December 18, 2012

The Power of Letting Go, the Pause that Refreshes

Precision and gentleness are two specific aspects of meditation that we can work with and see progress.

In the meditation practice we can learn to  relax the stomach, shoulders, body. With precision, we become more aware of each experience of the out-breath and more accurate as we label our thinking.  We gentleness, we can become softer with the out-breath and more sympathetic in our  labeling. 

The third aspect of our meditation technique is the quality of opening or letting go.  It is a simple technique and it allows us to rediscover that we can open beyond small-mindedness, our tendency towards fixation.

As you become more precise, and moderate that with gentleness, the ability to let go happens naturally.

In program we have the saying, "Let Go and Let God."  

In  mindfulness practice, we study Letting Go. 

A Yoga teacher helped me understand letting go as the pause at the end of my out-breath.  He shared how each pause allows us to open to the next breath.  Being mindful to the very end of the out-breath, we begin to discover the gap: that pause that happens before the breath comes in. There is nothing to hold onto until the next out-breath. This experience is one of Letting Go.

Have no high expectations of this experience, we just trust that the sense of letting go will gradually dawn on us.

As Pema says, "You will [also] learn what it is to let go and what it is to open beyond limited ideas and beliefs about things."

As we use the technique of labeling our thoughts "thinking," the experience becomes more "vivid."  This is not repressing thoughts. What if you find yourself caught up in planning or remembering a past event?   So completely caught up it's as if you had left the room?   Just as soon as you say "thinking," you are letting go of these thoughts.    Suddenly, you "realize and you  just come back."  This process of recognition and returning becomes automatic and gentle.   

As you get the hang of this, you find real power in handling obsessive emotions like hope and fear, without criticism, instead just letting go.

Letting go is an amazing tool, the ability to simply let things go, not to be caught in the grip of your own angry outbursts,  passion and worry,  or depressing thoughts.

So let go.... and maybe, just maybe, "let God" takes care of itself.

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