Relationships are complicated! Talk about an understatement, and this applies not only to romantic attachments but also to family and friendships, even those with coworkers or neighbors who we might not feel very close to. Given that relationships are hard, why do we bother?
One of the tenets of Zen Buddhism is that one should try to divest themselves of attachments (Links to an external site.) (to things like property, money and people) because attachment can lead to suffering. But don’t we have a need to belong and connect? This week, let’s focus on this idea and share our thoughts.
For this week’s discussion post, respond to the following:
- Are we better off following the ideal of non-attachment when it comes to relationships? That is, would be we better off if we approached others with an exchange-based attitudes?
- For example, might we be happier or more satisfied if we avoided being fully vulnerable and open and limited emotional involvement with others?
- Discuss your thoughts on the value of being or not being attached. What factors from your own life might have influenced your opinion?
Please note: I am not asking you to share personal, private details from your own relationships. Rather, take some time to reflect on the idea of having/not having relationships in terms of the benefits and costs of both perspectives.