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Thread: Repression and Letting Go

  1. #1
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Repression and Letting Go

    Hi,
    It struck me this morning how subtle the difference is between repressing things and letting them go. This is a subtle and fine art, our Zazen.
    Gassho
    Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.
    "Here the way unfolds."

  2. #2
    So very true.

    Gassho

    Willow

  3. #3
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
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    Yes, very true indeed! Unfortunately, I've learned that I have a tendency to repress more than I truly let go...a good lesson.

    Thank you for this,
    Kelly/Jinmei

  4. #4
    I have always failed miserably at letting go. My brain is smarter than me, and it is only when things slip off it like shale that they are gone. Until then letting go has just been another kind of continuation. Things have to work through. A friend once said I could try "letting be" rather than "letting go". Can I sit with a difficult mind state as if it will never go away, and be whole and at peace with that?

    Gassho
    Daizan
    大山

  5. #5
    Diddo here ... repression is more the common theme then letting go, but this practice has allowed me to see that fine line light a blinking airport runway.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  6. #6
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    I was actually about to start a new thread thanking everyone in the sangha for their contribution to my practice, but I think it fits here just as well. There was something I was able to let go this morning that, if not for them, I would have buried my head in a pillow of dukkha!

    Deep bows to all.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    I Can I sit with a difficult mind state as if it will never go away, and be whole and at peace with that?

    Gassho
    Daizan
    Sometimes maybe. Our reactions to certain situations is so habitual
    And our need for approval so ingrained that it is difficult to see the line between repression and letting go.
    After acknowledgment and what am I going to do might come the letting go but it is a repetitive function.

    I love the idealized zen stories of not moving mind but for me they are just ideals and motivation to practice.

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Learning to let go is a way we must walk slowly, for the distractions are many.

    Thank you for this teaching.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  9. #9
    Senior Member Seizan's Avatar
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    I find that I repress and don't let go more often than not. Zazen has become quite intimate for that reason in the last few months- when I first began "just sitting" it felt contrived. Now it feels much natural but... it is showing me my natural obstacles I am not walking that delicate line well.

    Thank you so much for sharing this thought

    Gassho

  10. #10
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    I have found that repression is an easier option for our ego to take, mainly as it prevents us from facing difficult issues which can involve painful feelings. But repression also empowers the ego....An I am bigger than this issue kind of thing.
    I have found that letting go evokes these powerful feelings, but that when awareness has truly been focused on the origin, the reverberating habits the mind seems to produce through repression dissolve and release. Why this is so hard to do I have no idea and I have wasted so much of my life with my head in this state.

    I am now left with an amazement that I let my mind carry on like this for so long! Why didn't anyone tell me about this sooner! Can I sue myself?
    Heisoku
    平 息

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Heisoku View Post
    I have found that repression is an easier option for our ego to take, mainly as it prevents us from facing difficult issues which can involve painful feelings. But repression also empowers the ego....An I am bigger than this issue kind of thing.
    I have found that letting go evokes these powerful feelings, but that when awareness has truly been focused on the origin, the reverberating habits the mind seems to produce through repression dissolve and release. Why this is so hard to do I have no idea and I have wasted so much of my life with my head in this state.

    I am now left with an amazement that I let my mind carry on like this for so long! Why didn't anyone tell me about this sooner! Can I sue myself?
    I agree. Repression confirms the ego. Letting go is the realization that one isn't the ego. Repression is just a form of control, but it's also a trap, a prison. Repression is delusion and often an unhealthy way of dealing with difficult and sometimes really awful and frightening things. I'm pretty expert at it and don't even know the amazement that I let myself carry on for so long. Still carrying on.

    Also, as a side note, sometimes apathy can be mistakenly considered letting go, which is just as stupid, etc.

    Gassho
    Shōmon

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Sometimes maybe. Our reactions to certain situations is so habitual
    And our need for approval so ingrained that it is difficult to see the line between repression and letting go.
    After acknowledgment and what am I going to do might come the letting go but it is a repetitive function.

