How to practice detachment
Buddhists say that all attachment brings unhappiness. At first glance this statement doesn’t sound too positive. Present times are very much materialistic and it is only natural to have that materialism embedded in us.
But the more we have, the more we want.
To truly understand attachment, we need to contemplate on it.
What attachment brings
It is not a problem to have a lot. The problem is the desire that comes with it and creates distress. The fear of losing wealth, jealousy of someone else’s bigger wealth, sorrow when we lose something – they are all byproducts of having too much and always wanting more.
Money doesn’t spoil everyone. But the truth is money really is the root of all evil. It brings the worst in (most) people. And everything that money can buy may create attachment in such a way that we become unhappy by either fearing of losing it or never stopping to want more.
Why detachment is good
The ideal life for each of us would be to have enough and to be in peace with what we have. This means we can enjoy wealth, however we should always be aware that it is impermanent. We can lose it any day, and it is alright. Why? Because life is ever changing and nothing stays the same forever. No matter how much we grasp on it, it can never become an eternal part of us and unchangeable. If we accept that everything we have, including ourselves, is impermanent, we won’t attach to anything so much.
This is really the biggest truth about happiness. It doesn’t mean you will become senseless being with no enjoyment whatsoever. It only means you will accept and release life’s wonders with no problem when the time comes. Sticking to anything is painful – fear of losing it might drive you mad.
Being wealthy and detached to it is the ultimate happiness. You can share it with others without any problematic feelings. If something bad happens, like losing your wealth, there will be no anger, no hate, no resentment, no sadness. The awareness of impermanence will lead you on, to new beginnings and everything will be fine.
How to become detached
As with any other Mindset Change Project, first you need to practice mindfulness. How can you become detached if you are not even aware of your attachment?
Each day our minds should be in soul-searching mode: how we feel and why we feel like it. Examine thoroughly every situation and see deeper into it. Are you unhappy because of what you don’t have? Are you attached to your good looks or people’s good opinion about you? Do you see your attachment clearly?
Now, try to see what would detachment bring? You would still have all those things, but would you be jealous or afraid? No, because you would release all the negative feelings that go with attachment. Freedom from attachment creates a happy life.
Contemplate on what it would look like if you were detached? Everything would still be the same, you would have exactly what you have now, but without fear of losing it and jealousy of other people having more.
Also, one of the great tools to practice detachment is gratefulness. Being grateful all the time for what we have will certainly ease our desires and ground us.
Releasing attachment means being free from negative feelings and it will create ultimate happiness. No money can buy happiness. Otherwise, wouldn’t all those extremely rich people stop grabbing money knowing they have more than enough – isn’t that the best proof how money can’t buy you happiness? They are evermore hungry and will never stop wanting more. So, create your own happiness by being wealthy but detached.