Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Yoda on Letting Go

I study and work with the truths of all spiritual masters, including master... YODA! Truly, some of the gems that came from this little creature (of Star Wars fame) are guiding principles in my life.

I think a lot about the concept of "letting go." I do this mainly because I often have struggles with the need to let go of things, as most humans do!

Master YODA has a great teaching to offer us in this arena:

Train yourself to let go... of everything you fear to lose.

This teaching implores us to examine ourselves to identify our own attachments, and then work deliberately to let them go... proactively. This is a POWERFUL and very DIFFICULT spiritual practice.

It's easiest to think about this in terms of material possessions. That also happens to be an arena where we can cultivate and strengthen our ability to maintain a healthy detachment to the aspects of life that we cannot control.

If, for example, we are very attached to clothing, and have difficulty releasing that type of item, even things we no longer need or wear, we can start a practice of cleaning out closets or drawers to proactively 'let go' of some of those items. We can start to weaken our attachment by leaning in to the area we struggle with, and directly challenging our need to 'hold on.'

Spiritually speaking, part of our growth and maturation is to learn to be in healthy, right relationship with work, posessions, relationships, and all aspects of human experience. A lot of time our attachments feel so 'justified' and 'reasonable.' The Buddhist philosophy tells us that our attachments cause all the pain and suffering in life. I agree with the Buddhists.

Learning to enjoy and fully experience all of the aspects of human life, without becoming attached or dependent upon them for our happiness, is one of the most significant components of the spiritual journey that each of us is invited into.

Sometimes our attachments are obvious. Sometimes they are more subtle. It is a powerful spiritual practice to look inward to identify our attachments, and then work to loosen their mental and emotional grip on us.

We can start with tangible, material possessions. They are easy to work with. It is obvious when you give something away and let it go. Then we can progress into patterns of thinking and belief and things that are less tangible and less obvious.

This is life changing work! Give it a try and see your life transform.

No comments: