Showing posts with label Attachment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Attachment. Show all posts

February 3, 2013

Paperman, For Dannielle


Valentines Day is next week, but I wanted to share this with someone very special to me, Dannielle.

This wonderful movie short by Disney called Paperman shows the amazing chemistry between two people that draws them to each other.  

I love how the man and women laugh on the train platform holding the paper with the lipstick on it and how from his office when he sees her in the skyscraper across the street, he jumps up and down waving trying to get her attention. 

The movie reminds me of another favorite, The Red Balloon, where a little boy Pascal at the end is carried off by a cluster of sentient balloons, just as in this movie the man is carried off to his love by the paper airplanes he made to try to connect with her. 

While I am usually not one for animation, this one captures it just right! ;-)

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May 22, 2012

L'Chaim--Live It Well!

I found an article on the consolation of death "buried" in my papers from a couple of months ago--and I'm glad I did. 

The Wall Street Journal (10 April 2012) has a very interesting book review of "Death" by Shelly Kagan.

The book is about how do we live knowing that some day we will die--how do we console ourselves?

Here are a combination of the the ideas reviewed and my thoughts on them:

- The Hard Stop--Since life and death, for each of us, cannot coexist, we are either alive or dead--"no one will ever encounter their own death"--so there is nothing to worry about.  

- Not Me--We live life never really believing that we will die--instead, "death is something that happens to other people."

- Live Without Attachments--As Buddhism teaches that we should cast off attachments, self-concern, and suffering--hence, the loss of own self is a "nonevent."

- Live The Moment
-- We should live in the present and enjoy life, rather than mourn the past or worry about the future.


- Live a Full Life--Live a full and meaningful life, and then perhaps, we "don't cry because it's over, [but rather] smile because it happened."

- Leave a Legacy--If we leave a legacy of our children and good deeds, then we live on even once we are physically gone. 

I was always taught that since no one ever really came back from the other side to tell us what happens to us when we die, we should not be overly focused on it.

I remember overhearing some old men in synagogue debating what happens to us when we die--one taking the position that we go heaven and the other stating that death was the end (he put it more crudely though-something about us being dead no different than a dead dog!)

In the end, since it doesn't pay to worry about what we don't know and perhaps can't even really fathom, I think all we can do is our best every moment that we are alive--and leave the rest to sort out to G-d, afterward.

The consolation then is if you tried your best, what more can anyone ask of themselves or others?

In terms of the picture, the L'Chaim candy bar is a little reminder not to take everything in life so seriously either--live life and live it well. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Uberculture, Jeremy Noble)

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August 8, 2009

The Four Noble Truths

1. Life means suffering.

To live means to suffer, because the human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; and we have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. Although there are different degrees of suffering and there are also positive experiences in life that we perceive as the opposite of suffering, such as ease, comfort and happiness, life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete, because our world is subject to impermanence. This means we are never able to keep permanently what we strive for, and just as happy moments pass by, we ourselves and our loved ones will pass away one day, too.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.

The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof. Transient things do not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and -in a greater sense- all objects of our perception. Ignorance is the lack of understanding of how our mind is attached to impermanent things. The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, ardour, pursuit of wealth and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short:craving and clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are transient, their loss is inevitable, thus suffering will necessarily follow. Objects of attachment also include the idea of a "self" which is a delusion, because there is no abiding self. What we call "self" is just an imagined entity, and we are merely a part of the ceaseless becoming of the universe.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.

The cessation of suffering can be attained through nirodha. Nirodha means the unmaking of sensual craving and conceptual attachment. The third noble truth expresses the idea that suffering can be ended by attaining dispassion. Nirodha extinguishes all forms of clinging and attachment. This means that suffering can be overcome through human activity, simply by removing the cause of suffering. Attaining and perfecting dispassion is a process of many levels that ultimately results in the state of Nirvana. Nirvana means freedom from all worries, troubles, complexes, fabrications and ideas. Nirvana is not comprehensible for those who have not attained it.

4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

There is a path to the end of suffering - a gradual path of self-improvement, which is described more detailed in the Eightfold Path. It is the middle way between the two extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive self-mortification (asceticism); and it leads to the end of the cycle of rebirth. The latter quality discerns it from other paths which are merely "wandering on the wheel of becoming", because these do not have a final object. The path to the end of suffering can extend over many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to karmic conditioning. Craving, ignorance, delusions, and its effects will disappear gradually, as progress is made on the path.


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