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Why do you think "letting go" is so difficult ?

ShoshinShoshin No one in particularNowhere Special Veteran

Kia Ora,

Sunyata =>Form is Emptiness > Emptiness is Form....So what is there to cling to? and who is doing the letting go ?

Metta Shoshin . :) ..

Cinorjer
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Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Shoshin said: Sunyata =>Form is Emptiness > Emptiness is Form....So what is there to cling to?

    >

    Good question. Do you know?

    and who is doing the letting go ?

    Presumably the same thing doing the clinging.

    BuddhadragonVictorious
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 2014

    Kia Ora, @federica,

    Good question. Do you know?

    (I was going to say "Who wants to know?" then 'thought' better of it),,,so I'll go with this answer for the time being.....

    I know 'nothing' and that's all I need to know...

    Ladies and Gentlemen I would like to give a big thank you to Thought, for without Thought I would not be who I am today...(Who or whatever "I" might be)....

    Metta Shoshin . :) ..

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited August 2014

    You're just grabbing at words now. Because analysis of your last comment just makes it garbled nonsense, really, doesn't it?

    Who is the thinker? Why have thoughts made you who you are? They alone? And whence do thoughts come? Why? When? How?

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @federica said:
    You're just grabbing at words now. Because analysis of your last comment just makes it garbled nonsense, really, doesn't it?

    Who is the thinker? Why have thoughts made you who you are? They alone? And whence do thoughts come? Why? When? How?

    Kia Ora @federica,

    What do you mean by 'nonsense' ?

    BTW I have to go to work now...so later perhaps...

    Metta Shoshin . :) ..

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    The flip side is that even too much letting go is unhealthy. I think sometimes, we need to let go of letting go.

    HamsakaShoshinBuddhadragonupekka
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @ourself said:
    The flip side is that even too much letting go is unhealthy. I think sometimes, we need to let go of letting go.

    Hear hear. Another thing that is not a mental exercise (hmm, what must I let go of today?). Worry about letting go of it when, say, you are convinced it's got you by the throat. Otherwise it's just mental and semantic 'nonsense'.

  • When we let go we panic because nothing is holding us down. In our panic we grasp and grasp hyperspeed and it just gets freakier and freakier.

    The trick is to welcome the freakiness. Have confidence that all of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas have gone through this freakiness and you can too.

    ShoshinupekkaJaySon
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 2014

    Kia Ora,

    Thought, it would seem is the mother of all creation....

    @federica said:

    Who is the thinker?

    Thought itself

    Why have thoughts made you who you are?

    We are what we think, and this is who "I" think I am (in the conventional sense)

    They alone?

    No karma plays a big part - cause condition & effect

    And whence do thoughts come? Why? When? How?

    Due to Karmic activity they come and they go
    (But in some instances "Vēnērunt, vīdērunt, vīcērunt" before they go)

    Metta Shoshin . :) ..

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @ourself said:
    I think sometimes, we need to let go of letting go.

    Kia Ora,

    The "Middle Way" perhaps..........Listen to all the clip (6 minutes long) or start around one and half minutes in....

    Metta Shoshin . :) ..

    David
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Kia Ora,

    In a 'no nonsense' simplistic sense it could be that a fear of the unknown is the reason why letting go is so difficult...

    In the unknown lies all the possibilities of those nasty futuristic "what ifs"

    Ironically the Buddha said (in a nutshell not quoting from the Kalama sutta)

    "Don't take my word for it, try it and see for yourself !"

    It's the trusting that the Dharma will have ones back 'when trust-falling' , that's the hard part, and this it would seem is due to ones/our past conditioning ...

    Metta Shoshin . :) ..

  • mmommo Veteran
    edited August 2014

    Because I am still in samsara, it is me who is clinging. The moment I lose sight of the mind, it becomes infected with all sort of nastiness, like defilements etc. That is the clinging, which I have to be mindful about. It is difficult because I am dealing with it as a constant battle as long as being trapped in samsara.

    Shoshin
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @federica said:
    I think, very often (and not just 'here'), there is much quoting and repetition of good, worthy and pertinent Dhammic lessons, with very little deep understanding or action which follows. I see people discussing profoundly meaningful and salient aspects of the Buddha's teachings, to the point that some discussions become tangled and convoluted, but I personally see very little action implemented which would denote an adherence to said wisdom.

