We may think that to detach ourselves means to hate, to ignore, to stand aloof or to be cold and rough toward a given thing. However these are not signs of true detachment.
Every spiritual tradition speaks about detachment, but detachment cannot be confined only to spirituality. Detachment is important in daily life, in pursuit of ambitions, and on the spiritual path. It is of great importance to everyone, whether pursuing spirituality or material success.
Real detachment means inner strength, and the ability to function calmly with equanimity and self mastery under all circumstances. A detached person is not harassed and hurried, and can do everything with concentration and attention, all of which attribute to a successful conclusion to their endeavors.
With detachment you are dis-identifying yourself, but not separating. You are releasing yourself from any “rat packing”. When you have achieved detachment, you are no longer conditioned and controlled by inertia, allurement, and what is happening around you.
Detachment means freedom. It means a truly self-determined attitude. Detachment is being cool and uninvolved on the emotional level. It is definitely not indifference. Indifferent people do not care, do not mind, and are not active and take initiative. On the other hand, a detached person can be very active and caring, though they accept calmly whatever happens. If they cannot do or change something, it does not disturb their peace of mind. On the other hand, if they need to do something, they will pursue it whole-heartily. They will do everything needed to succeed. If it does not work out, they stay calm, and will either try again, or forget the matter and move to something else.
When you are truly detached, personality factors do not disturb or control you. Detachment eliminates personality conflicts and friction. The inner reality, the core of another person becomes the important factor to you, and you help to release that beauty by detaching yourself from personality response, inertia, allurements and illusions. You can see more clearly than before because you are not caught in the net of personality “hullabaloo”.
As you detach you will also see an escalation of people who are learning to detach, people who just like you are stepping back to watch the drama. Pretty soon you won’t be standing alone any more, there’s going to be a whole band of you watching!
Let me give you an example of detachment. When someone says something to you that you do not like, you may become disappointed, angry, or feel down. Why? It is owing to the fact that you value another’s words and opinions, more than you value your thoughts and opinions of yourself. Your happiness and your actions depend on them. On the other hand, if you learn to stay detached, you may choose to listen to what they have to say, and if what they say rings true, you benefit from it. If what they say does not ring true for you, you go on with your life as if nothing was said. It’s that easy!
Detachment develops automatically when one engages in any form of meditation. This could mean the traditional form of sitting on a cushion in silence. Or it could include listening to your favorite music, taking a walk in nature, watching your favorite movie, taking a cat nap: just to name a few. It is a gradual automatic process. Meditation allows thoughts and feelings to flow through: to come and then GO. It is a time for a mental and emotional vacation. Meditating day after day fosters the ability to stay cool and calm, not only during meditation, but also in daily life.
If you practice this mental and emotional vacation, sooner or later you will start to experience detachment. You will find that you feel and behave in a different way under circumstances that previously raised anger or agitation. And you can accept whatever you see without judgment. You will find that you handle your daily affairs of life in a calm and relaxed way.
As you incorporate the process of detachment, you become magnetic! Your unconditional love increases, and your joy deepens. People are naturally drawn to you. Your relationships are no longer based on personality reactions. So, you are not mechanical in your behavior. You radiate your true essence.You are true to yourself and others. You delight in life and all it has to offer!