Attachment to things

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Tobi and Molly

Are you attached to stuff? To things that you feel you must have to make you happy? Do you need stuff? Do you need more and more things? Does shopping make you happy?

Buddha says that non attachment is the way to happiness. We must learn to let go, to be with the idea that we are not defined by what we own. We are defined by what we do and by how we take care of each other, ourselves and the planet.

I believe all this very firmly. Mark and I sold everything we had to start the press including the furniture and Mark’s car. He got a decent used car in 2010 when the press was nearly 16 years old and this summer, we got furniture for the first time. We have lived without furniture for nineteen years, and as far as I’m concerned, who needs furniture? It was kind of nice at the Christmas party not to have everyone sitting around on the floor, but the floor was good too.

So given all that, why did I get so attached to my car? We have a Nissan NX, my first decent car which I got in 1991, and it has 315,000 miles. My daughter got this car when she was fifteen and I got a Honda Accord which I’ve had since 2001, twelve years. My daughter drove off with that car this Christmas. Drove it back to San Francisco. Leaving the Nissan with me. I did not want her driving that very dangerous little Nissan any more. Its windows and doors don’t work. Its mirror is taped on, its front end is very loose and it has no air bags. But for a car that cost $9000 to begin with, the fact that it is still running at 315,000 miles is amazing. The Honda has 295,000 miles on it, so it’s no spring chicken, but it has an airbag, no relationship with duct tape and the windows and doors work. She was pretty happy driving away in it and I feel a lot safer about my daughter.
The problem is that I will have to buy another car and it seems like I’m allergic to the idea of it. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t had car payments for ten years or if it’s the actual fact of having to go to a dealership which let’s face it, is worse than dental surgery, actually I would rather go to the dentist than buy a car. I was actually attached to that red Honda and my daughter knew it, she kept saying, Mom, you don’t have to do it. I’ll keep driving the Nissan as long as you want, but I knew it was time to let go. 1. I wanted her to be safer
2. I wanted to let go.

It surprised me that it was so hard to let go. If you are holding on to something, not a person, but a thing, perhaps the best thing you can do is to let go. I’m not saying throw your favorite panties out the hotel room window right now, that might cause a scandal, I’m talking about big things that you’re hanging onto. Don’t let things own you. My car is gone. It’s about four hundred miles from my house and I’m ready to go to a dealership when I get back to California. Down Cowardly Lion. Down boy! I got this.

Attachment is the origin, the root of suffering; hence it is the cause of suffering.

Published in: on December 28, 2013 at 8:02 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Children=attachment. Of a different kind, but even harder to let go of.

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