I first discovered the eastern philosophy of detachment, or non-attachment, when I studied Buddhism at university. Being in my late teens, I remember thinking, “Oh man, sounds nice but no way is that possible for me”. And for a long time, it wasn’t. During that period in my life, I didn’t have the emotional and spiritual maturity to grasp the power of detachment. Truthfully, I wasn’t ready to surrender and bring it into my world because the concept went beyond anything I could comprehend at the time. And, if not properly understood or taught, detachment can be misconstrued and misrepresented as the opposite of what it should bring into your life.

Image of bronze buddha statue with graphics elements around it

What is Detachment

Found in early Vedic scripture and adopted later into Buddhist teachings, detachment is the release of any hold you may have on a past or future event, someone’s opinion, and material possessions. Often mistaken for the literal definition of the word where one feels dissociated, aloof, or disconnected from anything and everyone, Buddhist detachment is the opposite. It’s a deeper and more immersive involvement in your life because there is no attachment to an outcome. An individual is then able to truly live in the present moment free from worry, judgment, anxiety, and stress. They are able to take more risks and explore possibilities while living deeply in each moment. It may feel like an awakening to the undeniable truth of the universe – a true homecoming.

What are the Benefits

Life fills our day with many short-lived and empty distractors masking as pure joy and love, and we measure our worth on other people’s opinions and material possessions. But the benefits of detachment are greater than what any tangible object can provide. It goes beyond the love you receive from others because you will deepen into your own self by letting go of your desire for outside validation.

Here are a few more benefits of detachment:

  1. Feeling free and liberated
  2. A sense of inner peace
  3. Breaking free from social and familial constructs
  4. A deeper understanding of the universe
  5. The truth in the reality of the present moment
  6. A release of outside expectations
  7. No attachment to outcomes
  8. Self-confidence
  9. Understanding unconditional self-love
  10. Letting go of stress, worry, and anxiety
  11. A deeper awareness of your inner and outer world

The gifts are truly endless and will become as unique to you as your own fingerprints when you begin to express your life from the present and soul space.

When it’s Attachment and not Detachment

If you are practicing detachment and feel numb, disconnected, or depressed, this is a key indicator that detachment has not been fully understood because you are still attached. Remember, detachment is not the literal definition of the word but a philosophy to help live your life free from suffering. It does not involve withdrawing from others or denouncing what life has to offer but it is the awakening to the truth of your life. A life without any outside influences, labels, and identities. It should not elicit sadness but joy, bliss, and freedom. In return, you will become overwhelmed by the deeper connection to your life, and the universe at large. It’s like learning life’s great mystery and purpose.

flames lit in lanterns in a temple

Why Detachment is Important to Understand

To me, living through detachment feels like the truest form of life because I can treat each day like a gift instead of holding on to a construct forced onto most of us since birth which is based on thousands of years of conditioned behaviour. Most of us waste days and years wrapped up in a thought or consumed by an emotion which can lead to actions that aren’t the most helpful or productive. Because let’s be real, our lives rot with unnecessary suffering and petty disagreements. But through detachment, we can release this pain by living in a perspective that frees us from shame, competition, and judgment. By releasing our attachment to a situation, comment, or choice we immediately clear away the clutter in our minds and open space for our soul to lead the way. If we can deepen into each present moment, we can then simply begin to live. This in turn allows us to be better friends, parents, spouses, and colleagues. Our love and kindness are only as good and as expansive as we allow ourselves to be.

Deepen Into Detachment Through Meditation

Now due to cultural traditions, societal customs, religion, and the media, we have been programmed to think in a system designed to keep the production of a capitalist society thriving. Unfortunately living through a perspective that accepts the present by allowing life to happen through us as opposed to at us is not a natural state of living. To reinforce this mode of thinking, meditation should be viewed as a tool that allows this life-changing spiritual philosophy to develop into your mind. With daily and consistent dedication, you can deepen your life experience with no attachment but peace.

How to Start Practicing Detachment

Now, meditation is only one part of the puzzle. Since it’s a perspective shift, our brain needs to be rewired for this concept to click, it may take time and several different approaches to fully grasp the concept on a deep and profound level. Here are several exercises you can try:

  1. Find an object you identify with and donate it or throw it away. Ask yourself, who am I without this item, and who is left?
  2. Write a journal entry and describe a life free from expectation or obligation – what does that life look like?
  3. Name three labels you identify with. For instance, it could be mom, teacher, or husband. Who are you beyond these identities?
  4. Think about a regret, future event, or constant worry that plagues your days. Now imagine it didn’t exist. Even if it’s for a second. This feeling of relief and peace can be prolonged with practice.
  5. Understand your worth through unconditional self-love. Foster a healthy relationship with your soul by spending time with yourself alone. Do things you want to do and understand your needs and personality.
  6. The only opinion that matters is your own. Even if that means you need to be alone, isn’t that better than being around anyone constantly seconding your worth and creating self-doubt? Never put anyone on a pedestal. Someone else’s opinion of you does not define who you are.
  7. Practice Meditation to Deepen into Presence. Begin to build a relationship with presence and mindfulness and start to understand the only reality we have is found in the present moment.
  8. Surrender to the universe or faith that resonates with you.  Trusting and letting go releases the mental state of worry and stress. This does not mean you sit back and relax and become lethargic, but you begin to accept any situation as it arises especially the ones beyond your control. You will also release your fear of failure and in turn, be ready to take more risks. You feel more confident to be seen and heard because you are focusing more on the process than on the outcome.

The Layered System to Spiritual and Mental Freedom

I write constantly about different spiritual modalities, and each relies on strength and power when used together. They work best when unified and in harmony because detachment does not arrive on its own but through an understanding of presence, meditation, healing, unconditional self-love, creation, nature, and journaling. It requires commitment, dedication, and consistency to keep in this mode of thinking. Over time it will evolve into a natural state of being, but it may not come easy. Like most things in life, all the joyous moments or accomplishments happen through a commitment to the craft. It starts and lives through a choice for a richer existence. After all, we are talking about inner peace – how can we expect it to come easy and instantly? Let’s treat it with respect and give it the time and dedication required.


It may sound radical, but would you expect anything less from a concept that provides a life-changing but worthy perspective shift into your life? I believe all people can live through detachment even when nurturing a career or dedicated to a family. In fact, since detachment is not rebelling against society but deepening our experiences as they occur, it allows us to be more loving and understanding humans to the people around us and the world at large. This is possible because when we accept the present moment as the only reality we have, and we release our attachment to the past, future, or other’s opinions we begin to heal, and we begin to deepen into our love for ourselves. We begin to fall in love with our souls and with life. it’s a very intoxicating emotion. This elation bleeds into all aspects of our life. It’s an automatic reaction and the natural progression to this mental and spiritual shift.

Let me conclude by leaving you with a question, if worry and outside expectation is removed, would you feel free to explore yourself authentically and live your life exactly how you desire?

Until next time, you Wildsoul – keep blooming!