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Mind and body

How to detach from expectations, acquisitions in a world based on them

The conversation concerning an old area rug began normally enough.

"Well, we could just toss it out and get a new one," my roommate suggested.

"True. We could. I mean, I have no attachment to that rug."

Which led me to an exploration of attachments. In yoga practice, we study the concept of detaching from results, expectations, judgments and ideals. In kind, we let go of attachment to possessions, as they have no place in a higher existence. We're all familiar with the expression "you can't take it with you." Accessing a higher existence within our current one is the key.

Understanding and accepting the idea that everything changes, that life itself is impermanent, allows a sort of revelation when we finally get it: Life is meant to be enjoyed moment to moment.

It is within this thinking that freedom comes calling, reminding us of our innate ability to rise above strife and turmoil. It's a place where we spend less time concerned with the goings-on of others and instead embrace individuality as a means to unified experience, such as in the universal sound of laughter. Non-attachment reminds us that clinging to anger, resentment and regret never opens doors, but slams them on involvement in our own lives.

Where do we start? How can we begin to detach from results and expectations in a world based upon them? As with any journey, with a single step.

The meditation script on the next page speaks to the fundamental part of every sentient being, the foundation we all share, the root of our being that never changes. This is the foundation we build our lives upon.

Find yourself sitting in a garden. Nearby is a pile of red bricks. You walk over, pick one up and examine it. Some of the red dust rubs off on your hands and you feel the gritty texture. Feel the finish and the weight of the brick, see all the facets of this brick, the small holes, the rough surface and the varying shades of red. See the brick almost change color as the sunlight settles on its surface.

Next to the pile of bricks is a creamy pot of mortar. You remove a trowel from the pot and slather the brick's surface with mortar and place it on the ground. Now place another brick next to the first, and the next and the next until the floor you are building begins to take shape. Keep laying the bricks until they are all used up and you have created a flat, solid surface. Look upon the work you have done, and take comfort in your foundation's existence.

Now, build whatever you want to build on top of your foundation. Whatever you need, whether it be tools, or furniture, or flowers or more bricks ... you will find it all right there beside you. Build until you are satisfied.

Once you are done, sweep away all you have erected upon the bricks. Do not regret removing any of it, and know that you are secure and comfortable as long as the heart of your creation stays. See that the foundation is still there, waiting for you to build again.

As you bring yourself back to the here and now, be reassured in the knowledge that your base, your bedrock, your footing remains intact, solid and safe.

Diana Reed is a yoga teacher, writer and co-owner of Gaya Jyoti Yoga in Hernando County. She can be reached at or (352) 610-1083.

How to detach from expectations, acquisitions in a world based on them 04/03/14 [Last modified: Thursday, April 3, 2014 4:50pm]
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