Clinging on to thoughts and things

Published on 18th May 2023

Certified NLP Trainer. Professional Coach and Corporate Trainer.

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Kiki Ng

Clinging refers to the psychological reliance on objects or experiences that provide comfort or positive emotions, which in turn fuel our desire to live and stay motivated. As our quest for peace and happiness remains perpetual, we persist in pursuing these attachments because they offer temporary respite from suffering, even though they don't ultimately provide a lasting solution.

Our lives are shaped by the fear of an unpredictable future, the unknown, and uncertainty. This fear is intrinsic to human nature and, to some extent, serves a beneficial purpose by fostering self-preservation and ensuring the survival of our species. In order to alleviate our suffering, fear, and anxiety, we employ various strategies such as clinging to possessions, forming habits, nurturing relationships, establishing routines, and shying away from the unfamiliar and change. These measures serve as attempts to attain a sense of safety, security, and happiness in life.

Just as the joys or pains of the past, all emotions should be acknowledged as fleeting. Whether they are positive, negative, or neutral, feelings are merely temporary states of mind. Similar to particles in the quantum realm, they emerge and vanish spontaneously, caught in an endless cycle. Like musical notes, they fluctuate between peaks and valleys.

"Attachment is the root of suffering." Buddha

Buddha taught that clinging to things or being overly attached to them can cause us to experience pain when they inevitably change or cease to exist.

The essence of this teaching is to cultivate a mindset of detachment and non-grasping. By recognizing the impermanence of all things and developing a sense of equanimity, we can find greater peace and freedom from suffering. Rather than seeking fulfillment through external attachments, Buddha encouraged his followers to cultivate inner qualities such as wisdom, compassion, and mindfulness.

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