Detachment is not renunciation. It is a reorientation of attitudes and lifestyles. Limitless love is free of bondage. It is a creative endeavour that involves a shift in consciousness.
According to Sri Aurobindo, when one withdraws from the turmoil of outer life, the evolving consciousness becomes centered and observant like a detached witness. It is a state of neutrality that goes beyond body and mind to communicate with the spirit.
Most techniques of self-mastery advise us not to escape from life but to live it intelligently with selflessness and detachment. We must accept responsibility for our circumstances and learn from experiences and events and then rise above the situation. This way we can relate to circumstances without losing our balance. Then we can go through life unaffected.
Being centered, yet non-attached, is an art. To correct the imbalances in thought and conduct, just observe yourself objectively. It is not necessary to be judgmental; it is enough to be objective. Be a neutral observer and notice the quality of your experience, but do not get caught in self-criticism or self-approval. This process of self-study eventually leads to detachment.
Non-attachment is the vairagya that precedes anurag, the flowering of divine love and bliss. To achieve the latter, sage Patanjali recommends sustained practice through elimination of emotional reactions to individuals and situation.
Involution initiates evolution. To cope with the demands of the present, we have to shed the burden of the past and chase away the demons of the future. Distressing techniques emphasize the need to bridge the gap between our real self and the projected self.
Detachment does not mean shirking responsibility or lack of sensitivity. On the contrary, it is an attitude of pure love, without emotional bondage. Rituals help in self-purification. They are important during spiritual infancy and must be slowly dispensed with. Pursuing liberation must not become bondage.
To be detached at home and in the workplace, we must become meditative in action. Just remember the wheel. Its rapidly moving outer rim represents the restlessness of the outer world. The centre of the wheel is your internal stability that integrates and controls. When you are overwhelmed by thoughts, emotion and events, withdraw into your centred calm. The centre can be a mantra, an awareness of breathing or any other reference point. Go through the activities of the day by being aware of the hub and not the rim.
Detachment at the workplace would result in greater focus and efficiency. Detachment at home would lead to harmonious relationships.
Remember to distinguish between entertainment and relaxation. Has life become a choice between workaholics and a frantic search for diversions? Let relaxation be a renewal, when delicate sensibilities resurface to flourish into art, music and philosophy.
On a daily basis, meditation is the best mini-vacation, when one can escape into one’s sacred inner space. Gandhi recomrnended cultivating silence as a means of detachment and renewal Silence nourishes the spirit. Possession is limiting, detachment is liberating. With the growth of knowledge and inner purity, actions become effortless and selfless. Worthy actions performed, selflessly lead to liberation. The individual self becomes the ultimate self.