Detachment is not Selfishness – It’s Actually what Unconditional Love Really Is


For a few years now, I have studied and tried to understand the meaning of the word ‘detachment’ and I came up with the conclusion that it is synonymous to unconditional love. But how could that be when detachment is the absence of affection? Let me share with you the important lessons I’ve learned through learning and practicing detachment and how I relate it with unconditional love.

I first heard the word detachment from a friend I met on Facebook (yes, Facebook can be a place to meet spiritual and wise people). He once asked me “Are you detached?” and my 19-year old childish mind cannot even comprehend what the word actually means, and I am being asked if I were detached. I quickly looked it up on the Internet and according to Wikipedia, detachment is a state in which a person overcomes his or her attachment to desire for things, people or concepts of the world and thus attains a heightened perspective.

At that time, I admit I wasn’t even that close to being detached. But I knew I wanted to be. I was just beginning in my spiritual journey, searching for the ‘meaning of life’, so it was perfect timing.

After that, I searched for articles I can find on the internet about detachment and any written materials from teachers, gurus, monks, yogis and so on.

I noticed is that detachment or non-attachment speaks more about loving our Self, above others. At first, it sounded like selfishness. It can seem like that to people who refuse to embrace the idea.

From what I have read and learned, being detached means not being affected by whatever happens outside of my-Self. I am detached when I do not try to control other people and let them be what they are. This also means letting them feel their sadness, their grief, as well as their joys.

We do not wish for them to change; because we can love them just the way they are.

This doesn’t mean we don’t care for them. We just understand that they have their own journeys to make, mistakes to learn from, and experiences to have.

It sounds painful at first, especially if we want someone we love to stay safe and guarded. We think we know better so we tell them to live a certain way, act a certain way and be a certain way. We think we are showing love when we do this.

But controlling someone make them prisoners of our own fears. It stops them from experiencing the fullness of life. We lock them in our own cages because we think we are not fit to fly, so they shouldn’t try either.

Detachment allows us to love unconditionally by letting others be what they want to be.

This, in turn, allows everyone to be happy, fulfilled and living their life’s purposes.

I had the greatest test of my practice on detachment when my past boyfriend broke up with me. It hurts so much when he chose his booming career over our relationship.

I supported him on his decision, but it took time for me to accept it.

But knowing how detachment works, loving him does not stop when we broke up.

I can continue to love him, being happy with his accomplishments, knowing that he went after his dreams.

Being detached is letting the situation manifest as it will, without worrying about the outcome. When things go opposite of what we’ve planned, we don’t get angry or blame someone else for it.

We let things be, and we accept.


Don’t be Overwhelmed By An Ego Response

Here is an Interactive Transcript from this video: 

One day, somebody came and spat at the Buddha. The Buddha reacted to him by saying Thank you.

The chief disciple of the Buddha was very upset with the guy who spat at him and he was ready to grab him and hit him.

The Buddha interfered and he said to his disciple Ananda, “Everything in life has a meaning. It happens for a purpose. He spat at me and it was fine for me and I did not react except in a positive way. So he gave me a test; a test of my own ego reaction. I passed. But what happened to you, you failed.”

This is a great story. If you want to succeed in life, there is one thing: There will be people hurting your ego all the time, from morning to evening. Somebody will hurt your ego and you will be hurting somebody’s ego.

The bottom line is you should not be overwhelmed by an ego response. You should step out if somebody praises or somebody abuses you or ridicules you. You are not going to be carried away one way or the other. You are simply like the Buddha — totally freed from the ego.

You will see you will succeed in life if you develop this attitude because as soon as somebody boosts up your ego; he may be doing this to make you happy and it helps you get things done. Then you will get along with this person because whenever your ego is boosted, you feel happy and whenever it is hurt, you feel unhappy. But you should not be a victim in both cases.

If somebody is hurting your ego, let him hurt you but you are not going to be defined by it and you are not going to show any reaction, not even a facial reaction, since the face is the index of the mind.

