The Elements Of Detachment

detachmentLife Coach Code – In Buddhism, letting go is a state of detachment and viewed as a “non action which is an integral part of the Right Way”. If taken literally, we would have the impression that to let go means to be aloof or be disconnected with others.

But such is not how true detachment truly works. Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh gave a complete explanation of the true meaning of detachment.

He said that to truly let go is to love someone more than you have ever loved them before. When this love for another extends beyond your own personal expectations of gains, then non attachment takes place.

The 4 Elements Of Detachment According To Thich Nhat Hanh

1. Maitri (Benevolence and Lovingkindness)

Master Han said that Maitri is “the intention and capacity to offer joy and happiness”. It involves profound looking and listening to others in order to know what to do and what not to do to make others happy.

People usually assume that the things or actions that can make them happy will have the same effect on others. But, no.

You should see the person’s real situation so that you will know that what you offer them is what really contributes to their happiness.

It’s not Maitri when what you give brings unhappiness. Forcing certain behaviors on another with the intent of “pleasing” them is actually governed by your ego self.

When you detached yourself from your own need, it’s when you can truly see what brings the other person satisfaction and give them that.

2. Karuna (Compassion)

Detachment is another way of showing deep compassion for others. When you’re detached, you feel the pain of others without the intention of taking those pain away.

You’re simply there for them. The more you’re detached from the outcome, the more you’re deeply involved in life.

3. Mudita (Gratitude and Joy)

Detachment frees you from clinging to something. An unattachment to a thing or idea makes it easier for you to be grateful for life and everything in it.

The Buddha defines joy as something that is unselfish, meaning you not only celebrate when you find your own happiness but delight when others find their own happiness too.

It’s the kind of joy where you have to let go of someone who no longer wishes to be with you but wants to find their own happiness in other places or another person.

Instead of feeling bitter, you still feel happy for them. This is the true joy, to be happy for others even if it has nothing to do with you.

4. Upeksha (Equanimity)

Master Hanh describes Upeksha as equanimity, non attachment, non discrimination, even mindedness, or letting go. Derived from the words “upa” (over) and “iksha” (to look), upeksha is like climbing a mountain and looking over the whole situation.

It’s not looking only on one side but incorporating in your perspective everything you laid your eyes on. Discrimination, prejudice, or clinging are not acts of true love.

Upeksha is showing love for everybody without discrimination. The absence of Upeksha gives rise to possessiveness and egotism.

Strive to be a detached person to truly love anyone. When your love is non assertive, you build healthy relationships that are filled with effortless love, kindness, and compassion.

SF Source Rise Earth May 2018

2 thoughts on “The Elements Of Detachment

  1. How Does One apply “Detachment” when the Actions / Reactions of anther’s Slandering , Accusations , Demeaning words extended to an entire town and relatives not seen in 30+ yrs. taking your love and turning it into Words and Action of Deceptive Meanness,that you encounter when in that town of strangers who you never met but now know and judge you by this other, whose lies can be proven if someone cared to ask and listen, but DON,T..I Ask How Does One apply Detachment from activities of such constantly in their face?

    1. These are good questions. For me it would become a challenge of redefining expectations. Perhaps I had expectations of encountering a certain type of energy and voila! It found me.

      One of my hardest lessons was “the mirror.” To loosely quote ET101 “The universe reconfigures itself to conform with your picture of reality.” The projection is simply an outpicturing of what I actually believe is going on. To puncture potentially “false” belief that someone means something they might not I question. If my assumption about what had transpired was wrong I get to discover that right away.

      Another great approach that has worked for me is to cloak myself in what Christians might call “the armor of God.” For me it is simply shielding myself by making the outer layers of my aura impenetrable to certain energies. When they approach it is very easy to see them for who and what they are, and, invariably, they no longer carry the sting that can penetrate through to my soul. In fact it becomes quite laughable as I realize these people don’t have a clue concerning who I truly am, and, given who they present themselves to be, that’s probably a blessing. – g

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