Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Letting Go, Part 2

We had a great book club discussion.  Different people enjoyed different aspects of the book and ideology.  The concepts of nonattachment and "letting go" made the largest impression.  I spoke about how we are so used to trying to control outcomes.  It's part of the American Dream - you are responsible for your own future. You succeed or fail by your own hand.  By the same token, if you suffer, it means that you should have prevented it by taking a different course of action.  This has caused me a lot of stress personally, trying to analyze all of the things I could have done differently after a tragedy.  We want so much to think that we control everything, but we don't, and the concept of detaching and acknowledging what happens in life without fighting it can help with that (theoretically).  In the book, Lama Surya Das mentions a sign he once saw that said, "Let Go, or Be Dragged."  That image stuck with me.

If you could detach in a healthy way, who/what would you detach from?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Letting Go, Part 1

Happy Sunday, friends.  I've been meaning to write this post for a while, but you know how it goes :)

Last month my book club finished Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be: Lessons on Change, Loss and Spiritual Transformation by Lama Surya Das.  We met a couple of weeks ago to discuss the book.  It was a small turnout - only four of us total - but we had a great discussion about the book and an overall great time.

This was my first experience reading Lama Surya Das and I just loved it.  The Dalai Lama calls him "The Western Lama," and I found that be one of his greatest strengths as a writer - to be able to make Eastern thought clear and relevant for a Western audience. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

The philosophy of nonattachment is based in the understanding that holding on too tightly to those things, which in any case are always going to be slipping through our fingers, hurts and gives us rope burn. This is the secret of letting go. 
Inner detachment, remember, is not synonymous with indifference. We do still care about others ... but we are far less invested in desirable outcomes.... We can flow better and roll more gracefully with the rollicking punches and weaving bumpy roadways of life.
Many of us have been conditioned to believe that another person is going to "save me." Be honest now, don't we all want to believe the following myth? "All I have to do is find the Prince (or Princess) Charming of my dreams, who will complete and satisfy me in every way, then my life will be perfect." Recognizing the emptiness of this illusion and living in solitude opens up space for the inner face of divinity to emerge within one's own heart-mind. Then one begins to find God and the beloved everywhere in everything, always. Life becomes your lover.