How my misunderstanding about detachment in yoga may have helped me give myself permission to temporarily abandon myself
This weekend I went into a yoga class and the teacher was talking about "detachment": an accomplished yogi doesn't react to heat or cold, praise or ridicule. A yogi maintains psychological evenness in the midst of the varying circumstances in life.
I still found myself wondering what are yogis striving to detach from? It struck a chord with me because I think that I may have found myself sidetracked down a blind alley of false detachment because it is really abandonment that serves the imbalance in my personality structure.
"Detachment" is really abandonment when I tell myself I don't care about something because I don't want to feel the hurt. Or when I tell myself that "such-and-such won't like me" rather than giving the situation a chance to develop. I abandon myself when I fall short of exploring a situation that might be fun.
To maintain the status quo inside myself and avoid change I adopted a yogic concept and warped it to serve the needs of my own unrelenting ego. "Detachment" is not a withdrawal from life. Isolation only deepens the yearnings of a person who hasn't opened up to their worldly potential, yet.
Detachment through hardening onesself is not true detachment. True detachment happens through trusting a deeper sense of the process of life. ...and I had been hardening myself, stubbornly trying to live my life the way I thought I should be living it, instead of trusting the process that life naturally offers.
Hardening squeezes sensation out. A hardened state is not an aware state. It is contracted. Small. ...even when someone has a high aim or good intentions.
Acceptance and respect for the natural process of life unfolding is boundless. Huge. It allows for the "x" factor, the unknown blessing, a miracle...
I can be non-reactive by protecting myself, putting up a protective shield, but behind that barrier I am shakin' in my shoes! Fearful or an asshole!
I can perceive the same situation with my eyes, mind and heart open, looking to see what is happening. In this case I am not reacting because I am looking to see, interested in what is going on. If I don't like it I can disengage. But my primary aspect is one of courageous care and curiosity. Compassionate.
I have gotten into trouble when I have used invisible understandings of things, either spiritual or solipsistic, to ignore things actually happening in the moment. These invisible understandings create mental hardness and can prevent me from seeing the truth in a situation.
Over the last week I have been trying out the notion of "respecting the process" of whatever is happening. Totally enlightening... Rather than resisting or controlling, I am allowing.
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