    I love the idealized zen stories of not moving mind but for me they are just ideals and motivation to practice.
    Gassho,

    Risho

  13. #13
    Let me just add that sometimes "letting things go" means "letting them go away", "letting other things go one coming", letting some things "be ongoing" ... all while letting things go ...

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Sometimes maybe. Our reactions to certain situations is so habitual
    And our need for approval so ingrained that it is difficult to see the line between repression and letting go.
    After acknowledgment and what am I going to do might come the letting go but it is a repetitive function.

    I love the idealized zen stories of not moving mind but for me they are just ideals and motivation to practice.
    Hi Rich. Sorry for not being clear. .. the question was rhetorical. My own definite answer is yes, there has been no choice, that is my practice. Until I could sit with/as that I did not really open out. This is just my own experience and view.. and I am happy to be seen as wrong about it...it doesn't need others to agree.

    BTW, I'm not talking about self imposed suffering.. sitting rigid and tough. I'm just talking about my actual experience as it is.

    Gassho
    Daizan
    大山

  15. #15
    Daizan, thx for that question. My response was about me.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    I have always failed miserably at letting go. My brain is smarter than me, and it is only when things slip off it like shale that they are gone. Until then letting go has just been another kind of continuation. Things have to work through. A friend once said I could try "letting be" rather than "letting go". Can I sit with a difficult mind state as if it will never go away, and be whole and at peace with that?

    Gassho
    Daizan
    Some days. Some days you will probably sit with a difficult mindset and know it won't go away no matter what. Those days I try to simply sit with it and remember that I'm not sitting for the mindset to go away, but to simply be. One day I will find that what bothered me isn't bothering me anymore, but I think it is because the part of me that was bothered may have had some small realization. The mindset is still there but my Mind is no longer set on being bothered by it.
    Gassho,
    "Heitetsu"
    Christopher

  17. #17
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    an interview with psychologist and Buddhist John Welwood which bears upon this topic, I believe:

    http://andreastevens.wordpress.com/2...ohn-welwood-2/

    the biographical preamble, before the interview itself, may safely be skipped, IMHO.

    gassho, -Robert
    Last edited by Oheso; 03-22-2013 at 05:57 AM. Reason: sunspots
    "- and neither are they otherwise."

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM View Post
    The mindset is still there but my Mind is no longer set on being bothered by it.
    Hi Heitetsu


    The best I can describe it is that the whole present state of being is alone. Everything is alone at once, yet feet belong only to feet, feelings belong only to feelings, sounds belong only to sounds. Nothing is missing. Nothing has been subtracted. Everything is exactly the same, except that everything is alone. That aloneness transmutes the whole world, without changing it. There is no Dukkha.

    Been pondering over this response.. seeing if it is possible to really express my experience.. which is probably a common experience.. and nothing really special. The description is junk in a way, posting it is junk, but it is the most precise I can do.


    Gassho
    Daizan
    Last edited by Daizan; 03-24-2013 at 08:37 PM.
    大山

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Daizan View Post
    Hi Heitetsu


    The best I can describe it is that the whole present state of being is alone. Everything is alone at once, yet feet belong only to feet, feelings belong only to feelings, sounds belong only to sounds. Nothing is missing. Nothing has been subtracted. Everything is exactly the same, except that everything is alone. That aloneness transmutes the whole world, without changing it. There is no Dukkha.
    Lovely to hear in the bones a fresh way to express the inexpressable.

    At once everything-alone, missing subtracting nothing.
    The whole world transmuted all-oneness, everything ever changed.
    Sometimes feet, sounds, feelings hurt ... No Dukkha.


    Lovely.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-25-2013 at 02:50 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    At once everything-alone, missing subtracting nothing.
    The whole world transmuted all-oneness, everything ever changed.
    Sometimes feet, sounds, feelings hurt ... No Dukkha. [/I]

    Thank you , Jundo. ... time for the morning sit. The furnace roaring on another frosty dawn.

    Gassho.
    Daizan
    大山

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