Be in the world but not of it. Through detachment, you master both inner and outer reality.
Detachment isn’t 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.
– Deepak Chopra