DVD28: Breaking Chains

Fetters and Freedom

Easwaran shows us how to break our self-willed habits to establish a calm mind, and shows how we become the victims of our own selfish desires unless we convert them into selfless action.

Talk 28a: Breaking Chains - The core of this talk on Chapter 26 of the Dhammapada is a penetrating analysis of how we can break the chains of our self-willed habits. Easwaran then moves on to one of his favorite topics: spiritual acting. The point of spiritual acting is not to deny that we have negative reactions, but to have the detachment to act independently of that reaction, until we can reestablish calm in our mind.

Talk 28b: Fetters & Freedom - Easwaran begins by quoting the Buddha, who tells us that our selfish tendencies are like “fetters” or “manacles” or “chains” around our wrists. Selfish desires – for money and material possessions, for power, or for our own pleasure even – all make us their victims, breaking up our relationships and locking up our ability to love. What he recommends is that we convert our petty, personal, selfish desires into an “over-powering, all-embracing desire to leave the world a little better.”