Q: When I see nature, I am so full of gratitude, but that seems to be a kind of attachment. I try to see the attachment, but it’s difficult. Someone once told me: ‘If you go on like this, you will never be free.’ [Laughter] I just love trees and birds and nature … and I find I’m having to change … I don’t know how to deal with it.
A: It’s true that some of these positive qualities of heart may come under the classification of ‘attachments’, but they can be pretty darned healthy attachments. I sometimes like to look at the practice path as being similar to climbing a ladder; so long as what we’re holding on to doesn’t obstruct our ability to pull ourselves further upwards, then a so-called attachment might be serving a useful function. However, if we’re holding on to a higher rung of the ladder but won’t let go of a lower one, then we’re stuck. We’ve got a problem. So holding on to something that is keeping us from going on, even if it’s pleasurable, is blocking progress.
This reflection by Ajahn Santacitto is from Love and Attachment.