Understanding Detachment and the Meaning behind This ‘Spiritual’ Philosophy

Post by VanCityLifeCoach.com

“Attachment is the root of suffering.” – The Buddha

Detachment

I’ve been reading a lot about detachment, or non-attachment if you rather and like most, I’ve always believed the philosophy of detachment simply meant not letting material possessions have rule over your life. Which I guess is true, but teachings suggest that detachment roots much deeper than that. That one must detach oneself from people, emotions, thoughts and desires…basically, all the things we latch onto that give our lives meaning and purpose are none and void, if we wish to experience true freedom; liberation.

I was beginning to feel a little bewildered by the concept because it conflicted with a lot of my own ideas and beliefs. For one, I thoroughly enjoy connecting with people, so does this also mean that love keeps us from ever reaching this experience too?

After raising more questions and failing to firmly grasp the concept, I continued on with my day. It was only when I began my daily meditation that the concept re-entered my mind. As I sat there, cross-legged and awkwardly ready to achieve stillness and serenity, I was overcome by answers.

Detachment doesn’t necessarily mean living life a recluse and closing off connections and interactions to the world around us. Nor does it mean finding a spiritual place to live out the rest of our days trying to reach a higher level on consciousness. I began recognizing detachment as building a more mindful relationship with life, and how that journey towards mindfulness begins from within.

I always talk about identity and living life by the true values of who you are, by doing so you guide your life in a more fulfilled direction. I still believe this and it aligns with everything I’ve learned recently too.

Detachment is not about creating distance, I feel it’s more about understanding the true significance of life so that we better connect to it. For instance what do my possessions mean to me? Well if you think about it, they don’t actually mean anything. As a living organism; as a force of life, my possessions really have no value.

So feeling like I learned something amazing, I shared this conclusion with a friend of mine and he said “well what if you were on a life support machine, you’d need that wouldn’t you?” Ah…that got me thinking and the thought kept me up for a couple of nights as my mind was once again riddled.

A few days had passed and I was writing a letter to a client of mine. I was fully engaged in a state of flow and out of nowhere I found the response to my friend’s question: ‘Well why am I, or would I, be afraid to die?’ That one realization blew my understanding of attachment wide open, particularly how attachment causes us to fear/avoid one of life’s uncomplicated and inevitable outcomes. At that moment I felt completely present. I finally understood the significance of detachment and how it fits in with life’s most basic principles, right up there with death and breathing.

I started to look at my life much more closely, everything from brushing my teeth in the morning through to picking up my nephew for a cuddle after work. What does it all mean to life, not my life, just life in general? My nephew has only existed for several months and now I feel I can’t live without him…how and why does this impact my life so much? How and why does this rule my life? Each answer only raised these same questions.

The more I broke down my life and especially as I delved into my past, I noticed how little control and influence I had over it. I clearly wasn’t grasping what life meant at all. I was living life attached and as a result, I was indeed suffering: from my lack of confidence (controlled by what other people thought of me), to the fear of paving my own path (expectations from and responsibilities to those around me)…it all made complete sense.

I’m thinking that maybe we could all use a little less attachment in our lives, to step away and embrace actual life. Maybe I’ve got it completely lost in translation or just maybe, I’ve stumbled upon the beginning of something more definitive for myself.

I am also realizing that detachment has just as much, if not more to do with the physical realm than it does with the spiritual. I think detachment isn’t this glorious concept that I’ve always thought it to be, I think the true beauty and power behind this philosophy lies within its simplicity.

Either way, this recent experience has at the very least, taught me to keep my mind and my eyes wide open; to be more mindful and aware, and that outcome alone is priceless.

VanCity

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If I Had All the Money in the World…

Money

If I posed the question, “What would you be doing right now, if money was no object?” You’d probably be able to answer it quite easily. Some of you may even have several different answers, each one just as fantastical and glamorous as the last, but how truthful would your answer be?

To be honest, the answers you construct wouldn’t matter anyway, the detail you should be focusing on, is how different your life is now to that of your fantasy? Or rather, why is a fantasy so appealing?

When you find that life isn’t quite shaping out the way you had hoped, where life just isn’t exciting and that it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi, questions like these tend to arise simply because you desire something better.

The problem with this particular question, is that it never really forces you to face your true desires. Having more money just gives you the option to escape into a belief of fulfillment. You’ll probably base your answers on what you’ve seen on the telly or what’s been covered in those shiny magazines, because those people look so happy.

If you truly seek change and you really want to build a better life for yourself, you should start by asking yourself “What decisions would you make right now, if you could make them without any consequences?”

You live your everyday life chained to responsibility and ideology without giving yourself the opportunity to really explore the depth of your identity. If you had the ability to make a consequence-free decision right now, what would it be? If you could leave it all behind where would you take your life? What purpose would you fulfill/discover?

