Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Letting Go, Letting Into

Last night at IMC, Gil gave a very good talk on 'Wise Letting Go'. Here are my notes - you can listen to the whole talk on AudioDharma:

We all need to learn to let go wisely. Letting go is a skill, one that can help us let go in ways that enhance our life and give us joy, as opposed to us getting into more trouble. 

A good place to start is to let go of compulsive thinking, so that our mind can experience some peace. This can be practiced during meditation. We let go of clinging in our mind, and we experience firsthand the resulting lightness. This can then translate into situations outside of meditation. For instance, letting go of limiting ideas around losses from physical limitations associated with old age. "Be someone who becomes old and decrepit happily!", instead of assuming that you are going to be unhappy. Asking oneself, what are deep things I have to let go of?

Another place is letting go of compulsive, self-limiting behaviors. We often confuse pleasure and happiness. Letting go can involve things that limit ourselves such as fear, shyness, etc. For instance, we may let go by practicing mustering the courage to have a difficult but necessary conversation. 

There are two aspects of letting go. Letting go of something, e.g. diving board. And letting into something, e.g. water, in other words what is gained in process. It could be more peace, joy, being in present moment more fully, etc. . . 

Gil ended by asking us to reflect on: 
In which ways can letting go better me? What do I need to let go of? And what does it lead me into?

One big letting go for me has been around fear. It took many moments of sitting still and of realizing the extent of the suffering that comes with worried, anxious states. Eventually, both heart and mind have become convinced of the imperious need to let go of this hard wired habit.  Fear still visits often, but it no longer exerts such a strong pull. Of greater appeal is the possibility of peace that comes when mind lets go and relaxes in the simplicity of the present moment.

How would you answer Gil's questions?

2 comments:

  1. Answer: It betters me by releasing me of any response beyond showing up, paying attention, and being open. I need to let go of every seed that starts to sprout from alaya vijana. This leads me to life as a vessel, emptiness for the sake of fullness.

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  2. Oh! I love that last sentence of yours: 'emptiness for the sake of fullness'. So true . . . It took me a while to understand, but now there is no greater joy than the realization of the burden of what I call the irrelevant 'I' and of the freedom and lightness that comes from letting go of such thoughts, and even more, the irrelevant 'I' generating mind habits.

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