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DETACHMENT

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
STILLNESS SILENCE SOLITUDE SIMPLICITY
DETACHMENT DISCERNMENT DEVOTION DELIGHT
HUMILITY HEALING HOLINESS HEAVENLINESS

+ Rumi said:

If you could get rid
of yourself just once,
The secret of secrets
Would open to you.
The face of the unknown,
Hidden beyond the universe
Would appear on the
Mirror of your perception.

+ "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."

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+ 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.

+ NEW December 10, 2014: Early in 2013, I wrote the following chapter on the practice of detachment as part of a book on all twelve spiritual practices and all 9 heavenly attributes. I sense that some of the writing is sent by the heavenly council which is a mysterious presence in my life. I believe the heavenly council is available to all of us. I have found a way to listen. The council often likes to say with one voice, "I AM." Maybe you can discern when this voice is speaking as opposed to my voice or other voices. I invite you to participate in this conversation with God, with heavenly beings, with human beings and other creatures too. Please join in. Add your own thoughts. Ask questions. Ponder. Contemplate. Seek truth. Here we go:

+ There will be more on the essential practice of stillness but now let’s begin to see what happens as we practice being still. We begin to be detached from all those constant ego demands and expectations. We begin to stop all that chatter and we begin to hear a voice within us calling us to greater Love, calling us home.

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, OK? YES.

Good. Great. Fantastic. Wonderful.

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. Your Inner Guide, my Inner Guide, our Inner Guide, wrote that book. Be like Helen. Pay attention. Be like Helen. 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.

As I write this book, this is where I need to find out if I’m on the right path, the path to an authentic awakening to my true identity as a heavenly being, an identity I share with you because we are one.

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.

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MORE QUOTES

  • “When I am liberated by silence, when I am no longer involved in the measurement of life, but in the living of it, I can discover a form of prayer in which there is effectively no distraction.” – Thomas Merton

  • “Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. When people really listen to each other in a quiet, fascinated attention, the creative fountain inside each of us begins to spring and cast up new thoughts and unexpected wisdom.” — Brenda Ueland quoted in Finding What You Didn't Lose by John Fox

  • “The trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence. The stars, the sun, the moon move in silence. Silence gives us a new perspective.” -- Blessed Mother Teresa

  • “My favorite piece of music is the one we hear all the time if we are quiet.” -- John Cage

  • “Hospitality consists in a little fire, a little food, and an immense quiet.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • 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."

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    John@abundancetrek.com

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  • RESOURCES ON THE WEB:

  • The Living Stones Blog offers "Thoughts on Detachment". Here it is:

    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.

  • OneGodSite offers some very illuminating quotes on the spiritual practice of Detachment.

  • Inner Frontier offers "Stages of the Path" by Joseph Naft. "The path" of awakening and awareness is linked to detachment from beginning to end. The more we let go, the more we know peace and freedom. Naft quotes Buddhist master Achaan Chah: "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."

  • Inner Frontier offers "Non-clinging: Letting Go of Attachments" by Joseph Naft. He links the heavenly attributes of freedom and joy to the practice of letting go: "On the road to freedom, we must let go of everything as me or mine. One wonderful aspect of the practice of non-clinging is that partial results accrue to us, even early in our path. If we learn not to identify with just a few kinds of thoughts or emotional reactions, we discover a little freedom and lightness, more joy as we walk through life. Non-clinging serves as its own reward."

  • Father Bede Griffiths (1906-1993) contributed immensely to our wisdom and knowledge regarding the contemplative life. He focused considerable attention on the need for detachment which he calls an essential part of the process "to break the ego, to open beyond the ego, and open up to the Divine." For more, go to bedegriffiths.com

  • Thubten Chodron says that a better translation of the Buddhist teaching we ordinarily call "detachment" would be "non-attachment." Read more at a Spirituality and Practice page on Thubten Chodron.

  • Book: Let Go Now: Embracing Detachment by Karen Casey / Conari Press 08/10 Paperback $14.95 / ISBN: 9781573244664 /
    S&P review | S&P excerpt

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    John@abundancetrek.com

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