Attachment is having a “hangup”. It’s a stickiness or a blocking (as described by Zen teacher Alan Watts).
It’s about having a hangup on the things we are told by our parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, bosses and peer groups. Things that define what we do, what we think about the things we do (or don’t manage to do) and how we feel about those things.
We create elaborate mental models based on peer feedback about how we should relate to the world. Some things are helpful –> like ‘don’t put your hand in a fire.’ Others are less helpful –> ‘successful people must drive a nice car, live in larger homes and work endlessly day and night until they are 65.’
In yoga we learn to not be attached.
This means, listening to what people say – but then not getting “hung up” on those things.
This means, going through life without the burden of needing to conform to some pre-fabricated and outwardly imposed model of the universe. Instead, it means going through life with the curiosity of a living organism that interacts with the environment – as part of the environment – and relates to the world based on what is actually showing up – not based on what someone told you or what something is called.
A tree is a tree not because it is called “tree,” but because it is what it is – beyond just an image in your mind or words.
This is non-attachment.