Letting go

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  • Troy
    Member
    • Sep 2013
    • 1318

    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 – incapable of doing anything."
    Last edited by Troy; 07-01-2014, 09:58 PM.
  • Kyonin
    Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
    • Oct 2010
    • 6739

    #2
    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
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

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    • Neika
      Member
      • Dec 2008
      • 229

      #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

      Comment

      • Mp

        #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

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        • Troy
          Member
          • Sep 2013
          • 1318

          #5
          Originally posted by Kyonin
          I have found the more one sits, the more frequently one can let go of things.

          Kyonin
          Yes indeed

          Comment

          • Troy
            Member
            • Sep 2013
            • 1318

            #6
            Originally posted by Shingen
            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

            Comment

            • Neo
              Member
              • Nov 2012
              • 76

              #7
              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 ..

              Comment

              • Myoku
                Member
                • Jul 2010
                • 1487

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

                Comment

                • Peacemouse

                  #9
                  Hello Kyonin,

                  Originally posted by Kyonin
                  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

                  Comment

                  • Oheso
                    Member
                    • Jan 2013
                    • 294

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Shingen
                    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.

                    Comment

                    • RichardH
                      Member
                      • Nov 2011
                      • 2800

                      #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 RichardH; 07-03-2014, 04:09 PM.

                      Comment

                      • Joyo

                        #12
                        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

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                        • Byokan
                          Treeleaf Unsui
                          • Apr 2014
                          • 4269

                          #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. I’ve 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 don’t 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
                          展道 渺寛 Tendō Byōkan
                          Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

                          Comment

                          • Mp

                            #14
                            Originally posted by raindrop
                            I find I cannot truly let go of something until I have embraced it fully, just as it is. I’ve 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

                            Comment

                            • Ongen
                              Member
                              • Jan 2014
                              • 786

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Neo
                              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
                              Ongen (音源) - Sound Source

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