Nonattachment and Self-Realization
Ryan begins this talk with the statement “Imagine that right now in this very moment that you have no attachments to anything, you have no attachments to your sense of self, no attachments to family or friends or who you think you are. All you are attached to is God and the infinite Consciousness . . . ” He explains that if we are living out of attachment, we are not centered in Divine Consciousness. According to the Yoga Sutras, by giving your full attention to Ishvara, God, or the Divine, you lift yourself above karma, the influences of nature. You are then spiritually free and liberated. He then goes on to explain that it can be difficult for people to practice nonattachment because they feel that it would make them “not human.”
When you’re on the awakening path, you have a different set of ideals than most people because you are living in such a way as to wake up and be completely and totally free. Once you’re totally free, you know peace. Ryan states that most people don’t want to know peace. They are attached to human drama. But if you’re interested in waking up, you live your life unattached to the human drama. But that doesn’t mean you don’t participate. It just means you’re unattached to the drama.
There are two different kinds of nonattachment. The first kind of nonattachment is the individual who forcefully pushes everything (people, relationships, jobs) away. That’s a good first step if you need to do that but the more mature, higher form of nonattachment is living your life as best you can—not worrying about attachment.
Lahiri Mahasaya in his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, stated that your life and yoga practice is truly wholesome when you live your life and practice meditation without expectation for results. You do it because it’s the right thing to do—not because you’re trying to get somewhere or change something. This is the most authentic form of kriya yoga practice.
At the end of the talk, Ryan discusses nonattachment as it applies to meditation practice. When meditating, it is important to let go of all attachment to your expectations about what it’s going to be like and about what God is. Do the practice, and then simply sit and exist in what comes up. And then you’ll know what God is like.
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