    In other words, people do a lot of talking about certain aspects of the Dhamma, but then they fail miserably in implementing them.

    We claim to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the Dhamma, by discussing such topics as this, but what do we all actually do to then go away and practise what has been preached?

    How many of us move away from our PC's (to which, of course, we are attached in some way, to one degree or another) and actually, Mindfully, determine to put what we have just learnt, into practice?
    When you move away from this thread, will you actually consider the depth of meaning behind the words posted, and decide to follow the directive of what in essence the thread is about? Or will you merely move onto the next 'unread' thread with new posts?

    What good are the recommendations, if we think of them in one second, but forget them the next?

    Why do you think it is so hard to let go... of the same subject again and again??
    We must have at least two still active threads where we have discussed ad nauseum the issues of self/ego.
    As our red-headed Simply Red crooner would have it:
    "If you don't know me by now...
    You will never, never, never know me... Hmm"

    And what is all the semiotical, epistemological, ontological papanca good for?????
    I sooo prefer my cushion anytime....
    It has a lot more to tell me!

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @SpinyNorman said:
    I don't think letting go is an act of will, rather it's a result of practice, developing a spacious mind that sees inconstancy and insubstantiality.

    Well, if we practice doing something, then the doing is an act of will until it comes naturally like a habit. And even then...

    Letting go of things like pride, envy and greed (or the other trappings of ego) could also happen with practice or an epiphany or it could be a gradual process as the veil of samsara becomes apparent. To say it can only be the result of one of these doesn't seem to fit.

    In the material sense, I've given up everything I've owned 3 times so far. It amazes me how fast things accumulate. I know that isn't all there is to letting go but it is often the hardest to bring ourselves to do.

    Death of a loved one is the best teacher on the middle way between holding on and letting go.

    Maybe it's just me but certain teachings on letting go and emptiness could seem to lead to nihilism if not tempered by the wisdom of the middle ground between extremes.

    Let go of too much and you let go of your humanity. Then, what's the point?

    Oh, don't do it... Don't ya break my heart.

    Edited to add that a perfect example of the need to let go of letting go at certain points is expressed nicely in the "anti-music" thread.

  • @ourself said:

    Letting go of things like pride, envy and greed (or the other trappings of ego) could also happen with practice or an epiphany or it could be a gradual process as the veil of samsara becomes apparent. To say it can only be the result of one of these doesn't seem to fit.

    Yes, but I'd class all those under the general heading of "practice". The point I was trying to make is that "letting go" isn't something we can just decide to do, so in that sense it isn't an act of will or a decision.

  • Perhaps letting go is easier if you clarify your true wishes?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    "Letting go" is easier if you manage to come to terms with the fact that whatever it is you crave, will either never come back to you, or is already not yours anyway.

    I just lost a shed-load of property because I can't pay the storage fees. Literally, my entire life's belongings are in a shipping container doubling as a secure storage unit - and as far as I have to make myself believe, I'm never going to get any of it back.

    Truth to tell, I can't honestly remember a lot of the stuff that is in there; but I can immediately remember other stuff; and it's a shame I'll probably never see it again.

    I don't know which is easier; letting go because you know it's ephemeral, impermanent, transitory and fleeting, or letting go because you have to, through no other choice.

    But on the whole, such is life.

  • @federica said:
    I just lost a shed-load of property because I can't pay the storage fees. Literally, my entire life's belongings are in a shipping container doubling as a secure storage unit - and as far as I have to make myself believe, I'm never going to get any of it back.

    That's a bummer. Can you at least get access to remove some of the more useful / valuable items?

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited August 2014

    At first it's easier if one has a choice, but not having a choice sucks.

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Yes, but I'd class all those under the general heading of "practice". The point I was trying to make is that "letting go" isn't something we can just decide to do, so in that sense it isn't an act of will or a decision.

    How so? What I mean is why isn't letting go something we just decide to do?

