Q187. How can we do our best in our practice without being attached to enlightenment?

A. Let’s suppose you want to go for an excursion by car to New York City, across the Continent of North America from San Fransisco, California. In order to reach your destination, which side do you think you should pay more of your attention to, your goal, New York City or careful and safe driving? Safe arrival at your goal is the result of your careful driving. If you are more preoccupied with your destination rather than with safe driving, you are likely to be impatient and want to reach there as soon as possible. The impatience to reach your goal quickly can tempt you to drive too fast, which can cause your car to have trouble or an accident. That can make your journey take longer than it should, or make it difficult for you to continue your journey.

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Focus on how to practise well. You should pay all your attention to your practice and not to enlightenment. Attachment to enlightenment can cause you to have yet another strong illusion that brings negative side effects such as being neglectful of your family, your business or your health. This just is making matters worse while trying to improve things.  Just as it is not the attachment to your destination but safe driving that takes you to your destination, so it is not the attachment to enlightenment but diligent practice that leads you to enlightenment.

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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