Letting Go

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Euclid
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Letting Go

Postby Euclid » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:36 am

Hello my good friends, good morning / evening / whatever may be the case!

I have encountered the advocation of 'letting go' quite often in my study. I understand the concept, but I have some troubles understanding some aspects. For example, say somebody was not diligent in performing some duty, such as regular meditation (or, in my case, university ;) ), and this has dukkha as its outcome. Now obviously dukkha isn't a good thing, and we want to get rid of it, but are there situations (such as one like this) where one wants to glorify the dukkha, in order to not repeat the same mistake again? To reinforce the fact that unskilfull actions have negative outcomes? Is there a canonical approach to this sort of situation?

Thank you all very much in advance.

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cooran
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Re: Letting Go

Postby cooran » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:58 am

Hello Euclid, all,

This article may be of assistance:

Our Reactions to Dukkha by Dr. Elizabeth Ashby
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... bl026.html

You may also find this booklet with various contributing authors on the subject of Dukkha of interest:
http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh191-p.html

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

Hoo
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Re: Letting Go

Postby Hoo » Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:36 pm

Hi Euclid,

I keep returning to "letting go." It seems to me that it is the heart of practice rather than "emphasizing." But I'm a relatively new Buddhist so take my observations with a grain of salt. :)

If meditation has gotten slack, or become more rare, I look for the causes. Glorifying the dukkha would be missing the point, IMHO. For me, I'd see it as dealing with the symptom instead of the illness. So I'd begin to investigate. What are my actions? What do I choose to do instead of meditate? What causes appear that result in me not meditating.

Time and again, I find that there is something to let go of. For example, I found that I'd rather check email and postings than meditate :) How do I know this, because it was frequently where I ended up - in front of the computer instead of on the cushion. There were causes for that decision, too, and eventually I could see them at work and begin letting go.

It was by letting go of some of those decisions that I made some headway. I would not pour that cup of coffee until after meditation (it was a major temptation to take that cup and sit down at the computer). I can let go of that habit each day.

In my college days (long ago), threatening myself with poor grades, etc., didn't do anything to motivate me. I had to look for the causes of my decisions, then let go of what wan't working for me.

But we're all different and it might work for you. If it doesn't, let it go :) Use a different approach. I'm not good at this, just making some headway with it.

Please remember that I have nothing to teach. I'm pretty new to Buddhism.

Hoo

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Sobeh
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Re: Letting Go

Postby Sobeh » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:16 pm

Letting Go vs. Emphasizing

From the Maggavibhanga Sutta, SN 45.8:
"And what, monks, is right effort? (i) There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (ii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen. (iii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort."

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Goofaholix
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Re: Letting Go

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:37 pm

You appear to be understanding letting go as slacking off.

As I understand it letting go means you still do what you understand as being wise and skillful but you don't try to force or control the outcome, you let go of forcing and controlling and accept what is.

easy to say, but I haven't yet worked out how to do it consistently.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Letting Go

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:16 am

Goofaholix wrote:As I understand it letting go means you still do what you understand as being wise and skillful but you don't try to force or control the outcome, you let go of forcing and controlling and accept what is.



The way I've experienced it is in recognising unskillful mental states and allowing them to pass, rather than attaching or indulging to them.

Spiny

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Aloka
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Re: Letting Go

Postby Aloka » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:28 pm

.

My interpretation of letting go is just relaxing with present moment awareness. :)


.

Euclid
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Re: Letting Go

Postby Euclid » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:24 am

Thanks everybody for your replies, and Chris for the links. I've got myself some new reading material!

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Letting Go

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:02 am

Euclid wrote:Thanks everybody for your replies, and Chris for the links. I've got myself some new reading material!


You might find it helpful to read "The Path to Peace" by Ajahn Chah. This is an extract:

"Whether it be sights, sounds or smells, you see them and let go of them as they occur. Whatever it is, you can let go of it all. You clearly see happiness and let it go. You clearly see suffering and let it go.
Keep letting go and casting them aside right there. No mind objects will be able to maintain a hold over the mind. You leave them there and stay secure in your place of abiding within the mind.
As you experience, you observe. Having observed, you let go."

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bodom
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Re: Letting Go

Postby bodom » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:51 pm

You might find it helpful to read "The Path to Peace" by Ajahn Chah. This is an extract:...


:thumbsup:

I like this one as well...

Do everything with a mind that lets go. Don't accept praise or gain or anything else. If you let go a little you will have a little peace; if you let go a lot you will have a lot of peace; if you let go completely you will have complete peace. - Ajahn Chah

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah


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