In life, change is a constant that you may have heard many times. And, if you look back on your life.
You’ll notice that a lot has changed since your childhood. That means that nothing stays the same forever.
Practicing non-attachment will help you to go through these changes peacefully. Because if you attach yourself to a person, a thing, or an outcome, then you suffer.
Why do you suffer?
See if you look at what an attachment means? It means clinging to someone or something because you believe it belongs to you.
When you are attached to someone, you expect that person to behave and love you in a certain way. But you never consider if that person does not love you or acts in the way you want, or maybe wants to leave you.
You will experience a wide range of negative emotions. You begin to suffer from symptoms such as anxiety, depression, anger, hatred, and others.
If you are attached to a thing, like your car or old furniture or a house, you expect it to appear in a certain way.
And whenever you design your life goals, whether related to your career, business, or family, you expect them to come out in a certain way. It is because you get attached to it.
Then the same thing happens when you have certain expectations about your goals or about anything you own. And when you do not get them. You end up suffering as a result.
The Buddha said, “the root of suffering is attachment.”
Does that mean you stop loving?
No, that does not mean you stop loving people or things. And you should have no life goals. Your job is to accept the situation as it is and not to expect to be in control.
You allow your loved ones to love you the way they want. And you do not expect anything from them.
Because if they leave you tomorrow, something that happens in life too. Then you do not suffer as you believe you are complete. So, no matter who stays or goes, you do not feel empty.
When you understand that nothing is permanent in life, and everything will change in life. Then it becomes easier to practice non-attachment because no person or anything completes you.
You are already complete with or without them. It is also a sign that you love them truly because you free them. And do not expect anything from them.
And allow them to do what they want to do at that moment. The problem is when you hold on and do not let go, then you both suffer. It is most of the time if you become attached to it.
Similarly, if something goes wrong with your favorite things, such as your car or home, you get hurt. If you do not achieve your life goals as you think you should, you get stressed.
The solution to this is to accept that in life, everything changes, and nothing is permanent. Life becomes easier to live when you are not attached to anything.
These are the reasons why you should practice non-attachment. However, there is a common misconception that non-attachment entails becoming cold, emotionless, and ending a relationship.
But, in reality, practicing non-attachment means accepting what comes and allowing it to go when the right time comes. Because what is yours will be yours effortlessly.
Before you understand why you should practice non-attachment, you must first know the distinctions between them.
It will give you a clear picture of why you should practice non-attachment and not attachment.
When you get attached to anything, then particular kinds of emotions get involved.
Like our desire that certain things should remain the way they are. And our desire to change things the way they are.
The attachment has two sides:
Things you want in your life
What happens when you take a vacation to a beautiful location and make the most of it?
You wish that you could stop time here, and it never ends.
Because it gives you a pleasant feeling, and once you become attached to that feeling, you want things to stay the same.
Things you do not want in your life
When you have a dentist appointment the next day and you don’t want to go. That is because it is painful and gives you an unpleasant feeling.
If you get attached to that feeling, then you wish that you could change it.
Typically, an attachment has two phases. We desire that pleasant things remain the way they are and our desire for unpleasant things to change.
No matter what, everything changes in life. And when a pleasant thing changes that you do not want to change, it leads you to pain.
Psychological suffering because there is no pleasant thing that always remains with you. As a result, if you develop a habitual attachment to pleasant things, as everyone does.
Without a doubt, what we are going to do is suffer.
Attachment leads to self-identification
Another important aspect of attachment is that we identify with it. It relates to us, to who we are, and what we see ourselves.
In other words, attachment is the link between a part of the world and what we perceive to be ourselves. We see things, and we identify with those things as who we are.
Whether it is a particular type of political or national persuasion. We identify with our country and the cities to which we belong.
Of course, this identification has its pleasant aspects. That is why we do it, but it also leads us to longer-term suffering.
When you identify yourself with your family, no doubt this has a positive impact on you.
However, it is essential to consider the other side of the coin, as it can also have negative consequences. How? Many times in life, you face disagreements with your family, don’t you?
You may have some trouble with them. They may have treated you poorly in some way or in a way that you would not have expected.
And you suffer because you never expected that from them. So, having attachments is a normal part of life, but it can also be a problem. That is why we must learn how to overcome it.
It would be beneficial for all of us if we could see that there could be a problem. It is critical to learn how to minimize this in the whole scheme of things.
What exactly is non-attachment?
Non-attachment is a state of mind in which we do not readily or so readily identify with certain aspects of the world.
We do not so readily see things as mine, as who I am. More importantly, where I am from or the family to which I belong.
As we minimize them, we lead ourselves to a stage of non-attachment and the stage of non-attachment is a kind of equanimity stage.
Equanimity stage of mind:
When we are in a state of mind known as equanimity, and we are in a quantum state, we are less likely to be pulled in this direction.
That is the worldly wind of success and failure. We do not readily identify with either success or failure. Because we will see both success and failure in life.
Of course, that does not mean we should not be successful. We should not strive to become better or attempt to do good things in our lives.
But that means that we should be concerned with not identifying ourselves with outcomes.
As there is no guarantee of what the outcome will be, that is why it is important to find enjoyment in the process. It is fantastic if the correct results occur.
And if it does not, we will accept it with equanimity and move on.
Non-attachment has near enemy.
Non-attachment is the polar opposite of attachment, just as the polar opposite of non-attachment is the near enemy. It is a state which sounds like non-attachment, but it is not.
Many times, we all mistake one for the other, when the fact is, they are the opposite of each other. Indifference or disinterest is the closest enemy of non-attachment.
We might think that being indifferent to the way things are or disinterested in the way things are. That is the right way to practice non-attachment.
But here is the thing: it would not be a bad idea. Because disinterest or indifference means a kind of complete emotion divorced from what is happening in the world.
