But beyond self-care and the ability to (really) listen, the practice of doing nothing has something broader to offer us: an antidote to the rhetoric of growth.
In the context of health and ecology, things that grow unchecked are often considered parasitic or cancerous. Yet we inhabit a culture that privileges novelty and growth over the cyclical and the regenerative.
Letting go is about carefully revealing assumptions, biases, and life messages (‘There’s something wrong with me, I’m unworthy’) and releasing them.
You can liken the process to a gradual descent out of the tumult and the gridlock of your personal world into the free space of the unconditioned. It’s rather like lowering oneself down a rope. You have to know how to do that. It is a matter of holding on to something you trust, even though it seems like a thin strand, then letting go a little bit and trusting the downward pull.
If I had to sum up [meditation] practice in three words, without hesitation, I’d go for “Let things pass.”
In the midst of chaos or deep in one’s inner battlefields, dare to make the experiment of not controlling, of dropping the self. It’s mayhem, but there’s no problem! Far from giving up and far from resignation, letting things pass means distinguishing between the psychodramas (the problems created by conceptual mind) and the genuine tragedies of existence, which call for solidarity, commitment, and perseverance.
Meditating is stripping down, daring to live nakedly in order to give oneself, contributing to the welfare of the world, giving one’s share. Why don’t we look at the day that lies ahead of us not as a store where we can acquire things, but as a clinic, a dispensary of the soul, where together we can recover and advance?
Alexandre Jollien, 1975 – Swiss philosopher and writer