Non-Attachment Doesn't Mean Non-Desire

Image Credit: Joe Caione on Unsplash

I've spoken before about detachment; the idea that, as the Buddhists say, all suffering comes from attachment. Attachment to things, attachment to people, attachment to certain events happening or not happening in a particular way.

However, what often happens when we're presented with this idea of non-attachment is that we think it means we're not allowed to want things.

That is most definitely not the point of non-attachment.

Buddha taught non-attachment, not non-desire.

He realized that desire happens.

Suffering is caused by attachment to desire.

The thought "I would like that" is natural.

The idea "I will throw a tantrum if I don’t get it" is what gets you into trouble.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting things; as long as you're alive you'll want / hope / wish for things / people / events.

That's normal, and totally ok.

The thing you want to guard against is having a negative reaction if you don't get it the thing you decided you wanted.

How can you prevent the negative reaction?

By not attaching to the things / people / events.

How can you prevent attachment?

In one word: FAITH.

The Universe only has three answers:
  1. Yes.
  2. Not right now.
  3. I have something better for you.

When you want / hope / wish for things / people / events one of those three things will happen:
  1. Yes. You will get what desired.
  2. Not right now. You will get what desired at a later time. (Because the timing isn't right at this moment.)
  3. I have something better for you. You're not dreaming big enough babe, and the Universe is preparing to over-deliver on your desire. The Universe always has bigger dreams for you than you have for yourself. Through non-attachment, you give the Universe room to make magic.

Now, you don't have to believe the above, but personally, in every situation where I've wanted something very much, one of the above three things has always proven to be true in hindsight. Always.

Which is why every time I feel desire about anything, I remind myself of the faith I have in the above statement.

Having that faith is what allows me to be ok with the present moment, to be ok with letting life unfold as it will, to stay in non-attachment.

It's a very peaceful place to live; I highly recommend it.

The thought "I would like that" is natural.

The idea "I will throw a tantrum if I don’t get it" is what gets you into trouble.

Image Credit: Fuu J on Unsplash

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