Musings

Non-Attachment

Every couple of weeks, I will have a new “theme” in my classes. Usually there is a physical theme: backbends, twists, arm balances etc. What I am talking about here is the philosophy theme I will try to incorporate. 

Right now my theme is non-attachment, or vairagya. In the teacher training I am assisting, we have philosophy lessons. This concept comes up in Sutra 1:15. The translation below is from Sri Swami Satchidananda.

“The consciousness of self-mastery in one who is free from craving for objects seen or heard about in non-attachment.”

I have especially used this concept in the classes I have been subbing. There is always a sense of disappointment when students see that there is a sub for their class. I have even felt this when I have gone to a class and found that there is a sub. We form an attachment to our teacher, the room, the music (or lack of) and if we are not careful, it can ruin our experience. This can happen throughout the day too. We have a craving for cookies and when we go to get some cookies, we find that they are all gone. We plan to go to the movies with a friend and they cancel last minute. There are also the attachments we have to the things we hope to have some day. If only I had this job, this house, this body, I would be happy. 

So our practice is to be in the moment with what is. Every moment of every day, things are changing. Our environment changes, our bodies change, our relationships change and here’s the big one: our mind changes. Our work is to observe the mind and thoughts and learn about ourselves. And to be patient with ourselves. We can’t just say, “I will not be attached to anything from this moment forward!”, and expect that it will happen. Ok, maybe it can for some people, but certainly not for me! However, we can start to recognize, “Hey, I am really attached to                                (Fill in the blank) right now. How can I let this go?” And hopefully, over time and lots of practice, it gets easier and easier. 

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