Spiritual detachment, it’s not about being cold.

Spiritual detachment is a phrase everyone is bound to hear eventually when they decide to venture down the spiritual path but what is spiritual detachment exactly?

Many people, including myself when I first heard about this idea thought it meant trying to detach from our feelings. Detach in the sense of not trying to feel anything, not trying to feel, happy, or sad or excitement or any emotion really because in doing so would mean being attached to that certain emotion, situation or person that caused those feelings to arise.

There is a saying in zen not to turn into a ” Stone Buddha” by that they mean, the goal in spirituality isn’t to turn into a stone statue, unmoved or unaffected by anything, even if we could feel that way, how terrible and what a boring way to experience this miracle called life. The state we are trying to achieve isn’t a state of avoiding, suppressing or running away from life in a hope to find peace but running head first into life, embracing whatever we experience fully.

Our ego turns everything into an image, a story, how to do this or do that etc, our ego sees spirituality or how a spiritual person is suppose to act and feel in a certain way, the reality is though we are spiritual in every moment and every action. Our ego thinks inner peace will come when we are walking around like a saint, happy all the time with a smile on our face, unaffected by any bad thoughts or feelings.

The reality to inner peace though, the true meaning of spiritual detachment is to not run from or avoid experience but to run towards experience and fully embrace it. We must fully embrace it and experience it but in the back of our minds remember to tell ourselves that everything is impermanent, nothing lasts, so don’t cling to any experience, don’t wish things were different because things never stay the same.

When we are happy we must make the most of that moment knowing it won’t last. When we are upset, no need to try to block out the feelings, we might as well fully embrace the feeling of sadness to the fullest knowing it won’t last as well. Our thoughts and feelings are never a problem, resisting or clinging to certain thoughts and feelings is the problem.

Inner peace isn’t found in the absence of problems but in the midst of them. We are human, we have a full range of human emotions, to be detached from our emotions in the spiritual sense is to welcome all thoughts, feelings and emotions equally with no resistance to what is. On the outside we will look and act like a regular person but on the inside we will find inner peace. If our ego self wants to act and dress what it deems as “spiritual” that’s totally fine too, but just realise it’s not required and doesn’t achieve anything other than present an image to the world.

When we look deep within we will see our true self is already detached, is unaffected by anything. We see happiness come and we see it go so our true self can’t be happy. We see sadness come and we see it go so our true self can’t be sad, the same goes for everything we experience. Our true self is always detached and at peace, it’s our ego self that goes on the full roller coaster of emotions and that’s perfectly ok. Our ego self is flawed, is in constant movement and unrest, our true self is divine, perfect and unmoved. We are always playing the human and divine role simultaneously, it’s ying and yang in action.

Thanks for reading, have an awesome day.

Simon Coleman.

9 Replies to “Spiritual detachment, it’s not about being cold.”

  1. Thank you so much for this and I have bookmarked your article.- As it really answered my questions about “detachment”.

    Some may be confused that disconnection is detachment when in fact it’s about embracing the “now”.

    I will consider revisiting and reading this over again.

    Again, thank you so much!

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  2. Also, can you say that “detachment” is balance of emotions and thoughts? More like mastering the balance of your thoughts and emotions?

    I am deeply fascinated with the anyone’s opinion about this matter.

    I would appreciate if we can exchange thoughts if you may ❤️

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    1. Hi Vee, I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Yes I feel detachment would be a balance of emotions and thoughts. As humans we have a wide variety of thoughts and feelings that should be expressed not suppressed.

      Whenever I’m personally having a good time I enjoy it to the fullest but in the background remember this happiness is temporary and won’t last so just enjoy it, whenever sadness appears I feel fully sad and miserable but again in the background know it won’t last….
      Our minds have a way it seems to see reality as solid and lasting but experience shows us otherwise.

      Fully experiencing emotions, having a sense of humour about life and being in wonder that this miracle is actually happening and no one knows how or why it is happening makes this journey through life a whole lot easier.

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      1. Hi Simon,

        Thank you so much for the reply! I would definitely agree with what you said that emotions should be expressed and not supressed. But i think some misunderstood the meaning of detachment, For detachment doesn’t mean being disconnected right?

        Is it acknowledging the changes or adapting to what’s there and what’s gone?

        Also, does it imply that detachment is having faith and trusting the journey for everything is temporary and bound to change?

        You may call me Clare, from the wonderful country of Philippines!

        Are you familiar with the book who moved my cheese?

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      2. Hi Clare 🙂,
        Another great way to practice detachment is the practice of
        “ Karma Yoga” which is the practice of doing our daily activities without expectation of the result. When we perform actions we either get what we expected, get more than we expected, not get what we expected or got way less than we expected.

        Karma yoga is a practice of detachment, that is detaching from the fruits of our actions as we never can control how a scenario will play out we can only control performing an action to the best of our ability..

        Life is always as it should be, if it wasn’t supposed to be how it is it wouldn’t be. Life flows as it will so we either detach from our expectations on how things should or shouldn’t be an flow with life or we can fight and resist it but never win.

        It’s a big topic 🙂

        Hope this helps

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      3. Hello Simon,

        Thanks for the recommendation, i will surely be checking it out. This is the first time I have ever heard about karma yoga. I just need to finish the film i am currently watching which talks a lot about subject/topic as such.

        The word expectation itself tells us what it means but with what you said, i think there’s a lot of studying/research i need to do.- In order to fully understand how broad and how interconnected things are.

        Just a question Simon, can you say that detachment could also imply fear? For some individuals choose to detach to avoid pain, suffering and trouble..

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      4. Oh I definitely think people perform that type of detachment, when they are in fear to avoid pain and discomfort, they can “ numb” themselves to what’s happening to get through it…but a life constantly lived that way will be miserable because you would be constantly resisting what is and not flowing with life.

        The essence of what we all are is one and never experiences time, space, happiness, sadness etc.
        The sense of knowing you are alive, that feeling of consciousness that we all experience is our true self that is always detached to what’s happening to the body and mind we claim ourselves to be.. our true self is always free, it’s only our body and mind that goes through the ups and downs of life, flowing or resisting what is.

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      5. Hi Simon,
        sorry just now.
        Yes, it’s just like prolonging the pain and agony.

        I wonder how you were able to start and practice detachment? Can you that you were able to master detachment?

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      6. Hi again, meditation helps a lot.
        Practicing watching thoughts and feelings come and go without reacting or getting caught up in them helps.
        Every experience you must remember is impermanent. Anything that comes must go, good or bad so to be detached to to experience it fully but realising it can’t or won’t last.
        When we watch a good movie we can get caught up with the movie, we can laugh, cry, feel excited or angry while we watch but we always know it’s just a movie…we can experience all the emotions but know it’s ultimately unreal so we can enjoy it even the sad moments.

        Reality and life is ultimately illusionary much like a dream but that’s a whole other topic…

        Basically experience everything fully but remember nothing lasts so practice letting go once the moment is over. It takes time hope that helps.

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