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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How to Benefit From a Conscious Escape

Negative ControlI’ve been meditating a lot recently and as I’m still learning how to settle my mind and maintain stillness, I’ve began to notice a subtle sensation of detachment from my everyday life.

I began to feel as if I was entering a new era of awareness and I was waiting for my reality to catch up. I felt as if my life and my mind were out of sync.

At first I thought I was detaching from myself and my identity, I felt I was consciously stepping off my own path and moving towards a realm confusion and doubt. Everything appeared the same but the engagement felt very different. I’d be writing, listening to music, or having a conversation but I’d feel mindfully disconnected.

I’m not saying I experienced some sort of out-of-body experience, it was much more subtle than that. Also, when it comes to meditation I’m still very much a rookie. However the time I’ve invested in focusing on my own mind and concentrating on myself, has allowed me to become more aware of the strings that hold me back.

My feelings of detachment were not from my passions or my identity, I found myself detaching from my doubts and my uncertainties. The sensation of unfamiliarity and unease was my adjusting to an experience free from any puppet strings that controlled my life.

I felt unleashed. My identity felt affirmed; I felt free to explore so that I could grow and expand my work, build better relationships and discover new opportunities.

The conversations seemed different because I was being more open, the music had a different sound because I related better and my writing seemed clearer because I was being more honest. The actions I performed were the same, the schedule was too, but the mindset behind it was different.

The sensation of detachment came over me because my body was on autopilot, and my mind continued on to evaluate and understand what I had just learned. I was waiting to resync.

Evaluation

Sometimes when you select a vice to evaluate your life you can experience this detachment. As you look inwardly with an objective lens, with the intention to re-align yourself with what you set out to accomplish, what you realize can be unsettling.

As your mind begins to open up and your identity begins to free itself, you can end up experiencing this sensation of detachment. An “aha” moment that requires you to take a step back and comprehend what you have just learned.

To learn how much doubt and fear you held onto, how much energy and time you wasted and how much negativity you nurtured for a cause of no significance, can be difficult to grasp. You often spend a lifetime learning to live with low self-esteem and emotional torment, therefore when you realize these things were holding you back, unlearning it all takes some getting used to. You consciously step away from yourself as you figure out how to introduce this autonomy into your life.

I liken it to that yearning for travel, you fantasize about it and you expect to connect to new places right away. In truth, the first time you step into a new environment you almost feel as if it isn’t real. You have to take a minute to adjust and take it all in. It takes a while before you can let yourself be completely present again.

Any detachment you experience in life is an opportunity to evaluate and reflect. Consider these moments as an indicator to avoid complacency or even procrastination. Use these moments to trigger a motivation and evoke your spirit to take action.

I’m learning to meditate as a vice to prompt this practice, however these moments are always hiding in pockets of experience everywhere. When you’re running and lose yourself in the activity, when you listen to live music and experience an emotional shift, or even when you’re with loved ones immersed in bliss. Use these moments of conscious escape and understand the negativity that controls you.

Prepare for the ultimate break from negative captivity; listen to your mind as it detaches itself from your reality to learn from your spirit.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

An Undernourished Mind Leads To an Unnourished Life

Mindset

Our minds are the centre of our consciousness, after all the mind controls everything we do. Our thoughts and our emotions have the ability to control the outcome of anything we try to accomplish.

If you can master your mind, you can master life.

Look back at all your failures in life and at all the times you’ve perhaps given up. A weak mindset was probably the biggest contributing factor for the lack of accomplishment.

I’m surprised at how little emphasis is put on mindset in the world today. Especially as people set out on their own goals, overlooking the nurturing of this critical component that can pretty much guarantee success. Anything I do with my life and any opportunity I embark on, my first objective is placed on developing and ensuring I have the correct mindset.

Preparing my mind for the challenges ahead and to weigh up the struggles I’ll face. To understand what’s required from me to succeed and what traumas may arise.

An obvious example is in fitness. From first getting up and getting ready to exercise, through to lifting that weight and pushing past your limits. Motivation, persistence, confidence and fearlessness are just some mindset basics required if you want to build the body you desire. Mindset is one component that will guarantee you that body.

Connect the Dots

I’m intrigued by psychology. It was the first time I ever learned cause and effect in relation to behavior. It’s truly amazing how much we affect the outcome of most situations in life. Escalating arguments that lead to damaging relationships. Allowing tiny stresses to disrupt your day and affect the outcome of your work. Also how your past traumas cause problems in your present and future lives.

