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Mindful Leadership

“Attachment” is the Most Insidious of the Hindrances

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Have you ever noticed how attached we are to so many things?  In fact, attachment or craving is the root of all suffering as the Buddha taught 2,500 years ago.  Not much has changed!

Attachment can take obvious forms, such as attachment to position, status, conspicuous consumption, etc.  Or, it can take very subtle forms such as attachment to comfortable weather or having our coffee be brewed “just” right.

But, there is a form of attachment that is downright dangerous to inner peace, as well as world peace. And that is an attachment to our beliefs, our views or our judgments. Wars have been fought on this basis, relationships destroyed and careers sidetracked. As leaders, if we hold beliefs too deeply without examining that tendency, we cut ourselves off from information.  Eventually people only tell us what we want to hear.  And we then make decisions on limited or incomplete information.

When we hold this kind of attachment we separate ourselves from others. We are no longer aware of the interconnectedness of all things.

As a Mindful leader our objective is to shine awareness when we hold a belief so strongly that it impedes us from listening to another person.  After all, they may hold their own belief as strongly as we hold ours.  In those circumstances no one listens to anyone.  Notice how many so called conversations occur with this attitude.  Our challenge and opportunity is to stay open and present when we just can’t listen to another second of what is being said. In so doing, we might learn a great deal about the other person and about ourselves.

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