Letting Go

…following our theme of resistance, here are the words from last weeks class…….from John Kabbat Zinn…

Letting go means just what it says. It is an invitation to cease clinging to anything – whether it be an idea, a thing, an event, a particular time, or view, or desire. It is a conscious decision to release, with full acceptance into the stream of  present moments as they are unfolding. To let go means to give up coercing, resisting, or struggling, in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome which comes out of allowing things to be as they are without getting caught up in your attraction to or rejection of them, in the intrinsic stickiness of wanting, of liking, and disliking. It’s akin to letting your palm open to unhand something you have been holding on to.

But it’s not only the stickiness of our desires concerning outer events which catches us. Nor is it only a holding on with our hands. We hold on with our minds. We  get stuck, by holding, often desperately, to narrow views, to self-serving hopes and wishes. Letting go really refers to choosing to become transparent to the strong pull of our likes and dislikes, and of the unawareness that draws us to cling to them. To be transparent requires that we allow fears and insecurities to play themselves out in the field of full awareness.

Letting go is only possible if we can bring full awareness and acceptance to the nitty-gritty of just how stuck we can get, if we allow ourselves to recognise the lenses we slip so unconsciously between observer and observed that then filter and colour, bend and shape our view. We can open in these stuck moments, especially if we are able to capture them in awareness and recognise it when we get caught up in either pursuing and clinging or condemning and rejecting in seeking our own gain.

Stillness, insight and wisdom only arise when we can settle into being complete in this moment, without having to seek or hold on to or reject anything.  Try it. See for yourself if letting go when a part of you really wants to hold on brings a deeper satisfaction than clinging.

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