FULL MOON – Habits of Clinging

Published Friday, 19 November 2021

Fostering habits
such as craving and clinging 
is like fertilizing noxious weeds.

Dhammapada v.335

When, for the first time, small children are dropped off at school, they often feel upset as their parents leave. They don’t understand that in a few hours time mum or dad will be back to pick them up again. Eventually those children learn that their parents have not disappeared forever and so are no longer upset. As adults, when we catch ourselves misperceiving a situation and becoming caught in clinging, it is wise to take note and register how clinging causes suffering. On one level it can feel suitable to cling to those things that we hold dear. It is a most natural thing for parents to feel caring towards their children. But what happens when the caring is combined with clinging? The child is over-protected and fails to learn. Or, what happens when we are praised by someone we respect and we cling to the agreeable feelings that arise? It can feel fine at the time, but what we fail to see is how, when we are spoken to rudely and painful feelings arise, we can’t help but cling to disagreeable feelings. The two go together.

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