title: Healthy Clinging

Rob Burbea on Healthy Clinging

From Questioning Reality

Clinging and Attachment get a bad press, especially in Buddhism, but they have healthy, useful functions.

  • A mother’s clinging to her son’s health is healthy, actually needed
  • In the beginning of practice, we need to cling to our ethical behavior
  • If you’re trying to climb a ladder, you need to let go of the steps below you, but you also need to hold on (cling) to the steps above
    • It’s a progressive process of clinging and letting go
    • As we deepen our practice we eventually let go of the things we used to cling to, but it may be healthy to cling to new ones (practices, sensations etc…)


  • Clinging to our deepest desires can bring a certain fire and passion out of us
    • The issue is when we start clinging over petty stuff
    • ==Clinging can be seen as a life force, and we squander it over useless, material stuff==
    • We find ourselves without enough energy to use towards the things that move us deeply
  • We can learn to trust our deep desires - Not falling for the imm ediate, shallow answers

Related: Talks - Beauty of Desire - Rob Burbea | Energy | Rob Burbea