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Thread: How to attain detachment when your ego is doing gymnastics?

  1. #1
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    How to attain detachment when your ego is doing gymnastics?

    Came across this on a FB post. I wonder if I have it in me.
    Has anyone here done something like this, even while there is some resentment, anger, guilt and regret for one's own mistakes that led to split, etc.?
    Any techniques that could enable the below, while silencing the angry internal dialogue?

    "Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh gave a complete explanation of the true meaning of detachment.

    He said that to truly let go is to love someone more than you have ever loved them before. When this love for another extends beyond your own personal expectations of gains, then non attachment takes place.

    The 4 Elements Of Detachment According To Thich Nhat Hanh

    1. Maitri (Benevolence and Lovingkindness)


    Master Han said that Maitri is “the intention and capacity to offer joy and happiness”. It involves profound looking and listening to others in order to know what to do and what not to do to make others happy.

    People usually assume that the things or actions that can make them happy will have the same effect on others. But, no.

    You should see the person’s real situation so that you will know that what you offer them is what really contributes to their happiness.

    It’s not Maitri when what you give brings unhappiness. Forcing certain behaviors on another with the intent of “pleasing” them is actually governed by your ego self.

    When you detached yourself from your own need, it’s when you can truly see what brings the other person satisfaction and give them that.

    2. Karuna (Compassion)

    Detachment is another way of showing deep compassion for others. When you’re detached, you feel the pain of others without the intention of taking those pain away.

    You’re simply there for them. The more you’re detached from the outcome, the more you’re deeply involved in life.

    3. Mudita (Gratitude and Joy)

    Detachment frees you from clinging to something. An unattachment to a thing or idea makes it easier for you to be grateful for life and everything in it.

    The Buddha defines joy as something that is unselfish, meaning you not only celebrate when you find your own happiness but delight when others find their own happiness too.

    It’s the kind of joy where you have to let go of someone who no longer wishes to be with you but wants to find their own happiness in other places or another person.

    Instead of feeling bitter, you still feel happy for them. This is the true joy, to be happy for others even if it has nothing to do with you.

    4. Upeksha (Equanimity)

    Master Hanh describes Upeksha as equanimity, non attachment, non discrimination, even mindedness, or letting go. Derived from the words “upa” (over) and “iksha” (to look), upeksha is like climbing a mountain and looking over the whole situation.

    It’s not looking only on one side but incorporating in your perspective everything you laid your eyes on. Discrimination, prejudice, or clinging are not acts of true love.

    Upeksha is showing love for everybody without discrimination. The absence of Upeksha gives rise to possessiveness and egotism.

    Strive to be a detached person to truly love anyone. When your love is non assertive, you build healthy relationships that are filled with effortless love, kindness, and compassion."

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I think the word 'detached' carries difficult connotations in the west, different from the east. We were raised in our family on these basic first three principles above so it's nothing new. It's also built into Confucian ideologies and the way society functions in Asia. It's about the community and the greater whole, not the individual.

    To me the word 'detachment' isn't an accurate description. It's wholeness and a more holistic approach. I think everyone is able to understand a more holistic approach to problem solving.

    I disagree with non-assertiveness. In a monk-like vacuum among equal peers, it works but not in the workplace, not with the idea of capitalism and the way we interact realistically with different cultures, different individuals and not in the way we maintain order in society. The problem is that people are not equal and as a result, do not treat each other equally. If everyone were to enact upeksha, if you want to call it that, in unison, sure. I'm sure it'd work in an artificial way. Organically, it doesn't work. We are not all supreme beings... although I guess some of us believe we are. lol

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I believe in my Christian faith and it is perfectly acceptable to enforce healthy boundaries with others.

    Yes, I've had a lot of bitterness, resentment, guilt and anger regarding acrimonious splits. To take it even further, I must cross paths with "bad blood" among extended family members which is even worse. It's not completely out of sight and out of mind in my midst. All I can do is remain civil yet unemotional, frosty and distant. It works. I've since learned to feel numb. I guess you can say this is my form of "detachment."

    I forgive but nowhere in the Bible does it say to "forget." I move on without engaging and interacting with certain obnoxiously disrespectful people from my past. I don't retaliate verbally nor in written form. I simply LEAVE THE RELATIONSHIP.

    It's the best I can do whenever I don't trust certain individuals. They've already showed their true colors to me during weak moments and demonstrated their dark side of human nature. There was a lack of emotional intelligence (EQ ~ Google those words), they gaslighted me (Google gaslighting), betrayal of trust, deception and various evils. I simply play it cool, stay away and protect myself from future harm.

    I only associate with those who are conscientious, moral and know how to behave with integrity. Everyone else? I leave them alone and enjoy my own life WITHOUT them.