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Our thoughts make us who we are, and our lives and the world around us. But at the same time, it seems to me there is someone/something choosing which thoughts to grab and follow and act on, and which not to. The thoughts might just arise, but we accept or dismiss them. I know I sometimes have random, HORRIBLE thoughts that make me sick just to realize that thought came up in my mind/body. But the thought doesn't make me a horrible person, and I don't act on that thought whatsoever, I dismiss it and choose not to feel guilty for it having arisen. Someone else takes hold of that thought and follows it and acts on it and it changes their life and other's lives. So who makes that choice of which thoughts to accept? That is my question. It feels to me like a conglomeration of my experiences and my karma and other causes and conditions, both things that happened to me that I could not control, and things I caused to happen.

    mmoJeffreyShoshinKerome
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited August 2014

    @ourself said:How so? What I mean is why isn't letting go something we just decide to do?

    Because we, like so many humans around us, have learnt to identify with our belongings; they 'define' who we are; It's always the first impression people have of us - they see us and how we're dressed, and consider this a good way to evaluate what a person must be like.

    My younger brother used to dress up in Punk gear when he was younger, and it was a fashionable anti-establishment thing to do. He turned up at a polling station to cast his vote for a local politician, and one of the invigilators was a friend of the family's. A fellow invigilator saw my younger brother walk in, and made some deprecating and personal remark - bordering on insulting - about the specimen that had just walked in (my brother). Our invigilator friend took great delight in saying, "Oh, he's a very good friend of mine!" and proceeded to greet my brother in a very friendly manner. His fellow invigilator's face was, apparently, quite a picture....
    But we are primarily judged by the first impression people have of us. And we do the same, if we're honest, although I have no doubt we're all working on that particular vice... ;) .

    It's therefore the same thing with our possessions.

    Who among us hasn't tidied up the house, vacuumed, thrown away the rubbish, put stuff away and cleaned up, when we have visitors? Why? because we don't want to give said visitors the impression we're dirty, untidy, uncaring slobs.
    I even had a good friend many years ago, who would tidy her home before her cleaning lady arrived to do her twice-weekly house clean....

    So 'deciding to let go' means releasing something, some aspect, of what makes us who we are. Without possessions, we are nothing.
    Dressing like a monk, makes us a religious person in the eyes of others, and immediately gives the impression of devout abstention from all the normal things non-ordained people have, by the bucket-load. A monk makes a conscious and deliberate decision to separate himself from the kind of attachments we have.

    We have made no such obligatory commitment. We still hold on to our identities. Our possessions. Because they are oh, so 'us'! (It's how people choose presents for us. By deciding, through evaluating how well they know us, what possessions we would appreciate, and what would suit us. Isn't it?)

    That's why letting go of the things which surround us, is so hard. Because letting go of them, means relinquishing who we are, and being more of a nobody. And nobody wants to be a nobody. Self or not-self aside.

    pegembara
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @‌federica;

    I appreciate that and agree except for the part of giving up a bit of our self. I do not see it that way at all. Remember I have given up all possessions thrice. Never did I lose a part of me in the process.

    When loved ones have passed on is when I feel the sting.

    It doesn't answer my query, however. That could explain why we often find it hard to let go but it doesn't go to say it is something we can't just decide to do.

  • howhow Veteran

    @ourself

    On the fly & out the door but...

    The means of training are a thousand fold but pure Zazen (Meditation) must be done.
    is a quote that seems apt here.

    It means that their are endless aids to help us let go of our attachments but it is in the actual practice of not manipulating our sense data input where that actually can happen.

    Regardless of what one thinks or not, decides or not, to actually let go means to allow all the arising and departing phenomena surrounding it to simply unfold on it's own without us manipulating it in any way.

    DavidChazShoshin
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    And what is all the semiotical, epistemological, ontological papanca good for?????

    Sparkles. They make great sparkles.

    yagr
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @Federica said: That's why letting go of the things which surround us, is so hard. Because letting go of them, means relinquishing who we are, and being more of a nobody. And nobody wants to be a nobody. Self or not-self aside.

    Except when we DO want to be a nobody. Otherwise, so beautifully explained.

    What again was it the Buddha said about aversion to 'being'?

    Like @Ourself, though I am not familiar with Ourself's circumstances, I've 'lost everything', relinquished everything or 'let go' of it at least three times. The most recent time was practically terminal. And, I'm doing it again. Don't mean to be mysterious but dang is it a relief to just be nothing but . . . well whatever is happening right now.

