleep- or trance-like. So wisdom traditions, especially Buddhism, teach that we need to wake up or else continue suffering needlessly over & over again. So like a gardener, if we don't like the crops we're producing, we have to re-assess & optimize our gardening procedures. As in gardening, we are to minimize & finally eliminate all that impedes healthy crop growth - in our case, evolution of consciousness.

      “In practical terms, cultivating (the perception of not delighting in the whole world) can be implemented through a willingness to let go and relinquish whatever one is accustomed to clinging to, in particular one’s opinions and preferences, judgments and views. In this way a refinement takes place compared to ... freedom from sensual desire through dispassion and freedom from ill will and harming through cessation. At the present juncture even the more subtle traces of unwholesomeness in the form of any type of clinging are being relinquished.” 
     Analayo. "Mindfully Facing Disease & Death: Compassionate Advice from Early Buddhist Texts.” Wisdom, 2016.

Morning Sea Fog at Conrad Beach, Nova Scotia

No comments:

Post a Comment