I love the teachings of the Buddha. At present times, society at large constantly indulges us in many generators of stress. To keep our minds clear and healthy, tolerance, mindfulness and serenity are important areas that we should ideally develop even when they’re not encouraged by our sensitive, reactive world. However, as many other branches of thought, Buddhism is prone to misinterpretation for its most characteristic ideas.
The biggest problem I’ve seen among Buddhist tenderfoots is a comfort zone built around the idea of detachment. One of the central ideas of Buddhism is that we suffer because we’re too clingy: We want things that aren’t under our control to work in our favor and they usually don’t. Still, that does not stop us from hoping for this magical scenarios to happen and, the more time they take, the more anxious and cranky we become.
Buddhism calls out for its practitioners to become the masters of their own desires. It isn’t, after all, people who should be servants of their wishes; it’s the other way around. When we become overly unhappy because we have idealistic longings that are taking too long to arrive, the ideas of detachment should be put into use.
We could call it the Asian: “Bro, chill.”
If we wanted to make an equation out of it (you could check Prager University for an insight on it. Still, I deeply disagree with almost all of their ideas, even on the linked video), we could construct the following: Satisfaction = Life’s situation/Expectations.
The reasoning goes like this: The bigger the expectations, the less satisfaction you get; smaller expectations lead to more satisfaction. This could be (if a bit blunt) a way to understand the idea of why the Buddha cautioned people about unhealthy, excessive wishful thinking.
We need to remember the most important thing in eastern philosophy: balance; the middle path. The same way caring too much about stuff can be a problem, caring too little can be one as well. All too often, people fall in love with the idea of detachment as if it were the best extremism one could partake in, but these individuals should understand that it is only a cautionary pull for those who are going far to one side, not a push towards the other direction.
"Letting things be" isn't the same as "Letting life happen." By doing so, people fall into the ultimate comfort zone; by shrugging everything off, they're preventing themselves from engaging with life in any significant manner. The pursuit of dreams and ambitions becomes harder while running this mentality.
Somebody who’s really into this lifestyle shouldn’t be forced out of it. After all, it’s their choice and exercise of freedom. It’s okay to be easygoing as a trait, however, it should be regarded as unwise to be apathetic as it is to be worrisome.
Again, we must avoid the extremes. Returning to the equation, decreasing expectations isn’t the only way for satisfaction to rise. Increasing life’s situation is the other (and I think best) way to keep both our sense of fulfillment and mental well-being at peace.
Someone who’s suffering because of this cycle of dullness could ideally move on by developing passions and forging meaningful relationships, but the process must be natural. Much like with flavors, we need to be on the outlook of what’s best for us. We can only figure out by trying, but there’s nothing as painful as forcing oneself to love something we judge repulsive.
(I just thought of avocados; not a fan, to be honest.)
To live fully, I believe, we shouldn’t shelter ourselves from the world. People who do this might have their reasons, but it isn’t our responsibility or our avail to pull them out of their self-appointed passiveness. We can, if anything, help if required/willing and remain a positive influence in everyone’s lives.
As written by me, Admin Dash: Saturday the 26th, 2016. Why? Because Imagination is Magic.
Featured art from: http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/mlp/images/d/d7/Zecora_Meditating_S1E10.png/revision/latest?cb=20121012000212
EDIT: Grammar checked on the 27th of February, 2018.