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Lojong 4.) Let even the antidote vanish of itself. (Don't cling to the method)

2. Formal Practice (2-10)

4) Let even the antidote vanish of itself. (Don't cling to the method)

This saying reminds us to follow the middle path.  When we cling to anything it can become a problem, even if we cling to the methods of the Buddhist Dharma.  This may also remind us that it is not necessarily the object that is the source of our suffering, it is our clinging to that object.  Clinging to the method will eventually produce suffering when we demand it must be present, demand that I be perfect in the method, demand that others be perfect in the method, demand that my teacher be perfect, etc.

It is not the objects in my life that cause suffering but my relationship to them.  (And this is my excuse for all the things I have accumulated - I'm not attached to them, I could quit them at anytime....  Isn't this what people say about those pesky addiction problems, too.  Oh well, back to release from clinging.

Here is a short story from my life.  Several years ago, I was very excited because I was going to pick up a new motorcycle I had purchased.  Jim Hall, PhD, a psychologist I worked with at NorthEast Psychiatric and Psychological Institute, suggested that the first thing I should do before I took it off the dealers lot, would be to kick it over.  I sort of knew what he was getting at, but did not really understand until I had dropped the motorcylce for the first time and got over "it".

Who is more attached, the "new ager" who has a melt down when his super efficient and eco-friendly mode of transportation gets a scratch; or the "old codger" who says, "I hope you did not get hurt" when someone crashes into and destroys his big fancy luxury automobile?  (In my philosophy, it is not about the object, but about the attachment. 

So even something as desirable as "the method" can be an object of attachment that causes suffering. 

The first step in the practical dharma is to change your attitude about your stuff, then as you have success with an attitude of less attachment you will see the stuff no longer matters.  You may still choose to have or not have stuff, but your suffering will be less.

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