Detachment, usefulness or necessity?

What makes something necessary… if your life depends on it or if you want a different way of life or… and then fill in the blanks yourself. So whether something just makes sense or whether you should do it is a discussion in itself. But detachment is a subject on which opinions vary widely and which concerns people. The detachment process!

Detachment, what is that?

In Eastern philosophy, it takes you further if you get rid of the feeling of wanting, longing, striving, etc. But that desire, that striving, often makes life very colorful, especially if it is on or over the edge of disappointment, anxiety and stress.
Detachment in modern Western society translates to this Eastern wisdom. A translation that still touches on that important basis. Because of course desire or striving is not a negative aspect of you, but it is important that you see the transience of everything. The transience of material things that you can enjoy. After all, everything passes in life and you can enjoy it without experiencing the pain when it is over.

The process

Knowing that everything is impermanent in life does not mean that you can live this way. You will only find out when you put it to the test. This is often not an easy process, but take something at hand that you currently value highly and play with the idea of applying it or better yet, apply it immediately. Just don’t go too fast right away. Experience what it does to you. Some examples.

  • For example, if you like ‘fatty food’, you should eliminate fatty food from your menu for a few weeks. Besides the fact that it is good for your body, you will also notice that that fatty bite only gives you that satisfaction for a short time, namely the moment you stuff it inside.
  • The shopaholic who suddenly stops browsing the shops. Besides the fact that this man/woman has more money in his pocket, it is good to feel what it does to you. You are not without clothes and can still wear something different every day, you have enough trinkets to decorate your house and basically you have everything you need to just live well. What makes that urge so heavy when things don’t go well and think about how long you will have that nice feeling when you come home heavily loaded again.
  • You have enough pens, fountain pens or other writing utensils to write with for a lifetime. What makes you still want that one special pen and think about what makes that one special pen so special? What does it do to you and is the disappointment great when you have to write something down with that other nice pen you already had?


The next step

These are all examples that you can use on anything and everything. Try to feel what wanting it does to your body and how your body reacts when you deny it to yourself. But in addition to checking this feeling out for yourself, it is also good to let go of the feeling (at least to try) and to consider that your pleasant feeling will soon pass and what the added value is at that moment. Compared to, for example, the duration of an average human life.


What can help you in the process is to try to get the satisfaction of holding on to the material within yourself. That sounds pompous, but it isn’t. What is important is that you listen carefully to your feelings. What does something do to you (and that could be anything).
The next step is that you learn to enjoy what you are doing at that moment, without just having the result in mind. Yoga may also play a positive role in this, but the essence lies in feeling.

To feel

How difficult is that? Well, harder than we often realize. Start with a good breathing exercise. Feel the oxygen entering your body and spreading throughout your body. Otherwise, visualize the process of how oxygen-rich blood flows through your veins. Place the fingers of your hand on your wrist and feel the cadence.
Try to enjoy the fact that you are alive, that you feel that cadence and that you can do what you want . Let the fact that you live in a fairly Western country play a role in this. Experience how delicious that is.


Detachment is therefore not about being a hermit, but about being a man or woman who goes for the deeper things in life. Superficiality no longer exists for the man or woman who has gone through this process and that is also the essence. An additional advantage is that this man or woman has less fear for the future, is busy with what he/she is doing at that moment and enjoys it and, above all, the result is not just busy.
Earthy and yet actually very spiritual. Practical, accessible workshops are organized that can help with this. Niiraja, for example, teaches these courses.

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