Being a detached observer

Baba says, ‘be a detached observer‘. One of the greatest skills on the spiritual path is of being a detached observer.

Often we hear this and think its harsh. How can I be detached from my family? my friends? But that’s not what it means at all. To be a detached observer means to be able to navigate life’s many situations without getting entangled in them. If I see someone tensed, for example, it helps if I can stay calm and clear headed such that I can help them think through options or just lend a hand or ear. If I get influenced and become tense too then I’ve just aggravated the situation rather than help.

It’s not just about others. When I see myself in a situation, there is often emotion involved, there is drama. Rather than simply react to what’s being said, perhaps I take a minute to step out of the situation and view it as an objective outsider. That helps me see the other perspectives much better and respond appropriately.

But often, I’m afraid. I’m afraid when I come face to face with my own or other’s sanskars. I see my old ways, darkness that was hiding in the corners of my mind and I feel shame and fear and guilt. And I often reject myself or am very harsh with myself. Other times, I set out with the right intention but I am unable to deliver- I might get angry anyway or find myself judging anyway. And I once again reject myself or feel as if I’ve failed. Baba says, ‘be a detached observer’ even with yourself….in fact, starting with yourself. Okay, I messed up….wasn’t the first time and certainly won’t be the last time. Being able to view the action, the sanskar as an observer and let it go is the greatest act of mercy I can bestow on myself and others. It’s in the past, let me learn from it which is hard to do if I am so caught up in the emotion and drama of shame and rejection. And if I cannot show mercy to myself, I won’t be able to show it to others.

So if I catch myself being judgmental or critical of others a lot, let me check…perhaps it has to do with how I treat myself.

God’s love is the alchemy that transforms. It is the only elixir that can heal deep wounds and renew the soul. He says, ‘tell me everything you’ve done, everything that’s on your mind’. Telling Him lightens half the burden and then transforming my ways rids me of the other half. Let me learn to open my heart to Him and trust His love for me.

He says, ‘remember, I am your Father, Teacher and Guru‘. ‘I am also your Beloved for whom you’ve been waiting for half a cycle‘. Let me relate to Him and accept His care, His teaching, His remedies and His companionship. He doesn’t judge me, He simply loves. He is able to do that with so many souls with so much burden of karma and remain The Ocean of Love because He is able to remain detached.

He understands my journey, He sees my behavior…He’s not ignorant but He accepts unconditionally because He doesn’t get entangled. He doesn’t question- why, what, how…He instead offers a new way of doing things, He focuses on the solution rather than the problem. When I complain to Him about myself or someone else, He doesn’t engage, take sides and get entangled in who’s right or wrong. He simply focuses on healing me and then teaching me how I need to show up….irrespective of others.

Being detached doesn’t mean I am aloof, it means I am loving. Love is the opposite of attachment. I am not attached to the old sanskars- they are not mine, they are acquired. I observe them and let them go. That’s treating me with love. I see someone else’s clumsy moment and don’t hold it against them, don’t judge them on based on it. That’s treating them with love. Let me check today- am I attached or detached?

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