Recently a family member started a daily meditation practice. She is often asking my husband and me for advice on what to do and how to stick with it. Shortly after starting she made a comment to us that she had not seen any changes and wanted to know how long until she felt something shift in her life. This got me thinking a lot about detachment. To me a big part of meditation, or any practice, is not necessarily the end result, but the process I am going through each day to get there.
Detachment is a word often found in many religious texts including Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism, just to name a few. Many religions regard detachment as a means to have a relationship with a higher power, higher being, God, etc. When we are able to connect with a higher power we become detached from material objects. Religious and non-religious definitions both define detachment as not becoming attached to the end result or material objects.
We all want our lives, jobs, projects, children, etc. to turn out well so it is often difficult to detach from the end results. However you do what you desire because you enjoy it, not just for the end result. We can still create intentions and desires, but we detach ourselves from the outcome. We can create actions and habits, strive for our best, work hard for the end result, all while understanding the end result is ultimately out of our control.
One of the cornerstones of craniosacral therapy is that the body is self-healing and the body knows what it needs to heal. I love my job and I want every client to get better. However, I have to detach myself from each client’s outcome. I do my best with each client but cannot be anxious about the end result. Only the client’s body knows what it needs and the timing it needs. I act as a conduit for healing, but ultimately the end results are out of my control. I have to trust clients who come to me are getting exactly what they need for that exact time. Talk about detachment!
This is true too for any practice: yoga, meditation, daily exercise program, daily reading or writing, etc. We are more motivated to participate in these daily or weekly activities when we enjoy them, not just do them for the end result. The process involved in each of these activities creates personal growth. When we are able to detach from the end result, that end result is often better than we imagined.
What practices do you have? Are you attached to those outcomes? How might your life change if you practice detachment in all areas of your life? In closing I will leave you with this quote from Deepak Chopra:
“In detachment lies with wisdom of uncertainty…in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning. And in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind.”