Detachment

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When you attached your happiness to people, places, or things. Sadness will be waiting just around the corner when the person leaves, place destroyed and things removed. Yoga philosophy talks about detachment. That does not mean you have to be aloof and uncaring to what’s around you. A story that depicts detachment to me is the one about the two monks crossing the river.

“Two monks were making a pilgrimage. During the course of their journey, they came to a river where they met a beautiful young woman. She was afraid of the current and, so asked the monks if they might carry her across the river. The younger and more rigid of the monks was offended and turned away with disgust. The older monk didn’t hesitate, and picked the woman up on his shoulders, carried her across the river, and set her down on the other side. She thanked him and went on her way. As monks resumed their walk, the older one in perfect equanimity, while the younger one grew more brooding and distracted, finally bursts out, “Brother, we are taught to be detached from worldly matters, and there you were, not just touching a woman, but carrying her on your shoulders!” The older monk loving smile and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river a long time back but you’re are still carrying her.”

What is the teaching? Well here is my interpretation anyway. The young monk took his detachment vow to the extreme. However, the older monk was truly grounded through his practice, he new instantly that the compassionate thing to do was to offer the young woman help. The older monk was living truly in the moment, he was caring, compassionate yet detached from the lady. Instead of attaching your happiness to people, places, or things. Bring your awareness to the experiences shared be thankful for the loving memories and the lessons learned. Detachment or the process of letting go is never easy, it is a daily challenge for me. Every day I have to remind myself that letting go is also a process of change, and change is necessary for the evolution of our consciousness 🙏

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