Darryl Bachmeier
Jun 10, 2020

Buddhist monk meditates outside practicing non-attachment

A mystery

Wonder why monks or nuns are disinterested in what’s happening in the real world – the entertainments and razzmatazz? Why they linger in solitude and enjoy the peace it offers? Why they are content with having no material possessions such as houses or cars? Or why they don’t delight in attaining positions and yet, are satisfied? The answer isn’t unlikely; it’s simply because they are given to a life of non-attachment.

It’s funny how life is riddled in mysteries. These ones (monks and nuns) want nothing but end up with everything – bliss; while those who want everything ends up with nothing.

The so called “normal people” struggle to attain self-actualisation without success. The more they try to attain the highest level of bliss, the more it seems they become overwhelmed and withdrawn from it. Anxiety then sets in resulting in frustration, anger, sadness, depression and even, death

Now, there’s a mystery that could keep you on the path to attaining bliss in life. That’s what is contained in this piece of write-up – it’s the positivity of non-attachment.

What is non-attachment?

The pursuit to attain self-actualisation; the desire for material possessions or self-gratification; and the longing to feel joy when certain goals are achieved or positions attained is present in everyone. Hence, our minds have been sub-consciously conditioned to relentlessly pursue these things because they determine our happiness. This is why when we are deficient of them, or denied certain opportunities to acquire them or we experience certain setbacks on our way to getting them, it feels like our world is crumbling. Notably, the grief and pain we feel is an indication that we are attached to the mindset that if we don’t possess these tangible benefits, we can never be happy.

Now, detaching oneself from these thoughts reflects the principle of non-attachment. It’s simply a positive state of contentment that liberates our minds from the thought that happiness is determined by only the benefits we receive; and sadness by those we don’t. It’s getting to that point where nothing affects your consciousness – not even your setbacks.

Whether you get that job or not; whether you are awarded the contract or not; whether you are gratified or not, you remain unperturbed. This is because, your mind is set on achieving something greater; and that’s the inner-joy which can only be achieved through non-attachment.

How to become non-attached

Attaining this mysterious height is daring as it takes consistency and the determination to soar towards perfection in life. The following tips are considered useful if you wish to attain the goal of non-attachment.

Release stocked up emotions

Emotion is the seat of how we fell. That’s why as humans, our emotions determine our reactions to the stimulus emanating from our external environment whether through situations or relationships - It rules our lives.

Thus, to attain the non-attachment goal, this is the starting point. You have to eliminate all stocked up emotions and start again. Maybe, you’ve been worst hit by a situation, or you’ve encountered overwhelming setbacks, all won’t matter now. You have to let it go and pick up the pieces one after the other.

If you wish to turn non-attachment into a lifestyle, you must learn to take charge of your emotions.

Cut off the worries

Many people worry about outcome. They are preoccupied with what’s going to happen which they have no control over. What if it doesn’t work out, how will I cope? – they keep asking themselves this question day after day. Eventually, it doesn’t work out, and then, they fall into depression.

Instead of concentrating on what’s going to happen, why not focus on the present. Set other goals. Anticipate the worst so that when it comes hitting hard on you, you are already prepared for it. Make plan A, B, C and D in case of unprecedented eventualities. Cut off the worries, it causes anxiety!

Be less preoccupied about how it’s going to happen

Even if it’s a well perfected plan, there are always intervening variables which are often not considered during planning. If you’ve played your role to the best of your abilities, then you should leave the rest to fate. Stay flexible; don’t be too rigid about how it’s going to work out. If it does – well, fine; and if it doesn’t – move on.

Keep learning to stay alert

Non-attachment is a quest to attaining wisdom. As such, you have to be intentional about it. Be positioned to learn out of every experience you encounter. See every challenge as an opportunity to learn something new and evolve better. Learn to meditate or practice mantra to as it helps to develop your mind and enlarge your mental horizon.

Flow with the currents

When attached, you never expect people to behave badly to you; or you don’t envisage negativities. So, when these things happen, you end up being disappointed. You have to change this mind set, if you want to practice non-attachment.

That’s the place of allowing whatever that flows towards you pass without affecting your emotions or being judgemental about it. Even when people act irrationally towards you, you are bound to tolerate them because you know better. You don’t desire to fix or change them because your emotion is shielded. Be self-aware

This is not an abstraction; it is a possibility that can be transformed into reality by you.

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