Be in the World But Not of It

Be in the world but not of it. Through detachment, you master both inner and outer reality.

Detachment isnít the same thing as indifference or passivity. This is an important distinction. You are more than the flesh-and-blood person you see in the mirror, a person created by the world around you. Your actual being has its source in spirit.

Through detachment you shift your allegiance away from the physical toward the spiritual. Since you are the spirit first and an individual person second, the world is actually in you, as images, thoughts, sensations, memories, and projections. You are more real than the material world and closer to the creative source.

Exercise: You can sit for this exercise at first, but it is meant to be used at any time, even in activity. Center yourself for a moment, then become aware of your breath going in and out. Be mindful of its flow, how the breath is constantly changing in subtle or obvious ways.

At the same time, be mindful of the background of your breathing. This is the ground of being and silence, the ground of yourself. Notice how both aspects coexist, the changing and the nonchanging. You can be in the world of change while remembering the ground of nonchange.

Breath and spirit have always been connected; there is a subtle link between inspiration and respiration. If you are mindful of this link, it will strengthen. Being mindful of your breathing is in fact one of the most natural ways to find detachment from the turmoil around you.

Adapted from The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2008).

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Tonya Freeman
Tonya Freemanabout a year ago

That last sentence brought a smile and a memory; "count to ten slowly before saying anything."

Everyday, there is something in this world that can send chills down your spine, the insensitivity, the wars, the need to go on. What I have been practicing, though sometimes..., is being still, taking a few moments to know that this, that I see before me, this that sends tremors through my body, is not real. It is the world of "mammon," of illusion, of maya. It is not of love, of God.

I give thanks that more often then not, the energy of detachment prevails in my life. The more I do this, the more I heal. As I heal, the world heals, a little at a time.

Thank you.

Loo Samantha
Loo sam2 years ago


paul m.
paul m.2 years ago


Lynn D.
Lynn D.2 years ago

Will give it a better try! Thanks!

Vicki P.
Victoria P.2 years ago


Fiona T.
Fi T.2 years ago

We can focus on our work but try not to be stuck in it

Past Member
Dolly Navina L.3 years ago

Thank you!

No Politics H.
Past Member 3 years ago

I practice this on the way to work. I sit with my eyes closed on the tube and listen to my breathing. I sometimes wonder what other passengers think....not too much though.

Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad3 years ago

More like what Christ has to say! Love it!!!

Carole R.
Carole R.4 years ago

Interesting ideas.