In my Zen-based Bushido Training I talk about Samurai detachment from different perspectives, including patience. Patience means to hold back in your inclination to immediately respond to the extreme emotions of anger, anxiety, fear, hate, or adoration.
The idea is to detach enough to allow yourself to move past your automatic response and determine what your real feelings are. Give yourself time to consider the repercussions and to weigh your response against your values. Decide what kind of response will best serve you. In so doing, you may achieve understanding that leads to inner harmony ... or you may choose to act in a decisive way when the timing is exactly right.
This is not a matter of repressing your real feelings, but of thinking before responding. The Samurai may have also been sharpening his sword and calculating his adversary’s weaknesses during this patience period.
“Self-Observation” is an extension of patience. The idea is very simple: DO NOT RESIST; JUST OBSERVE. Observe what is happening without resistance, which is a fear-based emotion. Fear clouds the mind and can block you from striking accurately, or acting decisively. And it is resistance to what is that causes your suffering. You want circumstances and people to be the way you want them to be, but when they aren’t, you resist who they are and suffer as a result.
When you observe your feelings of sadness, or anger, or envy, you identify with the feeling. You say, “I’m angry.” You don’t separate what you feel from who you are. You’re not the anger. The anger is fear generated by past programming.
Self-Observation helps you make this distinction and allows you to depersonalize your negative feelings. Instead of saying, “I’m angry,” say, “It is angry.” Instead of saying, “I’m bored,” say, “It is bored.”
By detaching from this false sense of identity, you detach from the stress it creates. You also program your mind to view undesirable situations in a way that does not generate negative mental programming, which will have to be balanced in the future.
BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION DETACHMENT PROCESS
The following process is a powerful way to accelerate detachment. Be sure you want what you ask for. The idea is to write at least a dozen statements--sentences that express your fears. Let’s assume you’re a woman and you realize your relationship with your husband has come to an end. But you fear having to experience all the pain or letting go and starting over again. Each sentence expresses a fear and is followed by another sentence that begins with STOP. This second sentence is then voice recorded with emotion. Here’s how it works:
You say out loud, “I need John to survive mentally and physically.” Then you press “play” on the voice recorder and hear, “STOP! John has already shown you how little her cares about your needs. You easily survive mentally and physically without him.”
“Maybe there’s still a chance that John and I can find a way to work things out.”
“STOP! You no longer deny the relationship is over and the two of you will now go your own ways. You accept what is.”
“If John and I part, the pain will go on and on for a very long time.”
“STOP! If you and John part, you have the power and ability to sever the emotional ties with a minimum of attachment. You create a happy, successful life without him.”
“I don’t know if I have the strength to start over.”
“STOP! You absolutely have the strength to start over. Starting over is far superior to tolerating a pain-filled life and repressing who you are.
INSTRUCTIONS: Write out many more statements that cover all aspects of the relationship. You record only the “STOP statements. Then you verbally speak the first statement, and immediately push play to hear the STOP statement. Repeat the statements 10 times, and do the process three or four times a day. You don’t have to induce an altered-state while running the process, but if you do, it will have much more programming power.