Clinging

The insufficient elimination of the foul and decaying products of digestion may plunge us into deep melancholy.
— James Harvey Robinson, The Mind in the Making (1921)

This is a universal human physical experience, which I suppose represents unintentional bodily clinging and in the Buddhist scheme of things, the simple pain of inhabiting a body. For this natural discomfort we employ skillful means to correct the condition: exercise, eating more fiber, changes of routine.

It's probably stretching the metaphor, but melancholy also afflicts us when there is insufficient elimination of foul and festering mental formations like greed, hatred, fear, aversion, anger and so on. This is the dukkha that results from clinging. The Buddha offered us medicine to reduce and eliminate the clinging that creates dukkha.

When you practice the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, you will know & see for yourself: ‘These things are diseases, cancers, arrows. And here is where diseases, cancers, & arrows cease without trace. With the cessation of my clinging comes the cessation of becoming. With the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. With the cessation of birth then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering & stress.
— MN. 75

Aside from meditating because we might want to calm the mind, in accordance with the Buddha's prescription, we practice clear seeing to diagnose where we are holding. What are the objects of our attachment? Often, just that awareness provides the condition necessary for some, or complete, relinquishment to take place.

Posted by Deb.