the human problem- if we have a claim on something can we appreciate it?
thomas merton (a trappist monk) said that, 'renounciation isnt- i will never have anything to do with it, but it is simply not claiming it anymore as a given. therefore you will become grateful for what 'you didnt know you had until it was gone.'
Buddhists say -instead of running away from something, just dont let yourself become attached to it
2 monks are in a desert and saw a woman that needed to cross a creek. one monk went and picked up the girl, carried her across the creek, put her down, and then the 2 monks left. later, the 2nd monk said, 'why did you pick up that women? we arent supposed to touch them.' and the first monk said, 'when i put her down, i put her down. you are the one who still has her in your mind.'
even though the monk had touched the woman, he had already renounced claim to the desire of women- so it didnt effect him. and though the other monk had never touched the woman- he had not renounced his claim on desire for women, therefore was attached to his desire without even commiting an act.
when merton had parties or went out to see jazz or drink beer- he would enjoy it. but the next day it would be over and he wouldnt even think about it for maybe 3 more years before his next outing.
-being in the world, but not of it-
(this rocks bc its totally the nonreligious mindset we have to take on to beable to live in the world without falling to its vices and without becoming legalistic)