I Just Couldn’t Let This One Go

“In the end these things matter most: How well did you love?
How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?” 

~ Gautama Buddha

I saw this on Facebook tonight. There was a page called Buddhism. The Part that got me was “How deeply did you let go?” I feel that’s truly such a crucial part of this “Curing Yourself from the Ego” series that I’m trying to write, or more importantly trying to do! I’ve written the last couple of days about cultivating a mood of “Surrender.” Well, letting go, and surrender feel a whole lot alike. Acceptance, letting go, surrender. That’s the sense of it. My problem the last few days, or perhaps all my life, is that I seem to “get” this in the evening, at night, and just before sleep. But the daytime seems to slam the door on such notions. It seems to demand that I ‘do’ something ‘practical’ and forget about all this ‘mumbo-jumbo.’ All sense of mystery, spirit, poetry, adventure, fairy-tales, mythology, that seems to naturally rise during the evening, like the fog off a lake in the morning, seems to all disappear when daytime comes. It’s like living two different realities, or at the least two different moods, and more devastatingly, two opposite moods. I don’t know what to do about it really. Reading Joseph Campbell’s “Creative Mythology” he mentions quite a few times that this is a common theme throughout history, this tension between day and night, the Moon and Sun, and this pull in the soul between the desire for spiritual things on the one hand, and success out there in the world on the other. I have about 50 pages left. I hope to find an answer in there before I’ve finished.

Meditation seems to be about letting go. This evening after a really peaceful walk with Aspen, I came up the deck, and instead of just going inside to watch TV, I decided (or felt like) to meditate out there on the cushioned chaise lounge. It felt right. It was calling. Something was calling. And when I began to meditate, I knew that was the trick, “let go of those thoughts.” It’s not that you get mad for having them. I mean they just pour out of your brain, like water out of a fountain, one after the other, seemingly ever millesecond. It occurred to me, that the trick was not to get to a state where you have no thoughts, but to let them come, and then let them go. Don’t hold on to them. That seems to be the temptation. You want to hold on to the thoughts, especially the ones that trigger emotion because it feels like that is your life, and you have to get back in there and play the movie over and over again. But then when you practice letting the thoughts go, you start to notice them as just thoughts, you start to have a psychological feeling of standing back from them, and they start to lose their power over you. That’s liberation!

I felt like I could have gone on for hours like that, but the mosquitoes started to bite. So I came in. But I did feel like an answer of sorts was presenting itself in that moment. Maybe it’s something I can hang on to and develop further into a solid solution. There’s still many things I’m holding on to, deeply, that I know I need to deeply let go of. That’s the mantra: Let Go. These attachments are not your life. These attachments are what is blocking out your life.

“The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.”  ~ Atisha

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