| BEAUTY | LOVE | TRUTH |
| PEACE | JUSTICE | FREEDOM |
which we experience and enjoy
as we embrace our fantastic journey,
On our way to attaining our true identity as a heavenly being we move through four stages of spiritual practice with DETACHMENT the second practice of stage one, the journey of the Mind. I borrowed these four stages from Elizabeth Lesser. She calls them landscapes. She offers many ideas and practices in her wonderful book, The Seeker's Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure.
|STAGE ONE: THE JOURNEY OF THE MIND||STAGE TWO: THE JOURNEY OF THE HEART||STAGE THREE: THE JOURNEY OF THE BODY||STAGE FOUR: THE JOURNEY OF THE SOUL|
|Feb. 10 SE 41||Feb. 11 SE 42||Feb. 12 SE 43||Feb. 13 SE 44||Feb. 14 SE 45||Feb. 15 SE 46||Feb. 16 SE 47||Feb. 17 SE 48|
+ Rumi said:
If you could get rid
+ "There is no object in the whole world that can give you complete satisfaction. Hence give up this effort and depend on the Lord who will bestow upon you eternal satisfaction and bliss." -- Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1684.
+ As the Buddhist master Achaan Chah put it: "If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. If you let go completely, you will know complete peace and freedom."
+ Detachment is the practice which is now popularly called “letting go and letting God.” As we become more and more committed to the essential practice of being still, detachment becomes more and more natural and desirable. As we detach from some of our earthly pleasures and pains and obsessions and addictions, we become more and more awakened to the glorious truth that we are enjoying the gifts of heaven right here, right now. Wow! Buddhist teacher Thubten Chodron says that this practice leads to a “calm, realistic, open, and accepting attitude.” As a result, “our relationships with others are harmonious, and in fact, our affection for them increases." Read more at a Spirituality and Practice web page on Thubten Chodron.
Detachment means Letting Go and Letting God. It means accepting the fact, the reality, that our earthly life with all of its delights and disappointments is temporary. When we let go of our attachment to these earthly delights and disappointments, then and only then can we see, be, who we really are, a heavenly being. Heaven is our permanent home and we don’t have to wait to get there. It is not “there.” It is here. Be still, let go, and know.
The more you allow yourself to be detached from your ego, the more your Inner Guide will lead you to this awakening to your true identity. But this can take a lot of time and practice. It is easy to be deceived into thinking that you have met your Inner Guide when you have really been listening to your ego pretending to be your authentic Inner Guide. Your ego keeps you insane. I don’t have to go into that here. A Course in Miracles thoroughly explains how the ego keeps us insane. Pay attention. Don’t keep the wisdom you are getting from your authentic Inner Guide to yourself. Share it. Let trusted friends and colleagues help you discern the authentic from the deceit. More on discernment later.
Detachment is not a goal but it is a stage on the way, part of that stage 1 of Stillness, Detachment, Humility. We are called to be involved on the earth and permanent detachment is not required or recommended during this earthly sojourn we are on. The delights and disappointments will continue. But detachment from those delights and disappointments means we can live our earthly lives with more compassion and understanding. Humility is the goal here in this stage, not detachment.
When the time comes, total detachment from all of our earthly delights and disappointments will come. I don’t know about you, but I would rather wait a while for that to happen. In the mean time I want the joy that comes from being in heaven more and more even as I do my earthly sojourn.
+ Detachment does not mean indifference. A Hindu teacher, Shakun Narain Kimatrai, clarifies the difference. She writes: "I believe that while being detached, one has to be loving and compassionate. Detachment, according to me, is to be and let be! Live and let live! After you have done your best, leave the rest! I believe that the only true detachment is from the desire of fruits of action."
+ “Although we have been made to believe that if we let go we will end up with nothing, life reveals just the opposite: that letting go is the real path to freedom.” -- Sogyal Rinpoche in Glimpse After Glimpse
+ “The Dharma of the Buddha does not require a person to go into homelessness or to resign from the world, unless he or she feels called upon to do so. The Dharma asks every person to free themselves from the illusion of self, to cleanse one’s heart, to give up one’s thirst for pleasure, and lead a life of balance.” – Buddhacarita
Caught up in details
Is your only treasure.
Stop chasing details and become
Still to feel it.
The mind that sees details clearly,
But is not caught up by them
Is like a vast borderless mirror.
- Ji Aoi Isshi
+ “… and, when the time comes to let it go...let it go.” -- Mary Oliver
Detachment doesn’t mean not loving. It means to be free to love with God’s love. Without detachment we are not free. We are bound to our limited selves, our egos, and when we are bound we project onto others, grasp after them, and/or reject them. Without detachment we cannot be fully aware of others or fully present to them. So we love selfishly, at least partly, and in self-serving ways.
Detachment enables us to be aware of and engage reality as it really is. It enables us to welcome and embrace the unfolding of reality and be present and responsive to the Spirit at work within it. Without detachment we cannot see truth, cannot realize or actualize the truth.
Detachment requires skillful, intentional humility and vulnerability because detachment does not come naturally to us; it is a supernatural gift, a grace, though we can practice making ourselves available to it. My prayer for myself and for our community is that we continue to grow in loving others with awareness, humility, and skill. And this, I think, requires detachment.
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