What is non-attachment?

Nice little dharma talk about the concept of non-attachment:

From Susan’s Piver blog:

For a long time, I believed not being attached meant not feeling anything too strongly one way or another, as if becoming sad or angry was a sign of spiritual non-attaintment. I thought that the fruit of spiritual practice was to abide in a permanent state of non-reaction or, if I did feel something “negative” it should somehow magically dissolve in the nectar of unseen equanimity so I could be returned to a state of bliss. Whatever that means.

At the same time, though, no one ever said anything about being too attached when they were happy. In fact, the same people who counseled non-attachment when things went poorly seemed quite happy to attach to things that worked out well. Understandably. I mean, we’re all human. The thing is, if you’re going to practice non-attachment to difficulty, you also have to practice it to joy. This is where it becomes very interesting and also much more human and wonderful.

Attachment doesn’t mean not feeling things or always being blase. It means feeling everything while not attributing permanent status to anything.

Attachment means something more like feeling what you feel completely—its arising, abiding, and dissolving—without trying to stick in any one phase or move through it disingenuously. (more here)


Briefly, for me, non-attachment to feelings and/or ideas is the ability to watch, feel and experience without believing the narrative that might accompany the feelings or the experience and then being able to respond if appropriate rather than reacting. It’s about living in the moment and surrendering to the unknown.

Books by Susan Piver:

●  Quiet Mind: A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

●  How Not to Be Afraid of Your Own Life: Opening Your Heart to Confidence, Intimacy, and Joy

●  The Wisdom of a Broken Heart: An Uncommon Guide to Healing, Insight, and Love

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