Attaining Yoga or Union:

Attaining Yoga or Union:
Yoga or "Union" is attained by first training, balancing, and purifying each of the aspects of our being individually, and then systematically receding attention inward through those levels, expanding so as to experience the state of Union, Yoga, Samadhi, or Turiya.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Attachment is the Greatest Obstacle to Realization

From Sacred Journey
By Swami Rama
ISBN 8188157007
Reprinted with permission of the Publisher
Copyright Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust

Swami Rama

The greatest obstacle in the path of realization is attachment to the body and to the objects of the world. This attachment makes us slaves. It is because of our attachments that we experience fear of death and loss. The more body-conscious and body-attached a person is, the greater the fear of dying.

The same principle applies to people who are attached to the things of the world, to their houses, property, clothing, jewelry, and money. They fear losing those things because they somehow offer meaning, identity, and worth. People also become very attached to other people. The emotion they feel for others gives them an identity and they fear giving up that identity in death. They fear the deaths of those to whom they are attached for similar reasons. If one's identity is somehow defined by attachment to others, the death of others then affects that identity.

The solution is to do away with these attachments to the body, property, possessions, and other people. This point cannot be made often enough. Reducing and finally eliminating attachments does not mean to escape life, to deny the enjoyment of life, or in any way to
diminish life's value. Just the opposite occurs. Life is enhanced, enriched and expanded by reducing attachments. The person learns to love and give and open up to others and to the events of the world.

Attachment means to grip, clasp, grasp, and hold on tightly. When death comes all that was being clutched and grasped is wrenched away. The tighter something is held, the greater will be the wrenching away, the deeper will be the pain. If life has been led with open hands, with no attachments, then death comes but there is nothing to be wrenched away.

We cannot all of a sudden wake one moment and let go of all attachments. It is a lifetime's work to undo the habit of forming attachments and requires attention every day, because the attractions and temptations of the world constantly work to strengthen attachments.