HOW can we detach from fruitless desires and lead a more contented life?
Robina Courtin, Buddhist nun and writer, who supported prisoners on death row, describes the importance of getting to know your mind deeply, in order to lessen the impact of strong emotions - anger, fear, jealousy, anxiety, self-loathing - have on us.
She goes on to discuss attachment and how attachment to people, things, view, beliefs create a deep, dark longing inside us.
Attachment is the assumption that, "I am not enough".
From this place we feel despair and we are constantly looking for something to fill the internal void.
When we think we have found "it", we grab hold of it and "exaggerate its deliciousness" believing we have found the "thing" to make us happy.
When this attachment fails to meet our needs, the anger, pain, anxiety and panic arises.
Robina believes the "single most common yearning in humans ... is to be seen in a good light".
That is, the need for others to accept us, love us, be proud of us, agree with us, think positively about us, seems to trump all other attachments.
If we don't gain approval from others, we believe ourselves to be defective somehow.
This creates enormous pain and suffering.
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She describes one of the main attachments as being attached to our viewpoint. It doesn't mean we cannot have a strong opinion or view, it means we are not debilitated or angry or hurt when someone doesn't agree with our opinion or viewpoint.
Giving up attachment is the key to a more content life.
A life in which you are less neurotic, less fearful, less anxious. Being content equals less attachment.
Less attachment means more confidence, more compassion, more humility, more balance, more joy.
Maybe it's time to take the journey of the mind inward towards contentment.
Imagine what the world might look like from here.
Jenna Woodland is a therapist with The Lighthouse
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