Detachment, or nonattachment, can easily be seen in a negative light as indifference, and yet when understood in a certain way is absolutely fundamental to spiritual practice.
Tantra is described as giving both liberation and enjoyment, and constantly emphasises the blissful aspect of enlightenment; it is one of the many paradoxes of the spiritual path that the greatest enjoyment comes through detachment. Tantra teaches us to enjoy consciously, to enjoy with awareness, but awareness itself simultaneously causes and is the result of a subtle movement of detachment. This is not an external distancing of oneself from life or from people, but an inner separation from the lower, limited self, with its false perceptions of the external world. Ordinarily we identify completely with this little self, it lives our lives for us, and we experience everything through it, but at the same time it produces a sense of limitation and bondage, of being controlled by our reactions instead of being in charge of them. Whenever we catch sight of this mechanism in operation, and become aware of it as a direct experience, immediately there is a feeling of opening out, a sense of space in which we have room to stand back and see what is really happening. We experience a new and quite different kind of presence, an ‘I’ who is less personal, less involved, and who can observe calmly the unnecessary problems the little self creates. (more…)
Filed under: Buddhism, Buddhist, Buddhist meditation, Mahayana, Tibetan | Tagged: Buddha-nature, Chögyam Trungpa, emotions of happiness, Francesca Fremantle, nonattachment, Paul Heatley, SOAS, spiritual practice, Tantra | 1 Comment »