This is a word so foreign to so many of us - myself included it is comical. If you’ve studied Yogic or Buddhist philosophy you’re well aware of this idea as it’s commonly considered to be one of the pinnacles of enlightenment, the key to one of the deepest kinds of personal freedom one can experience. For a practicing individual, detaching or letting go of our physical and emotional ownership or attachment to anyone and everything would basically be as close to reaching nirvana as one could hope to get on this earthly plane. Because, if you haven’t any attachments, you probably will also have fewer and fewer expectations, leading you to that state we’re always in but not necessarily IN: presence. And when one is truly present, one can experience BEING without all the distractions of opinion, judgment, desire, better known as “attachment”.
Right, so, where’s the comedy to which I referred? What’s so “funny” about the fact that, if Jay Leno was still doing the segment on his show in which he approaches unsuspecting pedestrians and asks them for the definition of a word, this surely would be a word evoking laugh worthy answers? Well, it’s not THAT kind of funny. I was definitely being ironic. Because, practicing detachment in a consumerist, profit-driven environment is about as popular a custom as is that of a monk hanging out at a strip joint. It’s a real feat to attempt detachment in a climate which supports and encourages the obtaining OF all those big, juicy attachments; the evidence of their influence upon society often surfacing in the holiest of places: our minds. As obvious as it is that much of our attachment was taught to us, sometimes even with the best intentions, what’s not super clear is how to unlearn it. For some of us, the questionable part isn't “how” but rather, “why”? Where do you fall? I fall all over the place. I can be quite completely at the effect of something or someone AND I can experience the direct benefit of the practice of releasing an attachment. Fortunately for me, as I was writing this very piece, an example of the latter occurred and a more perfectly timed coincidence couldn't have handed itself to me to share with y’all.
The kids were in their rooms, hubby was finishing up a mix in the studio and I had locked myself away in my room to type until I was done. I’d spent more than a little time and energy writing this post and it was about the time when I things were starting to click when I decided to steal down to the kitchen for a cup of tea. No sooner than I had poured the water in the kettle did the quick pitter- patter of bare feet reveal to me a child. As a parent, you have to think quick and I was. Between the time it took for said child to peel down the stairs and into the kitchen, I went from resentment at the thought of a conversation that would interrupt the conversation I was having in my head about what I was writing, to a conscious decision to implement the very thing I was writing about. I began to feel a softening of my emotional muscles, as my body and mind surrendered to this decision. And then she said something so beautiful and unexpected. “Mom, I was just listening to one of your songs and it made me realize how sad it would be if you weren't alive.” Lightning strike! I would’ve missed that touching moment with my kid had I let myself stay attached to my thoughts about the writing. I let it go, experienced being present and received an unexpected, deeply moving gift from this child. Actually, it was a 2 for 1 deal, because our lovely exchange served as the example I'd been in need of for this post J.
These teensy epiphanies are monumental. The letting go leads to presence. Being present enables you to flow with real life situations instead of against them. The more you loosen and surrender into ALL KINDS of moments and experiences, physically AND emotionally, the more it becomes organic, like anything else one practices. When things got great for me in my meditation practice was when I embraced the idea of there being NO goal of, like, being a better or wiser person or having the capability to empty your brain of thoughts and such. No goal IS the goal.
I can't talk about it anymore or I will confuse myself with the simplicity of it all.
Highest Good, boyeeeeee