The Paradox of Detachment

DetachmentDetachment, often used in Buddhist teachings, implies being outside life, watching, disembodied. I believe this is a misunderstanding of the word’s deeper meaning.

From the teachings of the Alexander Technique, I’ve learned how to be in my body and mind and yet not let them run my life. In other words, I direct from the inside without being subject to mind/body habits. When emotions arise, I feel them without letting them turn into a soap opera. When confusion occurs, I allow its drama without getting lost in it. I am the conductor in tune with the instruments which are me! I believe this balance of control and freedom is the thin line Buddhism implies when suggesting detachment as a tool for awareness.

The “primary control” in Alexander’s teachings points to the same thing. Primary control allows the body’s natural awareness to help us stay in the present. Thus, when the hind brain (cerebellum*) which controls body awareness, is allowed a more leading position, the body is not befuddled by the activity of the thinking mind. This helps dissolve the mind/body illusion. Then, consciousness holds a central place within this physical/mental system, not counter to it or abusing of it.

This sense of detachment allows for the discovery of the higher self. Again, it is not a separate being or other self, but a description of where the true self seems to come from when it is balanced within the body.

Poise in the body and mind allows for better awareness of this seemingly “higher” self. In this sense, spirit is not a separate entity from mind and body, but a result of balance between them, a sympathetic vibration, if you will. When mind and body are present and poised, certain truths can then become self evident, such as the wisdom of being unattached to results and the finite nature of the body and mind. As these levels of understanding deepen, a feeling of spirit may arise, a sense of infinite freedom within a closed system.

* (from Brain Basics)The hind-brain includes the upper part of the spinal cord, the brain stem, and a wrinkled ball of tissue called the cerebellum (1). The hind-brain controls the body’s vital functions such as respiration and heart rate. The cerebellum coordinates movement and is involved in learned rote movements. When you play the piano or hit a tennis ball you are activating the cerebellum. The uppermost part of the brainstorm is the mid-brain, which controls some reflex actions and is part of the circuit involved in the control of eye movements and other voluntary movements.

Glittering Commentari 17, Jesse

Glittering CommentariIt’s been awhile since I posted a Glittering Commentari, which are comment highlights from around the blogosphere. A recent commenter left this wonderful gem of spiritual advice on my post Spirituality without Religion. His or her name is Jesse Saunders, but that’s all I know, since there is no blog link. Enjoy…

Here’s my understanding, as best as I can describe:

The more simple you try to make your rules, the more abstract and harder to implement in real life they tend to be. But too many rules quickly start to become contradictory. My only suggestion is having an innate drive for understanding.

Trying to understand everything and searching for the truth leads you to greater wisdom. From that wisdom you can begin to see how even the words we use and ideas we have can never fully encompass everything that is. The truth is you will never be perfect, and once you discover that, you wouldn’t want to be anyway.

You’ll find that wise men tend to break things into either or situations and make one good and one bad in order to give the masses something to hold on to, but truth and reality weren’t made that way. It is basically a shorthand for more effective communication and will do nothing to help you spiritually.

Always search, always question, always discover. The goal isn’t to find one, or five, things to hold onto; it is to gain a more clear and true understanding of reality.

Your own perception is your greatest ally and worst enemy, the journey will usually start and end there.

Women Through the Ages

Women’s beauty has inspired artists since the dawn of culture. Many of you have probably seen this, but I couldn’t resist giving it some more air time. The creator ingeniously melded together 100s of paintings of women through 500 years of art, giving the effect of a (mostly) seamless morph of one woman’s face. Watch the eyes as they look at you then through you, then coyly look away, then peer at some distant vision of utopia we may never know.
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Traffic Orgasm

I’ve been puttering along with this blog for months now. I don’t read many other blogs and don’t post very often here. Yesterday I fixed a bug in my comment box code which prevented entering text in IE. Later that day I got over a dozen comments. Elated, I commented back, eager to re-kindle blog relationships. Then I happened to check my traffic, and WOW, found I went from 300 to 3000 hits in one day. Fixing a comment box couldn’t have done that!! I traced the cause to two simultaneous and lucky links by others. One is from a site called BloggerFodder, a simply delicious array of links to hot posts for other bloggers or readers to peruse and use, if desired. The bulk of traffic, however, came from StumbleUpon, where my recent post was added to their spirituality page. I am now fans of both, and I hope you will show MY appreciation for them by visiting them!