Here are some lessons I’ve learned about ‘letting go’.
If you don’t learn now, you will learn later.
“Letting go” is not “letting go”
Detachment is not stupid apathy. It is not aloof-hippy-head-in-the-clouds, ignoring all the pleasurable things. Letting-go is relaxing. It is bliss in itself.
If your letting go is unnatural, forced, it will feel wrong and it will be wrong, and if you keep pushing it, you are just a fanatic, a zealot. Be a human instead.
Here is a short story to illustrate what I’m trying to say.
A couple days ago, I was walking on the hand rail of this bridge on a nature trail, trying to impress myself with my balance– thinking that if I lost balance I’d just jump back on to the bridge.
I lost balance, but in the wrong way.
I fell backwards into a creek, it might have been about 8 feet.. but my fall was broken by various bushes– salmon berries mostly, maybe some ferns or something.
When I knew I was going down, time slowed down a bit and i had the thought:
If I relax, it will be better.
So I just fell.
And I was fine.
And I laughed at myself.
As time slowed down, right when I knew balance was totally wrong, it was not as if I had deliberately took effort to think, logically, “hey, if I relax my body, it probably won’t hurt as bad”.
The realization was a deeper knowing, it came from a deeper mind, with information that I have acquired through various other experiences– intentional and unintentional experiences. It was intuitive, and primal, but through mindfulness meditation, I believe that I have become more familiar with this deeper mind and I am better equipped to interact with it.
What do I mean?
I mean: through continual practice of mindfulness meditation, I have trained myself to relax in such times as these– when there are no other options, you must relax. When your deep reptilian brain decides it is time for fight or flight, you should be prepared to guide it with discernment. Otherwise, you’re in for a wild ride.
Falling off the bridge was awesome. But I’ll probably be more careful in the future.
Now you know.
You don’t need to get lost in big thoughts about magic things, recognize that by practicing continually, you are continually conditioning yourself. Be aware of how you are conditioning yourself– because conditioning plays a *huge* role in our experience.
If you don’t get distracted by big magic thoughts, go ahead, play with them. Reality is not as solid as many would have you believe. Strange things are ordinary. But, the magic power of a mantra is unnecessary, the magic blessing of a guru is unnecessary, the magic of the scientific method is even unnecessary. What is necessary? Continual observation. As observer, you are the center of the universe. You are creator.
Over and over, Buddha told us to practice mindfulness of in and out breathing while sitting, standing, walking and lying down. That means… always! Constantly practice awareness. You play an important role in the unfolding of this reality– do it with compassion and wisdom– watch the wholesome things increase, watch the unwholesome things decrease.
And, please, don’t believe a word I say. I am a wandering fool.