The Art of Letting Go with Ajahn Brahm
Four Ways of Letting Go: Ajahn Brahm
Stumbled upon this a while back and wanted to share with you all some of his simple yet profound insight on letting go. It's a bit of a read but I hope you enjoy, I tried my best to cut an hour worth of video content into less than 700 words, hehe.
"Things are only heavy when you hold it, when you let it go, it's got no weight at all"
In such a moving society, oftentimes we feel like we are juggling so much at once. We stress ourselves out because we are carrying too much weight - of holding on to concerns, doubts, and worries of the future and past, and of expectations we make for ourselves. We must realize that the present is all we really have and the the rest are mere thoughts, made up within our minds. An illusion we create for ourselves, which makes us feel suffocated with so much baggage. "Let go of the complaining mind. It doesn't get you anywhere. Let go of the negativity - of the stupid thinking we do, not only the negative thinking but even some of the positive thinking. Because we do far too much thinking, and that stops us from having peace of mind. When you're thinking about life, you can't enjoy life. You're just listening to the commentary. You're reading the book about life, the thoughts and ideas in your mind - you're not really enjoying the real thing."
"Want to be here, wherever here may be, and you will be free"
The second way he talks about is contentment. How you, with your own mind create the reality in which you live. You don't need to (and in many situations, cannot) change anything.. but your attitude and your outlook. Reaching to be more positive and simply content with whatever is happening. When sitting in traffic, for instance, the traffic doesn't move faster if you burn your energy with feelings of anger or impatience. So when stuck in traffic, he says, just want to be there. Then you change the whole situation, feeling at ease and relaxed with what simply is. If you want to be here, you're free. "You are the master of your fate, the captain of your soul". It also relates to holding the awareness and acceptance that everything is happening for you, not to you -of recognizing the teaching and reflections of each moment, interaction, person, and experience. Realize this, and you will be free.
"Giving, expecting nothing back in return"
This idea of giving, stems from the Third Noble Truth of Buddhism; the Buddha says 'letting go of craving leads to enlightenment'. Giving, expecting nothing back in return. When we live our lives without expectation, we invite space for a more open mind; eventually opportunities and new ideas/happenings reveal themselves to us. By letting go of expectations, we also free ourselves from attachment and the feeling of always being unsatisfied with the outcome. Give your love and your trust, surrendering, and expecting nothing in return - that is when everything starts coming your way. There would be nothing to be upset about if we didn't picture how it should be or look or feel in the first place.
"Never allow knowledge to stand in the way of truth"
Read that again and think about it.. This is so relevant to us in many ways; as humans we are conditioned to view things the way we do because we think we have prior knowledge about it. We let these ideas already make up a slight feeling toward something, which limits us from seeing what truly just is. By letting this idea go, "you see things as they are, rather than seeing them as you are told they are". Ajahn Brahm talks about how quick we are as humans to think and say: "Well the Bible says this, or the Buddha said that.. The government and science tells us this, so it must be that.." So this idea is everywhere for us, maybe even hidden in our subconscious, in the conditioned mind, so it may be hard to even spot - with awareness, we let go. I also see it as 'never allow the mind to stand in the way of the heart/soul'. We go through this sometimes, no? Our mind keeps telling us and tugging us in a certain direction, but our gut, and our hearts know that it's just not right? "Never allow knowledge to stand in the way of truth".
These are just some insights in seeking clarity, of feeling lighter and more free. And as always, it's the process. I noticed as I writing about each of the points, that it's ultimately a practice of being present. Being mindful of what is in front of us, what is within us, and truly feeling what is the now.
Acknowledging where we are on our paths, and holding awareness. It's all the practice, all the process! I hope this was an expanding read:) if you have time, do check out the whole talk with Ajahn Brahm!
Love & light,