LETTING GO

 
Calligraphy by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh

Calligraphy by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh

It’s a few days before we fly to India. I’m going through my belongings, packing things up and donating items. It feels good to start the year off with clearing out some things I don’t want or need anymore and preparing for the journey ahead. But of course there’s a resistance to change, a resistance to letting go of the home I created the past year and the uncertainty ahead. While this process of clearing out and packing up is going on, there’s a framed calligraphy hung on the wall. It was painted by one of my teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh and says, “Let Go.” What I have learned from the teachings is that letting go is about accepting what is going on in the present moment. It’s not about not caring or being indifferent. It’s about being open and adaptable. Similar to how the body becomes more flexible when doing the yoga asanas, the mind can become flexible, too. And when the mind is open in that way, the light of our heart and mind shines forth. From my experience, this isn’t a linear process. It’s not like all the sudden I wake up one day after years of practice and realize, “Okay, I finally let go!” It’s a back and forth - sometimes I let go a bit here but then my attachment comes back about that other thing. Every time I go through a transition like this, it’s yet another test. Can I let go a little more than last time? Or is it the same old familiar resistance? Can I finally put what I’m learning into practice? Not sure yet, but either way I’m going to India soon!

Posted by Kate Dutton on January 24, 2019.

AUDIO VERSION