Sunday, July 18, 2010

Attachment, reviewed

Over the years on this blog, I've written a bit about attachment. And again, it's that time in the yoga teacher training where we've hit Aparigraha. And again, I want to read the class some passages from Anthony De Mello's book, Way to Love.

The way to really practise non-attachment is to notice where we're attached. That's sort of the only way. Just notice where we're attached. In yoga practise it's like breathing into the places we feel. In meditation it's like leaning into the sharp points. In Landmark Education language it's like being authentic about where we're inauthentic. And that's how to become non-attached. It's how to allow. It's how to be present. Go to the things you feel and let them be there. There's nothing to do afterwards. Things will either fall away or they'll still be there. You won't have to do anything.

Non-attachment is such a goal and people sometimes don't like to admit where they're attached. Your friends and family know what you're attached to. It's not something you can hide. And it's often annoying, especially if we're attached to people being a certain way for us. We might think the amount we're attached to someone is a gauge of how much we love them, but that's not it. It doesn't feel good to be loved when there's so much attachment around it. Going the other way, it isn't relaxing to love someone with lots of attachment.

The reason we practise the yama of non-attachment isn't because it's the right thing to do. It's because it frees us up energetically. To stay attached takes energy and drains us. Practising all of the yamas and niyamas is to let things go, open the energy channels, increase our health, things like that. That's what the yoga's for. It's not to burden ourselves with rules and things we should do. It's about freedom, union, balance, and what that takes is looking at where we're not free, where we're out of balance, and not making ourselves wrong or feeling rotten about that, but using those as cues to move us in the direction we want to go.

No comments: