Attachment is clearly something that we have all experienced, from a baby who is attached to their mom to an adult who is attached to their family. It is clear that attachment leads to suffering, so becoming non-attached helps alleviate suffering, but should all attachment be removed(one is bound to their physical body as long as they are living). Is it even possible, doesn't just one become attached to non-attachment? So, perhaps one has to attain a "middle way" - recognizing attachment and not resisting it, but also not letting it control us. I am curious what Buddhist texts say about this.

  • A similar question has been asked before here, but I am looking for answers from different sources.
    – user29568
    Oct 14, 2018 at 19:56

4 Answers 4


According to Buddhism, attachment(Upadana) is caused by Tanha(craving) and according to the Second Noble Truth, craving is the cause of all suffering. According to the Third Noble Truth there is a cessation of all suffering. According to the Fourth Noble Truth, there is a way to achieve the aforementioned cessation of suffering.

Hence it is one of the core claims of Buddhism that all attachments can be eliminated. There is no Buddhism without this claim.

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    At that point one knows the enlightenment to be real. Hence you don't need to have an attachment to a belief that it's real. Oct 15, 2018 at 10:32
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    Also, with regards to the Dhamma it's faith that you have when you haven't seen it first hand. Faith is not attachment. It's the confidence that it is true. To give an analogy, if you know a reputed doctor who has helped you recover from many sickness in the past, you have confidence in his instructions when he prescribes you medicine, even though you may not have the knowledge of the doctor. So you follow his instructions in good faith. As you take the medicine, you start to realize that it does work as advertised. Oct 15, 2018 at 10:52
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    Buddhism is not like other religions. Faith does not require attachment. Oct 15, 2018 at 11:29
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    Attachment to the teachings is a terrible affliction. One becomes lost as one has formed erroneous views about the teachings. Those views become part of their personality. They've created a whole conceptual mind-world to fall into. Sometimes it can show itself as egoic spiritualism. It's a common pitfall for many. Reading and knowing the diamond sutta regularly is helpful in this area.
    – user14148
    Oct 15, 2018 at 17:59
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    I would not recommend the diamond sutra as the Theravada tradition does not accept this to be the word of the Buddha with good reason. Oct 15, 2018 at 22:07

If the legend is true that the Buddha attained highest happiness, and if it is true that contemporary practitioners realised nibbana, then empirically speaking, we can assertively answer with 'yes', although, personally, I haven't met an enlightened person (be it astream winner or any of the other four stages).

Generally, people do not talk about whether they experienced any liberation whatsoever, which makes it hard to prove it empirically.

This being said, if it is possible to rid oneself off of some attachments, then logically I would conclude that it should be possible to eliminate all greed, hatred & ignorance, albeit with good friendship, a lot of practise, determination, motivation & time.



Yes the middle way is the path.Buddhism is about eliminating suffering not attachment because as you said there are stuff we are bound to be attached to as long as we are in this body and in this life.

The Buddha lived in luxury and in asceticism in both he had a hard time dealing with suffering.Why make life hard on yourself by dealing with the suffering of losing something that caused you great pleasure or the suffering of not having basic human needs.

So suffering is the core problem You just make life easier for yourself by taking the right decisions that minimize the suffering.They are not only mental or spiritual decisions they are live hood decisions as well.


I just added an answer to the previous question you mentioned. Basically, "Attachment is a mental process... Non-attachment is when that mental process does not develop."

So when there is non-attachment, there is no attachment to non-attachment. Just the processes of attachment stopped to develop.

To understand that, it's useful to analyze the mechanism of attachment. In case of a baby, he has needs - to be fed and so on. He acts on the basis of such needs. It is regulated by sensations.


Then naturally some things get associated with those feelings. The person who feeds you gets associated with feelings of satiation, and so on.

In our mind, that person is perceived as an object we get attached to.

Later, if we practise Dharma, we can realize that in terms of experiential reality (phenomena, dharmas) there is no such object, and never been. It's just a mental concatenation of momentary experiences.

Then we can abstract THIS moment experience from dependencies on the past and the future, those imaginary things.

Thus mental processes of attachment wither away. But the ability to live naturally does not cease. We eat when hungry and sleep when tired, and answer those who need help.

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