It is when we are threatened with loss that we see our attachments arise. This can be very valuable. We are given the chance to see what it is we are holding on to. Often as we examine like this it is hard to find exactly what aspect is key. This kind of examination can even be enough to let go. As we go through all the details the object as a whole loses its charm over us. If we can begin to recognise the symptoms of attachment we can begin to examine straight away.
It is also important to recognise what attachment feels like: If someone is truly dedicated to Dhamma, to simply see attachment for what it is can already be a breakthrough. An elderly Sri Lankan Buddhist once told me the story of driving his dream car out for the very first time. He braked at a traffic light and the man behind, not seeing the red light failed to brake and piled into the back of his brand new car. He climbed out unhurt but when he saw that the car was a wreck he felt a tremendous rage rising up. Then his long history of practice and reflection made him think simply,
‘Gosh, this is attachment.’
Thinking only that and feeling the terrible anger inside him, he let go and began to laugh. His anger disappeared and he could only think of the time he could tell his fellow Buddhists of the joy he felt at letting go.
I offer this for your reflection