Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just let go ...

.. easy for you to say. See -- here I am, holding onto my favorite "heart" rock -- clutching it tightly so I won't lose it. Remember, this is my favorite one, extremely valuable to my mind's eye. Not wanting to let go is intimately involved with not liking change. I suppose they may be interchangeable. Arrgghh!

But it's by letting go, where we stop trying to control matters, where we truly get to experience life as it is (instead of life as we're trying to make it). It's by letting go when I discover there's a more interesting plan available.

"Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake." This happens and this happens and this happens because that happened and that happened and that happened. And yes, if we're holding onto something, that's not a mistake either, nor are the consequences we receive. If only we could receive a cosmic revelation: "You can let go now or let go later; but you are going to let go sometime. The sooner you let go the better off we both will be."

I can actually let go of my favorite "heart" rock without losing it, at least until the time comes for us to part ways. Succumbing to letting go (either voluntarily or involuntarily) can be such a relief -- when we trust the Universe with the outcome, any outcome. In other words, we accept whatever comes next (non attachment). Better yet is when we invite whatever comes next, welcoming it as we would a guest -- this brings happiness.

Not wanting to do a Step thoroughly, or at all, is holding on; our mind's fist clutching to old ideas, habits and fear of what might happen. Not allowing or resisting koan practice is also holding on to what we "think" we need or don't need. In holding on, we essentially place ourselves in prison.

By letting go of these thoughts, the prison walls crumble as we carry about our Steps and koans -- carried together as if in an open hand -- in a way, allowing them permission to lead us to the deeper place of less suffering and more happiness.

Accepting change, letting go, and ultimately finding freedom in the moment, I think, are all fostered by our practice ... 12 Step practice and koan practice. They also foster surprises counter to our everydayness. Here's an amusing example from my PZi friend, Jesse:

"My girlfriend and I were making breakfast for dinner last night -- eggs, potatoes and toast. Mmmmm. It reminded me of when my parents would make pancakes for dinner because they were too tired or lacked the ingredients to make an appropriate evening meal. Or maybe they just wanted pancakes.

Mom or Dad would ask, "So, should we just have pancakes for dinner?" Yes! My whole world seemed to flip-flop. The meal paradigm I had been living in was toppled and I had entered a strange world where people ate breakfast for dinner. Kind of like a little vacation from normality.

It occurred to me that koans are kind of like that for me. The world is simultaneously completely different and the same one I've always lived in. I end up doing strange things like laughing when I'm angry or going to a yoga class. It's funny how the ordinary things are the staples of my reality."

Bill K.