Detachment vs Non-attachment

How often have you heard of the term “non-attachment” and its connection to meditation and life? 

I wonder if you have possibly mistaken “non-attachment” with “detachment.”

There is a BIG difference between “non-attachment” and “detachment” and I must admit, when I had just started this path of self realization, over 10 years ago, I unknowingly interpreted the principle of non-attachment into detachment in the mind and in my experience of life. I must say, I felt dead inside for a period of time, but I also felt very much in control of my life. I thought this is what non-attachment feels and looks like. BUT I was mistaken!

As I continued my practices regularly, which allowed me to go deeper and receive the insights and wisdom, I had learned that I have mixed up these two principles. I realized I totally got the principle of non-attachment wrong. 

You are not supposed to feel dead inside. On the contrary, you are supposed to feel alive, joyful, peaceful, liberated and grounded. But in my early stages of meditation, I defined “dead” as “neutral.” Now, I know better. 

Detachment is “to distance oneself from the world out of total disinterest” . It’s actually an escape or denial of the present moment,  so you behave in such a manner to not feel or see. It’s a bit of this aloofness. One may appear to be zen like, but it’s really an I-don’t-care kind of attitude. The attitude that nothing can get to me, because I am DETACHED. I am zen. I thought… 

Non-Attachment is the practice of presence and mindfulness. Your state of being and sense of well being is not dependent on anything outside of you. AND it does not effect or minimize your appreciation of  love, joy, happiness, and all of life. Non-attachment comes from a place of expanded consciousness.

Knowing the difference has helped me in meditation practices, and I hope it will help you too!

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Dr. Bita Yadidi

Doctor of Eastern Medicine