Sutta Study Discussion Theme 3-4-17
From Craving to Liberation, From Grasping to Emptiness: Excursions into the Thought-World of the Pali Discourses by Bhikkhu Analayo,
Chapter 22, Letting Go / Vossagga
To be read out loud:
Third paragraph page 267 through to end of section 22.1
Bottom of page 268 through to last paragraph on page 269 (ends on 270)
This month, the theme of letting go or giving up can be used to illuminate all those places in our lives where the letting go of attachment and clinging appear to be unwise and even threatening. Let’s keep an honest tally whenever the heart feels justified being attached. Let’s also resolved to recognize and deeply comprehend places where there is a natural relinquishing of mental resistance and holding. Let’s be curious about our actual experiences of non attachment, no expectations, and non resistance.
In our meditation practice and other more settled moments, we can carefully observe how the mind is relating to an object of experience, for example, the sensations of breathing in. Train the mind to acknowledge any stickiness that might exist. Is the mind dependent, controlling, or tied in any way with the experience that is being known? Of course, attachment can be subtle. The mind can even be attached to the activity of knowing in ways that are stressful.
To better understand the experience of letting go, let’s explore the intuitive sense that everything is already happening on its own, that the mind isn’t responsible to make things happen. To sense this is a relief, a dropping away of a burden. In the end, the mind’s job is to simply understand, to comprehend and deeply trust the interdependent and conditional nature of experience. In the letting go of its attachments, the mind can then better realize the empty (of permanent self) nature of the knowing mind itself.