Drunk with Emotions

A few days ago, I watched a video of a guru in one of his talks. He talked about the human emotions, and how we are ‘drunk’ with emotions. When we are sad, we are so sad.. and when we are happy, we are so happy. We are often ‘overwhelmed’ with emotions.

For a person in stillness, he should be able to hold these emotions and not get overwhelemed by them.

As I was listening to the guru, it seemed as if he was talking to me directly and I felt ashamed. Because I know I have been drunk with my emotions. I get extremely sad and extremely happy at times. I thought that was how I savor life — that it was how I experience life at its fullest, by grasping these emotions to such extent. I was wrong all along. I felt embarrassed.

For the past few days I have been observing myself and my emotions. I have been observing the waves of feelings that come and go and I find nothing. It isn’t numbness, but a feeling of indifference with my emotions.

I realized that the reason I was drunken with my emotions before is because I wasn’t consciously observing my feelings. Instead, I grabbed unto them like desperately grasping for breath.

Observing the feelings, emotions and thoughts is a way of stilling the mind. Ah, I thought.. I’ve always known this, but I didn’t understand. And the guru has to scold me to bring me back to my awareness. Like the Zen monks being beaten with a stick when they lose concentration during meditation.

Stillness is the way of living the middle way, when there are no extremeties. It is not that we shouldn’t feel happy or sad or anything anymore… It is about having these feelings and emotions and not be overwhelmed by them.

Why You Can’t Eat Healthier

Article written by Leo Babauta of


Most people have a hard time moving to a healthier diet, and they don’t understand what’s going on.

I was one of those people: 70 lbs. heavier and addicted to junk food, I would often tell myself that I’m going to start a diet, and even buy a bunch of new food, only to find myself snacking on chips, grande lattes, cookies, French fries and more after a few days.

Why? Because I used those foods to meet many of my needs, and taking the food away meant I had no way of dealing with some difficult things.

Food is a coping mechanism for most people, and to change our eating habits, we need new ways of coping.

Some examples of how we use food to cope:

  • We eat when we’re stressed. If you change to a healthier diet, how will you cope with stress instead? You need new stress coping strategies.
  • We eat when we’re sad or depressed. How can we learn to cope with these emotions in a healthier way?
  • We eat as a reward, when we’ve done something good. What will we do to reward ourselves instead?
  • We eat to socialize. How will we socialize without food?
  • We eat because we’re bored. How will we cope with boredom instead?
  • We eat because we’re angry. When we get in a fight, how will we deal with our anger instead of using food?
  • We eat for pleasure. Are there healthier ways to find pleasure that we’ll learn instead of using food?
  • We eat for love. We often equate food with love (our moms might have given us food lovingly as kids, or our lover used it to romance us), and so eating becomes a substitute for love. Where will we find love instead?

All of these (and more) are real needs. We all need love and pleasure and rewards, and ways of dealing with stress, boredom, sadness, loneliness, anger and frustration. For many of us, food has become the default way of meeting all those needs — and we can’t just take away the food without finding a healthier replacement. If we do, we’ll fall back into our old habit quickly.

It has taken me years to figure this out and to slowly build new, healthier habits to deal with all of these needs. But I can honestly say I’ve done it, and it’s possible. Do I still think about food when I’m lonely or sad or stressed? Sure. But now I have consciously built up some replacement coping mechanisms that work better for me, and I’m much healthier, leaner and fitter as a result.

Some things that have worked for me (your mileage will vary):

  • Exercise – a great way to deal with stress, boredom, anger. After awhile, a run can also be pleasure and a reward.
  • Meditation – excellent way of learning to deal with all of our emotions.
  • Tea – also great for stress, boredom, anger, but for me a great reward and source of pleasure.
  • People – I’ve learned to get my love from friends and family, and to use them as ways of dealing with my tougher emotions — talking with them, working out with them, simply spending time with them.
  • Cleaning – decluttering, mindful sweeping, mindful wiping things down with a rag (TM). A great way to mindfully deal with stress, boredom, anger, etc.
  • Solitude – I’ve found solitude a great way to deal with tougher emotions (you learn to work out your problems instead of avoiding them by eating food), and solitude can be a reward as well.

Read the original post from Leo Babauta here:

Let go, and you will see

To all the memories of the past – good or bad,
I let them go.
To all the things I should have done,
I let them go.
To all the things I shouldn’t have done,
I let them go.
To all the friends I lost that I am missing,
I let them go.
To all the lovers who came and went,
I let them go.
To all the illusions I had along the years,
I let them go.
To all my loved ones who’ve passed on,
I let them go.
To all the things that I wanted to do,
I let them go.
To all the dreams I still have,
I let them go.
To all the habits I tried to cultivate,
I let them go.

For now is the only moment.
Here is the only place to be.
Nowhere should my mind wander.
Nowhere I should be.

Let go, and you will see.

This world is nothing,
I have no expectations of this world.
I let it go, together with my ambitions.
For what is the future, but just a thought in my head.
What is the past, but just a memory.

Let go, and you will see.

To regret is to the past.
And to hope is to the future.
But what are they at this moment?
No-thing but thoughts in my head.

What is there to expect?
What is there to want?
For whom should dreams be?
No-thing, no-body.

Let go, and you will see.

All are just the mind,
Expressing itself in ignorance.
All are just the ego,
Always wanting to achieve more.
What for? Whom for?

Even God do not require us
To be somebody or someone else.
Only to remember who we are and what we are
And that is to remember that we are God, himself.

And what are you, but a soul of God.
God in spirit, expressing.
But that God-ness inside is not able to project itself,
Because of all the thoughts and ideas you guard.

Let go, and you will see.

When will you break the chains?
When will you let go of the greed?
When will you begin to reflect the God in you?
Is it not only now?
Is it not only here?

If we are all given
Every moment to choose,
Would you choose God to express himself through you?
Or would you keep the ego eating you alive?

Let it all go, and you will see.

Let it go.

The More You Want it, The More You Should LET IT GO

What do you want? This is not about the petty stuffs, but the essential things in life. It can be Love, Peace, Happiness, and so on. Deep in our hearts, we all want these things. And we all TRY really hard to achieve them. What we don’t know however, is that the more we try to get these things, the more we push them away. Letting GO is the key.

LETTING GO. Ahh, that sounds really good. Ever felt the feeling of just releasing everything for a while and just let it all go? It feels good, but we often hesitate on doing it.

I’ve had many instances in my life where I tried so hard to hold on to something because I thought I will feel happy having it. I wanted Love, Peace, happiness, success… When these things get almost within my reach, I would grab into them. But the more I held them in my hands, the more it burned me inside.

Let me discuss the two things most of us chase after at.

SUCCESS … Growing up, I was taught that I have to be successful to earn respect from other people. I wanted it so bad. I felt enthusiastic with life knowing that one day; I will earn the respect I deserve. I thought the word success was synonymous to respect. I made plans on how to achieve that. And I failed. I was going in circles, but never getting to where I wanted to go. After unsuccessful attempts, I just had enough of it. Everything I started seemed to be going downhill. ‘What respect can I earn from this?’ I asked. ‘This is B.S.’ So, I gave up. I let go and I gave up.

Turns out, I was aiming for it the wrong way. I realized that being successful is not about recognition. It’s about doing what I love to do. It brought me back to what I am doing – my work. I love my work. I love writing and ever since I was young, this was what I wanted to do. But I let my own ‘idea’ of success blind me from loving what I was doing. I remember a line from the movie 3 Idiots “Don’t chase success. Be a good engineer and success will chase you.” This applies to any type of job, really.

So I figured, if I just do my work and put my best into it, then success will eventually follow. I am a writer and I started focusing on writing instead of making plans on how to be successful. People who’ve had this experience and realization will agree that the quote from that movie is entirely true. When I let go of wanting to be successful and just focused on the moment – doing my work, the breakthroughs in my career arrived. I am not popular or the richest person in the world (yet), I don’t even care. But I feel good about myself, I love my work, my work loves me, I have loving clients, I am appreciated, and most of all, respected. I really can say now, that I am successful.

