My Buddhist friends remind me of the importance of detachment. From a “precious certainty” (about how a project should work, or about the big stuff, how the world should work). From an idea (it’s just one way of thinking, but here is another). From a story (he is supposed to take care of himself — why isn’t he). Even from a person, or perhaps more accurately, from the complex web of emotion and energy that that person, and each of us, are.
Detachment is a practice. Detachment is an orientation. Detachment is an awareness. It doesn’t come without resistance, struggle, or even just some straight up pissed off moments.
My friend Quanita Roberson reminds me, that in the oddity of life, there is a difference between “letting go” and “being willing to let go.” This rings true with my experience, but it is something I’ve only learned after crossing a finish line. It wasn’t something that I knew, or could know, at the start of the race.
Letting go, and detachment, require a full willingness. Wether or not the actual letting go will be required, is a cognitive wondering that impedes the spiritual path of detachment. Am I willing to move. Am I willing to let go of, or take, the job. Am I willing to say no to the worry. Am I willing to let go of my precious story.
My learning is that words and thoughts are part of such inquiry and development. But even more so, periods and places of silence, whether internally invoked, or external and physical, like the one in the above photo, from a hillside near where I live. Not talking. Not lost in media. Not lost in the ball game. When I get detached enough, by the way, then the not talking, no media, and not watching the ball game take on a different flavor. Funny, right.
Going right to the edge, and then beyond, is the only place that one can recognize, that willingness is enough. It’s a bit mind and spirit boggling to me. But also, very attractive.
I join with my Buddhist friends in naming and believing that so many of the crises that we face individually, communally, and societally are issues of spirit now. There is much work to get done. Yup. And there is much spirit and consciousness to evolve. That too. The practice and orientation of detachment is what I continue to learn, matters essentially.