Is real peace elusive? I can’t speak for everyone, but for me I find it is due to attachments.
You might have heard the Buddhist practice of detachment (Letting Go), but actually the practice is known as nonattachment. The word detachment means that we were once attached to something, whereas nonattachment means we don’t get attached in the first place.
So how does one get to the state of nonattachment? By realizing that we are not separate from anyone or anything.
I Ain’t No Buddhist
I am far from qualified to teach you about nonattachment; I can only tell you my experiences, failures and successes with the practice.
There was a time when I was attached to people. Not in a creepy dependent way, just the idea of them in my life kept me attached to them. When they left, I felt a void.
Recently, within the past six months, I have grown more proficient at being nonattached (to others).
If a relationship doesn’t work, I don’t beat myself up or think about how my life will forever be changed. I don’t really think on it at all. OK maybe a tad, but not to the extreme that my entire brain is filled with thoughts of this person. I am talking about romantic as well as platonic relationships.
I worked at this. I didn’t wake up one day and say, “OK, from this day on I will be attached to nothing.”
My Future as a Nonattachmentest
Will this always be? I can honestly say I can’t say that for certain. I imagine my daughter leaving home for good and I want to crumble into a pile of sawdust. I am attached to her, and it is difficult to detach, therefore, nonattachment is unlikely.
However, if I can maintain this path for most people and things, I will be better off than I was.
I tell my friends who ask me why it is so hard for them to find peace (and happiness) to give this principle a try. However, it is hard for them to imagine not being attached to someone or something.
It is hard for me to imagine being nonattached to my stuff too. It seems easier to approach a person with the idea of non attachment than it is to stuff, how sick is that?
I need more time and more practice, but I hope to get there before I die.
Of course once I die…none of it will matter.