Letting Go…


I’m not a Buddhist, but I play one on TV.

At least that’s how it feels. While I’m very attracted to the philosophy of Buddhism, and have a tremendous respect for its teachings and rituals, I have never considered myself an actual “Buddhist,” nor do I feel I truly understand what it means to be one.

This morning I was thinking about what a crappy Buddhist I would make. I don’t meditate and I don’t like meditating, and I guess those are things a Buddhist gotta do.

Also, I’m a control freak. Letting go is really hard for me whether it is just letting go of an expectation or outcome, or letting go of a relationship, or cleaning house of all the crap we don’t need anymore.

I cling.

As I understand it, one of the principle underpinnings of Buddhism is that pain and suffering comes from our attachments. To people. To things. To ideas. To routines. To expectations. To our concept of ourselves.

I can certainly understand all that. But even as I become more mindful of my attachments, and of when I am clinging tooth and nail, it is still not easy for me to just… let… go.

Maybe I’m working on it.

Or maybe I am not working on it.

Maybe I’ll loosen my grip eventually.

Or maybe I won’t.

I’m not quite sure.

But every once in a while, I get these little reminders. I have an app on my phone called Pocket Zen. It sends me quotes and affirmations. This morning I checked my phone to find this gem by Deepak Chopra: “Holding on to anything is like holding your breath. You will suffocate.”



3 responses »

  1. I relate to this. I’m better than I used to be, but I swear I think life has forced this on me — in other words I don’t always like it. I have also read and listened to a lot of Eckart Tolle — Power of Now and A New Earth. Hardcore Buddhists often criticize him as New-Age and not Buddhist enough, but I think he articulates Buddhist concepts in a way that I understand, particularly living in the present and letting go of attachments. From one control-freak to another, I applaud your efforts. I do okay letting go of “stuff” but I have a harder time accepting other ways of doing things — particularly when my children are involved. For instance, I wish Gil would just do what I tell him to do when it it comes to our kids because I think I’m more informed about certain things, and I struggle with letting go of this control. Sigh…it’s definitely a journey.

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