I've been thinking this morning about Meister Eckhart's detachment, Buddha's non-attachment, Jesus' idea of not being caught up in things that rust, and my old acquaintance's (Ken Keyes) idea of addiction as related to being attached to anything so much that it controls one's peace of mind.
I think they are basically talking about the same thing. The things that populate our lives are transient, only God is not transient. Before we began this spiritual journey with our full being, this or that bauble set us into upset. What! I can't have this particular thing (doll, car, job, trip, etc.) And we would experience various forms of upset, maybe even obsession.
This came home to me with the sudden death of my husband Christmas 1976 to New Year's 1977. The aneurysm in his brain, sudden and massive, and he was gone. He took not one item of this earth with him. What he took was his consciousness, his development as a person, his soul. All those things, and even people, that were of extreme importance to him one moment, no longer mattered. He left this life and all the baubles he had worked so hard to gather.
Since that time, I have expanded my understanding and application regarding non-attachment. I have experienced, read, discussed, meditated, prayed and found amazing things.
One thing I have learned is that non-attachment does not mean cold or withdrawn from life. In fact, it means being filled with a lively passion to live as fully and lovingly as possible, but to do so without attachment to it all. It means to follow the Holy One that is within all of us, and to trust the outcome, even though it may not be what we expected.
The way to get there begins with understanding one of the main purposes of this life is to look beyond appearances and love no matter what. See the Christ within the angry person before you, not requiring them to be different. See the current situation in life as temporary, and also as a momentary teacher. What can we discover in this moment if we truly look?
Imagine yourself looking from a distance at your life, maybe even after this life, reviewing this life. What do you see? What was truly important? How could you have loved more fully? (Please actually do this, maybe write in your journal)
Armed with this understanding, refocus your life now, this very day. As it has been said, this is the first day of the rest of your life. Live it well.