Attachment. In a physical sense this word can have very positive associations; a baby to the umbilical cord for example, or the bungy -jump rope to the harness and the bridge. Where attachment can work against us is when it moves into the more subtle realms of mind and emotions. This is where we can easily become seduced by the search for external gratification.
Where Does Attachment Come From?
Attachment usually begins when we look for happiness and fulfillment outside of ourselves. When this happens we apply a sense of need to something, be it a person, object, thought or outcome. We may feel as though we need to have a partner in order to be happy, we may need to have more money to enjoy our life, we may need to obtain a certain job title to feel fulfilled, we may even apply this need to our yoga practice yoga. Without awareness over how our mind and emotions are working we can become so absorbed with these future and external based outcomes that we lose the present moment and no matter what we have, we need something else.
How Can We Let Go Of Attachment?
With awareness and practice we can override these common tendencies and find happiness and fulfillment in the present moment. Here are 3 easy steps to practice at home.
- The first step is to develop awareness over your mind and emotions. Put aside 10 minutes where you sit quietly and uninterrupted and simply observe your thoughts and feelings as they come up. Resist the urge to judge them or react to them. If you find yourself getting involved with any of them just let go of whatever it is and come back to the practice of observing.
- Once you feel comfortable with observing your thoughts and feelings, you can now begin to focus on being detached from them. Allow them to be there, but get a sense of being completely separate from them, as if you are watching an internal movie. As with the first step, if you find you become involved, simply let it go and come back to the practice of detachment.
- Once you have practiced the stages of observation and detachment several times, your mind and emotions should be fairly still, or if still moving will have less of an impact on you. You can now move into present moment awareness. Without being attached to the activity of the mind and emotions, we allow ourselves the chance to feel peaceful, happy and fulfilled in the present moment. As you sit in this space, reaffirm these feelings on a deep internal level for at least 5 minutes. This may take some practice so continue with stages 1 and 2 for as long as you feel you need to.
What’s The Outcome?
By practicing these techniques regularly you can continue to separate yourself from your attachments in daily life. That morning cup of coffee can be something you enjoy instead of desperately need, your partner can become someone who adds to your life instead of being the reason for it and your yoga practice can be a chance to explore your inner depths and not something to cling to.
Your life can take on new meaning and you can feel more happy and fulfilled with what you have right now.