First, let’s understand what attachment is. Attachment begins with a desire of the mind; the root of all attachments is a desire. When the object of that desire begins to manifest, either in the form of a relationship or in the form of a fulfilled desire, then the mind subconsciously attaches itself to that object. The mind attaches itself to that object because it is deriving pleasure out of it and it does not want to let go, so the mind starts to create a bond between itself and the object of pleasure.
Since attachment is so fundamental to the way we live, it is impossible to exist without being attached to something. In other words, attachment is necessary to the very process of living. It is like the web the spider weaves. Although the web is sticky, it serves a certain purpose for the spider. The spider knows the nature of the web, and it knows how to navigate through it.
Our problem comes because we are not consciously aware of the process of attachment; therefore, we do not know how to navigate through its sticky nature. We just keep weaving our web and eventually get ourselves entangled in it. On the other hand, a spider knows how to navigate in her web, since her web was a conscious process. The way to navigate through the world of our attachments is to bring in the non-stickiness of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the only non-sticky nature of our mind. When we are conscious of what we are doing, when each and every action of ours is filled with this awareness, we will not become entangled in our attachments.
There is a saying that everything idiotic in our life comes as a process of getting attached to some idea. The word “idiot” comes from the root word “idea,” and just means someone who completely subscribed to one idea of life and attached themselves to it. To understand this more deeply, we must see that attachment itself is idiotic. None of our attachments will last forever. They only serve a certain purpose in our lives; they come and go.
The moment we become attached to something, it becomes a root for our pain and suffering. In fact, there is not much other pain besides detaching from something that we are attached to. All pain is just a variation of detachment. When detachment is sudden, like a breakup or a separation from a place where you have lived for a very long time, it causes deep pain and misery. However, if detachment is practiced as an art on a daily basis, as a conscious process, then detachment itself can be very illuminating. Not only will the practice of detachment separate us from unnecessary fears, worries, and disappointments, but the practice of detachment will also lead us to a sense of individuality. Detachment allows an individual to see the separateness from everything else around them and become complete within themselves, no longer dependent on their objects of attachment. Through the practice of detachment, you become the very source of your attachment, and you become a complete individual in that process.
The best way to become detached is simply to observe the process of attachment. First, acknowledge and accept that we are attached to something and that attachment is the cause of our pain and suffering. Buddha said, “Desire is the root cause of all suffering.” The reason he said that is because we are tormented by nothing else apart from our desires, and we have no control over our desires. We have absolutely no say in which direction our desires are pushing or pulling us. A mind that is continuously tormented by desires can never find peace or happiness.
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