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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Master Sheng Yen: attachments

picture by Joanne Carscadden

"We all have attachments, or to use a contemporary term, addictions. They may be material or mental; they may be worldly, philosophical, or physical. Attachments may be superficial and transient or deeply ingrained and stubbornly fixed. Attachments have one thing in common, however: they all create aggravation, turmoil in our lives.

Through practice, it is possbile to separate yourself from attachments. Gradually, step by step, you can drop attachments, until all vexations are eliminated. The sutra* speaks of four levels of attachment to transcend. Some teachers speak of the process as 'separation', but this is misleading because it implies that one is escaping or running away from attachment. This is not the case; rather, recognizing attachment is itself separating from attachment.

Recognizing attachment usually proceeds sequentially:
First, we detach ourselves from the illusions of worldly phenomena.
Secondly, we regard our own minds as illusory, and in so doing, detach ourselves from it.
Third, we realize that the thought of being free from the mind is also an attachment, and in so doing cease clinging to that concept as well.
Fourth, we detach ourselves from separation itself." *Sutra of Complete Enlightenment; quotation from Master Sheng Yen's Complete Enlightenment, pg. 113-114.

Also check out these Chan sites of interest:

2. How to chan meditate:
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at

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