Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Art Of Non-Attachment

The Art of Non-Attachment
Make it work for you!
by Jessalyn Marchal

Many spiritual books and meditations these days, talk about incorporating the Buddhist art of non-attachment into our everyday lives as a means of relieving stress. For some, it may bring up visions of having to give away all of your personal possessions and moving to a mountain top.

If that doesn't quite sound like the choice for you - don't worry. Practicing non-attachment doesn't mean that you stop wanting things, it means that you're open to what the Universe has to offer you - and the possibility that life can be different and better than you imagine. Non-attachment teaches us how to get out of our own way and stop limiting the outcomes of our dreams, goals and wishes, to our own limiting ideas.

Often when we really want something passionately, we attach a whole set of specifics to our dream including exactly what we want and how we expect it to manifest itself. But in doing so, the art of non-attachment suggests we set ourselves up for suffering. Love is a great example. Wanting love in your life is a beautiful desire. The struggle comes when we attach ourselves to the belief that a certain person is the only way to achieve happiness in love. By practicing non-attachment you allow yourself to feel the desire, but you allow the Universe to bring it to you without dictating which package it comes in.

Resistance is futile
Along with non-attachment comes the idea that you are exactly where you need to be right now. Loosen up and relax into the flow of life instead of struggling against the current. Eastern thought tells us that suffering is part of life - the human condition. By giving up the struggle we free up huge amounts of energy that can be put to better use.

This doesn't mean that difficult situations will not arise, but they simply will not be as difficult because you're not fighting against them - you simply accept that these situations (that create suffering) exist and you will counter them as they unfold. We all know our parents will probably die before us, but it doesn't mean that this looming suffering should interfere with enjoying every moment they are with us. By accepting the suffering of their possible death, we can then let it go and enjoy the moments more that we are not suffering.

Monkey mind
Giving your full attention to what is right in front of you, stops "monkey mind" (those wild random incongruous thoughts) from interfering with your intentions. By living each moment as it comes (non-attachment), we allow ourselves to engage in our higher Self, which is more universally connected. If your next task is to wash the dishes, feel the bubbles and plates and cutlery, smell the soap, observe the details instead of rushing through the chore to get to the next one. If you find your thoughts wandering to the future or the past, don't judge yourself, just notice the wandering and gently return to the matter at hand. In this way each moment becomes a form of meditation, connecting us with ourselves and the universe. It is from this centered place that we birth our own enlightenment.

By making the choice to accept (not fight against) suffering and not limit your options is what practicing non-attachment is all about. By leaving the particulars up to the Universe, you get to realize the freedom of unlimited potential and living in the moment.

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