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Beginner's Heart

Sometimes I have a hard time understanding the difference between detachment & non-attachment. Detachment is not a Buddhist virtue; non-attachment is. But when technology becomes my framing metaphor? I get it. Believe me, I get it.

I had an important conference call today. A meeting of a group of people I respect & admire, doing work that is significant — both to me and, I believe, to the state. So what happens? The conference call software drops me. Three times. Then, when I try to call back from my cell — thinking my landline may be screwy — I can’t make the passcode work. Sheesh.

And here’s where I began to see Buddhism in the whole mess: I don’t want these people — to whom I am a new & relatively unknown quantity — to think I’m a flake. That’s attachment, folks. I’m not a flake, so why should I be worried? It really isn’t my fault that the technology is squirrelly. So I texted my immediate contact — the executive director — and told her what happened. Guess what? The technology works FINE for Mary Ellen. Grrrr….

So there you have it: attachment (to an image of myself). And I can detach, certainly. But what I have to do, according to practice (which I know, but do NOT do nearly often enough) is live in this horribly uncomfortable feeling that somehow I screwed up royally, and move through it. THAT is non-attachment: acknowledge the here & now (oh! feeling flaky, are we? interesting…) and just go on.

Yeah right. Well, at least I know what I should do…:)

 

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