Love more, not less
Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen Buddhist master, has some interesting advice on what it really means to let go. Many people mistake detachment or non-attachment as a form of indifference or emotional disconnection others, but, as Hanh explains, quitting often means loving someone more than you've ever loved before.
The Buddha taught that detachment, one of the disciplines of the Noble Way, also called ariyasaavaka, is not a physical act of withdrawal or even a form of austerity. Although the Buddha teaches a "non-action that is an integral part of the Right Way", if taken out of context, it can give the impression that we must develop a lack of interest in others, and that we must live without truly feeling or expressing our emotions. - isolating us life.
This form of detachment is a misunderstanding of the Buddha's message. Master Hanh says that to really let go, we must learn to love more completely. Non-attachment only happens when our love for the other extends beyond our own personal expectations of gain, or our anticipation of a specific and desired outcome.
Hanh describes four forms of complete detachment, which surprisingly are not about hiding in a cave and ignoring everyone who broke your heart, or ignoring your lust or desire for a romantic interest. This is not detachment. Letting go means diving.
Maitri (not the love you know)
Hanh describes the importance of Maitri, not love as we normally understand it in a Westernized use of the word. He claims:
The first aspect of true love is maitri (metta, in Pali), the intention and the ability to offer joy and happiness. To develop this ability, we have to practice looking and listening deeply so that we know what to do and what not to do to make others happy. If you offer your loved one something she doesn't need, this is not maitri. You have to see your real situation or what you offer can bring you unhappiness.
In other words, your detachment may be in accepting that certain things you would normally do to make another person feel loved and appreciated may not be what the person you are actively loving now needs. Instead of forcing this behavior on someone else, with a selfish intention of "pleasing" you, you simply stand out that need in yourself and really observe what makes the other person feel comfortable, safe and happy.
He further explains:
We have to use language more carefully. "Love" is a beautiful word; we have to restore its meaning. The word maitri has roots in the word miter which means friend. In Buddhism, the primary meaning of love is friendship.
The next form of true detachment is compassion. When we let go, we keep offering a compassionate touch, word or action to help someone who is suffering. We also do not expect to take away your hurt or pain. Compassion contains deep concern, however. It is not indifference. It is not isolation others.
The Buddha smiles because he understands why pain and suffering exist and because he also knows how to transform it. You become more deeply involved in life when you become detached the outcome, but that does not mean that you do not participate fully - even in the pain of others.
Gratitude and Joy
In fact, you practice gratitude. Mudita, or joy, arises when we are overcome with gratitude for everything we have, in such a way that we are no longer attached to any other expected result. The Buddha's definition of joy is more like “selfless joy”. This means that not only do we find happiness when something good happens to us, but when others find happiness.
If you've ever had to say goodbye to a love or friend so that they could continue the path of your life, you may have felt pain when they found someone new to love, or made a new friend who seemed to take your place. This is not true detachment. Joy arises when you find happiness even when others find joy - and it has little or nothing to do with you.
Master Hanh describes the final quality of true love that sheds disorderly light on the true process of letting go. He claims:
The fourth element of true love is upeksha, which means equanimity, non-attachment, non-discrimination, impartiality or detachment. Upa means ‘over’ and iksha means ‘looking’. You go up the mountain to be able to look at the whole situation, not limited by one side or the other. If your love has attachment, discrimination, prejudice or attachment, it is not true love. People who do not understand Buddhism sometimes think that upeksha means indifference, but true equanimity is neither cold nor indifferent. If you have more than one child, they are all your children. Upeksha does not mean that you do not love. Grandfather you love in a way that all your children receive your love, without discrimination.
Hanh explains that without this quality, our love tends to become possessive - a starting point for the ego. We try to put the loved one in our pocket and take them with us when they are more like the wind, a butterfly or a stream, needing to move and flow, or risk dying. This is not love, this is destruction.
For love to be true love, it must have elements of compassion, joy and equanimity - and that is really letting go.
The art of letting go is Artless
The real secret is that letting go is not an art, it is a permission, a being. An unattached relationship is healthy, strong and filled with effortless love, kindness and compassion. You are completely selfless because your sense of “I” is no longer affirmed in every situation. If you really want to let go, you need to love more, not less. This is the most common misunderstanding about this priceless teaching of the Buddha.