What's on my mind this morning is interesting fact that the in the language of the Buddha, the word for grasping, sometimes it's translated as clinging, the word for grasping is also the same word used for the fuel for grasping. So the word is upadana. And it's, it can mean the fuel for a fire. That what, on what fire burns. And it could also mean grasping and clinging. And there's a way in which grasping something being clinging being attached, is the fuel for more grasping.
And so if I'm allowed to do this example of, you know, if I keep my hand open, that's fine. But if I make a loose fist with my hand, now something exists that didn't exist before, when they had was opened. Now there exists a fist. And now it's possible to become attached to the fist. And, and so I might hold on to a tighter clench a little bit more tightly with my hand. And if I go around with my clenched hand, for a long time, the, it starts to hurt and be uncomfortable. And one response, I might have to that discomfort, is to clench even more to tighten up or this does not feel doesn't feel good. And so there's a progressive way in which I start with something which doesn't exist, I create something which is new, grasping of the hand, that's uncomfortable, or that's something that I'm attached to. And progressively I each step along the way, I'm grasping to what is grasped, the very thing that I'm grasping to, is the source for grasping even more.
And so there's a cycle then, of attachment, if we see attachment is the fuel for more attachment, and that that cycle cannot be broken, if we keep doing more attachment if we keep grasping even more. And so this, you can see this sometimes in the thinking mind, where there is a drive a push to think of preoccupation as strength, or we could say an attachment to grasping to thoughts to ideas, to try and to figure things out, to make plans to make ourselves safe, just swirling around, reviewing the past, what did it you know, repeating the same conversation with someone over and over again. And there's a kind of a drive a pressure to think. And that pressure is the very source for having more pressure, grasping to certain ideas, trying to accomplish something with our thoughts is uncomfort can become uncomfortable. That discomfort, our system reacts to wants to find more comfort. And if it thinks that comfort is found through thinking, then the very, this very, very thing that's causing the discomfort is what will give ourselves over to more to try to figure out even more so becomes a kind of cyclic, cyclic, where we are attached to something we're clinging to something we grasp at something and and that sense of motion sets in motion, or sets the ground a foundation for doing more of the same. And so this thing of doing more of the same that reinforces the same over and over again, when when we're doing something which is unhealthy and stressful for ourselves is not you know, sooner or later we have to realize this is not working.
And for some people, they don't discover that for decades. It's not an easy thing to discover, that the very approach we have to help make ourselves safe or get what we want or in that you know is not is the very source from which is making us unsafe, making a stressful and so grasping is the fuel for more grasping attachment is the fuel for more attachment. So the at some point, we have to step out of this cyclic movement, we have to kind of be willing to somehow realize, Oh, that's not the way anymore. And so in meditation, at some point that becomes a, hopefully, if clear idea, clear sense, you know, it for me to continue thinking this way, it just doesn't work. This this kind of thinking is I'm caught in a labyrinth of self fulfilling, perpetual motion labyrinth that just keeps fueling itself. And I'm going to stop investing in it, I'm going to stop giving myself over to it, I think it's time to step away. And, and we step away into awareness, into the mindfulness, that the mindfulness is not the attachment, the mindfulness of the attachment is a way of stepping away, we can step away into our body, and begin to relax our body. The tension, the stress of grasping, is often expressed or found in tension in our body.
And so if we can relax the body, reduce reduce the tension of the body, it goes a long way, to helping us relax attention in the mind, sometimes attention we have in our mind, we don't have we can't find a way to see what where do I relax, relax, where do I let go? How do I stop this? It's really hard sometimes, when we see it just as a mental thing. But beginning to relax the body, quiet the body, and maybe use mindfulness of breathing or some kind of meditation, to begin calming thinking mind. And this progressive, calming and quieting the body of the mind, releasing attention. At some point, we get to the point where it says, oh, you know, I can just not think anymore. This way, I don't have to be caught in this discursive thinking. So okay, enough, and then maybe for a few moments, you can get quiet, for a few moments, you can have this mental peace and quiet. And then you can focus more on the breathing. And then, and then. So just as grasping is a fuel for more grasping. At some point, the equation switches over that. That piece is the fuel for more peace. Calm is the fuel for more calm, clarity is the food for more clarity. And, and you can feel that. So if I open my hand, and feel how nice it is to have an open hand, it's relaxed and open. And at ease, then that is feeling that ease is support for having worries that I do it, I can find myself feel the ease of my head, I feel my shoulders release a little bit. And, and I value that. And so I stay close to that feeling of ease. And so the slightest little movement to tighten up, I notice that oh, wait a minute, the piece that's there, that's the way forward, it's I relaxed my hand. So, to begin understanding this principle can be very helpful. To be willing to see that grasping is the fuel for more grasping. And letting go that grasping is the way towards peace.
But it's not as linear way to peace, sometimes why we were grasping is to protect ourselves or get away from or cope with difficulties in our life, strong emotions, difficult emotions that we might have. And, and so we have to sometimes go through that and really feel what's going on. So an example I gave of grasping the hand, if I do a light grasp, clenching of the head, and then that feels uncomfortable, I'm trying to get away from that discomfort and I clench even more. As I relax the hand, I might feel that initial layer where it was uncomfortable, and it might feel very, very uncomfortable. I'm not I don't like being there and and then I clench even more. So we have to learn to be willing to go through this feeling of discomfort as we do this layer releasing the layers of grasping that we have until we come to the place where peace is the fuel for more peace, clarity is the fuel for fuel for more clarity.
So thank you for all very much for all this And we'll continue tomorrow. And maybe by tomorrow or next day, we'll have a sense of the theme for the week. Today, I'm just kind of didn't didn't come up with a fee theme for this week. So, I just kind of coming along as we come into coming along as we go today, this week, next week, will will be a theme. And, and that will start the, the series on the four foundations of mindfulness and based on the sati Putana sutra, the discourse on on, on non mindfulness that the Buddha taught. It'll be comparable to the how we did Anapanasati, beginning of last year, the mindfulness of breathing, but it will go through it systematically over a few weeks. So, so this week, maybe no theme yet. Thank you all very much.