let go…

“Let go of the illusion of control.” ~ Master Oogway

To “let go” may be the greatest teaching and perhaps the most challenging. We find security in control, but it is only an illusion. All things in life arise and pass, all things are changing moment to moment. And control, like all things, is fleeting. Holding on to that which by its nature will change, trying to keep it from changing, brings us suffering. We are chained to a self-imagined outcome. We are not free. Life is not free. This can hurt us and those around us. Letting go, staying open, brings some peace to us and those around us.

I have a phrase I sometimes use when meditating. Breathing in I say in my mind, “May I hold all of life in love.” Breathing out I say in my mind, “And in love, may I let go…”

The great teacher Ajahn Chah has said, “If you let go a little, you will have a little happiness. If you let it go a lot, you will have a lot of happiness. If you let go completely, you will be free.”

Letting go should not be confused with inaction or indifference. Especially in a time of activism, as we are in now. We are still called forth by the suffering in the world, from our empathy and compassion, to tend to this life and those in it, to relieve and end suffering where we can. We do the good work, the kind work, but we do so not dependent on the outcome. We do so regardless of praise or blame. This can be really challenging in a culture such as ours, so driven on outcomes and a particular vision of “success.” Can we do good and kind work, simply because it is good and kind? Can we do good and kind work, knowing that we may not see fruition in our day, but we are perhaps planting seeds that may bring benefit in the days ahead?

~j

#TheLongArc #LetGo #BeFree #PlantingSeeds #NoControl #Flow #peace #empathy #compassion #suffering #enso #Zen #Buddhism #JMWart

why wait?

Sooner or later life catches up with us and we come to the realization that there is no avoiding our problems, there is no running away from our demons, there is no going to war to win over this life or force our way through.  It never lasts.  There is nothing to grasp in desperation.  It only adds to the suffering in the world.

We come to realize, often through experiencing or bearing witness to suffering, that the only true option is to meet life with authenticity in all of its rawness with an open heart, right here in this moment.

Meditation is the practice of not waiting until later, but gently and persistently meeting life as it is and as we are in this moment.  Staying put.  meeting our demons with compassion and gentleness.  Moving beyond winning and losing.  Letting go.  Transforming suffering rather than transmitting suffering.  Then we have no need to go to war with ourselves, with others, with life.  Then we have peace.

~j