How does one live a life with multiple relationships (family, girlfriends, friends, pets, etc) while not being attached to them(being aware it will end eventually and therefore do not dwell in Dukkha when such thing happens)?

Thank you very much! :)

  • 1
    The People (including me), you are talking about believe in two terms. 1. karma (good will gain good, bad will add bad). 2. Attachment (as an immoral mental state).
    – jitin
    Mar 27, 2015 at 8:04
  • You learn ,you understand ,you experience and then you decide for your self.
    – jathin
    Mar 27, 2015 at 11:24

5 Answers 5


How does one live a life with multiple relationships (family, girlfriends, friends, pets, etc) while not being attached to them(being aware it will end eventually and therefore do not dwell in Dukkha when such thing happens)?

The best way would be to practice vipassana meditation and thereby train to realize the 3 signs of existence; anicca, dukkha, anatta. When beginning to understand these signs one gradually lets go of the "grabbing, holding onto, attaching to" to phenomena. Why?

One realizes through the insight meditation that all phenomena both physical and mental are impermanent and thereby unsatisfactory. When realizing them one begins to understand not-self. Impermanence and unsatisfactoriness are the easiest to realize while not-self is more tricky. Although one can realize it through diligent practice.

All phenomena are impermanent because they are conditioned. They are built/caused by other causes which again is caused by other causes. That means that all conditioned phenomena are subject to constant alteration and change. Nothing is permanent.

All conditioned phenomena follow a recipe of "arising, presence, dissolution". Because of this constant flux and change phenomena are unsatisfactory. They are not worth holding on to because they will cause you suffering when they cease. There is no stability, no permanency so if one grabs onto something one will loose it in the end anyway.

When seeing this over and over in the meditation the mind will gradually turn away from conditioned phenomena. The mind will realize that happiness cannot be found in conditioned phenomena. The mind will begin to let go. It will gradually stop "reaching out" to phenomena.

Freedom from suffering comes from renunciation and non-reacting to phenomena. Its great freedom when one realizes that one do not have to be sucked into the maelstroem everytime a phenomena arises and that one instead can be an observer. Ajahn Brahm describes it like having a "teflon/non-stick* mind. Like the non-stick pan where nothing can stick to.

So in short. Practicing vipassana meditation will be your best bet at overcoming attachment to wordly phenomena.


I quote from here is a short and blunt answer. This answer does not mean renounce your family but merely teaches a way to have less mental attachment to them. The problem is of one's mind, not of the world.

§ A woman came to Wat Dhammasathit to observe the precepts and meditate for a week, but by the end of the second day she told Ajaan Fuang that she had to return home, because she was afraid her family couldn't get along without her. He taught her to cut through her worries by saying, "When you come here, tell yourself that you've died. One way or another, your family will have to learn to fend for themselves."


One of the biggest attachments is the attachment to one's own spiritual gains. In other words; perhaps the greatest attachment one can form is to the idea of themselves as someone who is 'free from attachments'.

What did Marpa say when his son got killed, and his students asked him why he was crying, wasn’t it all just an illusion? Marpa said something like “yes, but this is a super illusion.”


It is a trap to imagine that one can be free from attachment in a way that doesn't include the freedom to be attached. To resist attachment is a snare that will bind you tightly (I speak from experience) - being aware of one's attachments, and letting them be is an access to freedom.

There is a reason why asceticism is known as an unsuccessful path. The ascetic has separated himself from human problems to some degree - but only by attempting to become superior to them. He/she finds themselves in a situation where they have conquered some of their sensory desires and attachments; yet they are attached to themselves as the one who is superior.

Chogyam Trungpa talks about this sort of egotistical superiority in his work, "The Myth Of Freedom". He states that this attachment exists within the realm of the gods. Here is some of what he says.


The realm of the gods is realized through tremendous struggle, is manufactured out of hope and fear. The fear of failure an the hope of gain builds up and up and up to a crescendo. One moment you think you are going to make it and the next moment you think you are going to fail. Alternation between these extremes produces enormous tension. Success and failure means so much to us―'This is the end of me,' or 'This is my achievement of ultimate pleasure.'

Finally ... a breakthrough, such a tremendous achievement. And then pleasure begins to saturate our system, psychologically and physically.

[... a lot here ...]

This is the absolute, ultimate achievement of bewilderment, the depths of ignorance―extremely powerful. It is a kind of spiritual atomic bomb, self-destructive in terms of compassion, in terms of communication, in terms of stepping out of the bondage of ego. The whole approach in the realm of the gods is stepping in and in and in, churning out more and more chains with which to bind oneself.


The way is something that is designed to rid you of attachment to your own self-importance - to your own superiority and significance. What is critical is to develop the ability to see the world and all its baseness and ugliness, and simultaneously the same baseness and ugliness in yourself, with clear eyes, open and loving to that which is so. As Enyo eloquently states:


If you wish to understand yourself, you must succeed in doing so in the midst of all kinds of confusions and upsets. Don’t make the mistake of sitting dead in the cold ashes of a withered tree.


Have room for your attachment, and love it. See it as it is, and give it space to be. Freedom doesn't come from triumphing over attachment, but from being fully human and fully awake to your attachment.


If you're like me then "no attachment" and "no dukkha" are too much to ask.

You can do it by (by definition) being fully enlightened. :-)

If you're less than fully enlightened then what you might hope for is "less attachment" and "less dukkha".

Less attachment might make it better while it's happening. If you want your partner to be other than as they are (or able and willing to be), that's a form of attachment and a cause of suffering for both of you.

Less self-view might make it less bad when it eventually ends (when you're alone and suffering it might begin to seem clear that the problem/cause of that suffering is the sense of 'self'). And, the Mahayana aspect of Buddhism makes it clear that "you're now alone" is also a false impression.


Attachment is due to build up of perception. Your perception builds a mental model of relationship and expectations around the perception of a person or entity.

You have to tackle this in 2 fronts.
1. Contemplate the nature of existence and relationships to reduce your polarity 2. Do Insight Meditation to rid your self of erroneous perceptions

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