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Attachment is Habitual Thinking

--by Miao Tsan (Jan 13, 2014)


We all judge our experiences through the filter of habitual think­ing. In other words, we are unconsciously driven by how we think, and how we think determines the feelings and opinions we develops toward people, objects and situations. But such opinions and perceptions only distort reality, and unfortunately, we cannot help but interpret reality through self-centered thinking. For example, when we find ourselves in an unsatisfactory situation, we feel angry. We can’t help it. We characterize the experience as bad. But each thought we have also presents an opportunity for change, since every thought is independent and rootless, being empty in nature.

Each thought arises and dissolves simultaneously. Regardless of what the prior thought might have been, the potential for the next thought is unlimited: It can turn toward an infinite number of possible direc­tions and destinations, because a free mind does not have to hold onto a particular trajectory in its thought-movement, nor do thoughts have to follow one another in a fixed pattern. Only due to the habitual mental tendency does our mind functioning become set on a certain predeter­mined path. The so-called habitual tendency (or unconscious mode of mind functioning) refers to the fact that the mind becomes preoccupied by certain thoughts. When one of those thoughts appears, it necessarily triggers a set of corresponding reactions. We experience these reactions with strong inertia. Our habitual mental tendency is the direction our thoughts take when we don’t consciously overcome this inertia to free them from the path of least resistance.

Uncontrollable reactions – especially anger, sadness or sensual indulgences – often become stubborn, nearly unstoppable attachments. It is as if we are an old phonograph record that keeps skipping at the same spot. Attachment is habitual thinking or an idea that occupies and disrupts our inner peace. When the mind becomes dependent on certain people and situations and repeats the same thoughts, it is attachment. When certain people, objects and situations continually bring out the same reactions and emotions in us, this is attachment. When we feel the urge to seek approval from a certain individual or take possession of certain objects, this too is attachment.

Various forms of attachment compel us to repeat thoughts and emotional responses that solidify the mental doors through which we perceive and judge the world. A life driven by attachment will be characterized by the repeated manifestation and deterioration of similar issues and problems. 

--​Miao Tsan, from "Just Use This Mind"


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24 Previous Reflections:

 
On Jan 23, 2014 nwriter wrote:

 Hi,
Thank-you for the insight.

I think my attachment to my husband and core dependency on him was bothering me.I attended two International Preksha Meditation Camps which freed me from my attachments.Also positive affirmations learnt from Brahmavidya libereated and empowered me tremendousely.

I can now safely say that my mind is free now and small issues seem small!

I can make a stand without getting riled.







On Jan 21, 2014 Bob wrote:

 As this is my first encounter I am open to listen and learn the art of meditation and the benefits I can share and derive from being able to see beyond my historic self. I look forward to the apparent enlightenment others have been able to experience.



On Jan 15, 2014 Pam wrote:

 You see I watched my husband go in for surgery; he was a successful trucking company owner and the surgery went terribly wrong.  I have tried to tell my story a million times but been squelched a million more.  Stories in stories in stories.  I have heard much about meditation and it has helped but just this week I got an e-mail alerting me that the Rehabilitation center was forced to pay out 8.2 million dollars to those patients affected.  This also at the time of our now 17 year old son's  birthday to 18.  A million couldas, shouldas and wouldas that I would love to tangibly throw away as they hurt so deeply.  What amazes me more is how the western cullture views death. We lost my husband but why did we have to lose BOTH families?  Everyone feels uncomfortable so they pretend nothing has changed when in fact it has, it has completely changed our every waking moment.  Thanks for listening.  See full.

 You see I watched my husband go in for surgery; he was a successful trucking company owner and the surgery went terribly wrong.  I have tried to tell my story a million times but been squelched a million more.  Stories in stories in
stories.  I have heard much about meditation and it has helped but just this week I got an e-mail alerting me that the Rehabilitation center was forced to pay out 8.2 million dollars to those patients affected.  This also at the time
of our now 17 year old son's  birthday to 18.  A million couldas, shouldas and wouldas that I would love to tangibly throw away as they hurt so deeply.  What amazes me more is how the western cullture views death. We lost my husband but why did we have to lose BOTH families?  Everyone feels uncomfortable so they pretend nothing has changed when in fact it has, it has completely changed our every waking moment.  Thanks for listening.

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On Jan 15, 2014 nita wrote:

 Hi,
This awakening came at a very crucial time. my 35th marriage anniversary is just around the corner and as usual my husband does not have a clue as to how to celebrate it.it makes me  feel that his marriage is not important to him.As usual he will then in the end take me to dinner as planned by my son-imagine my children plan an anniversary dinner.Or, he will tell me to do the needful as if it only matters to me.This time I have decided not to be hurt, but not plan too.I have woken upto the fact that I am alone.



On Jan 14, 2014 Sherry Tuegel wrote:

Beautiful and insightful article... yet not all attachment is bad.   It is the play of life to be attached to those we love deeply.   I've always felt we come here to be attached, to stumble and fall and to rise again.  When does non-attachment become disassociated, not fully in the body and in life?  I remember a reporter described Ramana Maharshi as a dead man walking.  I'm glad he did that for us and lived beyond, beyond, beyond.  It is not my path to be a dead woman walking, however.  I'm here to play the human game...stumbling on rejoicing or bitching as the case may be.  I think there is a balance and art in discovering when attachment is poisonous or unhealthy and when it  is a healthy human experience.  That is certainly my journey and story...and I love a good story!  Lovingly Yours!



On Jan 14, 2014 Mish wrote:

My attachment to "resisting allowing something" brings it to me repeatedly until I "face my fear".  I finally "surrendered" & was "gifted" by the experience I so dreaded!  The Universe is a patient teacher.  Grateful.



1 reply: Me | Post Your Reply
On Jan 12, 2014 Denis wrote:

 Thomas Kempis, in his best seller, ‘Imitation of Christ’ says that if we were to fulfill one New Year’s Resolution every year, as time goes by, we’d be near perfect human beings. On the contrary, in our Annual stocktaking, some of us find that we’re worse off than before.
Our habitual faults/sins are like a snake laying chickpea eggs, while nesting in the neuro channels of our Brain /Mind. When we resolve to abandon our evil desires /actions, we kill the snake. However, the eggs are hatched, and grow into the same evil we renounced, so that we are back in our evil ways. Despite reflecting the sunlight for centuries, the Moon is still full of negativity. Yet we love the Moon more than the Sun. What matters is smiling & sharing the joy of Life among all those lovely people we meet along our journey through Life.
 



On Jan 12, 2014 david doane wrote:

 To me, attachment means holding on in a way that I am gripping it and locked onto or into it.  This attachment can be to a person, a group, a thing, a viewpoint, a way of behaving.  I agree with the author that my perception of reality is through the filter of habitual thinking which can distort what is being perceived and can become like "an old phonograph record that keeps skipping at the same spot."  He is mistaken in saying that we react with anger in some situations and we can't help it.  If our reactions really are uncontrollable and we really can't help it, it doesn't present "an opportunity to change" and we wouldn't be able to change.  Though attachment can be intense, detachment and change are possible.  What has helped me become more aware of some of my attachments is learning about attachment, reflecting on my ways, and discovering at least some of my attachments.  An example from personal experience is that I was very attached to m  See full.

 To me, attachment means holding on in a way that I am gripping it and locked onto or into it.  This attachment can be to a person, a group, a thing, a viewpoint, a way of behaving.  I agree with the author that my perception of reality is through the filter of habitual thinking which can distort what is being perceived and can become like "an old phonograph record that keeps skipping at the same spot."  He is mistaken in saying that we react with anger in some situations and we can't help it.  If our reactions really are uncontrollable and we really can't help it, it doesn't present "an opportunity to change" and we wouldn't be able to change.  Though attachment can be intense, detachment and change are possible.  What has helped me become more aware of some of my attachments is learning about attachment, reflecting on my ways, and discovering at least some of my attachments.  An example from personal experience is that I was very attached to my belief that my way was the right way.  I'm less attached to that perception.  Now I see that my is my way, and I'm not even sure my way is the right way for me.  And now I am much more tolerant of and accepting of and even valuing of others' ways.  Such detachment has resulted in my being more easy going, more open, more at peace, more happy, and more liked.  And there is a lot of detaching yet to do.

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2 replies: Aj, In | Post Your Reply
On Jan 12, 2014 denis khan wrote:

 
 Focusing on an enjoyable project can help you to access the Theta brainwave state, which is a level where you are most likely to receive creative inspirations and spiritual breakthroughs.



On Jan 10, 2014 Conrad P Pritscher wrote:

 For me, attachment is a desire for some thing or event that is presently not happening as I think it should. By noticing and consciously limiting my desires I reduce attachments that are limiting to me.. I frequently find myself getting angry when other drivers on the road don't drive exactly as I think they should. My first reaction is anger and then I notice  what is occurring is simply what is that I am not accepting. If I consciously notice more of reality as it is, I will reduce desires and attachments and accept more of what is. Thank you for the opportunity to respond. Warm and kind regards to everyone..