When I began my spiritual journey, I would blithely think (and speak) of “detachment” in daily life. If a friend or colleague was going through a difficult patch, my immediate response would be: well, s/he needs to be more detached from the situation.
But I now see the depth of my attachment to the simplest things in daily life. Routines, simple objects, thought-and-emotion patterns, relationships, bodily desires and reactions. I am amazed at the tenacity with which the mind and body become attached to, and identified with, the most most microscopic aspects in living.
Our investigation and experimentation thus have to begin at the deepest emotional levels of attachment, the visceral core of our very being. The skill of looking at attachment without judgement or violence towards oneself and others is an extremely subtle one, and it probably defines the beginning of our spiritual journeys.