Ever wondered what the term soul actually refers to? I have a theory, I believe that the “soul” is not this divine spirit that leaves your body to ascend into the heavens when you die. Rather, the soul is that energy you emit dependant on your state of mind. I reckon it’s the thing that bonds your mind and body.

For instance when people are corrupt, society deems them to have “corrupt souls.” The term soul, tends to hang off objectives based on peoples’ actions.

It led me to understand the power your mind has over you and the reason why you should significantly invest in developing it.

By investment, I don’t mean spending thousands of dollars on a weekend mastery course. Nor attending some camp led by some divine guru. Developing your mind starts with the now, by becoming fully self-aware. Allow your mind to understand your actions objectively, and understand your actions by delving into your mind. Discover meaning and reasoning, appreciate your emotions by continually assessing them.

Whenever you feel judged, or get overcome with doubt, don’t be afraid to ask yourself why? It could save you from so much aggravation and failure. Process your feelings rather than living with them. Most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to discover the root of a problem which, if you’re honest enough, sits within your mind. Such as experiences from your past and/or your uncertainties about your future.

Read, learn, explore, be curious, ask questions and always, always engage in your passions. Your mind is hungry for stimulation, keep it active and balanced, and your life will thank you.

Not only will you be able to self-analyse, you’ll be able to control emotion and outcome.

You’ll only succeed as far as your will will take you. Increase your chances by nourishing the power behind that will; nurture your mind.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

A Message to My Peers: Fitting In Is A Scam

Fitting in

Recently I’ve been researching Sikhism, a religion I was born into but never really adopted. The lines between religion and culture were always blurred. Making the entire idea seem like one big contradiction.

My mother’s been trying to teach me the true meaning of what it means to be Sikh for years. Until now I was always too stubborn to listen. However, I’m finding stories of defending for what’s right, equality and breaking free from oppression inspiring, because of the much-needed change in the world we live in today.

The more I learned, her teachings didn’t feel religious. It felt more like a common sense guide on life and humanity.

I’m understanding more than ever, the requirement for equality, serving and contributing to society, awareness and the balance of body and mind. I know it sounds a bit hippie-ish, but when you filter out the crap messages that dominate our society, you realise how many of us are led away from our very own fulfilment. You realise how many people are frustrated with the way of the world right now, and how we contribute to it.

Reflection: A Quarter of a Century

February, 2013. I was approaching my 25th Birthday. Life was high and love came in abundance. I was on the verge of completing many goals I had set to achieve at this age.

As deadlines loomed, I was also closer to figuring out my passions. I was employed and earning money to live comfortably within my means, and I had secured my permanent residency abroad. For the first time, I felt like I was on track with a life I had set out to live.

However, I felt like I was on the verge of losing control over it.

After turning 25, it seemed the pressure was on to settle down and to start taking “life seriously.” To find a career and begin to live life just as the world expected me too. Ideologies became the framework for my life and all of a sudden everyone around me seemed to make my love life and my career a point of discussion.

It was all too overwhelming, it was like society was prepping me for adulthood. An adult life I never envisioned as a child.

Where I thought I’d gain control, the world wanted me to change and navigate the rest of my life for me. Before harnessing that control for myself, I shifted control and guidance away from my parents and almost handed it over to an unfulfilled, judgmental and overbearing society.

There I was, 25 years old, trying to fit into a world crippling under prejudice and inequality: socially, economically, culturally and politically.

As my innocence wore off I felt the colour of my skin illuminated. My gender had influence in society, my social status; from where I lived to how much I earned seemed to influence many outcomes too. My age, my personality, my aspirations, my hobbies and interests…It seemed that the world would pick apart my identity piece by piece. Until I became insecure enough and conformed to social norms, in order to “succeed” in an unequal world.

Behind curtain #1

It’s ironic; adulthood. I spent my younger years being told to dream big. That I can be anything I wanted to be. Believing it will happen one day if I worked hard enough and remained dedicated. Furthermore, I was taught how to be good and to act responsibly among society. Simply put, I was taught to be something and to discover my passions until I found fulfillment in life.

Sounds unrealistic right? Well that’s my point, I began believing that to.

I almost moulded myself into a society that shuns you for being different and dismisses you for having the guts to dream. Pretty much making you feel like an outsider for going against social norm. I realised that my decisions at this point in time we’re crucial to my well-being.

Do I work towards building a life of my own choosing? To realize my passions and figure out what I’m all about. Where fulfillment is mine to discover.

Or

Do I follow a template that will grant me access to an example/idea of fulfillment?

Either way I’ll be lead down to success, how much time and effort required will significantly differ, but which one would be worth it in the long run?

Regaining control

Over the last couple of years, I took my blogging and writing seriously and decided not to give up on my newly discovered passions. I decided that I want my own life.

As tough as it was going against the grain of society, I decided to stop taking promotions in a job I wasn’t comfortable going to. I decided to stop getting into relationships that offered nothing but physical affection or meaningless companionship. I wanted to work for myself and do something I enjoyed. I simply didn’t want to waste my life nor fill it with anything that I wasn’t fulfilled by.

However it does get difficult and sometimes, I get irritated because of the time it takes. I sometimes think about giving up writing altogether. Giving it all up in fact, coaching others, my book and turning my back on the aspirations of positively impacting society.

As I have the skills to earn more money in meaningless jobs available to me, I could have it much easier.

Then I remember, I only turned 25 in February 2013. The journey from then to now has been phenomenal. Even though I haven’t earned a penny yet from my writing, I’ve learned so much about the world and about life. By simply not adhering to societal pressure, I’ve grown immensely in confidence and in self-belief.

In the unlikely situation that all odds are truly against me and I don’t manage to fulfill my aspirations in this lifetime. Then my words will remain until they inspire someone who will. If I get hit by a car on my way out of this coffee shop, or if like my father, I develop an illness that rapidly prepares me for the inevitable. My life won’t have been lived in vain.

As I live or when I die, what lessons will my nieces and nephews learn from me? What will my peers appreciate about me? But most importantly, what would I have done in my life, or tried to do in my life that I was truly proud of and fulfilled by.

To gain fulfillment is to take back control

If you think of hate, judgement, fear and negativity, these problematic frustrations stem from a lack of fulfilment. Frustrations build up overtime, because we systematically close the doors on our natural motivations, to reach self-actualization. We keep that door firmly shut and perpetuate this broken society, because it’s easier to progress that way in this unequal world. To gain fulfillment is to take back control.  Regain control and you’ll no longer fear the world.

And for the first time in my life, I’m taking some lessons from my religion. Don’t get me wrong I still don’t believe in a deity judging us from above and you won’t catch me rocking a turban. Nor will you ever find me preaching any holy manuscript either.

I’m writing my own life’s story with some help from some quality teachings (that’s the biggest lesson we can all take from religion). I’m progressing in life by understanding what makes sense and disregarding anything outdated, pointless and defective.

F.Y.I. If anyone is searching for a God, then look within yourselves for any voice of hope, which tells you to do something with your life. Don’t sit there and pray or hope for a miracle. Take your life in your own hands and awaken your inner God.

Whether I’m facing an ounce of doubt or a crumb of judgment I’ll look back on the words that fill these pages. I’m glad I chose to discover my own purpose, an early adopter of a better world and a chance at true fulfillment.

Don’t blind yourself to what you truly want in life. F*** what anyone else thinks about you or your aspirations. Have the guts to go out into the world and do your own thing. Take a chance on yourself, don’t let society (or religion for that matter) dictate your actions. Don’t believe everything you’re told – you’re smarter than that, embrace research. Take from them the lessons you require but ultimately navigate your own path and live your own life. Lastly, make your life one to be lived.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Lost Connections and the Importance of Staying Connected.

ConnectionI have a lot to be grateful for, and I’m lucky that I can to turn to what I’m grateful for, when I need prioritize life, as the best possible reason for living.

Today, reflecting on a few dark patches in my past, my thoughts led me to all my lost connections. Connections to people; the people in my life that used to bring joy and wonder to it. My connections to hobbies and interests like volunteering and my fascination with spirituality; bringing me fulfillment and escape. I was also reminded of a darker time when I lost my connection with my dream, when I had lost sight of all ambition and goal, looking for an easy way out.

I was taken aback by the memory of a time when life became numb. I remembered a time when the future looked bleak and I had lost all connection to my identity. I had forgotten how these connections were keeping my spirit alive and how important it was to stay connected and how humbling it can be.

