"When understood, the Buddha’s universe..is anything but alien and inhibiting. It is a world full of hope, where everything we need to do can be done and everything that matters is within human reach. It is a world where kindness, unselfishness, non-violence, and compassion achieve what self-interest and arrogance cannot. It is a world where any human can be happy in goodness and the fullness of giving." ❦ Eknath Easwara

November 8, 2011

The Mind of Grabbiness

With insight, we can let go of the mind of grabbiness...but first, we have to notice we are grabbing, and then, look into what we are grabbing at.  No judgment, no resistance — just look -- eventually we see that we are grabbing at what we believe to be "my" or "me" or "mine."  That's where we stick—that's where the "glue" is.

In Buddhist practice, the universal solvent is the "glue" is not-self—not the concept of not-self, but the actual insight that is itself not-self.  In meditation, this insight arises of its own accord when we become truly quiet and sense the transience and unsatisfactory nature of those things we self-identify with.  To sense this is to see what the Buddha called the "emptiness" of fabricated, conditional things.  This insight into "emptiness" doesn't leave a vacuum, nor is it nihilism, because we also sense "that" which is free and limitless and just is—the deathless, and we are not (and never have been) apart from "that."

Call it "original mind" or True Self, this awakening to what is dissolves the epoxy of grabbiness, so that we can hold the things of life loosely and without getting stuck to them because we want them to do what they cannot do—supply us a real self, last forever, and end the root causes of our unhappiness.

So, slowly, through self-inquiry, meditation, and insight—and yes, a whole lot of loving-kindness and compassion—we learn not to grab.  And if we do grab—and we all do—that's just our practice too.  Don't try to end grabbiness—that goal can be just another thing to grab onto! Rather, just look into the grabbiness itself with curiosity and interest.

Don't want or expect anything for the inquiry, except to know what some particular grabbiness is about.  With insight into why we are grasping and grabbing, our growing wisdom and awakened heart help us to let go of those causes of grabbing, and thus, the root causes of suffering.

Steven Goodheart Essay
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  1. Very worthwhile article, Steven...a most insightful opening to awareness of a particularly relevant circumstance! Thank you, namaste´.

  2. Thank you dear Adele! I have used the term "grasping mind," so familiar to Buddhists, but for some reason the idea of a "grabby" mind caught my fancy -- a mind of grabbiness. And my essay just flowed out of it and what I was working on.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting,

    With warm metta,
    Steve Goodheart