Practicing Non-attachment.

Ellie (@tangledupinplaid21) 10 years, 5 months ago

I don’t think that practicing non-attachment is a passive progression at all.
Not unless you are a glutton for punishment and having the universe send you the same lesson over and over…

In regards to material possessions or becoming attached to ideas of what we should have or what we should want or expect to glean from life I think we first need to reflect upon how we feel this attachment supplements us.

After all, if something does not serve us then why would we keep it around much less actually have such a bond with it that we simply cannot let it go? To ask ourselves this question isn’t hard. To honestly answer it, however, is a different story.

Everybody has different tastes when it comes to material things and the like but haven’t we all found ourselves in a relationship (usually during the break-up phase) where we are having an especially hard time moving on or letting the other person move on? Maybe we are a little clingy? Maybe we look for ways to stay involved in their lives even if it isn’t in a romantic capacity? (Seriously–how often does the whole let’s-just-be-friends thing ever even really work?)

This is because it is easy to honor the role of an inanimate object which we can deduce doesn’t serve us. However, with people, we have to realize that their attachment (or non-attachment) to us is just as interwoven to our attachment to them. Here is an exercise: think about a past romantic partner you didn’t want to lose but did. Write down the reasons you didn’t want to let go and the ways it hurt you. Now also consider if you ever saw how frustrated it probably made them. Now, look back at a past significant other who would not let you move on from the relationship. Think about the ways it frustrated you and what they must have been going through during the break-up. See the difference? We use different chakras with each scenario. We can be almost two-faced. When we wanted it out we might have had a more noble cause. When they wanted out we were trying to keep them from making a bad decision they might in turn regret.

The secret ingredient that is missing is having a full understanding of what it takes to honor one’s choices, whether we are honoring ourselves or someone else. We don’t like to accept that people may want what we don’t want and since we cannot see things from their perspective, properly empathize with them, honor the choices made and let go we feel a sense of downright betrayal. When it gets like that I would say a ‘sense of attachment’ which sounds harmless enough is actually an aggressive sense of possession and reflects more about the possessive person than the person or thing being coveted.

December 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm
Alex (551) (@hollowinfinity) 10 years, 5 months ago ago

It’s like how people try to live without any effect on their environment. Like the mushroom for example. Arguably the most perfect organism. It doesn’t need things like we do. It can just exist. There is no real cause and effect for a mushroom, unless someone eats it, but that isnt the mushrooms cause and effect, its whatever ate it.

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flapjack (2) (@flapjack) 10 years, 5 months ago ago

I say meditate. It’s become a sinch to detach myself from things after about 27 days of meditation.

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richard <3explore (4) (@comeasyouare) 10 years, 5 months ago ago

DO STUFF!

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Martijn Schirp (112,780)A (@martijn) 10 years, 5 months ago ago

It’s easy. Solve this koan (best imo)

Whatever you do, it doesn’t work. What will you do?

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BirdFlyingHigh (152) (@birdflyinghigh) 10 years, 5 months ago ago

If you plan ahead enough to know that you will never be dissatisfied, no matter what happens, you find it easier to have very little attachment to what’s happening around you.

Meditation helps a lot, because it is a way of picking out a mental “square one” and allowing your experiences to flow from there.

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stonedragon (143) (@stonedragon21) 10 years, 5 months ago ago

this guys art just about says it all on this subject for me…

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stonedragon (143) (@stonedragon21) 10 years, 5 months ago ago

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stonedragon (143) (@stonedragon21) 10 years, 5 months ago ago

non attachment. i tryed to practice it seriously last winter when i had a major operation on my ankle. they put in three screws and i did this without any anesthesia. at least i asked for that with the idea that i would practice non attachment to my body or to pain. just watch it.
but when i got into the preoperation room , they decided to give me a local for the ankle anyway.
the operation was two hours and i was awake and watched them hacking into my flesh with powertools etc.
it was really tough to be un attached and i was scared as hell. but i lived thru it. luckily i had on my mp3 and listened to the stones.
it is amazing how attached we are to our very flesh and bones.

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Rachel (0) (@fakeplastictrees) 10 years, 5 months ago ago

@Jenn: Yes. This.
True empathy to another’s situation, even someone we we love and whose mind we know quite intimately, is difficult to achieve and impossible without some effort. Our whole lives have been about us, centering about us, viewed through our own skulls. Breaking this ego-centric perspective does not come naturally.

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Daniel Tate (11) (@dctate) 10 years, 5 months ago ago

One technique that I found of some merit was to picture whatever current situation you are without you. Wherever you are, just remove yourself mentally. Everything is still going on and happening, but your wants, needs, etc. are not there anymore because “you” aren’t there anymore.

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Alex (551) (@hollowinfinity) 10 years, 5 months ago ago

The moon chases the sun, and the sun chases the moon. Two starcrossed lovers who always chase what could be, and in irony, they never colide to find each other because they more intersted in what will be than what is

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daveb (119) (@daveb) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

this thread is awesome and deserves a re-boot.

@searchingfortruth touched on something I’ve been chewing on lately: What about the ego…is success and accomplishment part of validating the ego? Say..I have this belief that I will succeed and accomplish my goals…is that not validating the ego?

moving past attachment to things and people: what about attachment to doing? Can one feel good about accomplishments without feeling bad about falling short? I think so, or at least I’d like to think so . . . In other words, if I totally want to get past being bothered by falling short of a goal, do I also have to sacrifice the pleasure of a job well done?

I’d love to hear thoughts on how to get past attachment to doing (sort of oxymoronic), just as I’ve been able to get past any attachment to having. not sure if I’ll embrace it, but I am willing to explore it.

last thought: how does one pursue excellence and non-attachment to results? the pursuit of excellence seems to be a goal, a target towards which one is moving, but I might be missing something obvious (excellence as a natural outgrowth of repeating an activity just for the sake of the activity?)

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Ka (308) (@kaciula) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

@daveb, “(excellence as a natural outgrowth of repeating an activity just for the sake of the activity?)”

This reminded me of this story http://vimeo.com/32542316

In my experience, the less I am attached to having or doing, the less I suffer but also the less I enjoy it. So be careful what you wish for. Non-attachment is overrated :) This also reminds me of a talk by Alan Watts where he talks about a zen master friend of his that sent him a letter starting with (paraphrasing) “Hi. How are you? As for me, I am trying to get attached to as many things as possible” ;)

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daveb (119) (@daveb) 9 years, 10 months ago ago

agreed, @kaciula. I don’t think it’s a good idea to get all fired up when things just happen to fall into place in part by luck, but I really enjoy the feeling of being on a true roll where I am making shit happen.

I don’t know that I want to give up the latter. I don’t need stuff, but the satisfaction of kicking ass and getting shit done is another matter . . . as long as it’s not prideful or being done to show someone else how awesome I am. and that feeling of surfing along the top of success isn’t one that requires a bunch of time spent failing, it’s something that can be enjoyed every day as long as we keep accepting new challenges, and pushing ourselves.

so perhaps the enjoyment of success can be done without having to experience the lows of failure . . . especially if we redefine failure as “results”.

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Anonymous (2,654) (@) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

Recently I’ve learned that I’ve been detached from the whole world… basically all my life. Not really being insensitive or something, just the complete opposite – always trying to make sense of everything. Expressing myself like there’s no tomorrow, taking wild guesses that actually fucking work and getting mixed up in detachment and attachment emotionally which made me look really crazy. I assume it still does. I’m still trying to figure out why people are more susceptible to excuse themselves and look for arguments, rather than just doing things and showing them, sharing them.

Seriously, the most problems I had in my life were about not wishing absolutely anything in return, from my relationships, friends, people. I was never that needy so it was hard to fit in places full of sentimental and nostalgic people living in their past, being confident about their experience without really listening and looking at everything that’s happening, like they stopped growing at one point in their life – attached to everything familiar, but detached from everything that bothered them – continuously staying in their comfort zones, staying exactly the same and get way too excited when they realize something simple. I don’t know how I sound saying that, arrogant maybe. Anyway, I keep remembering scenes from the movie Detachment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVhYozb6ZiY

And I recommend you to read this. https://www.highexistence.com/topic/ability/

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jamie findlay (16) (@cellardoor) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@martijn, nothing?

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Martijn Schirp (112,780)A (@martijn) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@cellardoor, You will do nothing? That’s doing, and it won’t work. Keep on trying.

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James (100) (@ilooklikeawaterbottle) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@tangledupinplaid21, @lytning91

Is anyone interested in a non-attachment challenge? Maybe give up something you feel overly attached to for thirty days?

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James (100) (@ilooklikeawaterbottle) 9 years, 9 months ago ago
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Ellie (1,363)M (@tangledupinplaid21) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

Ok this is really weird. I vaguely remember starting this topic a while back but there are certain sentences within the original post that I know for certain I did not say. “We use different chakras for each scenario”… Uhhh, I never said that. Did someone edit this post and change some of the wording? I’m confused.

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Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

You’re always attached to something, some people are attached to non-attachment, others are attached to attachment itself. You’re a human being, you will always be attached to things. Attachment isn’t the real issue, it’s how you deal with attachment. Gotta be mentally flexible, and willing to lose things and gain new things. Rising above that low consciousness ego loop and looking at the big picture logically, choosing the best solution.

This clinging to other people is due to identifying with them, and becoming dependent on certain things of value they bring into your life. It happens, it’s natural and it’s amplified by social conditioning. That’s just how the brain works, it’s really a very good survival mechanism. Fighting your attachment instinct is a futile effort, a war that will never end and where you will never advance on the enemy, you’re fighting your mirror image.

These things are simple, but we distort them with our mental projections and excuses. If you’re splashing your hand around in the water, your reflection becomes distorted. The ripples add loads of complexity that isn’t really there. To see the clear reflection, you must stop splashing with your hand. Once you see the clear reflection, you know what to do.

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Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 9 years, 9 months ago ago

@martijn Nothing works, that’s now. What will I do? Now that’s about the future. There’s no mention that all action will be futile in the future, only here and now. Koan solved?

@tangledupinplaid21 Freudian slips and repression of memory, perhaps? Nah, I jest, I kid. I know what you mean, it’s happened to me too. I found one of my OPs has been edited quite a lot, and some weird ass post I didn’t make is placed BEFORE the OP. Very weird, something’s not right at all.

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