I randomly had a long talk with an ex-girlfriend of mine a few days ago, she reminded me of the silly things I used to say about taking the world by storm with my work and however many times people doubted it, I didn’t. I forgot how good we worked as friends, before the turmoil of our break-up and now, although I still can’t trust her actions, I can trust the expectations she had of me. I guess it sums up why maintaining connections is important, she reminded me of a more innocent and naive time in my life and I’m glad for that. I gained a boost of confidence as it proved how far I had come on my journey.

I guess my message to you is simple although often overlooked. As you journey onward to success, remember to keep your treasured connections active. They’ll pose as reminders of who you are, because the more we learn and the more we grow, we make new connections and we tend not to notice the ones we lose.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Understanding Fear and the Fear in Decision Making

Decision

We’re always faced with making big decisions; decisions that shape our lives and decisions we make that affect others around us. In such situations we often seek out advice, but often enough our advisers turn into influencers. Just like consultants, we trust that their steering us down the right path because we lack knowledge or skill. So we can often get misguided by placing our trust in others or dismiss good advice completely because of past experiences…

…and on this other hand if we’re not seeking advice, we’re battling against our own experiences and instincts, we rely on what we already know to help aid our decisions. Good or bad, our past has a big influence over our future, previous failures and successes determine the size of risk we’re willing to take. We play by odds and a battle between heart and mind commences.

All my life I’ve gone with my instinct and followed my passions – it’s what I trust the most, but now and again my instincts get overwhelmed and my passions are taken aback when faced with big, often life altering decisions. I lose trust in my own instinct, or not notice what it’s telling me because of all the uncertainty.

Now normally I would battle on and power through a swaying decision until I uncover the answer, but I’ve learned over and over that there is no time to sit and wait – by doing so major opportunities maybe missed and I’m to be left with regret.

Making quick decisions is a skill you develop when you trust yourself. If you doubt yourself you begin to lose that trust, you lose that trust then you’ll live in fear; fear of failure.

To help me out I did what I rarely do, I took a break from my existence. In order to process my thoughts and figure out what I wanted, I had to escape everyone and everything for a moment so that I can re-enter my life definitive. Up until this point I was hit with so many persuasions (both internal and external), I didn’t know whether to fight or flight or where to draw arguments from; it was intimidating.

So, I turned off my cell phone, packed a bottle of water and literally went on a hike. I didn’t even pack my i-pod, music motivates my mood and I didn’t want to be influenced by anything. I journeyed to a familiar spot so that I wouldn’t get distracted by a new environment and I hiked towards a solitary place overlooking the city. From there I just sat with my bottle of water and only had my mind to keep me company, something that is often difficult to do in today’s society, but I processed the hell out of my thoughts.

It was refreshing but it was difficult. For the first 20 minutes or so I kept thinking about all the time I was wasting, the time that could be better spent investing in more productive projects. Focusing on the stuff I needed to get done, thinking I should have brought my laptop along and missing my I-pod. It was like my mind was in rush hour and my thoughts were stuck in traffic; I wasn’t getting anywhere but I was very eager to move on from them.

I continued to sit there and my mind eventually rested, I began thinking of the most random things, bizarre memories would just make their way forward and somehow I was taken back to the very first time I visited New York City; the excitement and the motivation that I felt back then. I remembered how ridiculously naive I was and how little I knew about the world and about life in general and yet, remember feeling like I could rule the world – I wasn’t scared because I had no other choice but to take control and let my identity lead the way.

It was then I realized that my indecisiveness came from fear and my theory is: fear is a reaction to the lack of control. I had lost complete control over a decision, which is why I feared making it. Fear also starts a war between the physiological and the psychological which is why you’re only really presented with the fight or flight option and i choose believe that’s bulls***, therefore I present to you my loop hole.

When you’re struck with fear and a difficult decision, take the time to just escape for a moment, not completely but just for a moment, re-align yourself with your goals to regain control, to turn the situation around to your advantage and face your decision with your life insight.

Like me it may take some reminding of what you want or gained from life, others it may mean educating yourself more for a better understanding. Whichever way you can regain control, allow yourself to break away into thought to figure a way out of doubt. It allowed me to fully understand the decision I needed to make, it was as if I could see the light bulb flashing above my head and everything suddenly became crystal clear – I came to my own conclusion to overcome the conflict and made my decision. I restored trust back into my instincts.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach