A Question Regarding Detachment

A concern often expressed by my clients is, “In my efforts to be more present, will I become more aloof or appear uncaring as I become less identified with events and people affecting my life?” This is a common misconception, and the answer is quite simply, “No.”  What my clients are referring to is “detachment.”

If you are not living in the present your normal state is one of attachment or identification. Meaning, in any given moment your ego or mind is attached or identified with an emotion, thought, person, event, etc. This attachment keeps you in the past or the future and not in the present moment. If you were to stop and observe your thoughts, you would see that your mind and ego are like a pinball in a pinball machine, bouncing off the bumpers haphazardly without any clear intention. For most individuals, this is their normal state of consciousness—haphazardly moving from one identification or attachment to the next without self-awareness or presence.

When you engage the Now, you enter into a state of calm detachment and objectivity. Being detached does not mean that you are uncaring. It means that you don’t react negatively or lose energy to stimuli and things affecting you.  In other words, detachment means you retain your state of presence and internal peacefulness amidst the whirlwind of activities and emotions of those around you.

Most of your suffering is self-inflicted and unnecessary as it is due to the ego being identified or attached. The ego takes everything personally, almost always reacts negatively, and expends a great deal of energy in the process.

For example, say you are driving and the person behind you is impatiently riding your bumper. You are going the speed limit, but that is not fast enough for the driver behind you who, when you look in the rear view mirror is obviously annoyed you aren’t going faster. You can’t change lanes because someone else is in the lane beside you.  So, you speed up to create space so that the person in a hurry can access the other lane and pass you.

The ego’s first reaction is to take offense, yell at the other driver to slow down, maybe even make an obscene gesture at them as they pass you. Your blood pressure has increased and you are irritated. Maybe you fantasize about the other driver getting a speeding ticket or worse.

In a brief amount of time, you have allowed another person or event to completely consume a few minutes of your life and make you negative. Time that you can’t get back; time wasted because your ego took it as a personal attack.

If you were present while driving, you would have encountered the driver with detachment. You would have noticed that he was in a hurry and you were inhibiting him. Instead of taking it personally and becoming negative, you would realize that you were not the problem, and that this person may have a very good reason for being in a hurry. You do what is necessary to let him pass you. You would then continue driving without having lost any energy at all and still remain present.

Detachment is non-identification. It means not taking things personally. It often requires that you put yourself in another’s persons shoes, to see the world through their eyes. To be detached requires that you be compassionate, that you have an understanding of the human condition. Practicing detachment will make it easier for you to be present and remain in the present.

Peace and blessings,
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You Are What You Think

The following is an excerpt from my new book, “Imagine Believe Become.”

We are what we think. All that we are arises with
our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
—The Buddha

Throughout history, philosophers and spiritual teachers have stated in various ways you are what you think. While many of your thoughts are automatic and based on your ego, ultimately you decide which thoughts to believe and which thoughts to reject. You decide which thoughts are important, you decide which thoughts you believe to be true, and you act on them accordingly. This begs the following question: If you are what you think, who are you? You are the creator of your life—you create your reality based on the nature of your thoughts. If you can fully comprehend the magnitude of this statement, you will see that you are incredibly powerful, that your potential to create the life of your dreams is limitless.

What thoughts are you projecting? Are your thoughts primarily positive or negative? Are your thoughts selfish or are they considering of others? Are you experiencing thoughts of worry and angst? What thoughts are you having regarding your self-image? What thoughts are you attracting from those around you? Do you see that your behavior, feelings, and opinions are based upon what you think? Do you see that your thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Do you see that the only limitations you have are the ones you impose on yourself through your thoughts? In order to change your life, you must change the way you think.

Your life is the sum total of all the thoughts and decisions you have made up until right now. Moreover, all that you think and do today will determine who you are tomorrow. In this exact moment you are creating your reality. You are determining your future.

(Click here to purchase Imagine Believe Become in paperback or to download the ebook.)

Peace and blessings,
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You experience moments of awakening every day


Question: I think I’m having moments of awakening. How do I know for certain?

You experience many moments of awakening throughout the day, however most of them are fleeting. They occur for only a second or two and are quickly forgotten due to your mind becoming identified with the barrage of thoughts produced by the ego.

Moments of awakening occur when you drop the ego and experience life from your essence—your soul. The ego is your personality and all the thoughts, fears, desires, and identifications that accompany it. It is your false self. Your true self is your soul and in moments of awakening, your soul is engaged and you experience the Present. These moments are accompanied by a sense of awe, wonder, inner silence, peace, and love.

Virtually anything can create a moment of awakening for you. It could be a smile from a stranger, a song on the radio, thunder and lightning, hearing a songbird, seeing a child absorbed in playing, watching your dog lying in the grass, hearing someone laugh. The list is endless.

When you have a moment of awakening, your understanding of who you are transcends your normal existence of I am Mary, Tom, or whatever your name may be, to simply, I am.

In the experience of I am, you see that you are connected to everything and everything is connected to you. You see you that you are the sun, moon, and stars. You see yourself in a blade of grass, a tree, a ladybug. You see that in loving one person, you love all people. Thus, moments of awakening are moments of deeper awareness and higher consciousness.

William Blake described moments of awakening perfectly.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

There are multitudes of ways in which you can increase moments of awakening. Yoga, breathing exercises, spiritual practice, and meditation are but a few methods. You can also find activities that feed your essence. Are their activities you do that bring you incredible joy? Activities in which you lose a sense of yourself? This could be gardening, taking a walk, painting, writing poetry, visiting a museum, cooking a meal, doing something special for someone else. Activities that feed your essence are activities you do solely because you love doing them, and the outcome does not matter. The joy is in the doing, in the complete awareness of the act. Activities that feed your essence are effortless and leave you rejuvenated. Furthermore, the desire alone to awaken will increase your moments of awakening.

Peace and Blessings,
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