“Do everything with a mind that lets go. Do not expect any praise or reward. If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. If you let go completely, you will know complete peace and freedom. Your struggles with the world will have come to an end.” Achaan Chah
I was struck by this theme today as I was planning for classes. As someone who is organized, scheduled and pretty controlled, the idea of “letting go” is scary. As a yoga student, I know how it feels to let go in my body and move freely on the mat. As an avid runner, I know the feeling of running at full stride and how amazing it feels to be free in my body.
There is always a balance we try to strike between completely letting go and holding on to some degree. You see it in yoga class, as a person struggles in half pigeon, trying to hold their body off the ground and then eventually, relaxing towards the floor. You see it in children, as they get frustrated with a particular task and then settle into the task at hand. You may even feel it in relationships, as each person works to find their way with the other, as well as still retain their own sense of self.
It is very hard to live with a mind that let’s go. We are culturally rewarded for being on top of things, on schedule and on task. We’re also a culture that loves to have expectations. On the practical side, it’s important that we be responsible, live with healthy boundaries and take care of ourselves, but it’s also important that we challenge ourselves to do things with an open mind. Letting go means we are open to possibilities, have faith in ourselves that the right thing will happen without our having to control the outcome and we are open to life.
Live today with a heart and mind that is letting go and see what happens!