In the law, “attachment” is a remedy. A writ of attachment is a court order to seize or “attach” an asset. It is issued to satisfy a judgment.

In Jurisight, “attachment” refers to a mental and emotional clinging to a particular outcome. For example, after a hearing or trial, you may become attached to the idea of prevailing. In the context of a client meeting, you may be attached to the outcome of pleasing the prospective client and having them retain you or your firm.

Note that ”attachment” is separate from pursuing a goal or objective with the intention of meeting that objective. In such a case, there is not necessarily any agitation, anxiety, or afflicted feeling in awaiting news of the outcome, or caught in the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen. Similarly, there is not an exaggerated emotional high or low to follow from “succeeding” or “failing” in meeting that objective. One may be hopeful for a positive outcome but open to the possibility that it may not turn out as expected. There is a deeper knowing that things will be fine, even if the important objective is not met.

In contrast, in the case of attachment, the mind is so wrapped around the outcome, so needy of it happening as planned, that an agitation surfaces in relation to the outcome.

As a thinking machine, the mind is continually judging events and outcomes, along with anticipated outcomes. Outcomes, like criminal defendants, are good and bad, right and wrong.

Just as in the law, where an attachment is issued to satisfy a judgment, in mindfulness the mind becomes attached to an outcome because of the judgment that has been made that the outcome is desirable and good and will solve lots of problems.

As in the law, the attachment arises to satisfy a judgment of our neural circuit court.

Through mindfulness practice, we learn to see or catch these judgments as they arise and to recognize them as mental events that arise and pass away. We cultivate insight into our conditioning from which these judgment arises in the first place. And, as we become increasingly competent at catching the judgment as it surfaces, we are able to witness the mental event as an observer, and not become so attached to needing things to be a certain way.

This proves to be a source of emotional ease and well-being, moment by moment, and also frees us to be more aware and vigilant of what is called for in the moment so that we might, ironically, be more effective at bringing about those outcomes that serve our best interest, and those of our clients.

Click here to read about King Solomon and Attachment.