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Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Nov 19, 2018

Attachment is an often misunderstood concept of Buddhism. Attachment is not about having things or relationships. Attachment is about reacting to things we find pleasant or desirable in such a way that it makes us suffer. In relationships, it is attachment habits that cause many of our problems. Love is the opposite of attachment. Love asks "What can I do to make you happy?" Attachment asks, "What can you do to make me happy?" In the episode we mainly learn to identify attachment and how it is harming us. Attachment is what makes it so we can’t enjoy the things we like! This episode looks at ways we can free ourselves from the attachment that binds us.

Attachment is defined as a mental affliction that arises from paying inappropriate attention to a desirable object until the mind becomes unpeaceful and uncontrolled and we feel we can not be happy without that object. Sometimes we are attached to being right; sometimes we are attached to a person being different than they are. Sometimes we are attached to a food that is unhealthy for us. Some are attached to substances. In all these cases, it is not the person or object that makes us unhappy, but our attachment that causes us to suffer.

The verses of the Dhammapada, by Buddha, we study in this episode are from Chapter Two “Vigilance”, verses 25 and 26:

“Unwise, foolish people

Give themselves over to negligence.

The wise

Protect vigilance as the greatest



“Don’t give yourself over to negligence,

Don’t devote yourself to sensual


Vigilant and absorbed in meditation

One attains abundant happiness.”



The Dhammapada, by Buddha. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. Page 8.

Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, by Je Tsongkhapa, Volume 1. Pages 228-230. Translated by the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee. Joshua Cutler, Editor-in-Chief, and Guy Newlan, Editor.