The art of detachment is a Buddhist technique that also has its Christian counterpart. The technique works like this; be in the world but not of it. Jesus taught this and likely learned it from his Buddhist teachers. What this means is to fully experience life and at the same time release any attachment you have to it. It is very simple once fully understood, however getting to this point can sometimes take years or even lifetimes. I pray this blog assists you in the process.
As you are fully immersed in your life understand that everything is a reflection of who you are, this is why you are drawn to it. The partner you love so much is a reflection of who you are, but they are not you. The town you were born in, the town you grew up in, or the town you fell in love with is a reflection of who you are, but it is not where you are. Your favorite drinking cup, diamond earrings, dream car, childhood football, and all the things you are attached to for sentimental reasons are a reflection of who you are, however they are not what you are. Embracing these facts is the first step in the art of detachment.
Allowing yourself to fully love a person, place, or thing while remaining free of any attachment to it is the goal. Understand that you are both connected and separate from everything in life. Not being attached means being able to give it to someone else. It can also mean being able to walk away from it without feeling you have lost anything. Through the principle of Oneness you realize that everyone and everything is of the One, a drop from the sea of life.
If however you think of this process as a loss, the actual power from this attachment is being held onto and the effect is disempowering. So even if the person, place, or thing is long gone, until you consciously or unconsciously give it away you remained attached to it and thus disempowered. It is like having a glass that is full, there is no way to pour in more water.
When you long for something you experienced before this can be nostalgic and society teaches this is a good thing. In reality nostalgia is disempowering. Each experience is a unique gift that cannot be repeated exactly. Living in the past is not living at all. When you love the experience in the moment – laughing, appreciating, and engaging life – this is living!
Being able to move on to the next experience without missing people, places, and things of the past is the art of detachment. You can experience these things again any time you like and this is why many people will live in the same town all their life, or drink coffee, or go for walks, or because they love the experience (the feeling it brings). What you are ultimately getting is an experience of yourself!
“Detachment means rising above the status quo, without passing judgment, and watching the drama unfold without becoming physically or emotionally involved. Detachment doesn’t mean burying your head in the sand so that you need not watch the action as it unfolds; it means, being there, observing from an objective space, and remembering who you are, a spiritual being watching the drama of polarization reach its climax and fail so that a new paradigm of victory can be birthed by those of us who refuse to buy into a perpetual game of winners and losers. Detachment addresses the need of the spiritually inclined to remove oneself from the chaos while observing and learning valuable lessons about this temporary physical existence. … But remember, we are spiritual beings having a human experience and not the other way around. So we can remove ourselves from the drama when we’ve learned all we need to know about polarization and separation. When we finally realize who we really are, and how we are all equally part of the same creative manifestation, we will finally learn the fine art of detachment and the truth behind our cosmic ancestry and oneness.” (Dawn Abel, 2002)
The key is to tap into your desire and experience it fully, and once experienced you release it and move to the next. Here is a different view of Detachment that provides a deeper insight to its value and use.
“Detachment not only releases joy; it is also the secret of health. It is the best medical insurance in the world, and not only because it can keep us free from physical habits that sap our vitality. Most illness has a serious emotional element. While there is an important place for physical measures in the treatment of disease, a mind at peace, and a heart flooded with love can release healing powers that strengthen and revitalize the physical system. Strength can be regained even after years of emotional instability. In extreme cases, I believe, recovery can be brought about even from what seems a terminal illness.
Today, of course, it is widely appreciated that because of advances in medical knowledge, we can expect to live much longer than was reasonable at the beginning of the twentieth century. But we can lead lives that are not only longer but richer, more loving, and more productive. The next steps in stretching the limits of human health and longevity, I believe, will not be in biotechnology. They will come from learning to govern the way we think and feel. Detachment is a longevity skill. Freedom from compulsive emotional entanglements is the best insurance against stress. More than that, by opening a window onto a fuller, loftier view of life than that dictated by self-interest, detachment brings a sense of purpose. Without a reason for living, the human being withers and dies inside. However paradoxical it may sound, it is detachment that enables us to give ourselves wholeheartedly to worthwhile work without ever getting depressed, despondent, or burned out – right into the last days of our lives.” (The Blue Mountain Center of Meditation)
I wish I could describe the feeling of Joy that comes from detachment, but I will just say “Give it a go – put this to the test”! Completely love your partner, family, pet, job, home, etc. without being attached to any outcomes.