On Detachment and Conflict

It’s easy to maintain a sense of detachment when you’re only passing through.  It’s also simple to have perspective and true vision when looking at the trifles that capture people’s egos and lead to conflict

When you don’t call a place home or interact with people every day, it’s simple to see the overarching harmony that we all share and are capable of.  When I first arrived to California, I was able to observe moments of tension for what they are — a distraction from our shared One Human Spirit and an opportunity for each of us to learn.  That is the gift of being a traveller.  As a gypsy, I hadn’t alighted down.  The perspective provided from that height allowed me to see how small these stumbling blocks truly are and how easy to overcome.

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But oh, how that perspective changes when you land.  When you settle, the string of stores streaming by on the highway begin to gain significance, because it’s important to know where the big box store versus the organic local grocery store is when you call a place home.  You need to know directions in relation to local businesses and where to go to get a haircut or your oil changed.  You suddenly pay attention to which stoplights are longer because the time it takes to get from here to there matters.

And those small stumbling blocks suddenly seem like insurmountable stone walls when you land and get sucked into the drama of a place.  What was once only an opportunity to practice loving kindness and staying in your center is suddenly cause for frustration and dis-ease as the body and mind struggle to come back into harmony when faced with a person who doesn’t share our view.

So how to you gain the perspective that comes from being a traveller while calling a place home?  By practicing a sense of detachment.  You can cultivate this detachment through a practice of meditation.  By setting aside time to sit with the self and your breath, you gain the perspective that allows you to see the conflict that ego creates.  When you sit in the space of the breath, you’re able to see the expansive space that your soul inhabits and to remember the big truth that connects us all.

 

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The challenge of meditation then becomes twofold.  Releasing expectations of perfection are the first challenge.  If you seek a peak experience every time you sit with the breath, your present moment becomes clouded by your expectations.  If you seek instead to simply allow the space for your breath to happen, then you will find more success for your meditation to happen.

I was reading a yogic text recently that spoke to our expectation for results after each asana practice.  The yogi suggested that we view our practice of yoga asana and meditation as maintenance.  When we come to the mat or the cushion,  regularly, we are giving our soul a dose of sanity and awareness.  The second challenge of a meditation practice is making the time.  This becomes easier when you are able to remember the reason and importance of this reconnection with your breath and your self.

The benefits of a regular meditation practice are cumulative.  You won’t see them overnight, and you might not notice them after a week or even a month of practicing.  But with dedication, focus, and a lightness of concentration, they will slowly arrive and you will begin to cultivate that sense of detachment which is vital for the sanity of your spirit.