Kindness and Clinging

This Sunday Payton led a sitting and discussion around the topic of clinging as outlined by Gil Fronsdal in this talk:

In the talk Gil quoted the usual translation of the Platform Sutra in which the Buddha is recorded as having said. “Wisdom and Meditation are the same”. However, Gil notes, the character used for “wisdom” is actually “kindness”, so it says “kindness and meditation are the same”. This is likely a clerical error at some point in the long history of Buddhism, but which was the original? Perhaps we should draw our own conclusions.

Gil listed the four forms of clinging:

  • Clinging to sensual pleasure
  • Clinging to views and opinions
  • Clinging to the idea of self
  • Clinging to religious practices

He then goes on to say that the secret of Buddhism is really that, “it actually feels better to let go of clinging than to get what you want”.

The talk ends with an admonition to look for clinging, or for one of the Five Hinderances, whenever we notice a lack of kindness toward ourselves or others.