Detachment is Perhaps One of The Most Important Lessons
Is detachment important? Many problems in life can arise from attachment. Anger, worry, greed, unfounded complaints, and various hang-ups can all be results of this attachment. These sources of unhappiness, tension, stubbornness and sadness originate from our inability to let go. If you face a problem or concern, take a good look at yourself. And you’ll probably find that attachment is the cause.
Why is Detachment So Important?
A famous Zen story about detachment illustrates this concept.
A master and his disciple were traveling to a nearby village when they reached a raging river. On the bank, they saw a beautiful young girl trying to cross it.
The Zen master, against the usual precepts. Offered to help, lifting her in his arms to carry her to the other side. After this act, everyone continued on their way. However, the disciple was troubled, because the master had always taught him that a monk should never approach or touch a woman.
After reflection, upon their return to the temple, the disciple could no longer contain himself and asked the master for an explanation.
- Master, you teach me day after day never to touch a woman. And despite this, you took this beautiful girl in your arms and crossed the river with her.
- Idiot – replied the master – I left the girl on the other bank of the river. But you still wear it.
The Lesson Here Lies in The Nature of Detachment:
It’s not about indifference or running away from life’s problems. We are not asked to become insensitive or avoid reality. Detachment, rather than being a rejection, represents a freedom. Which emerges when we stop attaching to the sources of suffering.
It is not a question of running away from life, because a sincere life cannot be avoided. Rather, it is a state of inner peace, accompanied by a clear understanding of how our mind works. As Matthieu Ricard says. Detachment is a freedom that arises from the cessation of attachment to the causes of suffering.
Facing the Realities of Life and Solving Your Problems Is Essential
But we must try not to get attached to these aspects. Although money is undeniably important, the one who clings to it becomes a slave to wealth and often miserly. It’s easy to become attached to our appearance, skills, or possessions, which can lead us to feel superior to others. Likewise, focusing on ugliness, lack of skills or poverty can make us feel inferior to others.
Attachment to Favorable Conditions Can Lead to Greed and Superficial Optimism
While attachment to unfavorable conditions can lead to resentment and pessimism. Ultimately, our attachment to material things, circumstances, emotions, and ideas is often more problematic than we realize.
It is essential to cultivate balance, demonstrate detachment and develop a deep understanding of the fleeting and changing nature of life.
When Misfortune Strikes, It Is Common to Become Attached To It
But it would be better not to succumb to this temptation. Most misfortunes can be cured, with the exception of death. When fatigue sets in, it is wise to accept it and do your best to recover, transcending it if possible.
Life is constantly evolving, everything is changing, all conditions are subject to change. You have to try to “let go”. Whether it’s abuse, anger, or censure, let it come and let it go.
Every Action We Take Must Be Carried Out with Sincerity, Honesty and Total Commitment
However, once accomplished, you should not get attached to it. Many people cling to the past or project themselves into the future, thus neglecting the present, which is nevertheless essential. It is imperative to fully live the “now” with responsibility. Enjoy the sun when it shines and learn to appreciate the rain when it falls. Let all things in life come and go. It’s a secret of life that allows us to avoid boredom and neurosis.
Buddha Taught That the Very Nature of Life and The World Is Characterized by Constant Change
Therefore, he recommended not getting attached to it.
In the book “Essential Buddhism”, it is emphasized that detachment does not mean losing interest or moving away from things. But rather engage with them with a deep understanding of their changing nature.
Many People May Misinterpret the Idea of Detachment as A Form of Dissociation
In reality, detachment represents total openness to everything, true intimacy and deep involvement in all things in life. In essence, detachment is letting go of what was initially “caught” and held as if it were permanent, or according to our preconceived ideas of how things should be.
A quote from Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, from the documentary “Inner Worlds Outer Worlds,” underlines this idea by stating that “If you give me a name, you disown me.
This suggests that even the attribution of a name can symbolize an attachment, a denial of reality as it is, and an attempt to solidify an idea or concept in an inherently ephemeral form. In this context, failing to settle would imply letting go. Thus, the very concept of “self” must be examined as an idea or concept and then liberated.
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