Friday, October 30, 2009

Attachment

Flo told a joke that made me giggle the other day. In fact she won a yoga mat for telling this joke.

Why couldn't the yogi vaccum his carpet?
Because he lost all his attachments!

It brings up visions of a little Indian man sitting in lotus smiling serenely whilst surrounded by pieces of broken vacuum cleaner!

Joking aside, letting go of attachment is a strange thing. What does it even mean? I guess it's something different to everybody. To me attachments are more emotional than physical. Yes, I have physical attachment in terms of non-necessary items such as a TV, PS3, my beloved laptop (although I'd argue that last was necessary!!), but I'm not so emotionally attached to them as to be unhealthy I don't think. I just like having them. No, to me emotional attachment to people places and objects of apparently no value are far more difficult to get rid of.

I have a friend who has a broken tambourine. You can't play it, it's not even pretty to look at, but she cannot give it up. It reminds her of a time past, a time of joy. Some would say we shouldn't need to hold onto that physical object to remember the time of joy. Others would go further and say that we should only live in the right now and therefore we do not need to remember past joys but instead focus on the present joy within. As for me, well my friend knows her relationship with her tambourine is bizarre and she works hard towards present joy. Maybe being aware of our attachments and treating them with mindfulness is all we need.

I have been working through a particular attachment myself recently - an attachment to my chiropractor. My old chiropractor Zane changed my life. For any new readers I have a rather rare form of congenital upper thoracic scoliosis which for many reasons was not diagnosed until adulthood. Yoga does it wonders, Zane worked miracles. When I moved to Cambridge I had to leave Zane behind. I have recently begun to see another wonderful chiropractor here called Jasper. He is very good, very understanding. But he's not Zane.

I have to let go of that attachment though if I want to move forward fully into this new phase of my life. I have to appreciate Zane for what he was and where he took me. And now I have to step forward on my own.

3 comments:

Eco Yogini said...

you're right. I think yoga students get similar attachments to their instructors. I know I have my favourites and I work hard to appreciate other styles of teachers and teachings and to find knowledge in each class.
It's an important part of life- non-attachment. But something about our society encourages non-change.

sometimes I wonder if maybe we've lost our childhood curiosity and joy of living in the moment. Preschoolers have such vague concepts of time- everything is in the moment. I think of my clients (preschoolers) as a reminder on how to live now :)

Rachel said...

EcoYogini - I was talking to Andy about this concept of children's vague concept of time in relation to our cats actually! Animals are the same, they are just right here in the now. I learn a lot from just watching my cats!

rand(om) bites said...

I'm at work, lunch break, so can't write much right now but the joke, it got me LOL. I get attached to instructors but force myself to try different teachers and schools for balance. I'm with you and the cats too, I learn so much from my two :-)