LOVE… Of course, who doesn’t want Love?! You’re probably saying, ‘oh, common… if you know I want it, why would I let it go?’ Well, that’s the point. You want it, so you must let it go. I made a few mistakes about having my own idea of love. I wanted it so badly that when I had it, I didn’t want to let go. This happens with relationships most of the time. I admit, I made my own mistakes. Now, as I realize them, I feel sorry for all the people I’ve had expectations with, for all the trouble I might have caused them. I wanted to be loved according to my own terms because I thought by doing that, I can make it last. Love felt so wonderful that I wanted it so bad to stay the same, not knowing it slowly ate away the love that was once there. Not only that, I also was robbing the other person of his own happiness, including my own.

Turns out, when I let go and let love come in, love will flow endlessly. Trying to keep a relationship prevented me from realizing the infinite love that life is offering me. I thought that having a relationship would give me the love I’ve always searched for in life. That thought is so childish. When I finally let go, all the barriers and walls that prevented love from coming in was broken down. I was able to witness God’s love and the love that the Universe is clothing me with. Everything around me was love. Not that I didn’t feel that during the relationships I had, but I didn’t feel the infinite-ness of it back then. It’s not about how much God loves us. It’s about how much love we are willing to let in. And even though God loves us infinitely, holding on to what we think is love blinded us from seeing that everlasting, unconditional love.

Whatever it is we are searching for, if we let go and stop the search – that is how we find it. If we just come back to the moment, it is all there. It is ever HERE and NOW. What is there to hold on to HERE? What is  there to search for NOW? Let it go and let it flow.  🙂

Trying to Remove Other People’s Suffering

Seeing other people suffer especially those we love is really painful. We always hope we could somehow help them take the pain away. Being unable to do so makes us suffer too. But how do we really help someone with their suffering? Can we really remove it for them?

I love to help other people with their problems. When I was a little kid, I wasn’t yet able to help my relatives with their problems, because I cannot give what they needed yet. When I grew older and I got to do more things, I started helping others and it made me feel good inside. It wasn’t about self-recognition, but I feel certain joy knowing that I am able to reduce the suffering of a friend or a family member.

This made me want to help more people. I wanted to give more and get rid of someone’s burdens. I always think that I must do something when I see someone who is in trouble. Sometimes, they didn’t even have to tell me – I would help them right away.

However, I noticed that this brought suffering in my life; in some ways especially if there are times that I am not able to help someone.

People that I’ve helped before come to me sometimes and when I couldn’t give them anything, they will be disappointed. I myself feel really awful because I disappointed them.

Lately, someone I love is asking if I could help them with something. I couldn’t give that specific thing they needed. I wished I could. They got mad, because for I don’t know how many times, I turned their request down because I really couldn’t give them what they wanted. I can give them something else, but they don’t really need it. They only needed that thing they were asking for.

It was when I really sat down with this thought and asked God why he won’t allow me to help that person when I wanted to and when he knows they really needed my help.

As always, the answers to my deepest questions get answered through silent prayers.

I realized that it was God’s way of telling me that others’ sufferings is not my responsibility. I can only heal a little part of their suffering, but they have to do the rest of the work. I realized that when I have something to give, it is God’s way of helping the person through me. But if I couldn’t give what they needed, it’s God’s way of giving more resources for the person so that other people will be able to help them.

The help does not have to solely come from me. It is God’s way of telling my loved ones that they should seek help from a different resource because his blessings are not limited. There are infinite resources if we just open our hearts to them and allow them to come to us.

It is also God’s way of reminding me not to feel bad when there are times that I couldn’t help others. Helping others does not really remove their suffering. It will only be removed if they realize that their pains, fears and negative thinking exist because they move away from love, away from God, and away from their faith.

I can only have compassion for others, but getting rid of the suffering itself is out of my control. We create our own sufferings and we can only heal them if we surrender them to love, to God and our eyes will begin to see the infinite possibilities of life.

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