Ask yourself these questions and face the honesty that you probably live with but never ponder. Really get to grips with a reality where you are in full control of your life. Where life is dictated by the very traits of who you are, rather than what you can do with how much you’re worth. For once just think about doing something for yourself that probably only you would understand.

Until you face what it is you truly want from life, you’re never going to live. Life is way too valuable to live idly.

I know there’s definitely some work ahead of me to attain the life I want to live, but I know with each word I write, each person I coach and each effort I make to build a more fulfilled life for myself, I’ll never need to find comfort in escapism, for I’m already on a road to where I want to be.

Allowing myself to think freely in this way, has allowed me to configure my goals independently and tap into the heartbeat of my own desires.

Even for just a moment, take consequences out of the equation and it’s remarkable what you may learn about yourself and/or what it is you actually want. Face some truths so that you can navigate your life towards something more fulfilling

Don’t become just another irritated soul trying to fit into this world, become a liberated one and claim your place in it.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How the Other Half Live: Scaling Honesty

The Honesty Scale

 

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have, within it are the very ideas that will guide you to your dream.

For most, those ideas are often hidden or contained within barriers of emotion and perceived threats. Threats and emotions you use as a defense against who you really are and what you really want from life. So you protect your ideas from the world in order to fit in, into a life longing for more, until you become another person to let a dream die.

For a brief moment, look into the world with an objective lens, referring to the diagram above, you’ll notice that you can place people on a scale. On one side you have those passing time – going through the motions of life, restricting their ideas and resulting in a loss or lack of true identity.

On the other side, you have people who live freely, making time for the life they really want to live. Exploring their ideas and building their lives towards their dream. Living life by the true nature of their identity in pursuit of their own goals.

It’s pretty obvious where most of us would like to be placed, but to determine your position on this scale you should ask yourself “how honest are you?”

Decision Time

Honesty Scale

Honesty is a very important component when shaping a life your happy with. For me it was being able to tell the world that I want to make a difference and actually help people. Sounds easy enough, but very difficult if you grew up exposed to an environment and philosophy no less – that linked a good life and success to self-gratification.

The more honest you are to yourself and to others around you, the closer you are towards the happier side of the scale. We’re all individuals capable of greatness but unfortunately the messages we consume or are exposed to can crumble our ability to be honest.

You’ll reach that center point, that pivotal ‘decision time’ at several stages in your life. To either be honest about what you want and embark on a journey among the other half making time to live. Or cave under the pressure of fear and change, burying your honesty to follow the path back to passing time – making room for short term fulfillment like the purchase of a new phone and following latest trends.

You avoid thinking for yourself because it’s easier to let influences distract you from what you really want or rather, what you truly do not have. Remember you can never run away from the truth but honesty will eventually catch up with you in the form of frustration and stress. Due to the lack of lasting fulfillment your lead back to that central point.

Your ideas and your mind crave to be free, they’ll fight for freedom and rise to the surface again and again. You have opportunities to make lasting changes in your life but ultimately it’s whether you’re willing to admit the truth in order to move closer towards ‘making time’.

Considered Different

I reckon we’re all born at the right side of the scale but as we grow up we’re influenced to live life by ‘passing time’. Therefore when we decide to break free from that, we’re considered different, but you must learn to share your truths in order to succeed.

I also thought about how boys are afraid to express emotion and vulnerability because of a misguided view on what it takes to be a man. Then on the other hand, girls afraid to share ambition and courage because of the mixed messages they’re exposed to that define women. We teach children to bury their honesty without even realizing it, to grow up on a “trivial pursuit of happiness.”

When I tell people I’m writing a book and that I want to coach others closer to the best that they can be, people think that it’s “amazing” and that it’s “different” when in actuality, it’s a lot easier than it was writing my university dissertation and much easier than going to a job i’m not fulfilled by. I’ve set my mind free, allowed myself to be honest about what I want from life and it led me to this path towards fulfillment. I’m naturally encouraged to think for myself now and challenge ideology.

The longer you live to pass time the more helpless you’re going to feel when it comes to making that decision, because the transition from chasing work/trends to chasing your dream comes with incredible challenges. However the more truthful you are to yourself, you’ll empower yourself to follow through with your goals and with each goal accomplished, the easier it’ll become to aim for what you truly want.

Eventually fear and doubt will cease to exist and you’ll obtain a set ofSuper Powers’ to help you along. Just like any major change in life, it just takes some time getting used to.

Just remember, being honest exposes your identity, your identity defines your dream and the energy of your dream gives you the motivation, courage and determination to pursue it. It just all depends on how honest you are willing to be.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach