This is in continuation of my previous article on Is living without attachment possible?
If it is understood that it IS possible to live without attachment, then it would be easier to actually start practicing it. It is not that one should not have attachment to the person, place or thing but one should detach from the attachment to that person, place or thing. Now, how to practically put this in place? This will never come by just wanting to only detach. It will all depend on why you want to detach? If it is only because something or someone has given you pain then it is not you but your ego who wants to detach from it for the only reason that you should not be inflicted with that pain anymore. You want to get rid of it and it is only this idea of detachment that makes you want to detach. Question yourself is it only that particular "problem" that you want to detach with? Why is it that you want to detach? Why is it that you are interested in reading something about detachment? What is the end result that you want from detachment. If your answers are revolving around getting rid of that "problem" or if the end result that your mind seeks is peace, then I am afraid to say it is still the ego that is wanting this, not your true self. There is no harm if your ego wants this but what I want to emphasize here is that such detachments even if they happen, they do not last for long, the ego has decided to only get rid of that "problem" that seems to it to be a problem and not the real reason for that problem. The real reason is your attachment to that person, place or thing, not the person, place or thing itself! How will you know it is your true self or your ego that is wanting to detach? When it is your ego, you will want to get rid of that "attached" problem. But if it your soul or self that is wanting to detach, you will never want to get rid of the attached problem but you will want to get rid of the problems that arise due to your attachment.
Eg: If you have been hurt by someone who you were very attached to, you suffer, you are in pain. The idea of detachment would seem wonderful to you here and you would want to practice it because you will want to detach from that person itself so that the hurt that has been caused to you does not re-emerge whenever you see or think of this person. This is the case of the ego wanting detachment. If your soul is deciding to be detached then it would never target the person but would work on detachment of the cause and consequences of being attached to that person. You would never worry about facing or meeting this person for you would want to analyze and detach with the emotions or reactions that arise negatively when you see that person.
Another important thing worth mentioning here is that detachment will always come with contentment. If you not contended, there would be desires. Desires come with attachment and where there is attachment it is impossible to be detached. So go to the root level of detachment. If you are not contended in life then it is difficult to remain detached. If this is hard for you, go deeper and take a look at your life. Give it a serious thought to all the things you are attached to. What do you actually possess? What you call yours, do you really own it? Can you ever own it? Your child, your wife, your boyfriend, your house, your car, your money, etc, etc. Think about it all. Notice how powerful the illusion of owning or possessing these things are! You own nothing. You came without anything, not even a piece of cloth and when you go you will go empty handed, exactly in the same manner you came. Not even the idea of illusion will you carry. Even the knowledge, wisdom, skills that you spent learning and developing all your lifetime will not be useful when you leave the earth plane. What you will only carry with you are your impressions (samskaras) that is said to make your character on the earth. So, what is it that you possess right now with you? Why is the ego making tall claims of how powerful you are with all that only seems to be yours. Nothing is yours! Forget the materialistic things, not even your closest human relationships is yours and will ever be yours to possess. All the things that you see around you are the tools for your growth. In school, when you move from one grade to the next, when you pass out of school and then graduate out of college, you are only using that tools and books at that stage. You have to leave them when you pass to higher grades. You will have to leave your benches, your teachers, you classmates. You cannot hold on to even if you want to. Even if you are detained, it is temporary; you cannot be in school or college forever. The more attached you are to the experiences, persons and tools you come across in these institutions, the more suffering it will cause you while you move. Same is what you will be doing on earth. The more you hold on to anything and everything , the more suffering it will cause. Nothing that you see around, feel, hold or touch is real and permanent. They will leave you one day or the other or you will leave them one day or the other. Then where does this attachment comes from? It only comes from the ignorance of being aware that everything is illusion for the ego loves to ignore this great truth and loves to avoid confrontation of this truth as much as possible, which also is a great tool for great disappointment! Being aware of living in the illusory world at all times will help you get detached slowly. Again, I am reiterating that detachment is not discarding your responsibilities, material or your relationships. You knew that you are going to pass out of school, so you did not discard your teachers, collegues or tools. You lived with it all, learnt all your lessons, grew wiser, took more experience, and happily passed out of school looking forward to something better. You never can discard your teachers, co-mates or any tool and fulfill the purpose of being in school :) Same way if you understand the idea of detachment completely, it is definately not leaving everything and running to the forest, but it is living with everything that makes your learning and life complete but being detached to it.
Now, how will you know if you are detached or not? If you own a luxurious bed, fine; do you get sleep if you have to sleep on some other bed for some reason? If you own a sophisticated cellphone wonderful, enjoy all its features, but if your cellphone battery discharges do you get restless and irritated? Are you constantly worrying of the death of someone near to you or constantly worrying of losing someone you love? All these are perfect examples of attachment. And what I am trying to say here is not that you leave your near ones, not that you don't buy luxurious things but have all of them but be dependant on none. Being with it and being without it should not make any difference in your state of mind. That is the idea of detachment. Yes, it sounds difficult but the hard core truth is that you will have to detach from all these things one day or the other. Then why opt to get attached and suffer? Most of the time people tell "Let it happen when the time comes" or "We will see when it happens" but what they fail to understand is that it is not for one person or one thing that they postpone or avoid looking at the truth but it is for everything. Because each and everything in life is our attachment and when we attach to these "everything", we are every moment living in the gloom and pain of losing it!
This article may seem complicated to you if your soul is not making a decision to work on detachment and if this makes sense to you then you are fully ready to work on your detachment.