A daily practice

There is dying in the sense of letting this body go, letting go of feelings, emotions, these things we call our identity, and practicing to let those go.

The trouble is, we don’t let ourselves die day by day. Instead, we carry ideas about each other and ourselves. Sometimes it’s good, but sometimes it’s detrimental to our growth. We brand ourselves and imprison ourselves to an idea.

Letting go is a practice not only when you reach 90. It’s one of the highest practices. This can move you toward equanimity, a state of freedom, a form of peace.

Waking up each day as a rebirth, now that is a practice.

Brother Phap Dung, Plum Village senior disciple, Thich Nhat Hanh’s final mindfulness lesson: how to die peacefully

Moving through life

Letting go is a central theme in spiritual practice, as we see the preciousness and brevity of life. Sooner or later we have to learn to let go and allow the changing mystery of life to move through us without our fearing it, without holding and grasping. Letting go and moving through life from one change to another brings the maturing of our spiritual being. In the end we discover that to love and let go can be the same thing. Both ways do not seek to possess. Both allow us to touch each moment of this changing life and allow us to be there fully for whatever arises next.

Jack Kornfield

Let go

Try to go a whole seven days without having to control everything, without stressing when things don’t work out as you thought they would or should. As you do this, any time you feel the need to take charge, try to relax out of it, just to see what happens. Look for the good that happened precisely because things didn’t work out the way you thought they would or should.

And take your time. There really is no desperate hurry. When we constantly pursue perfection, our life speeds up. We make hasty decisions and snap judgments…. You’ll likely feel relived, and make better choices.

Beth Kempton, Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect life

Give yourself to the air

Fear not the pain. Let its weight fall back
into the earth;
for heavy are the mountains, heavy the seas.

The trees you planted in childhood have grown
too heavy.
You cannot bring them along.
Give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold.

Rilke, You who let yourselves feel

Autumn

And to die, 

which is letting go
of the ground we stand on and cling to every day,

is like the swan, when he nervously lets himself down
into the water, which receives him gaily
and which flows joyfully under
and after him, wave after wave,
while the swan, unmoving and marvellously calm,
is pleased to be carriedeach moment more fully grown,
more like a king, further and further on.

Rilke