A few months ago I decided to spend a whole day and night in meditation, at home alone. I fasted, sat, prayed, and went deep into a stillness of being. Once in a great while I have a transcendent experience, have a profound stillness of mind and feel my Self as an enormity of consciousness, spreading out into infinity, deeply silent, with the quality of immense love and compassion for all life expression.
One of the most profound revelations I had during this sacred communion, was that I need not fear anything whatsoever. That I can let form change, and fear not. I can not hold on tight to any particular form staying as it is, but gracefully allow the changing world to go about it’s changing. Whether it is the form of this body I inhabit, or the form of my work in the world, the form of my relationships, the form of a situation I thought was stable, whatever it is, let it be, let it change, as it will. It is only fear that wants things to stay the same.
If we can let go more easily, let change be more easily, let things come, let them go, let form morph into this and then into that, without attachment to it staying as we think it should, we can be free. We can suffer much less. We can sit back in a peaceful repose, loving life just as it is.
I love the wisdom Jack Kornfield has to share about letting go, and letting be. He says, “Anyone can see that if grasping and aversion were with us all day and night without ceasing, who could ever stand them? Under that condition, living things would either die or become insane. Instead, we survive because there are natural periods of coolness, of wholeness, and ease. In fact, they last longer than the fires of our grasping and fear. It is this that sustains us. We have periods of rest making us refreshed, alive, well. Why don’t we feel thankful for this everyday Nirvana?”
Having time in silent retreat, I realize how essential it is for us to take real, quality time to cultivate awareness of awareness. Where we can loosen our identities with all form, our body, our thoughts, our emotions, our situations, our relationships, our roles in the world, all of it. Rest from it all. And feel our Self as the spacious consciousness, the Being that all of this exists in, and dissolves in as well. The more we can know this awareness as our true Self, the more things can change and we rest in a peace untouched. Or perhaps we get caught in momentary identification, but then we let go of that. Returning to peace. Returning home to the truth of who we are.
Ajahn Sumedho, the first American abbot of a Theravada Buddhist monastery says, “For minds obsessed by compulsive thinking and grasping, you simplify your meditation practices to just two words- ‘let go’ -rather than try to develop this practice, and develop that, achieve this, and go into that..”
I am recording a chant this Tuesday called “Let Go, Let God”, and it will be a helpful reminder along the path, to let form change. Don’t fear changing forms. We can let things be, without pushing away or grasping and clinging.
I leave you with this wisdom of the Tao: “Rushing into action, you fail. Trying to grasp things, you lose them. Therefore the master takes action by letting things take their course. She remains as calm at the end as at the beginning.”