Letting Go

A few months ago, Addison (my fiancee) bought me a book called “Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm” by Thich Nhat Hanh.fear book

Throughout my slow-growing meditation practice, I’ve been aware of ‘levels’, perhaps not unlike a video game, that I have to ‘overcome’ in order to get to the next level.

Many times this involves gaining certain tools, making certain mistakes or have certain experiences before I can ‘pass’ that level.

A few months ago (and even now) I’m in level ‘Fear’.

I’ve recognized how incapacitating Fear is, and how incredibly free I am or will be when I am no longer afraid.

I imagine living without the negative voices in my  head that are constantly instructing me and giving me their opinions from a fear-based place, and simply making choices based on intuition.

I imagine being one of those people who laugh and smile all the time, and are totally unafraid of rejection.

In fact, these people seem to no longer require approval in any way.

I’m going to grow up to be like that. 🙂

In the meantime, I am reading and re-reading the last sections of Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, ‘Fear’, and doing the meditation practices he has laid out.

I wanted to share this exercise and part of this chapter with you, because not only is it a wonderful practice, but the writing is eloquent and hits home with me every time I read it:

Letting Go

“Breathing in, I observe letting go. Breathing out, I observe letting go.

This exercise helps us look deeply at giving up craving, hatred and fear. This concentration helps us touch the true nature of reality and brings the wisdom that can liberate us from fear, anger and despair. We let go of our wrong perceptions of realitys so as to be free. 

‘Nirvana’ literally means ‘cooling’, ‘the putting out of flames’; in Buddhism, it refers to extinction of the afflictions brought about by our wrong perceptions.

Nirvana isn’t a place to go or something belonging to the future. Nirvana is the true nature of reality, things as they are.

Nirvana is available in the here and now.

You are already in nirvana; you are nirvana, just as the wave is already the water.

water-waves-_584707-15

-Thich Nhat Hanh

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