“Non-attachment” sounds a bit intimidating, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, most people tend to associate this spiritual phrase with being emotionally cold and unfeeling. But true non-attachment is quite the opposite: it allows us to live in this world fully, without being attached to people, things or thoughts that create suffering.
As the Dalai Lama was once quoted to have said:
Attachment is the origin, the root of suffering; hence it is the cause of suffering.
But we don’t have to sell everything we own and become monks or nuns to practice non-attachment; we simply need to understand the vital importance of letting go.
Non-attachment or release from desire has been spoken about in many religions such as Taoism, Hinduism, Jainism, and the Bahá’í Faith, but this concept is most commonly linked to Buddhism.
Here are a few perspectives from major spiritual traditions on non-attachment:
The root of suffering is attachment
– The Buddha (Buddhism)
When we come to non-attachment, then we can understand the marvelous mystery of the universe: how it is intense activity and at the same time intense peace, how it is work every moment and rest every moment.
– Swami Vivekananda (Hindu Tradition)
Consider the trees which allow the birds to perch and fly away without either inviting them to stay or desiring them never to depart. If your heart can be like this, you will be near to the Way.
– Zen saying
Act without expectation
– Lao Tzu (Taoism)
He who is attached to things will suffer much.
– Tao Te Ching
Aparigraha (or Non-attachment)
(One of the three pillars of Jainism)
Attach not thyself to anything unless in it thou seest the reality of God.
– Abdu’l-Baha (Bahá’í Faith)
Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.
– Ali Ibn Abi Talib (Islam)
There are simply too many quotes out there on non-attachment to include here, but I hope these perspectives give you an idea of how important non-attachment is not only religiously/spiritually, but on a global level.
What is Non-Attachment?
About Mateo Sol
Mateo Sol is a prominent psychospiritual counselor and mentor whose work has influenced the lives of thousands of people worldwide, he is currently based in Perth, Australia. Born into a family with a history of drug addiction, schizophrenia, and mental illness, Mateo Sol was taught about the plight of the human condition from a young age. As a spiritual counselor and mentor, Sol’s mission is to help others experience freedom, wholeness, and peace in any stage of life. [Read More]