    I pray for strength and wisdom regarding how to navigate my dead relationships with complicated and complex people. I think long and hard. Then I come to the conclusion to drift away from them. It works wonders for my soul, consoles me, provides immense comfort and resilience. I develop high self esteem, self worth and self confidence. I actually love and respect myself as opposed to always placing others on an exalted pedestal. I don't do that anymore which makes me feel pretty darn good!

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    What about reaching a detached attitude when you've been left by someone - or are being cut off without a good-bye or anything? And part of you wants to be detached in this benevolent way, respecting their choice; yet the other part feels offended that they didn't even say good-bye; and the third part is struggling with one's own regrets and inadequacy over the actions that led to this?

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    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    My story is not the same as yours but the sentiments have similar parallels regarding another person leaving the relationship, cut off without saying good-bye and permanent ghosting.

    I can't speak for you, however, anytime I've felt snubbed by anyone, I maintain a cool attitude. They are their own person and I have every darn right to be my own person, too. It's a catharsis to let them go so I can feel free, too. Often times being together is counterproductive and not meant to be; can't force it. Whenever I change the way I think, I'm no longer in pity pot mode. I become positive and want to have joy in my life. I don't allow the other person to consume me. I'm better than that and you should feel the same way.

    Any person who possesses emotional intelligence (EQ - Google those words) and a conscience, will most definitely feel regrets, remorse and inadequacies. You can't undo the past. All you can do is learn from your past mistakes, warts and all. The benefit from pasts which went awry is wisdom gained for your future relationship with anybody.

    You learn what to say, what not to say, what to write, what not to write and you learn to back off a lot as opposed to allowing your emotions cloud your judgment. This is your key takeaway. Instead of struggling, gain new wisdom regarding how you navigate yourself in interpersonal relationships with everyone in your life. This concept is not distinct to 1:1 relationships. It's everyone in society.

    I've found that it truly helps to develop your own self confidence. Don't let people get the best of you. Think smart and you will be smart.

    I too can't do anything about the past. What's done is done. All I can do is pick myself up, brush myself off, know how to behave properly and start a new day from this second forward. Try doing the same.

    I pray for strength and wisdom and get it.

    When you're ready, surround yourself with moral people. Don't isolate yourself too much.

    Get busy with life so you won't wallow in your misery. Work hard, if you're furthering your education, do that, take outstanding care of your health and remember the sound body, sound mind connection. The more inactive you are, the more negative you will be.

    Most of all, allow time to heal your old wounds. Your new wounds will become old wounds one day. Take good care of yourself. , Waraqqa.

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    Originally Posted by Waraqqa
    What about reaching a detached attitude when you've been left by someone - or are being cut off without a good-bye or anything? And part of you wants to be detached in this benevolent way, respecting their choice; yet the other part feels offended that they didn't even say good-bye; and the third part is struggling with one's own regrets and inadequacy over the actions that led to this?
    This kind of hodge podge sounds completely normal and understandable to me as long as you don't let the second and third aspects overwhelm you and overwhelm what is good in your life. I catch myself focusing on friends/people who let me down -and that's so unfair to my connections with people who do not, and unfair to myself. Good luck!

  8. #7
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    The ability to detach comes about when a person is able to go with the flow and let go of the outcome of a situation. As humans we seem to be hard wired to try and control the people places and things around us to a degree so bringing oneself back to that place of surrender and acceptance is a constant work in progress. It makes me think of the practise of mindfulness which isn’t about forcing oneself to feel a certain way but instead about accepting ourselves for exactly where we are, good bad or neutral.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Letting go is much harder than acquisition. It's often perceived as loss rather freedom.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    Letting go is much harder than acquisition. It's often perceived as loss rather freedom.
    Makes sense... attaining things would create a sense of security and safety whereas losing something or the idea of something would create feelings of insecurity or “not having enough.”

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Waraqqa
    What about reaching a detached attitude when you've been left by someone - or are being cut off without a good-bye or anything? And part of you wants to be detached in this benevolent way, respecting their choice; yet the other part feels offended that they didn't even say good-bye; and the third part is struggling with one's own regrets and inadequacy over the actions that led to this?
    Detachment is fine, I guess, if that's what you want to call it. All this is a rather elaborate way of saying acceptance and acknowledgement. As long as your recognize that this person was rude, I think you'll learn to avoid rude people in future. It's one thing to be aware of your surroundings and it's another thing to be compassionate to people who keep hurting you.

    When I was going through a difficult time, Buddhist teachings did me a world of good and offered hope where there was none. (A better way to think and to treat others.) It helps in the healing process so if you are healing it'll help you. Once you are strong again, you should see things a bit clearer and be able to tell good from bad, rude from polite, kind from unkind, good choices from not so good choices.

    I think gratitude is everything. It's the grounding force that brings us all back to what we actually are and what we care about. It makes us humble and it causes us to treat others with respect. As long as you stay grounded and grateful, I think you are on the right track.


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