Whatever the specific cases that we are not interested in, and we all know that this happens in life sometimes. All of us have things that we are disinterested in doing.
That is not always a problem, but it is also not a non-attachment. Non-attachment is the kind of mental state that is not only compatible with kindness and compassion.
But along with comes kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. These are four Brahma viharas.
That is a divine state of mind, short of the higher state of mind or the higher emotional state we are trying to cultivate. So, non-attachment should be a “kind state of mind”. It should be a state of kindness.
There, we show kindness to things but do not identify with them. We do not think of them as mine; we do not think of them as a part of who I am.
But, despite this, we stay kind and compassionate to them. Whereas looking at them with disinterest or non-interest.
In other words, not getting involved on stage means looking at them with complete blankness rather than compassion.
It is about not looking upon them with kindness. It only looks at them with disinterest, which is quite different.
What is the purpose of practicing non-attachment?
The only reason why you should practice non-attachment is that attachment is not genuine love. The issue is that we confuse the concept of love with attachment.
We believe that grasping and clinging in relationships expresses our love.
That is an attachment that causes pain. Because the more we grasp, the more afraid we are of losing them, and if we do, we will suffer as a result.
So, to fully know the concept, let us hear from people who have been doing this for a long time. There is one famous Buddhist monk called Tenzin Palmo Jetsunma.
She is an author, a teacher, and the founder of the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery in Himachal Pradesh, India.
She has explained this very well. Please watch the video as she has described the concept beautifully.
Video Source: Gisèle Ferreira de Souza
Humans have a natural tendency to become attached to almost everything they come into contact with.
Some people you may know have an attachment to their house, car, or bank account because of their physical or financial wealth.
Some people are attached to things, like fame or power, their external ability to be in a certain way in the world.
But we share the strongest and the deepest kind of attachment with people. Exclusively with family and friends, that is where our attachments tend to reside.
But the fact is, attachment is not the same as love, or kindness, or compassion.
We tend to mix the two by believing that attachment is love, kindness, or compassion, but they are different.
Attachment is more ego-driven than love, and it is more about seeing the other as a part of oneself.
It is the intensity of intense emotions and an intense feeling of closeness. Many of us confuse these emotions with love because they feel very intense and, in fact, at times, they feel very positive.
They are such intense emotions that, when they are successful, make you feel very delightful and joyful.
But there is a distinction between the two. The attached emotions are different from non-attached (loving) emotions.
Attached emotions control, whereas non-attached emotions free loved ones.
- The attached emotions say, “Do what I want you to do.”
- Non-attached emotions say, “Do whatever makes you happy or whatever you feel is good for you.”
- Attached emotions tell you, “You have to stay with me, and we have to be together.”
- Non-attached emotions tell you, “If it makes you happy and if it is the best thing for you, then let’s stay together.”
- Dissolve your ego.
- It turned into silence and stillness.
- Set others free to grow.
- It encourages bravery and self-sacrifice.
- It makes us more objective.
- There are no desires to be fulfilled by others.
- Accept loved ones exactly as they are.
- Encourage peace.
- Believe in collaboration.
- Believe in the power of giving because love stems from wholeness.
- Give your ego a boost.
- Complaint of gain and loss
- Control and hold others tight.
- Multiply fear and hatred
- Cloud our judgment
- Fulfills their desires through others.
- They do not accept love as it is and wish to improve it.
- Breeds conflict and fear.
- Believe in taking because ego love is born of emptiness.
True love is defined by great kindness and a compassionate approach to every relationship. Indeed, there is less high intensity to a large extent because you are open to more options.
Options that make them feel free. By doing that, you make yourself free too. Because if they do not do it according to you, you will suffer.
The high intensity of attachment can be a type of drug that gives you a good feeling. But it tends to have a very extensive letdown. Because there is a lack of distinctions that you see between yourself and others.
This can be unhealthy because when you think somebody is a part of you. Then what you are doing is trying to control others.
How to love in freedom?
Before that, it is necessary to understand what pure love looks like.
Imagine people in your life who you truly love, and they say they no longer want to stay with you.
Maybe they no longer want to be with you, and they do not want to love you back. Would that change your feelings for them? And if your answer is yes, it will change.
And your feelings switch from love to anger and resentment just because they have rejected you. They want to leave without you, or they may no longer feel the same way you do.
Then there is no more love because your feelings have changed. Because pure love is something that you give them for free and do not expect anything back.
Genuine love stems from wholeness, and, as a result, there are no strings attached. It is necessary to know that love and freedom are inextricably linked.
Because libration is at the heart of love.
When you love your loved ones, you want them to be free, and you put no conditions on them. You liberate them as well as yourself.
And when love comes from the ego, it wants everything for itself, and it works like this. It says I love you. I want you to be happy, but I also want you to change according to me.
I want you to make me happy and I want you to complete me because I love you. There are so many strings attached to ego love.
True love, on the other hand, is something you give away for free, with no expectations or strings attached.
The question now is, how do you practice love in freedom?
Yes, to practice love in freedom, you need some tips and tricks to bring them into practice. There is one video that I came across while searching for this topic.
Which I strongly feel could help you to a great extent.
Christina Lopes is a woman who assists people with their spiritual awakening. And I found her channel on YouTube.
There is one video on her channel where she answers the question of how to love freely. She went into great detail about the answer in that case.
This is how she perceives attachment and love. She says that love and attachment are like a Venn diagram.
If love and attachment were a Venn diagram, you would have love in one circle, and attachment in the other. And the intersection of the circle would be what she calls a glorious mess.
The video will assist you in fully grasping this concept.
Let us get into the video, and below is a video that will give you some great tips and tricks.
Video Source: Christina Lopes, DPT, MPH