Attachments make our life beautiful. It gives so many meanings and adds many dimensions to our life. It is a great feeling to be loved by someone. But when these attachments overpower you and possess you, your life becomes difficult. You are surrounded by the thoughts of your loved one round-the-clock, and it causes so much stress on your emotional well-being. Many times, you feel emotionally and physically drained out. It leads to sickness…
…it is a condition that needs medical attention.
Still, the most critical cure is in your hands in case you are in the grip of deep dark attachments. You will need to work out a schedule for some engaging activities which are physically exhausting, and not necessarily mental. Particularly, if you are showing symptoms of dark attachment towards your lover (read: Boyfriend/ girlfriend in today’s parlance) and you are constantly thinking about him/ her, it would lead to multiple problems.
You will not be able to focus on your studies or work, what to say of family and friends. This way your life and career will be in shambles. It is good that you are thinking about overcoming these dark desires.
We all know the story of Gautam Buddha, a true inspiration for fellow humans – how to overcome dark attachments. Buddha, at age 29, was confronted with impermanence and suffering. On a rare outing from his luxurious palace, he saw someone desperately sick. The next day, he saw a decrepit old man, and finally a dead person. He was very upset to realize that old age, sickness and death would come to everyone he loved. Siddhartha had no refuge to offer them.
The next morning the prince walked past a meditator who sat in deep absorption. When their eyes met and their minds linked, Siddhartha stopped, mesmerized. In a flash, he realized that the perfection he had been seeking outside must be within the mind itself. Meeting that man gave the future Buddha a first and enticing taste of mind, a true and lasting refuge, which he knew he had to experience himself for the good of all.
Sacrificing all his attachments to material life, Buddha decided he had to leave his royal responsibilities and his family to realize full enlightenment. He left the palace secretly and set off alone into the forest. This is the ultimate detachment. Though we fellow humans can’t be like Gautam Buddha, but we can certainly work towards achieving some enlightenment which helps us in achieving peace of mind.
The Buddhist concept of non-attachment is a constructive way to approach relationships. Here, attachment refers to an attempt to control things that you can’t control. When you try to grasp or control something outside of yourself, this causes suffering for yourself and the other person.
It has been observed that the Buddha had it right: pretty much all of our struggles, from frustrations to anxiety, from anger to sadness, from grief to worry, all stem from the same thing … deep attachments.
The struggles come from being too tightly attached to something.
There are a few practices like Meditation, which is simply sitting still and trying to pay attention to the present moment — whether that’s your breath, your body, or what’s around you right now. You need to learn to adopt compassion, interdependence, acceptance, and expansiveness.
In meditation, you practice letting go of these mini attachments, by noticing what your mind is doing and letting go, returning to the present moment. This happens again and again, and so you get good at it. It’s like muscle memory after doing it hundreds, thousands of times.
While being compassionate, you wish for an end to your suffering, or an end to the suffering of others. What happens is that this wish transforms you from being stuck in your attachment, to finding a warm heart to melt the attachment and find a way to ease it. You become bigger than your story when you wish for your suffering to end. And when you wish for others’ suffering to end, you connect yourself to them, see that your suffering is the same as theirs, and understand that you’re in this together.
In interdependence, you start to see that you are all connected in your suffering, and in your desire to be happy. You are not so separate from them. You’re not separate, but interdependent. This connection with others helps you to be less attached and more at ease with life.
By meditating, and practising compassion and interdependence, you can start to trust that things are OK just as they are. They might not be “ideal,” but they are just fine. Beautiful even. And you start to become more aware of your continual rejection of the present moment and open up to the actuality of this moment instead.
Hence, when a difficult attachment arises in your daily life, see the suffering, see the attachment, and expand your mind beyond it, giving yourself compassion while seeing that you are bigger than this attachment. Let it be there like a little cloud, floating around in the wide expanse of your mind, and then lightly let it float away, rather than sinking yourself into it.
This way you will be happy, and you will be able to spread happiness around you, so HappyHO.