Non-attachment is a central theme in most spiritual teachings, particularly in the Buddhist tradition.
In the words of The Buddha:
Life is suffering
Desire is the root cause of suffering
The dropping of desire brings an end to suffering
Desires, in and of themselves, are neither good nor bad ...they just ARE.
They arise involuntarily and are a normal and unavoidable part of being human.
Where we come unstuck however, is when we have a strong attachment to particular outcomes. This is what the Buddha is talking about.
You may have noticed that life doesn't always go the way you want!
We experience peace in our lives to the extent that we are able to flow with whatever happens.
Practising non-attachment is essential to experiencing ongoing peace and contentment.
INTERNAL Vs EXTERNAL HAPPINESS
When we are dependent on external factors such as relationships, jobs, finances etc. for our sense of well-being, we will naturally have a strong investment in things turning out a particular way.
When we are overly attached to favourable results, we open ourselves up to the possibility of suffering when things don't go our way.
In fact, "unfavourable"
circumstances can then be seen as gifts in disguise to deepen and stabilise our inner
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." -Albert Einstein
In the Universe where nothing is a miracle, mistakes are possible. In
this world, I am a victim of circumstances and others are the cause of
This is the world of "should have's", "could have's" and "why me?" Someone who views life in this way will invariably have a strong attachment to outcomes.
If you subscribe, on the other hand, to the view that everything
is unfolding perfectly according to a flawless Divine plan, surrender
and non-attachment are much easier to achieve.
Instead of asking "why me?" when the shit hits the fan, every event can be viewed as our own perfect creation to learn and grow.
You may ask "What is the gift in this situation for me?" or "If that didn't work out, maybe there is an even better situation just around the corner."
When we put all of our eggs in one basket, as far as our
happiness goes, whether it be a special relationship or getting a job
we are setting ourselves up for suffering.
"When you enjoy the smell of a thousand flowers, you will not miss the absence of one" - Anthony de Mello
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