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February 2007
Rev. Celeste Shakti Hill

The Spiritual Practice of Non-Attachment
Non-Attachment is a spiritual practice found throughout the world's religions. It is the practice of Faith. If we have Faith in God, Universe, Self, (in whatever way we connect with the One Source), we need not look outside ourselves for happiness and support. We remain open to whatever God brings to us, and do not get attached to the things of the world. Like the story of the Israelites in the desert from the Christian Bible. They were given Manna daily for nourishment. And if they tried to save it for the next day, it rotted. But each day God gave them fresh Manna, and they never starved. It is said that attachment is the root of all suffering. We are always in the flow of Grace, and are given exactly what is needed in each moment.
This is a simple concept, but living it day to day is not. We all have degrees of attachment, depending on the person, place or thing. I have found it useful to first practice awareness of how attached I am. We practice awareness with a number of spiritual practices in the Living The Eternal Way class. By tuning into a specific spiritual law or concept or a week or two, we can better understand where we are. Then we can make adjustments as needed. So, I invite you to take a look at these potential areas of attachment listed below, and observe for yourself where you are in your practice.
  • Attachment to Things:
    Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
    But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
    For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matt: 6:19-21).
    How attached are you to your things? What happens when the shiny new car gets scratched? What level of suffering would you have if you lost your sweater, wallet, or house?
  • Attachment in Relationships:
    It is said that the deepest love is when we see God shining within our beloved. We can therefore allow them to grow and change, and are not attached to how they are now. We are not attached to them fulfilling our happiness, but know that this comes from within us. Have you heard the phrase, "Don't change; I love you just the way you are."? Everyone changes. How are you with your relationships? And how do you feel when things change?
  • Attachment to Views:
    How attached are you to your opinions? New discoveries and information are unfolding in every minute. Are we willing to let go of how we think things should be?
    "Do not think the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth…Learn and practice non-attachment from views in order to be open to receive other's viewpoints." -Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Attachment to the outcomes of our actions:
    Goal setting is a good practice. But who really achieves the goal? And who says how it will be achieved? I believe God is the doer. We set the intention, point the way, do the work, and watch the Universe respond. And sometimes, it can look very different then what we thought it would look like. The less attached we are, the more open to the possibilities of true success we will be. How are you when it comes to not knowing God's project plan?
  • Attachment to our Body:
    This is the most difficult of all. We are programmed to survive. But we all know that as we age, the body will change. And one day, we will drop the body entirely.
    "One who is grounded in non-attachment acquires knowledge of the cycles of birth and death." - Yoga Sutra
    How are you when it comes to your changing body, and your transition?
Non-attachment is Freedom; freedom to experience what is being given right here, right now. In the next moment, it will change. Rest in God and know a peace, joy and security beyond understanding.
To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven
-Music by Pete Seeger, words adapted from The Bible, Book of Ecclesiastes

(The Divine in me bows to the Divine in you.)


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