The Noble Truth of Nirvana, Part 2: The Nature of Attachment
In the preceding chapter it was suggested that reducing cravings and reducing attachments are similar. Let us here consider further the latter sense of transforming oneself.
What are the full implications of reducing attachments? How does such a change relate to ordinary living, to the joys and goals of daily life? If I want to listen to a symphony, does that mean I am attached? If I look forward to enjoying a good meal, does that mean I am attached? That one can enjoy an event without being attached to it is suggested by the following observation from Buddhist literature.
The Buddhist monks normally obtain their food from farming, purchasing, or alms seeking. For this last method, the monk will go from house to house with a bowl, accepting whatever the householder will provide -- a handful of rice, half of a potato, anything. Against this background are descriptions of persons of wealth who wish to honor the Buddha. Frequently, one or another will invite him and his followers to a feast on a prearranged day. The Buddha always accepts! How does this fact square with not being attached? Consider the following tale: