In praise of dispassion for grasping and clinging

I would like to speak in praise of dispassion for grasping and clinging. And what grasping am I speaking of? When you want to think, say or do something but you hold yourself back, and feel something wearing at your ability to control yourself, that is grasping. When you want some experience of the senses, and you work toward it, that is grasping. And what is clinging? When grasping finds its goal, it holds on, sometimes to grasp from a better vantage point. These two steps in dependent co-arising are near enough to the suffering they cause, that you can see the connection if your mind is still enough, and you are dispassionate enough toward grasping and clinging.

And how do you get your mind still? you follow the instructions in MN 118. And how do you increase your dispassion for grasping and clinging. You become disgusted with one instance of grasping for which you see the suffering it causes, Then you go through the disgust till you find peace inside the disgust, then you carefully generalize the mind state in line with your current level of enlightenment. The wise will be especially observant for grasping or clinging that hurts others but not themselves, because they believe that the hurting that they produce will be visited upon them in line with their intentions while they did it. The foolish will not be disgusted with grasping for and clinging to “I am” because they do not see the suffering entailed therein, or lack faith in the Buddha.

In order to implement this, You will need a balanced set of four qualities. First is the desire to eliminate suffering, and striving for harmlessness. Second is the energy to create wholesome qualities, protect and grow wholesome qualities, inhibit unwholesome qualities, and prevent unwholesome qualities and striving for harmlessness. Third is having the mind immersed in samadhi, and striving for harmlessness – again see MN 118. finally you need concentration of investigation and striving for harmlessness.

Gotchas: a man adrift on a raft in stormy seas clings to his raft and rightly so. At your current level of enlightenment, there will be clingings that you truly need to continue with. Some clingings lead to wholesomeness, and you should wait to abandon them until they change enough that they no longer lead to wholesomeness.