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How much can you let go?

I have an innate aversion to swastikas, still there but I am reclaiming this classic pre-nazi symbol. I started by having a deity (Ganesha) which included the symbol.

I am aligned to my gender and sexuality for obvious reasons. However I would certainly consider myself a raving feminist. I am not free of body, cravings, emotional distractions etc . . .

However . . . I am more than a little aware that the not-self, the Heart Sutra, Neti-Neti, rainbow buddy that is my Trued Self is independent of my little monkey minded graspings.

Still a long way to go . . .

What home truths are you leaving behind in your efforts to wander the homeless path of the Buddha?

dantepwsova

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

    Hard to say. It's knowing you have to leave ALL of them behind, that's the twister....

    lobsterBuddhadragon
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    @lobster said : ... my Trued Self is independent of my little monkey minded graspings.

    Oh, really...? I thought dualism was on the not-to-do list. :)

    lobsterVictorious
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited February 2015

    =) Lists eh? Fire starter. Job done.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    We just had a similar discussion within our sangha. For myself, I find that once I start investigating to the point I am searching my mind for a list of the things I have let go of, then I am drawn back in and find I had not really let them go after all. If they are still floating around in my mind and I pull my attention back to them, then they are still there...not let go of. So, I couldn't tell you what things I've truly let go of, because they are no longer occupying space in my head.

    I can tell you what ideas of mine have changed. I've started to let go of some of the feelings associated with my Christian upbringing. Prior, I was quite angry at some of the things I was told, I felt lied to. Those strong feelings aren't there anymore. I haven't fully figured it all out, though, so it's not something I've truly let go of.

    Inch by inch, I let go of my children. I know that never fully happens, and perhaps it shouldn't. My oldest is getting ready for college, and upon making some camping plans, I realized we were starting to make plans as a family that would no longer include him. That was kind of a sad realization. Yesterday I was meeting him somewhere, and when he walked up to me, I thought "Who is this man, and what happened to the little boy?" Lots of holding on to the little boys my kids were, hard to let go of that. It happens whether I am ready or not because they demand it.

    Anyhow, that was my question to our Sangha. So I'd ask the same here. If you are still thinking of the things you let go of, have you really let them go? One of our members was very insistent on his having let go of a need for Western psychology, to the point he believes it serves no purpose for anyone (which was insulting to a lot of members who are therapists in our group). When I asked him if he thought he'd truly renounced (his word) it if he felt the need to write a really long post about why he didn't trust it, why he disliked it and why he "let go" of it...he left the group. In his case, he was very attached to his aversion of it, which is why I was asking him to consider what he was saying.

    lobsterMidasstar
  • Very astute @karasti ,
    Well said. Good post. Many thanks. <3

    Aversion and attraction are both interest/agitation/grasping and the opposite of having let go . . .
    Many of us grasp at letting go of materiality and responsibility. Can we let go of the allure of simplicity.

    What you say about the aversion to Christianity or theism. Not uncommon. Leaving children, the past, lost loves . . . not uncommon . . .

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    ((A comment between brackets about the swastika, @lobster.
    A couple of months ago, I received a 1937 edition of Evans-Wentz's "Tibetan Yoga," which displays a swastika in the centre of a complex Tibetan iconography.
    My son was totally freaked out, and it took a long and patient explanation on my part before he could understand that the swastika is a sacred symbol that predates the nazis.))

    Letting go?
    I find it hard to let go of all the beautiful present moments that no longer are and soon will no longer be.
    Impermanence hurts.

  • 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

    I remember showing a friend of mine a screensaver I have, of a Golden Buddha with a swastika over his heart....

    "The Buddha was never a Nazi, wuz he...?!" She asked in all seriousness....Oh good grief.....

    Midasstar
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    after successfully quiting smoking after 40 years, I can let go of anything.

    I just don't want to.

    SarahT
  • 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

    I believe you... :unamused:

  • Path walking can be unburdened or strapped to our circumstances. We all have personal histories, circumstances, experiences and potentials. Do we associate with our good or bad, with our trivial or partial tendencies?

