Don sit under the Bodhi tree with anyone
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Don sit under the Bodhi tree with anyone
By wanghuan on May 27, 2013 02:55 AM
Possibly the most needed Buddhist concept in the psyche of the 21st century is that one of the four noble truths: the origin of suffering is attachment. This is probably the most potent panacea of the modern human condition that makes millionaires out of modern matchmakers. Walk down Market Street or the Port of michael kors online San Francisco and in fact any major international cosmopolitan metro city as you see dukkha galore. The modern American or western life carries a unique burden to the soul born out of greed. Most people are simply overloaded by Park Avenue advertising and are in a conscious or unconscious state of want. Whether it is wanting more time, money, love, adventure, luxury toys, etc it is an endless preoccupation. These drives have lead many people down a road of despair, disappointment, and endless frustration. The most ironic part of this attachment is that it is to things that are nonessential to life. Objectively speaking is it really the end of the world if a woman living in Marin County doesn get the $1000 Michael Kors bag for her birthday when a $25 Fendi will do?
The Buddha taught that the origin of suffering is attachment to impermanent things yet being unaware of this fact. The very fact that something will not last forever dooms the one attached to it of eventual misery. Just look at failed romances, lost loves, lost fortunes, and other losses that are simple reflections of life and its cyclical nature. People are born, grow up, finish school, start careers, retire, buy and sell a house, move, become parents, become emptynesters, go to an old age home, and then pass away. To become attached to any stage of that life cycle is the root of optional suffering. Like an old 60 song goes, everything turn turn turn. There is a season turn turn turn. A michael kors canada outlet time to be born. A time to die. In my opinion, nothing is sadder than the aging faded chorus girl who refuses to hang up her dance shoes and exit the stage for the final time.
Sometimes when I am in Berkeley I see baby boomers still in tiedye clothing protesting something or the other. While it is admirable they are holding still to their beliefs it does look strange to see grandparents hosting sit ins against an establishment now comprised of their kids and grandkids generation. On some of the faces of these 60 counterculture revolutionaries is a despair that there is still social injustice in the world. What is even sadder is that they don realize that their approach from 40 years ago is as archaic as the peace symbols. Mourning for an era now over is asking for suffering.
If a person holds in their mind that an ideal (60 radicalism), an object (the Michael Kors bag at Bloomingdales), a person (the first love, great love, unrequited love, lost love, dead love, love of their life now emotionally available, or spouse who is my love and now changed, etc), or thing (Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, BMW) holds the key to their positive self esteem its asking for emotional letdown. Attachment requires possession and unfortunately once we get it can change not to our liking or we don get it and our obsession around its absence is like an unrecovered addict in high stress withdrawal mode. So if you don have an attachment for your life looking a certain way then all the internal frustrations caused by it would be gone. The choice and path to end suffering lies within the self choice to attach to impermanent or not. Human beings need food, shelter, water, and clothing but those essentials do not need to be cordon bleu dinners, luxury mansions on Rodeo Drive, Perrier, and Yves St. Laurent to be satisfied. Given the lengths that people take to acquire copious luxury is so stressful at times that once they attain the object of their attachment desire they are too tense to enjoy them.
The end of attachment and its potential to cease the suffering it causes is the biggest need in the 21st century social cultural industrial complex. Why? Look how many people are drowning in debt! Most of this debt is caused by the need to satisfy cravings for finer things in life Too much debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy or stressrelated health disorders.
Unfortunately it is a utopia vision to believe that it even possible for human beings inundated with media 24/7/365 to surrender their attachment to impermanence in any form. How can any human being living in the modern world full of media technology that screams at us to want more. A recent article in Newsweek in early 2008 cited that in such a multimedia saturated culture the number one goal of most American teenagers and young adults was to become famous. Real life people became reality stars overnight like some tacky version of Cinderella. Like Malcolm Gladwell stated in his book the illusion of Idol is that people don realize that staying power belongs to those who actually have talent and the discipline to work michael kors factory store hard. Americans are bombarded on their cell phones, iPods, Blackberries, and Plasma TV screens that outrageous desires can be satisfied in an instant. This concept michael kors outlet online can feed into the craving and attachment like salt on a wound.
The Buddha found michael kors factory outlet joy in realizing that once attachment to something was gone it was liberation from a dreadful catch22 emotional binge purge cycle. However 600 BCE India, Tibet, and China unfortunately didn have the Internet to mislead otherwise. If it did, Siddhartha too would have become a version of Ken Wilber complete with a multimedia array of products and workshops. Buddhism would be a self help empire instead of a religion.