Overcoming attachment and sensitivity


How to be detached? I am a very sensitive person and I tend to be very attached to people. When I realise that they’re friends with others or favour others over me I feel hurt , because deep inside i wish for someone who is for me only. I know that one for us is God alone, but I can’t stop feeling bitter and alone. I realise that it’s impossible for a person to be this dedicated to you, so how do we overcome the hurt and experience god’s divine love?

—Pereha, India


Dear Friend in God,

Your dilemma is a universal one. The only lasting cure is ego transcendence: a combination of self-disciplining of the mind and heart away from attachments with a corresponding growth in devotion, love for God and inner communion with the soul. This is, in short, to achieve moksha – liberation from suffering and delusion.

As you surely know this is not an easy task nor a brief journey. Therefore, what to do to enhance that state of inner freedom?

Here are some suggestions to consider (employ the ones that resonate with you the most):

  • When you observe a friend enjoying the company and friendship of someone else, mentally bless and congratulate your friend on his good fortune. Let his joy shine onto your own mind and heart. Say to yourself, “All of us seek true friends and such is a great blessing. I am happy for you.”
  • When with a friend, conversing, relaxing, working, serving, etc., focus your attention on the needs of your friend and less upon your reaction to his responses to you (your words, views, actions, and personality). Let your thoughts and actions move outward in the direction of bringing happiness to others without thought of its being returned to you. “How can I share happiness and practical assistance with this person?” Be the servant, the “das,” of all!
  • As you interact with friends and family and strangers, mentally affirm the presence of God in that person. The divine presence may be obscured by egoity but gold, though covered in mud, is still gold. Imagine Divine Mother or your guru or Istha Devata (your deity) appearing in the form that is before you. Thus, if that person is kind or unkind toward you, you are always being trained and guided by God in that form. For this, then, feel gratitude regardless of pleasant or unpleasant.
  • Deepen and intensify your devotion to God alone as the only Doer and only reality. Meditation, going beyond restless thoughts and ego-centric emotions, is the quickest way to achieve the actionless state of inner peace from which all suffering subsides.
  • Seek the company of other devotees and especially those who express non-attachment and wisdom in their lives. This interaction is best in person, but also helpful via books or videos. Once there is one from whom you can draw this vibrational state of non-attachment, internalize their presence in your heart and silently seek their counsel in all things and especially when tested.

Human behavior (friendship) is ever unreliable until centered in God. Friends come and go; fall ill and depart this world; only in God consciousness can true stability and security be found.

I hope these thoughts can be helpful to you. With the flow of grace rewarding your sincere and energetic efforts, may you find satisfaction in the Divine Heart within,

Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA