Tuesday, April 9, 2013


The path of freedom is multifaceted and some parts of it are difficult and seemingly never end, especially the process of letting go of what hinders us from being free.  Many of us who are walking this trail of liberation have also experienced it not to be a course of escapism but one of letting be, not holding on.  It consists of the obvious and the subtle:  (a) the people, animals, ideas, and things we know we consciously love, like, dislike, and hate; and (b) the people, animals, ideas, and things we subconsciously love, like, dislike, and hate.  Perhaps, it’s the subtle that’s the most complicated because until we discover the attachment, we don’t know it’s there at all.  For example, we can be stressed but not know why.  Letting go of the obvious and the subtle is a two-way process:   on purpose and as things come up.  

According to my good friend Hellen Newland who is a Dharma teacher:  we see the object of our attention and experience its sensation in our body;  and as we focus, we open our heart to it, accepting and letting it go into the space of warm and brilliant, sad yet vulnerable heart seeing.  Doing so, we learn things we have never realized before.  For example, living here in Mexico, I frequently see paper and plastic items thrown on the streets and roads.  Observing this litter arouses feelings of anger, disappointment, and sadness, but when I work the process of letting the refuse go, feelings of never-before-felt vulnerability arise, thus, helping me to experience a new-found clarity and strength.  Finally, the process allows us to act from the heart, a place of no good and no bad without a set outcome.  In my case, just simply pick up the paper or plastic and put it in a garbage receptacle minus the emotional attachments.

There are several things we can realize from “letting go” on the path of freedom.  First, if we wish to see its truth, then it’s best done holding no opinions for or against anything.  Second, when we let go of others, especially our family and friends, it increases their feelings of freedom and happiness. Third, we come to an empirical understanding that enhances our ability to experience a tranquil, peaceful, and fully aware death largely devoid of attachments as we leave our body.  Finally, we know we’re taking control of our lives while benefiting other living beings every day, growing ever clearer and stronger as a result.   Letting go, letting be,  and no longer holding on to the obvious and the subtle welcomes a true sense of freedom into our lives.

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