This week I want to share one more exercise from the “Stutz” documentary by Jonah Hill.
Phil Stutz says, “most people are bad at processing a loss. Not only do we get depressed when there is a loss but we worry about a loss before it happens.”
If we are worrying about losing something, then we are definitely “attached” to that thing (or person.)
And being attached to things or people is a sure way to suffer.
“The Buddhist concept of attachment refers to an attempt to control things that you can’t control. When you try to grasp or control something outside of yourself, this causes suffering.”
Marth Beck says that learning to become more “nonattached” is “the single skill that will make all the good times of your life last longer and go deeper and make all the bad times seem shorter and shallower.”
Phil Stutz says “the secret is not trying to become nonattached but trying to move towards nonattachment every time you get scared of a loss.”
What in the world does attachment have to do with chronic pain?
Martha Beck says, “If you’re not attached to any kind of experience in the body and you’re not attached to a past or a future, the sensation you’re feeling in the moment becomes much more tolerable and it’s gone in an instant because you’re always only in that one moment.”
Now that is a way to get out of chronic pain!
This exercise from “Stutz” helps us to move towards nonattachment.
And away from suffering.
1. Think of something (or someone) you are attached to. Something (or someone) you really don’t want to lose or let go of.
2. Notice how this feels in your body. (I added this part.)
3. Imagine you are grasping on to it. It’s scary to think of letting go of it. (Phil Stutz uses the metaphor of holding onto a tree branch and you are afraid to let go because you will fall.)
4. Imagine letting go.
5. You are falling but are surprised that the fall is slow and gentle.
6. Say to yourself “I am willing to lose everything.”
7. At that point you fall into the sun and burn up.
8. And then you have lost everything.
9. You have become one sunbeam amongst all the other sunbeams.
10. You are radiating a loving and glowing sensation outward in all directions.
11. You look around and see an infinite number of other suns like the one you’re inside. All the suns are radiating outwards saying, “we are everywhere.”
12. You are now in the “sun world.”
13. All you can do is give. You can’t take, you can’t grasp, you can’t hold onto anything.
14. Notice how this feels in your body. (I added this part too.)
What or who are you attached to?