Too scared to let go?

From Pratiksha Apurv's desk

Overcome your fears, let go and see yourself blossom and grow, writes Pratiksha Apurv in Speaking Tree, India.

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The word ‘choice’ means that we have options; that we have alternatives for everything. But there is a very interesting aspect to it. This choice made by the mind is actually a decision of ‘A’ against ‘B’. Whatever it has decided, whether ‘A’ or ‘B’, it is one-sided and, therefore, never total.

When one lives in totality, there is no choice. But this choice makes the human mind function in extremes. We all live through extremes because we have choices – either I will have this or I will have that. There is never a middle path for the mind.

Let go, Oil on canvas, 48 x 48″
The Middle Path

In the scriptures, our sages have always guided us to live in the middle and never in the extremes. Their message has always been very clear in this regard – stop choosing, stop clinging to choices and allow life and its beautiful, blissful moments to be as they are.

This is the middle path of the Buddha and of Krishna, and the way to reach the point of ‘choicelessness’, when we are not clinging to any particular side, but instead are in a state of let-go. This state of choicelessness simply means a state of let-go.

To realise the beauty of life and to live it, choices have to go, polarities have to go and eventually, the mind has to go. One has to learn to be in a let-go state, because sometimes the mind has the tendency to cling to the pain, to negative experiences, and even cling to thoughts in the form of memories. But for us to be in a state of let-go, we must constantly be aware of the functioning of our mind and its inherent tendency to choose between two extremes in all day-to-day situations. Observing this tendency of the mind constantly, will eventually make the let-go state happen. And the pleasure and showering of bliss is nothing but in this state of let-go.

The state of let-go is the deepest feeling of respect towards existence as it is. For instance, it is vital that the dew drops fall off the flower for it to blossom. Let-go is the key for the flowers to bloom and to flourish. And the flowers, which are unable to let go of the dew drops, remain dull and dry, and wither away.

The painting here depicts three situations – the possibility of flowering after the dew drops have disappeared; a flower which is pregnant with the possibility of blossoming, but won’t be able to do so unless it lets go of the dew drops in it; and the third, grey flowers which cling to the dew drops wither away without flowering.

Most of us cling to mundane things in life, too scared to let go of them and, as a result, lead a life full of despair, pain, and agony. Let-go is not just an experience of choicelessness; it is transformation of life into an utterly blissful and rejoicing state.

Osho says that when it is day, it is day, don’t ask for the night. When it is pain, it is pain, and when it is pleasure, it is pleasure. Don’t choose, allow it to happen.

Slowly, a great understanding arises. This understanding makes you alert, aware that you are separate from both. You are neither life nor death: you are just a witness. Remain in a let-go state, remain very passive and receptive. Just be, with no idea of becoming, and then great things start happening. They never happen to seekers, they only happen to those who know how to rest, how not to seek, how not to search, how not to grope. Seek and you will miss. Do not seek and find.

A Zen Story

There is the story of a Zen woman who was leading a very unsatisfied life in a monastery, because realisation was not happening to her. She requested her Master to teach her more about the principles and theories to get to where she wanted to be.

The Master’s answer was simple yet surprising. He said, “You yourself are not learning what is being taught all around you.” This strange sentence from the Master changed her life completely. Sometime later, while sitting under a tree, she observed a dry leaf falling from the tree and started dancing. The other seekers in the monastery were startled. They, too, were there in that monastery, to attain to the same realisation. Her reply to them was even more interesting. She said that her realisation did not come from any scriptures but from a falling dry leaf.

Realisation Dawns

Observing the falling dry leaf that very moment, she realised that tomorrow, she too would fall just like this dry leaf. She decided to let go of everything she had learnt and that very moment, realisation dawned on her. By letting go of her past memories, experiences, and negativity in one single moment, she attained to that which all her learning and scriptures couldn’t help her attain.

Pratiksha ApurvPratiksha Apurv –

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