The Mind Illuminated archive

The Benefits and Practice of Letting Go.


Q&A: It seems quite provocative to suggest that one just let go of what one is most attached to. What are your views?

Master Culadasa explains that letting go of attachments is the ultimate goal of the path. He comments on how it is in contrast to what our society values.

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Student: I'm reading the Phillip Moffitt's book, dancing with life. And what's the name of it. Dancing with life, dancing with why, as far as I'm concerned is great provocative, but talking about the second noble truth, I'm convinced makes about a thousand times, but he's talking about. Any desire that some designers can be okay, but, and I desire that it's really a strong desire and you have a, you want this and you need this plate and this, and you want it to be disciplined.

That's the whole stories and giving the hell out, giving up that whole process. And then he talks about, find something in your life right now. That's you. You're very attached to the outcome

and just try to give them all dial up to try and give up all that and just be present with whatever. And can you speak to that?

Culadasa: That's what it's, that's where you're, that's the place that you want to get to is a, is where that's, how you overcome suffering, because the cause of the suffering is this wanting things to be different than they are wanting something else wanting. And then, and the way you just framed it, something that you're very attached to the outcome we look to the future and we S we see the outcome, I look forward to this wonderful dinner, did it, you're going to add I that, and then you discovered that it all got burned down.

No.

Your reaction to it is said that this is terrible, disappointment, loss and frustration. And, oh, I should've done this or that or whatever else, but

freedom from suffering is just totally picks up saying, what is. The good and the bad and the whole thing. And

in a way while it's true, that sounded the outcome may not have been what you foresaw. It is what it is. At least you had the opportunity to savor the outcome that didn't happen. It's a. And you can practice and in all kinds of ways in big and little ways, get used to the idea, the explore and discover the idea.

It's intellectually, it's pretty easy to grasp it. Yeah. If I could get over being attached to things being the way I want them to be. Dan I'd be a lot more happy or satisfied intellectually. You can understand that the next step, cause you got to try it out, and do you have to work with it now, these saying, pick the one thing in your life that's most important, really attached to That's probably what it would be most valuable for you to be able to let go of the attachment to it's also going to be what's most difficult.

You've got to maybe practice a bit on some easier, and there's lots of volts. If you part of. Practicing mindfulness in your daily life. And you know this right? Part of practicing daily mindfulness in your day is just recognizing all those dozens or hundreds, or sometimes even thousands of little attachments that we have to this or that and observing the method reaction to the seed of mind reaction, and then recognizing that.

Oh, hi, I'm experienced, unhappy, experiencing unhappiness, just because of the attachment that I have the, and that, that practice of mindfulness constantly saying in many different ways is what allows the real truth of this to get beyond just being an intellectual idea. And it's an actual experience.

Every time that you can have the actual experience of letting go of attachment and discovering that it's all right. As matter of fact, it's not only all right. It's wonderful because by comparison, with whatever degree of dissatisfaction that you would otherwise have had, it's absolutely wonderful to be satisfied instead, and learn that teachers off that over and over again in all kinds of different.

It is it's so obvious it's hard to grasp. And of course the other part of it is that we are so deeply conditioned to do just exactly the opposite. And we even admire our society teaches us to admire those people that are so stubborn and driven and bullheaded and everything else that they insist on.

Having things turn out the way they want them to, we see that as an ideal. All of that conditioning makes it really a challenge. Come to that place of recognizing that the wonderful value of being able to let dome. The other thing about it is if you can stop resisting and accept, what is it enormously empowers you to influence what will be.

Yeah, and a much more positive and effective way.

When we talk about letting go accepting what is, and things like that very often what people begin to wonder is does that mean. But I no longer try to make any changes or I don't care what happens or, but it doesn't mean that at all, not at all, et cetera, take what is in the Mullen is actually doing the only sensible unintelligent thing possible because you can't change.

What is. You can only change what will be or influence what will be, but what already is, it's absolutely pointless to resist it and struggle against it. And the only effect that it has is. That it ties your mind and knots and generates negative emotions. And all of that gets in the way of doing something positive and constructive to change the direction of things.

So being able to accept actually empowers you in terms of being able to redirect claims as far as what's likely to happen in the future.

That one outcome of it. Another outcome of it is that by coming to that place of acceptance, it changes the way you you know re react to all kinds of different things, circumstances, people, everything else. If you look at what happens there, if he imagined. And I know you can, the difference between a person who's always manifesting resistance which they're complaining, they're objecting.

They're arguing, they're fighting, they're struggling. You can picture that kind of person.

Now, replace that picture with somebody who is not always fighting and struggling and complaining and criticizing and blaming and all of a sudden stop, but is on the other side, the positive cycle. Okay. Work we do about it. Where can we go from here? What's the next step? Okay. This is the way it goes.

How would you react to a person like that, whatever it's in your power to give or do or influence that impacts that person,

how, depending on whether they are in the first case or in the second case, how was it going to influence what you do and all kinds of ways, and so with everyone else and so in every kind of situation. So it is it has the power to change all of the circumstances and conditions that a person finds themselves out.

If you'd been come to the place of C, same to feed your own suffering. So craving desire for it to be different than it is struggling. I guess it, then it's be it changes the conditions that you find yourself in the future. It even reduces the need.