    It's just . . . . weird that I am not as afraid as I might be to be in between trapezes, just sailing by lol. In the past, it has been a very frightening, insecure time.

    David
  • One of the items I let go of due to retirement was the comfort of a regular paycheck and all that entailed. Also the sense of no longer being useful. The experience of being redefined both by self and others. Knowing that a new vocation now arose. Which had two parts. Being careful so as not to become a burden on others as well as being able to assist others.

  • @Shoshin said:
    Kia Ora,

    Sunyata =>Form is Emptiness > Emptiness is Form....So what is there to cling to? and who is doing the letting go ?

    Metta Shoshin . :) ..

    if 'we' know this with as our own experience, then and there 'let go' happens

    if we know this just by listening or reading, it takes a time to think and let go

    until knowing the emptiness within, we have to 'let it be' whatever comes to us through six senses because we already have heard or read and believe the 'emptiness' is the Truth

    by doing so we are trying to practice to 'let go'

    when we experience the emptiness 'we' know there is nothing to cling or there is no one clings

    Shoshin
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @federica said:

    In other words, people do a lot of talking about certain aspects of the Dhamma, but then they fail miserably in implementing them.

    Sorry we're so ........ human.

    Your stark disappointment in us is ...... well ....... shit, Fede, what do you say to something like that?

    Personally, I'll have to keep on, keeping on. I can only do what I can do and if that's not enough ........

  • Perhaps we are aware how we define ourself in terms of inconsequential junk and superficial accumulation.
    My job, my possessions, my pretty body, my opinions.
    Then we meditate. Find the heart sutra.

    Gone. Not us. Never was.

    "NO EYE, EAR, NOSE, TONGUE, BODY OR MIND; NO FORM,
    SOUND, SMELL, TASTE, TOUCH OR MIND OBJECT; NO REALM OF THE EYE, UNTIL WE COME TO NO REALM OF CONSCIOUSNESS."

    Sorry for shouting. Did you hear anything? Soundless shouting . . .
    :wave: .

    pegembara
  • @lobster said:
    My job, my possessions, my pretty body, my opinions.
    Then we meditate. Find the heart sutra.

    I suspect that opinions are the hardest thing to let go.

    lobsterShoshinDavid
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @SpinyNorman said:
    That's a bummer. Can you at least get access to remove some of the more useful / valuable items?

    >
    Nope. They won't let me do that. It's padlocked, and I have no access.

    @Chaz said: Sorry we're so ........ human.

    >

    To be Human should be a privilege, not an excuse. We're supposedly at the top of the chain. Superior. Time we began appreciating that and exploiting the status to our advantage, not using it as a self-deprecating poor excuse for our inadequacies.

    Your stark disappointment in us is ...... well ....... shit, Fede, what do you say to something like that?

    >

    I dunno, it was a general comment, it wasn't aimed at anyone specifically...

    Personally, I'll have to keep on, keeping on. I can only do what I can do and if that's not enough ........

    >

    @Chaz, don't take it personally. Remember I'm 'people too'.... I did mention I see it on other sites as well. It's a general thing, but if it makes you personally feel guilty, then maybe I've hit a nerve.....? ;)
    And if we have to excuse ourselves, then what we do is patently, not enough'.

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    Kia Ora,

    Sunyata =>Form is Emptiness > Emptiness is Form....So what is there to cling to? and who is doing the letting go.

    We have been raised and conditioned to believe there is an entity controlling the body.
    In time you undo all the conditioning and this damned illusion disappears. Through practice.

    @federica‌

    I think, very often (and not just 'here'), there is much quoting and repetition of good, worthy and pertinent Dhammic lessons, with very little deep understanding or action which follows. I see people discussing profoundly meaningful and salient aspects of the Buddha's teachings, to the point that some discussions become tangled and convoluted, but I personally see very little action implemented which would denote an adherence to said wisdom.

    What you said is very true, I have found a few real gems of wisdom on this great site. Most of it though seems to be words about words right.

    Buddhism is a path to walk isn't it? Not a path to talk about. Talking is half the problem we are in this mess :)

    I'm sorry about your belongings though, that really sucks, I hope your well :)

    lobsterBuddhadragonDavid
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @federica said:
    To be Human should be a privilege, not an excuse.

