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Thread: Letting go

  1. #1
    Senior Member Troy's Avatar
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    Letting go

    Something I found floating around on facebook that I liked:

    A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they'd be asked the "half empty or half full" question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: "How heavy is this glass of water?" Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

    She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

    She continued, "The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed Ė incapable of doing anything."
    Last edited by Troy; 07-01-2014 at 09:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Hi Troy.

    Yes, stress and mental burdens can get heavy and tie us, rendering us unable to move or breathe.

    For some people it's quite difficult to let go, but I have found the more one sits, the more frequently one can let go of things.

    Or at least that's what I've seen.

    Gassho and thanks for this post.

    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

  3. #3
    A very good story.

    Thank you.
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

    Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

  4. #4
    Hey Troy,

    Very nice ... I heard a similar view but instead of the glass of water, it was a backpack. Through life we add or life adds things (emotional traumas) into our backpack and we carry it around, yet never looking inside when it becomes too heavy or too much of a burden. I feel from time to time it is important to stop and look into that backpack and truly reflect on whether we need to carry this or that (those emotional traumas/baggage). Taking the time to self-reflect and let go of that baggage can truly have a positive and lasting impact on our lives. =)

    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.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Troy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    I have found the more one sits, the more frequently one can let go of things.

    Kyonin
    Yes indeed

  6. #6
    Senior Member Troy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shingen View Post
    Hey Troy,

    Very nice ... I heard a similar view but instead of the glass of water, it was a backpack. Through life we add or life adds things (emotional traumas) into our backpack and we carry it around, yet never looking inside when it becomes too heavy or too much of a burden. I feel from time to time it is important to stop and look into that backpack and truly reflect on whether we need to carry this or that (those emotional traumas/baggage). Taking the time to self-reflect and let go of that baggage can truly have a positive and lasting impact on our lives. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    Thank you Shingen. Another great way to think about it

  7. #7
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    So this, looking into the backpack and getting in touch with the traumas/feelings that maybe need to be released... this can be done through zazen?
    .. because he constantly forgets him self,
    he is never forgotten ..

  8. #8
    Thank you Troy,
    this is a very good analogy in my opinion, my always busy mind likes to chew things forever,
    Gassho
    Myoku

  9. #9
    Hello Kyonin,

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Hi Troy.

    For some people it's quite difficult to let go, but I have found the more one sits, the more frequently one can let go of things.
    Heck, my sitting has been haphazard and inconsistent lately and I still find myself not even picking up things I used to carry. Pain is a good motivator, especially when the source of the pain is more clearly seen.

    Some things have me still holding on to poison for a hilariously long time, though.

    Chet

  10. #10
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shingen View Post
    Hey Troy,

    Very nice ... I heard a similar view but instead of the glass of water, it was a backpack. Through life we add or life adds things (emotional traumas) into our backpack and we carry it around, yet never looking inside when it becomes too heavy or too much of a burden. I feel from time to time it is important to stop and look into that backpack and truly reflect on whether we need to carry this or that (those emotional traumas/baggage). Taking the time to self-reflect and let go of that baggage can truly have a positive and lasting impact on our lives. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    yes, I agree, it reminds me of the man who carries a boat lest he meet up with another river.

    gassho,

    •O•
    "- and neither are they otherwise."

  11. #11
    There is another kind of letting go, and I'm not sure how it fits in here.. because it is not about letting go of relationships or anger, or the usual things I think about when I think of "letting go". It has to do with creativity.

    Recently I began to experiment with video, telling a story with moving images, exploring editing and soundscaping. It has become very focused and joyful. But, because there is a steep learning curve, it means contantly having to let go of visions over and over again. In other words, this project is teaching me that the final result of any creative vision has to remain open. When we have an inspiration about any project (not just artistic) it includes an image of how it will look in the end. That image has to be kept in mind's eye, there has to be an outline, but it also has to be held lightly, loosely, because if I cling too tightly to any final vision, the actual process will come into conflict with it, and wonderful new possibilities are shut out.

    There is a constant picking up and dropping, and sometimes it isn't easy. It is like a little birth and death, but when it is allowed to happen the projects we take on can have a life of their own. I think life in general can be seen this way.

    Hope this didn't take the thread in too different a direction, Troy. It's just the kind of "letting go" that has come up lately. thanks



    Gassho
    Daizan
    Last edited by Daizan; 07-03-2014 at 04:09 PM.
    大山

  12. #12
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Troy, Shingen, thank you for posting, so true and actually brought tears to my eyes. For years, I carried around so much in my backpack and chose to iqnore it all. So focused on eating healthy and doing yoga, I completely overlooked the emotional side to my life. Hard lesson to learn, but now I have a much healthier, balanced approach. I hope to be able to help others do the same.


    Gassho,
    Joyo

  13. #13
    Hi Troy, Shingen, All,

    great post. For me it seems that so much of letting go is actually the opposite. I find I cannot truly let go of something until I have embraced it fully, just as it is. Iíve never let go of anything by resisting it; resistance seems to be another form of grasping at a thing. Somehow accepting that things are, as they are, allows me to let go. This has taken many forms, from being able to forgive someone and move on, to letting go of guilt or shame, to letting go of beliefs or ideals that donít fit my life any more.

    Daizan I think I get what you mean. When you allow the little births and deaths, and hold life loosely, letting go of expectations, not forcing, you end up with something different than you thought, but beautiful and real and true.

    Gassho
    Lisa

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by raindrop View Post
    I find I cannot truly let go of something until I have embraced it fully, just as it is. Iíve never let go of anything by resisting it; resistance seems to be another form of grasping at a thing.
    Wise words indeed Lisa! =)

    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.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Neo View Post
    So this, looking into the backpack and getting in touch with the traumas/feelings that maybe need to be released... this can be done through zazen?
    Hi Neo,

    I'm not a teacher nor a psychologist, but my experience is that if you have any weight in that backpack, sooner or later you will dig it up, it's a natural thing to happen when you do zazen. Dealing with it is a different matter and might require professional help. Zazen is not a self-help method or anything like that.

    In my experience, zen does make it easier to let go of the attachment to the stuff in the backpack. It's still there, but in a more freeze-dried form which makes it a lot lighter to carry around Sooner or later I guess you'll have to eat it anyway to get rid of it.

    Gassho

    Vincent
    For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by raindrop View Post

    Daizan I think I get what you mean. When you allow the little births and deaths, and hold life loosely, letting go of expectations, not forcing, you end up with something different than you thought, but beautiful and real and true.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    Hi, Lisa. I think that's all I'm saying. There is some idea of how things will be, were energy is directed, an investment of the heart. It will change as things go along, so there has to be a letting go, and then there is a new idea, a new investment. That in turn also has to be let go of. In my own experience that investing part is necessary, I have to care, so there is always a caring and letting go. The letting go part is getting easier, because the idea doesn't get fixed like it used to. This is just my own experience, no claim to gospel here.

    Gassho
    Daizan
    大山

  17. #17
    Daizan,

    Yes, and itís funny, in the beginning itís easier to go all in and invest, but hard to let go. Then as time goes on, with experience, it gets easier to let go, but harder to keep your heart open and really invest. This is a struggle, to stay pliable and open to the new idea or direction, and not protect yourself by hardening your heart.

    Gassho
    Lisa

  18. #18
    Senior Member Troy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raindrop View Post
    Hi Troy, Shingen,
    I find I cannot truly let go of something until I have embraced it fully, just as it is. Iíve never let go of anything by resisting it; resistance seems to be another form of grasping at a thing. Somehow accepting that things are, as they are, allows me to let go.

    Gassho
    Lisa
    I love this thank you for saying it

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