    I would suggest the practitioner is always homeless, always leaving or arriving and ultimately Being.

    So in a sense we are giving up the cycles of 'I am' and moving into 'am I' or even into the unquestioning non-dual state that @genkaku mentions.

    . . . and now back to the path . . .

    bookworm
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    What home truths are you leaving behind in your efforts to wander the homeless path of the Buddha?

    "Ignorance" (it would seem, being the main focus of attention at the 'moment'....)

  • I think the most important (and difficult) to let go is the sense of self! Once you see yourself as everybody else, it gets much easier and joyful. :)

    mmo
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    Swastikas again.

    I remember one abbess of a large monastery trying to re introduce that symbol in North America to it's Buddhist meaning by asking her seniors monks to wear them. Some monks from Jewish backgrounds, still chaff that she asked them, 40 years later.

    Anyway..her story was that Hitler had just co opted an old symbol.
    Depending on its direction of rotation that symbol (anti clockwise) represents greed, hate & delusion or if (clockwise) compassion, love & wisdom . Appropriately enough, his chosen symbol direction was counter clockwise, ( at least on land based flags where each side was counterclockwise)

    Clockwise (for example) was the only acceptable direction to respectfully circle the Buddha in homage.

    It gets complicated however when two folks are on different sides of that same symbol as with Buddhist statues where the Buddha is doing the mudra of the turning of the wheel of the law and while the symbol representing his teaching is clockwise for him, to the audience it's the opposite. Try turning it into a one dimensional representation of that statue like with a tanka, and it's beyond complex.

    As good as reason as any why the Buddha supposedly forbade physical representations of himself.

    lobster
  • I do not have strong aversion to swastikas compared to those in Germany, those directly involved with the holocaust etc. Yet I would find it a difficult symbol to wear. I am not surprised at the reaction @how mentions.

    Symbols are our environment. Our environment is a symbol.

    We can not expect a heart beyond our capacity. Be honest, have integrity.

    I love the symbol in the positive connection @how mentions. Emotionally it resonates badly. Still. I would have to practice crying meditation under that Uber-Abbess.

    Mind you in some religions they have to wear a man being tortured on a cross. Jesus Christ, I thought fanatical Buddhists had a hard path.

    @dantepw said:
    I think the most important (and difficult) to let go is the sense of self! Once you see yourself as everybody else, it gets much easier and joyful. :)

    How is that working out?

  • Hi @lobster ! Nice name, ha! :)

    I've came back to this type of practice a couple days ago only, thus, so far, it's still difficult, but I am not going to give it up.

    I used to practice it back in 2013, especially with metta meditation, and I can tell it worked out like a bliss. I'd feel happy pretty much all the time and many feelings like jealousy/envy/etc were minimized to a great level.

    The funny part is that was only 0.50% of practice that led me to this. I can't even imagine how I would be if I kept going on. :)

    sova
  • @dantepw said:
    Hi lobster ! Nice name, ha! :)

    Too kind. =)

    You have a good heart. If you remember bring that gal of yours some choccies on Wednesday. I would bring them myself but I have archery practice. <3

    oh and the metta practice . . . yep keep it up at least till Wednesday.

    OM YA HA HUM as we New Age Buddhists murmer . . .

    sova
  • Hahaha, thank you! You have a good heart as well. I got nothing going on wednesday, that's probably a misunderstood. :) And I am willing to keep metta meditation for a good while, ha! :)

    Please have a gorgeous, full of joy week. Peace! :chuffed:

    sova
  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    I can let go as much as I can manage to in a given moment. Then I forget to let go, then I remember again; rinse and repeat :-)

    lobster
  • Having "letting go" thoughts are becoming more pleasant than other random thoughts.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    How much can you let go...

    Is a practice, is a mantra, is a ruler by which one can assess spiritual bravery, assuages the conditioned behavioral manipulations of our sense information and is one of the best descriptions of what meditation means to me.
    Luv it!

    lobster
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