How to Live “Non-Attached” Wisely


How does one practice non-attachment with those that don’t, or can’t, understand the concept without getting drawn in to their drama?

—Rob, United States


Dear Rob,

If I understand correctly, your question is: “If I am non-attached, some don’t understand, but react emotionally. How should I handle this?”

Especially where close relationships are concerned, we have to learn to become mature. Swami Kriyananda established a Maturity Principle: “Maturity is the ability to relate appropriately to other realities than one’s own.”

A wife might need your signs of affection, sometimes often. Outwardly showing non-attachment might be the worst thing for her present reality. A friend might need to feel that you stand by him, and needs to hear it. Your outer signs of non-attachment may just make him feel that you are not really there for him, and he might react. Another friend may perceive nothing but lack of love whenever you outwardly demonstrate non-attachment, growing upset.

Renunciation is mainly inside, as non-attachment is inside. Outwardly we need to relate “appropriately” to people, just in the way they are.

True non-attachment is never cold or indifferent. Love is a higher principle than non-attachment and should infuse it. Yogananda stated, “I am divinely attached to all,” meaning “I really care for the well-being of all.” And he showed it, even though he was fully non-attached deep inside. If people feel your love, there will be no “drama”.

In divine friendship, Jayadev