Escapism vs true escape, which is liberation

I am finally back home from my retreat and training.  I missed our Sangha but it’s good to remember that Sangha travels with you whenever you go. 

We had a great conversation tonight as we continued with our discussion on the Ten Fetters.  We discussed Desire for Material Form (clinging to embodiment) and Desire for Nonmaterial Form (clinging to disembodiment).  These two fetters can seem a lot like the two previous – Desire and Ill Will but they are very different.  Desire for material and immaterial forms is related to our projection of the self into becoming something or getting lost in not wanting to become something.  

Both point out our attempts to “escape” some unpleasantness in the present moment. In actually we are not “escaping” anything.   We are instead going deeper into the rabbit hole.  It is, in a sense, the ultimate illusion of “escape”.  True escape comes in seeing the trap of these fetter.  It comes from seeing how these fetters keep us tied to suffering,  lamentation,  sorrow,  grief and pain and from seeing the true door of escape comes from not adding or taking away from the present moment. 

This week try noticing how you seek to avoid the present moment.  Notice when you are projecting out into the future or when you get lost in something so you can cope with the present. See if you can just notice. We’ll talk about what, if anything,  you saw next week. 

With a deep bow….



One response to “Escapism vs true escape, which is liberation

  1. Thanks for posting this. I’m going through this exact thing. I’ve been doing a “spirtiual cleanse” for the last few month specifically from intoxicants. More seriously the last month or so and I can see all these other addictions I use to hide from the present moment. The internet, food, romantic crushes, etc. I know what its like to feel true refuge, but the actual abiding in that refuge is super challenging and sometimes feels impossible. So, I take the momentary escape instead of the highly improbable true escape.

    I do know that true escape is possible and I’ve had moments of abiding.. though the pressures of the world brings me back to suffering and instead of continuing to go for true escape, I go for the cheap ones.

    Thanks for the reminder about the rabbit hole of cheap escapes. I needed that reminder.

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