Detachment and non-attachment have the same goal but a different approach of reaching that goal.
The goal with these two practices is to keep yourself in peace without getting attached to a particular thing, person, emotion or anything in general.
Practicing non-attachment allows you to stay still in the face of adversity, keep your peace of mind during a difficult time, do the necessary work without stress, love someone without being attached, and working on something without expecting specific results.
Non-attachment is a state of mind, a lifestyle. Non-attachment is a way that one chooses to live his life. People choose this way of life for many reasons.
They either realized that nothing can affect their peace of mind if they don’t get attached, they notice better results in their relationships, job performance, business and anything that they engage in, they make their selves a priority by staying healthy physically and mentally because attachments a lot of times can have an impact in our health, and generally they feel happier and more joyous because they live fully in the present moment.
Happiness only exists in the present moment, and practicing non-attachment brings you into it. If you’re being attached to something you’ll always be looking forward it, projecting into the future, having high expectations that most probably will leave you disappointed and a lot of times you’ll be projecting into the past.
An example is a loved one. Loving someone is a great thing. But being attached to them is when problems start arising. Jealously, disagreements and other negative things will be drawn to your relationship but everyone thinks that’s something normal.
That’s actually a side effect of being attached to a person, and because not a lot of people practice non-attachment, they consider these negative things as something normal.
Don’t get me wrong. Being not attached to a person does not mean you do not care about them. The effect of not being attached has actually the opposite result. Your relationship improves because you have happiness in you.
“Non-attachment is not the elimination of desire. It is the spaciousness to allow any quality of mind, any thought or feeling, to arise without closing around it, without eliminating the pure witness of being. It is an active receptivity to life.” - Stephen Levine
Happiness comes when you know that you are enough and complete and that can only be realized by not being attached to things or persons or anything.
Detachment on the other hand is when you are actually attached to something and trying to escape it by avoiding it or fighting yourself.
Detachment is Trying, and trying has different energy from being. That’s the fundamental difference between detachment and non-attachment.
Happiness is not trying, or finding, or deciding. It’s just being
Non-attachment is a state of mind, a way of life, just being you in other words.
Detachment is trying to do something, in that case trying to withdraw your focus and energy away from a particular thing. But as the Law of Attraction says, like energy attracts like energy. So when you are trying to detach, you’ll attract more situations where you are trying to detach.
Detachment is a good thing some times. It’s the beginning of a non-attachment lifestyle. Detachment from bad foods, smoking, bad friends, and anything that does not serve you is a good thing. But practicing forceful detachment while your body craves something, what you’re actually doing is fighting with yourself.
So now that we know the difference between detachment and non-attachment, how do we adopt a non-attachment lifestyle?
It all starts with your mind. Your state of being is what matters. Detachment has a different energy from non-attachment and you’ll see that too.
Practicing detachment a lot of times feels hard, you feel an inner resistance. Practicing non-attachment is going with the flow, being in harmony and relaxed.
If you know about brain waves, Alpha brain waves is what you want to achieved. In other words, be relaxed, master your energy. That’s the ideal state of being. That’s when you have a peak performance at everything without stress.
When I say be relaxed I don’t mean do nothing. I mean do what you have to do while keeping your mind still. When an impulse arises, instead of fighting and resisting it (detachment), feel it, accept it and let it go (non-attachment). If you fight it you feed it with your energy. Of course this takes practice and this is why meditation is a very powerful tool.
Meditating puts your trains your brain to stay relaxed. But you want to come to a point where meditating is a state of being and not something that you do. You don’t want to have a calm mind only when you are meditating, but all the time.
Some examples that I can give you with personal experiences is when I was younger and was trying to quit smoking. I was trying to quit (detachment) but always felt depleted and in need of a cigarette to feel that calmness.
Then I got into personal development and started studying biographies of successful people and that inspired me. I wanted to be successful one day like them. I noticed that none of them smoked, so I just woke the next day with a different state of mind.
I was feeling like I was already that successful healthy man that I wanted to be, so whenever that impulse of wanting to smoke was arising within me, I just felt it and let it go like a gentleman, instead of fighting it like a drug addict. And that was it, that impulse never came back again because I stopped feeding it my energy, I stopped fighting it.
What you resist, persists. What you fight you get more of. What you embrace, dissolves.
A different state of mind was the answer and not trying to quit. Then I tried it with other things like junk food, sweets and even people. My life changed without me trying. Just being.
Now whenever I work on something I stay calm and non-attached from outcomes. Fully present and focused with no expectations and the results are better than when I was trying too much.
I wrote a book, started a blog, started a tech startup, got 2 master degrees, a job promotion, learning new skills and languages, started playing chess for the national federation, researching and investing in crypto projects that payed back a really good amount of money, feeling confident in making new friends and talking to strangers. Yes all of these at the same time. Non-attached lifestyle will leave you with a lot more energy to do more things. That’s how powerful it is.
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