    No, just a condition of birth.

    We're supposedly at the top of the chain.

    What chain is that? Food chain?

    Time we began appreciating that and exploiting the status to our advantage, not using it as a self-deprecating poor excuse for our inadequacies.

    Big words. Show us that way Fede-la!

    it wasn't aimed at anyone specifically...

    perhaps but carried a tone that you didn't seem to include yourself.

    don't take it personally.

    I didn't, but then I can't act or answer for others. I'm also not relly in a position to make such blanketing generalizations and condemnations of others.

    but if it makes you personally feel guilty, then maybe I've hit a nerve.....?

    It doesn't. No guilt. Hit a nerve? Don't flatter yourself.

  • robotrobot Veteran

    @Chaz said:
    It doesn't. No guilt. Hit a nerve? Don't flatter yourself.

    Go easy on Federica Chaz. She's hit a rough patch.
    What's it to ya any way?
    Pick on someone your own size.

  • howhow Veteran
    edited August 2014

    I think the difficulty simply illuminates our lack of willingness to threaten the position that we've promoted our mind into. Having elevated the mind into a full directorship position (as an ego driven agenda), meditation only offers it a collegial position to be shared equally with the other sense gates.

    Thinking that our mentality and it's thoughts, can provide a solution only hardens the minds position as leader while nullifying meditations potential to enact real change.

    Motivating oneself to simply meditate, with out indulging in endless ruminations about how it could or should be done, seems to be the key in getting beyond the trap of continually deifying our own (ego sponsored) mind.

    ChazShoshinDavid
  • @SpinyNorman said:
    I suspect that opinions are the hardest thing to let go.

    Oh yeah.
    My father was so certain he was right about everything. I remember the time I brought out an encyclopaedia that countered some idea he was certain of. He actually insisted the 'encyclopaedia must be wrong'. Maybe.

    We constantly talk of solutions to world problems. My land, my interests, IMHO. Do you want to stand up for your certainty? I don't. I might of course be wrong in that . . .

    Should we stand up for the flag? The Queen? Or what we know is right?

    As usual I remain seated.

    ShoshinBuddhadragonupekkaDavid
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 2014

    Kia Ora,

    "This too shall pass!" (when the two faces of pride no longer block the path)....

    Metta Shoshin . :) ..

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @DhammaDragon said:
    Why do you think it is so hard to let go... of the same subject again and again??

    We must have at least two still active threads where we have discussed ad nauseum the issues of self/ego.

    Kia Ora @DhammaDragon,

    Look closely and you will find the contents of each and every thread is just recycled materials.....(Or better still ' just a reincarnate in a different outfit' ). . :D ..

    Metta Shoshin . :) ..

  • @pegembara said:
    The way of the Buddha is to know yourself; To know yourself is to forget yourself; To forget yourself is to be awakened by all things.
    ~Dogen, Genjo Koan

    I like that one - very pithy.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    The reason I find it hard to let go is because of a kind of guilt.

    With the material, when it's gone, it's gone and it doesn't bother me. I enjoy it while it is here and when it is gone, I let it go. Simple.

    But with people I have a hard time. I celebrate them while they are here, mourn them for a while when they pass but I can't bring myself to let them go from my memories. There were good times and bad times and they meant something.

    In these cases, letting go seems so cold and unfit.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    You think HH the DL has 'let go' of his deceased family members? Think again.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited August 2014

    @federica said:
    You think HH the DL has 'let go' of his deceased family members? Think again.

    Well, exactly...

    So when it gets to the extreme, isn't it wise to let go of letting go?

    I struggle with this one sometimes.

    mmo
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Anything 'extreme' is the crux of the problem. It pays to hold on until the time is right to let go. If you worry about letting go, that time has passed.

    upekka
  • @federica said:
    Anything 'extreme' is the crux of the problem. It pays to hold on until the time is right to let go. If you worry about letting go, that time has passed.

    once one is awaken to the Truth and mindful 'letting go' is not hard

    once one practice 'letting go' to the fullest one is with the Truth always and that one is called Full Enlightened One or Thusness

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