Methods & Practices

Detachment – the Real Meaning

Detachment – the Real Meaning

In the teachings of all the genuine wisdom traditions a prominent principle is what may be called detachment, evenness of mind, undisturbability, equanimity, passionlessness, indifference.

It is sometimes called renunciation, of worldly concerns.

The Sanskrit word is vairagya, from vi-raga, meaning something close to ‘dis-passion’.

This is an important quality in the non-dual teachings, yet it is one that can be easily misunderstood.

It does not mean to be uncaring to others or indifferent about doing things well or not, or having a generally negative view of life. In fact we need to heighten our sensitivity to the experience of other human beings, and be diligent in the tasks life presents to us, and to see life as a sublime opportunity.

Vairagya means seeing things in their right perspective and true significance. If we have given first place in our lives to the discovery of the underlying reality in our own being, it follows naturally that we will be less preoccupied and dominated by the differing qualities of particular events and objects.

As such we have more inner freedom to experience things as they really are, to appreciate their value, to see them from various points of view, and to respond effectively.

So vairagya is a certain detachment from the surface appearances, nor an aversion or endurance; it is a detachment born of the realization that our inner being, and what is most important to us, is not affected by them.

There is more on developing the quality of vairagya in My Practice.

Discovering Non-Duality

If you are doing some regular meditation and reflection on the non-dual ideas, you are welcome to contact us with any questions about the teachings, or for further suggestions about your practice.