Home » Letters » How To Handle Attachment To Mementoes

Question: I know that we should not cling, but sometimes, I cling to things like used movie tickets. I keep them because I want to remember the good memories I had, and am afraid that I might forget them someday. This doesn’t feel totally alright – perhaps due to the presence of some fear. What do you think?

Answer: Actually, the tickets printed on thermal paper nowadays fade away quickly. This represents the truth of impermanence too. So, there is not much value in clinging to them.  You might as well write or blog about the value of the movies (e.g lessons learnt) after watching them mindfully to share with your friends. With mindfulness, there is less tendency to forget. (E.g. a sample movie review: http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2011/12/do-you-see-the-invisible-bodhisattvas-in-your-life) Writing and sharing helps to internalise and spread the learnt too, and makes the lessons harder to forget. This sure beats crummy decaying tickets that also represent memories dissolving. If you cling to them, they only bring about subtle suffering eventually.

Question: True, how about the tendency to buy souvenirs and taking lots of photos each time I go overseas? I remember having snapped more than 1000 photos on a trip!

Answer: Actually, to simply your life, there’s no need to buy so many souvenirs – just take pictures of them! And write about them too, as above. The pictures can remind you what to write. After that, whether the pictures are kept or not is optional. With mindfulness, the mind takes enduring pictures too. Without mindfulness, even 1000 pictures taken can become forgotten. But be mindful not to cling to the writings too! Writing mindfully helps to internalise the learnt on the mind. After that, there is no need to keep thinking of them. Lessons learnt are the real souvenirs for every trip we make in life.

Question: Yes, I guess all I did was just busy snapping pictures, not really being mindful of the present moment!

Share This:

One Response to “How To Handle Attachment To Mementoes”

  1. Remember not to cling on to your tickets, if you are attached to them, it may cause us to rebirth in the lower realms or suffering.
    we have to remember that we cannot take it with us when we die.

Leave a Reply

Name (required please)

Email (required, will not be published)

Website (optional)