The Art of Conscious Detachment
Is this yet another new well-being technique? I prefer to see it as a different and fresh angle on an ancient philosophy for experiencing relaxation, health and spiritual enlightenment. The Art of Conscious Detachment in my definition is the ability to simple observe and participate in whatever is going on, neutrally, i.e. without judgement. Judgement is a mental function and will always create separation and attachment. The practice of this art is otherwise more commonly referred to as Meditation.
Ask a large cross section of the general public about meditation and very few can give a clear explanation of what it is and how to do it, whilst many shy away from it and refer to it has some spiritual stuff. Over the last several decades, meditation is a New Age term that has become much bandied about, in the West at least. Yet few people actually understand or practise it. Countless informative and valuable books have been written on the subject of meditation, nevertheless today many people are still looking for quick, effective and practical solutions. The days of going into isolation for weeks or months on end to achieve or experience a deep meditative state, are over and beyond the scope of the majority. Although much can be discussed here, in this short article I briefly touch on a couple of underlying premises that will facilitate an easy and effective ability to experience the art of conscious detachment, as well as demystify the myth and hopefully make it inviting, stimulating and do-able to more people. So, let’s take a practical look at this metaphysical state!
Meditation, for many, has a spiritual connotation to it, which can put a lot of people off, as they feel they do not fit into this category. The good news is that the art of conscious detachment is not subjective to whether one is actively spiritual or not. Whilst the New Age movement has done much to promote meditation as a tool for those on a spiritual path, it is also very simply a way of life, as can be witnessed in Indian and Eastern cultures, where people grow up with this as a daily practise.
Now, many people who attempt meditating for the first time, may give up pretty soon because the art of detachment cannot be approached cognitively. Meditation is a paradox, in that it is a state that is achieved through the mind and yet it is not of the mind. It is indeed a cultivated art to reach a state of being in conscious detachment. The challenge come to those who meditate, whether a novice or a veteran, because the second one attempts to empty the mind, is exactly the moment that the monkey mind begins to chatter very loudly and incessantly. Sounds familiar? J Even with regular practise this can still occur, however, it does become easier to seduce the mental mind into releasing its vice-like grip, with practise and regularity, which facilitates the increased experience of conscious detachment.
One of the easiest, quickest and most effective ways to experience this cessation of mind chatter is through something that every human being on this planet does. BREATHING! It is something we all already do in order to stay alive in our physical bodies. Breathing is a built-in reflex, automatically controlled for the most part by the brain. However, it is also one of the few biological functions that we are able to control consciously, within limits. When done with control or focus, a very particular shift occurs, not only in the body but across the board.
In Hatha Yoga, a primary principle is: Where awareness goes, energy glows and where energy flows, awareness goes. A way in which this can be experienced is that with focus on the breath, everything seems to slow down and yet expand simultaneously. Almost like when zooming out with a telescopic lens, one is afforded a view of a bigger picture. When we zoom out by focusing on the breath, the mental mind eases its grip on our awareness and more energy flows in. This creates a greater sense of detachment.
Another side-effect of controlled breathing is that it impacts on hormones which control body metabolism and functionality by carrying signals to and from the brain. For example, controlled breathing is effective for calming nerves or anxiety, as it sends a message to the brain that all is well and to lower adrenaline rush and heart rate.
The way a habit is formed and programmed in the brain is through repetition, which forms new synapses in the brain. Naturally the more you repeat something, the quicker and more automated it becomes. So, with regular repetitive practise neural pathways can be created and reinforced to support and stimulate the state of conscious detachment. Now, this does not have to be a long laborious process or set in stone. So start small – remember to break down the elephant into smaller pieces, as this makes for easier handling.
Sitting down and expecting to know how to experience deep meditation the first time, is setting the bar a bit high and causes unnecessary pressure. If you choose to begin with half a minute of conscious breathing every day, very shortly you will notice how much easier it happens on its own. At first don’t be too concerned with the when and how. Just do it when it pops up into your thoughts and you can also ask yourself to remember to prompt you. Sounds crazy perhaps, but it works. Why not try it?
So, no need to go and sit for hours on end in a dark silent room. Increase the length of time to find your own comfortable routine. A hint: if you feel as if you are no longer getting anything out of the time you spend, try changing the routine, environment and length of time. Just as everyday is different, so will be the quality and time of your meditation, which can be influenced by physical, emotional and environmental factors. Energy is in constant state of flux and as an Energy Being, so are you.
The regular practice of the art of conscious detachment contributes through controlled breathing leads to an increased sense of overall well-being. This is now more widely acknowledged, in particular by the medical world. Some benefits experienced can be: relaxation, improved energy levels, better circulation, restful sleep, reduced medicinal side-effects, more joy, ability to control anxiety, increased appetite, greater sense of peace/connectedness, etc
Now for what reason, would you not choose to have some of this?
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Trilby Johnson is an Emotional Breakthrough Mentor, Author and Speaker whose clients hire her to go from emotional zero to emotional hero, as they heal, alleviate stress and cultivate emotional freedom in their lives, relationships, finances, emotions, health and mindset. She shares her knowledge of how to create inner harmony and outer balance with those seeking to deepen their self-knowing and expand their consciousness.
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