I first heard the term, “loving-detachment” from my singing teacher who had introduced me to Munishri Chitrabanu, a Jain guru/monk who taught at the Jain Meditation Center In New York City and who taught about “loving-detachment.” It took me many years to understand what “loving-detachment really was about and how to practice it successfully. I bring it up now because it is a practice whose importance is more critical than it’s ever been. So, what is “loving-detachment” and how does one practice it?
From my experience with “loving-detachment,” it is a practice based on a mindset and way of life. It is not being detached from life in the way of removing yourself from it, not caring, being carefree or careless. It is actually caring so deeply that you step back with love from your own and others’ problems and negativity to allow space for clarity and for serenity. You live without judgement of yourself and others, no longer taking others’ behavior personally but loving them from “afar,” with “afar” meaning you are in it but you are not of it. You view your own and their pain from a perch that is as if you are on higher ground, looking below you as an eagle would who soars the skies, not taking life so seriously. It is also an approach that allows others their space to increase their awareness though their own realizations of the consequences of their choices and behaviors. You are there for them but you don’t own their pain, you don’t take on their pain. You are neutral within yourself. How does one achieve the state of “loving-detachment”?
Practice. Practice being in difficult situations and not letting them get you down by telling yourself that you do not own another’s suffering and pain while you can be there for them. Stay empty not uncaring, not callus. Love yourself and the other so much you can release your pity for them, your need to sympathize or empathize. You just hold the space of love and allow them to go through their suffering with grace as you support them with your presence not your opinion.