Translated from 追求离苦得乐是执着吗？ – 法心尊者答疑 第186问，approved by author.
A friend asked:
Greetings, Venerable Sir!
Is the pursuit of being free from suffering an attachment? Is this the right understanding?
Thank you for answering!
A: This is called the desire for wholesome objects. There is surely a sequence of practice. For example, we just mentioned this joy in practice. At the preliminary stage of practice we deal with the five hindrances, and as the five hindrances are calmed down, you will have joy arising, strong joy. This joy is a good thing. It means that your practice is effective and progressing.
As your mind becomes calmer and your samadhi becomes deeper, for example, when you reach the third jhana, you will find that this joy is also coarse and fabricated, and then at this time in order to enter a deeper jhana, you have to remove this joy as well. But it’s not like you start out by saying, “Oh, I’ve got joy. This book says that I have to remove joy in the third jhana, so I’ll remove it right away. That’s not possible. That’s fooling yourself.
You only need to remove the afflictions and then move toward a right direction. When you get to a point where, for example, something that used to be useful to you may now be a hindrance to your practice, then at that point you abandon it, instead of thinking to yourself “The masters say don’t cling to the boat” before the river has even been passed. You are still on this side, and you throw away the boat; or you are in the middle of the river, and you will throw away the boat, then you will surely be drowned.
Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator with amendments.