Right Detachment in Practice

Right Detachment in Practice

How to develop true detachment or inner independence, what is called in Sanskrit Vairagya? (There is more on what this means in the non-dual theory section.)

Like all qualities, we can cultivate this simply by practicing it. So for example if we have a strong aversion to something, we can practice not being deflected by that from doing the right thing.

Such practice cannot be entirely avoided. However, detachment in this sense is more correctly understood as an exercise in endurance. It can only be sustained according to our strength of will, and to a limited extent.

True and deep vairagya is an inner independence born of an understanding of the true value of things. It means to judge the worth and significance of what we meet according to how it affects us on the way to discovery of the reality in our own being and in all.

So vairagya is helped by reflection on the teaching that everything with form is not the substance we are seeking, and that what helps us is not to be unduly distracted from our focus on our journey home within.

This is the first step; realistically, no-one will give up anything except for a higher good.

Having established this in principle we can apply it in practice. Living consciously, which means being alert to our inner reactions and impulses and reflecting before acting upon them, we note the rise of feelings of attraction and aversion and the rest. Then we exercise self-control, partly through reasonable restraint, and most important by remembering our real goal and evaluating matters accordingly.

A great help is to have a clear idea of our goal; this is sometimes called forming a ‘master passion’. A sportsperson, an ambitious person, a pilgrim, each has a clear objective, in the light of which what does not help is looked on with natural detachment. This is the principle to be applied to our search for the liberating truth within.

Read more on right detachment in this book chapter, Vairagya: Non-attachment.

Discovering Non Duality

If you are doing some regular meditation and reflection on non duality, you are welcome to contact us about study groups and any questions on the teachings, or for further suggestions about your practice.