Vairagya: Non-attachment to sensory objects

The secret of happiness lies in the mind’s release of worldly ties.



Nicolai Bachman writes, “Vairagya is to not allow our past action patterns, addictions, or strong desire to affect our focus.”

Focus has been coming up again and again for me lately. I find that the more I meditate, commit to my yoga practice and to my workouts, and the more I commit energy to both of my companies: Red Cheetah Yoga and Cheetah Grounds, the deeper and permanent focus becomes.

This commitment and dedication, called abhyasa in Sanskrit, meaning diligent practice, is the only possible way we as humans have access to focus.

Our focus and diligent practice combined allow us to give up our attachments to sensory objects. As soon as we perceive an object, it has the power to sway us, to take over our decision making processes and redirect our mission for the moment or the day. By keeping our attention outward, we are subject to anything and everything that crosses our paths, leading us to be misdirected, unfocused, and then subject to all of the resulting emotions that come along with not being on our desired paths. Emotions like frustration, worry, anger, and depression. These feelings come up for us when we aren’t being true to ourselves and our higher purpose; our purpose is discovered when we commit to our meditation practices: whatever practice it is that gets us into the moment, connects us to our inner beings through passion and joy.

“Consciously directing our desires inwards is different than attempting to restrict outer desires. Wants and needs are part of living in a society-we cannot live without them. It is natural to desire and enjoy being around people you care about, to be attracted to beautiful things, or even to have fun with the latest electronic gadget.” Our human condition allows us to experience these emotions and challenges in the form of choice: when we can’t have something we desire, how do we act? Do we react? Or do we accept the situation as it is? Does reacting to not getting something we want serve us in the end? If we allow impatience to take over our being, does that serve us?

Of course it doesn’t.

Vairagya is rooted in trust. Trust in that everything we need to have work out for us is working out just fine right here and right now. Everything we need for vitality and abundance and clear and clean living we have at this moment right now. To not be in a state of vairagya is to be in a space of believing in lack in life. To be in a practice of vairagya is to be focused on the inner hub of ever-constant light within us. For me and my practice, once I detect a sense of worry rise up within me, I identify first what it is about, then once I see clearly in my mind’s eye what it is I am allowing myself to worry about, I come up with a solution on the spot. I do not let the worry grow because if I did, it would take over my entire being and spoil my day. My practice of reconnecting to vairagya, my detachment to sensory objects, is to let a feeling of warm trust envelop me from the inside out. I may take a few deep breaths in the moment, and be grateful for every breath I take. I begin to list all the things I am grateful for that I currently have in my life that makes my life so wonderful: the breath in my lungs, the roof over my head, my amazing boyfriend who loves and supports me, my amazing fur-babies at home who get excited when I come home from work.

My practice of vairagya consists of this kind of work. Of shifting my focus from lack and dis-ease to a focus of completeness: that everything I need I already have because the light within me is shining brightly, and my work is to help others expose their own lights so they may shine for others, too.

Being human means we live in environments that are meant to challenge us through distraction. Being connected to the divine light within us means we are beyond that distraction, that we are unmessable with and once we become unmessable with all things are possible through the shining light that exists within all of us.

Tune in to the steady light that shines within you. It does not exist for you alone. It’s intention is to touch everyone you meet with love, compassion, and inspiration. Be unconcerned attaching yourself to outcomes to situations and to external objects: they are not you. Consider the things you believe to be external objects, and get curious about what really is parrt of you and what isn’t.   Are your thoughts you? Is your hand you?

Consider that if they are things you are able to step back and observe, they are not inherently you.

You are able to observe them, so why get wrapped up in them?

Being the witness to yourself and to your environment is powerful. And having the grace to come in and out of honoring your human being by giving in to desire once in awhile is powerful, too. Get the things out of your way that you need to get done in order to connect with your inner divine self. Practice giving up reaction to things that seem to derail you from you path.

You may be being redirected into something more powerful and inspirational.

Point your feet in the direction you intend to go, and put one foot in front of the other, and along the way presence yourself to sensation in your feet.

Wherever your feet are is where you are.




Attachment to that which inevitably changes causes suffering.


As my heart-mind turns inward, I become less and less affected by external objects and conditions.


I will be deeply content when I do not depend on material things to make me happy.


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