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Too much letting go?

JeroenJeroen Do it with a smileNetherlands Veteran

Recently I have had the impression that there is such a thing as too much letting go. While exploring the inner world I have come across things both beautiful and gross, and while I have had an eye towards making things more wholesome I have often found myself relaxing into what is and just letting it unfold.

Letting go has often been my response when encountering things where I’d say it was not wholesome. I would look into the roots of things, and see what needed to be let go of. Now I am finding I have let go of so much that many things that I encounter identify as not-mine, and I can’t let go of them or get much insight. They just seem to be independent processes which continue on their own way, sometimes responding and sometimes not...

The impression I get is that in the inner world, there is such a thing as too much letting go. That sometimes one needs a different method to bring wholesomeness to some responses.

Anyway that was my Tuesday morning ramble...



  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited September 2020

    In my understanding for purposes of meditation let go to the point you don't get caught up in thinking about something. Where you are lost thinking just notice that and then let go and return to the breath. You don't have to make anything go away but just let go when you notice you're totally caught up in any particular thought whether it's pleasant or unpleasant. Or profound or unprofound or what have you.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    A good Tuesday morning question Kerome!

    In Zen, too much letting go actually describes the process where the letting go of ones attachments in itself can become an attachment.
    This can be found where one's letting go of that which we formally grasped onto starts morphing from a manifestation of freedom in the presence of various phenomena over to a deliberate avoidance of those phenomena.
    Here, suffering resumes it's course, but has now complicated the uprooting of it's underlying causes with the subtler camouflage of spiritual escapism.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited September 2020

    Common Zen disease!

    Attachment is about our control of our data flows through our sense gates.
    Letting go is about allowing our sense data to freely arise, exist and then depart on its own.
    letting go too much is just sense data control again by strong arming it along on its way.

    Another consequence of Covid 19 is where being stuck in a small house, ones stir crazy partner starts reading stuff over my shoulder and says things like "what's with all the jargon".

    Not that she's wrong.

  • From what I gather the so-called self is just an abstraction of the mind & body's experience and this abstraction tends to solidifies when (as @Jeffrey & @how already mentioned) certain data passes through the sense doors which stimulate the senses in either a positive or negative or dislike....desire or aversion...

    The wisdom of knowing what to let go of (in real off the cushion time) comes through meditating on the arriving & departing phenomena which visits the mind( at times they may overstay their welcome) ....gradually developing the mind in the habit of equanimity AKA letting go ... giving a Teflon coating to the mind so to speak...

    Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya Nothing whatsoever should be clung to...not even abstractions ...and the illusion of holding on....

    Well that's the unfettered plan....

  • There I was and am dancing on a knifes edge of sanity.

    Sometimes I am mince. Sometime Pi. Sometimes Blade.

    To put it bluntly ... decapitate but don't lose your head ...

  • LionduckLionduck Veteran
    edited September 2020

    There will always be a delicate balance between letting go and holding on.
    Keep your head in the clouds but your feet firmly planted. =)B);)

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran
    edited September 2020

    I was on the edge of sleep the other day, and i was thinking of illusion and how everything is maya, and suddenly all kinds of things in my sense of my body changed. It was as if everything had gone quiet and died, and the sense of aliveness that I usually feel around myself vanished.

    Instead of a healthy sense of living in my body I had twenty-four hours of discomfort and pain. It was most peculiar. I felt like I had let go of something essential. It did eventually correct itself though.

  • I was looking out of the window at a tree in full leaf blowing in the wind. Suddenly I saw clearly the reality of anicca..the idea that everything is in a state of flux..everything is changing constantly..
    Instead of feeling bliss or comfort at the thought of a confirmation of the Buddhas teachings I had a mild panic ego sense recoiled like a tortoise into its shell. I spoke to a teacher about it..he chuckled and said it was a quite well known phenomenon..we get an insight that our logical mind isn’t ready for..we need to,process things and it’s not always in neat chronological order.

  • There can be a feeling of uncertainty arise, when we use the self to explore the possibility of anatta, its non permanent existence ...

    The self can and often does feel threatened/challenged by the unknown, (no thinker behind the thought, just thought doer behind the doing, just doing itself) ,an irrational fear of it losing control of itself arises... a permanently abiding self that is nowhere to be found amongst body & mind.... a self generated illusion conjured up by the clinging aggregates.... that have become so attached to........their pseudo sense of a self go figure...

    But as the saying goes...feel the fear and do it anyway you might be pleasantly surprised... :)

  • it’s not always in neat chronological order.


    We have a tendency for a straight oath path. We want our refuge to be perfected. In one sense, the perfection already resides in Knowing.

    We are not perfect super heroes Bodhisattvas. We are the ignorant and the Buddha Manifest. So we resonate with our neat future. Our present insight and The Real World.

    We move along. Nothing to see here hear or know. Neat ... <3

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited September 2020

    Sometimes we just have to let go of letting go. Especially if we are losing the wonder for the want of non-attachment or if we won't allow ourself to grieve the loss of a loved one.

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