Monday, October 31, 2011

Letting Go

October 31, 2011

I have been thinking a lot about the practice of letting go.

The support of the positive – as if there were two electrical charges at work.
Letting go of that which does not serve your goal.
That’s complicated, isn’t it.

What goal at what time? When does determination switch over into holding on?

It helps me to reframe the idea that the things I want to do that make me feel bad are simply standing in my way. Lets me not fight with the wanting them quite so much.

I get confused about detachment though.
I wonder if we in the west are really capable – our whole society entrenched, as it were, in attachment and desire.

I believe in holding on.
I believe in ambition.

Furthermore – fruitcakechild that I was, I saw a lot of the practice of letting go. I think there is a way that, in the hands of the Western practitioner, the ideal of detachment can become sublimation in an instant.

Truth, right. That’s the goal. In the personal practice what I am finding is the relationship of listening to the body – what it has to say. What the difference between what it needs and what the momentary desire of the bad habit is, furthermore.

I learned this first from the poet Marie Howe. She teaches, listen to the poem. It sounds ridiculous at first – but when you begin to practice trust and understanding deepen and grow. The poem will tell you what it needs.

In a way it feels antithetical. As if maybe following the whim of the moment could make it harder to work toward a clear progression. At the same time it feels suddenly as if the path forward is made up of so many very small choices…

I love the way that language often holds its own antithesis... 

Letting go -- as in to release the habit of something -- a person -- a glass of wine -- violent television...  
Letting go -- as in falling deeply into something -- letting go of fear and resistance in order to experience and be present...

Letting -- As in to allow
Go -- As in to move forward

No comments: