When we believe that something is ours and when that something is taken away from us, it brings us immense pain.
Here’s the concept of attachment :
We tend to get attached to and hold on to the material possessions, ideas of ourselves, standards of living that we think defines us and our relationships
Attachment is the main source of pain and misery in life and yet that’s not the reason why we should try and be detached. The main reason that we should practice detachment in our lives is the fact that detachment has the power to completely change our lives in ways that we never thought were ever possible!
Apart from making us intellectually stronger and getting greater control of our mind and life, detachment allows us to appreciate every single thing in our life to a greater extent!
Detachment: What is detachment?
The monk mind practices detachment. The monks say that everything from our houses to families is borrowed and that we own nothing in this world.
By believing deeply that everything is borrowed only let’s us be more grateful for the things we have at the moment without getting attached to it.
This way these things won’t have power over us and not become sources of pain or fear.
Detachment is not that you own nothing, but that nothing should own you
The monks say
- “Accept the temporary nature of everything in our lives and feel gratitude for the good fortune of getting to borrow them for a time”
- It’s about understanding and accepting that all things are temporary, and that we can’t truly own or control anything, so that we can fully appreciate these things and they enhance our life rather than be a source of gripping and fear.
Now some might be wondering, well where do we draw the line for detachment? Being detached from everything sounds very lonely and sad right?
And how does detachment work in romantic relationships?
Let’s explore them all in this article:
Detachment doesn’t mean you don’t care
When you detach yourself from your earthly desires, you can observe your mind from a distance in order to see more clearly
If it isn’t for our desires, how would YOU live your life?
Being a guy who has been running after excitement and pleasure my whole life, this realization was very important and lifechanging to me.
Because we are not just our desires, right? When we disconnect and detach ourselves from our desires, we see ourselves more clearly.
Detaching means escaping the hold of your senses,from our selfish interests, from being right, from being seen in a certain way and from what we want right now at the moment.
When we detach from our own self, we become an objective observer.
Detachment gets us every form of self awareness!
Detachment is not that you own nothing. It’s that nothing owns you.
Greatest detachment is being close to everything and not letting it consume or own you
It’s also important to realize that “ Detachment is not a destination that one arrives at, but a process that one must constantly and consciously undertake”
Detachment doesn’t mean we don’t care:
Oftentimes people ask, how does detachment work in romantic relationships and between loved ones and family.
Being detached in such loving relationships takes the form of realizing that what we have is precious and beautiful and we have it now at this moment but we realize things could possibly change in the future.
It’s not that you don’t care by detachment. If anything we appreciate it more. That we are on borrowed time. That we own nothing
Detachment techniques: How to practice Detachment?
Would you believe me if I said that there are so many ways to practice detachment? We can do so many experiments with the things that we are attached to, to realize the kind of person we become when we re detached from it
This is all to overcome the demands of our senses.
When I personally tried some of the experiments mentioned below, I often tried to avoid feeling the discomfort of the experiment!
But the whole point of these experiments is to practice detachment and to get absorbed into something higher to let go of these thoughts and cravings.
Experiments done in discomforts such as :
- Meditating in heat or cold
These experiments help us detach from our own body’s needs.
When we are experimenting as such, it’s important to be an observer of our mind, and try and control the cravings we would have and stay in the discomfort.
These exercises would definitely help anyone push their limits, mentally,physically and emotionally to be able to strengthen our ability to control our own minds.
Pushing the limits that exists in our brains gets us flexibility and adaptability and makes us less reliant on such things to keep us happy
When we are experimenting as such our focus shifts from attaining and eating food to just focusing on our mind. We might feel physically weaker after this but we will be mentally stronger.
OTHER EXPERIMENTS / WAYS TO PRACTICE DETACHMENT:
Travelling with no shelter, food or money
This sounds like being homeless and broke right? And this is exactly what everyone in this world wants to avoid and not end up doing.
This is a detachment technique used by monks who travel across the villages of India. Monks who have had so much wealth growing up but who chose to walk this path.
These people describe this experiment as a way to realize that we as humans need very little to get by. The experience would help us detach from so many ideologies and expectations that the world set for us
Again, the end goal isn’t to be homeless and penniless. This experiment would help you control your mind to a level you haven’t even imagined to be possible and we would just learn to love and enjoy the things we do have in our lives!
A week of silence:
This experiment can be the most difficult of all to execute in this modern world. We are connected to everything and everyone
Most of us can’t since we have our day jobs and we are highly reliant on our speech for both professional and personal life.
Yet let me just explain what this can do to a person :
NOTE : Humans are social beings and we need good people and social life to be fulfilled in life. This is just an experiment and not a way of life.
When we cannot talk, we are left with our thoughts that go unexpressed. Right?
Over time to be able to sustain a week or more without expressing we need to make our journey inside. To start communicating with ourselves. To be able to tolerate the mental chaos and detach ourselves from the need to express.
“We make our mind our friend”
ADVANTAGES OF DETACHMENT:
Often all that holds us back from the impossible is the belief that it is impossible.
Such experiments do push our limits and we get to explore and experience the world with a different perspective.
- These austerities (experiments) help you not just to disconnect from your desires but also from the ideas that limit you : Will also make you intellectually stronger.
- We get to control our minds to another extent
- Our mental and emotional limits are very flexible and we can tolerate and move through a lot of hardships without breaking
- Instead of reactively doing what we want, we proactively evaluate the situation and do what’s right.
- Our capabilities increase and what’s possible for us to achieve in this life also exponentially improves.
Things you can try :
- Giving up TV, Netflix
- Alcohol, smoke, sweets
- Stay away from gossip comparison and complaining.
- Meditating in cold n heat or for hours.
Process : How to Detach?
- Spot the things u are attached to
- Analyse it first. Do you want to reduce it, eliminate it, see how you think it change if you are away from it for a week or a month
- Swap in a new behavior : Could be anything. Behaviors that match your personality. Or maybe work on your to-do list
- Look for new behaviors that helps you get the same effect as the detached ones
Just like how we accept that our bodies need sleep, brushing, cleaning and eating everyday. Our minds require nurturing too. Be patient. Take care of it.