I made this contrast between how you'd like thanks to. And how they are because I'll end up paying much more the way you'd like them to be anyway.


Automated transcription

I'm reading phillip office for dickinson of life. And what's the name? Life? Dancing with like. Yeah. Good concern. But i i talking about second level truth. I mean condenser meetings about now sometimes, but He's talking about any any desire that she... Well some desires can be okay but I i desire that it's really a strong desire and you have... You want this and you need to you plain some you wanted to be disco. That's the whole story giving hell out giving up... Giving up that whole process and he talks about find something in your life right know that you here's very out.

And to try to give it all that up. To try to give all that and just be present with whatever Mh. And can you speak to that? Nice yeah. That's that's what it's... That's where you're... That's the place that you wanna get to as is where it's. That's how you overcome suffering because the cause of the suffering is this Wanting things to be different than they are. Wanting something else. Wanting And then and the way you just framed it, you know, something that you're very attached to the outcome. You know, we looked to the future and we...

Yeah. We see the outcome, you know, Look forward to this wonderful dinner that you're gonna have. Right? Oh, you that. And then he discovered that. Hey oh got burned. Yeah. So And then your reaction to it is said that this is is terrible disappointment loss and frustration I should've it done this right or whatever whatever else. You know But freedom. From suffering is just totally accepting what is. The good and the bad and the whole thing. And you know what while it's true that some of the outcome may not have been what you fore saw.

It is what it is. At least you had to act either saber, the outcome that didn't happen. Right. But it's it's... And you can practice in in all kinds ways and deep and and little ways get used to the idea explore and discover the idea. You know, I mean, it's intellectually, it's pretty easy grasp. But, yeah. And if if I could get over being attach to things being the way I want them to be. Then i'd be a lot more happy and satisfied, and literally, you can sand. The next step because you gotta try it out.

Yeah. You know? A And do you have to work with it Now? He's saying pick the one thing in your life that's most important. You know, you really really attached to. That's probably what it would be most valuable for you to be able to let, go the attach too. But it's also gonna what's mostly difficult. So, you know, you've got two maybe practice a bit on some easier And there's lots of those. If you part of tired of practicing mindfulness in your daily life, and you know this? Right? Well, part practicing daily mindfulness in your day is just recognizing all those dozens or hundreds, there's some not even thousands of little attachments that we have to this or that and observing the meth reaction to the see the mine reaction.

And then recognizing that oh, hi I experience experiencing unhappiness just because of the attachment that I had. But you know And that that practice of mindfulness constantly seeing in many different ways is what allows the the the real truth of this to get beyond just being an intellectual idea and it's an actual experience. Every time that you can have the actual experience of b door of attachment and discovering that it's all alright. As a matter of fact, it's not only alright it's wonderful because by comparison with whatever degree of dissatisfaction that you would otherwise in had, it's absolutely wonderful to be satisfied instead and learn that teachers yourself that.

Over and over again and all kinds of different ways. It is Well, you know, it's it's so obvious. It's hard to grasp. And, of course, the other part of it is that We are so deeply deeply conditioned to do just exactly the opposite. And we even admire our society teaches us to admire those people that are so stubborn and driven and bull and everything else that they insist on how things turn out the way they want them to. You know, we kinda see that as an ideal. So all of that conditioning makes it really a a challenge.

They come to that place and recognizing that the wonderful value of being able to let don't. But, you know, the other thing about it is if you if you can stop resisting and accept what is it enormously empowers you to influence what will be yeah in a much more positive an effective way. So when we talk about letting go accepting what is and things like that. Very often. What people begin to wonder is, well, does that mean that that I no longer try to make any changes or I don't care what happens or know, but it doesn't mean that at all, not at all.

Except what is in the moment is actually doing the only sensible and intelligent thing possible, because you can't change what is. You can only change what will be or influence what will be. But what already is, it's absolutely pointless to resist it and struggle against it. And and, you know, as The only effect that it has is that it ties your mind and not and generates negative emotions and all of that gets in the way of doing something positive and construction to to change the direction of things.

So being able to accept action empowers you in terms of being able to redirect claims as far as what's likely to happen in the future. Mh. That funny out outcome of. Another outcome of it is that by Coming to that place of acceptance, it changes the way you, you know, react to all kinds of different things, circumstances people, everything else. If you look at what happens there, if you imagine if you can, and I know you can. The difference between a person who's always manifesting resistance which They're complaining.

They're object. They're they're arguing, Their fighting, they're struggling. You could picture that kind of person? Now replace that picture with somebody who is not always fighting struggling and complaining criticizing and blaming at all a sudden of stuff. But yes on the other side, the positive cycle. Okay. Work. We do about it. Where can we go from here. What's the next step? Okay. This is this is the way i is. And how would you react to a person like that? Whatever it's in your power to give or do or influence that impacts that person.

How... Depending on whether they are In the first case in the second case, how is it going to influence what you do? And all kinds of ways. Right? Mh. And so with everyone else and so in every kind of situation. So it it is it has the power to change all of the circumstances and conditions that a person finds himself out. If you can come to the place of ce to feed your own suffering in the moment. Through craving desire for it, to be different than it is. Struggling yes it. Then it's be... It it changes the conditions that you find yourself.

End in the future. It even reduces the need to.

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