What Happens If We Let Go Completely?

Letting Go

If you let go a little
you will have a little happiness.
If you let go a lot
you will have a lot of happiness.
If you let go completely
you will be free.

…..Ajahn Chah

The Path to Freedom

One of the essential tasks for living a wise life is letting go. Letting go is the path to freedom. It is only by letting go of the hopes, the fears, the pain, the past, the stories that have a hold on us that we can quiet our mind and open our heart.

We can trust the courage and vulnerability of our heart to meet life as it is – we can rest kindly where we are. As we let go, the tender ground of honesty, healing, and love will carry us through the ever-changing world.

Letting Go of the Past

Letting go doesn’t mean losing the knowledge we have gained from the past. The knowledge of the past stays with us. To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit. Like emptying a cup, letting go leaves us free to receive – refreshed, sensitive, and awake.

Letting go isn’t the same as aversion, struggling to get rid of something. We cannot genuinely let go of what we resist. What we resist and fear secretly follows us even as we push it away. To let go of fear or trauma, we need to acknowledge just how it is. We need to feel it fully and accept that it is so. It is as it is.

Becoming Free

Letting go begins with letting be. When we learn to let things be, they gradually lose their power – they cease to disturb us.

As we allow what is true, space comes into the body and mind. We breathe and soften and come to rest. In accepting it, we become free.

The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace
The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace
Jack Kornfield


Jack Kornfield
Jack Kornfiled
born 1945

Jack Kornfield
. Wikipedia

Jack Kornfield is an author, Buddhist practitioner and one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West.

Kornfiled is a teacher in the vipassana movement in American Theravada Buddhism. He trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India, first as a student of the Thai forest master Ajahn Chah, and Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma.

He has taught meditation worldwide since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist Mindfulness practice to the West. In 1975, he co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein, and subsequently in 1987, Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California.

Kornfield has organized teacher training and led international gatherings of Buddhist teachers including the Dalai Lama and has worked as a peacemaker and activist.

What is the Power of Compassion?

Compassion Leads to Reconciliation

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion.
These are your greatest treasures.

Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.


Book of Awakening
Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have
Mark Nepo

Background on Mark Nepo


6th or 4th century BC


Lao-Tzu (also Laozi, Li Er or Lao-Tze) was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.

semi-legendary figure, Lao-Tzu was usually portrayed as a 6th-century BC contemporary of Confucius, but some modern historians consider him to have lived during the 4th century BC. A central figure in Chinese culture, Lao-Tzu is claimed by both the emperors of the Tang dynasty and modern people of the Li surname as a founder of their lineage. 


Gilgamesh & The Secret of Life


Ancient Sumerian Tale of Gilgamesh

The stubborn, hard king Gilgamesh sought to ask the Immortal One the secret of life. He was told that there would be stones on his path to guide him.

But in his urgency and and pride, Gilgamesh was annoyed to find his path blocked, and so smashed the very stones that would have helped him. In his blindness of heart, he broke everything he needed to discover his way.

We too, in the same confusion, break what we need, push away those we love, and isolate ourselves when we need to be held most.

Book of Awakening
Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have

Mark Nepo


Mark Nepo
Mark Nepo
born 1951

. Mark Nepo website
. Wikipedia

Mark Nepo is a poet and spiritual adviser who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for over 35 years. He is a cancer survivor. In his 30s he was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma, a struggle which helped to form his philosophy of experiencing life fully while staying in relationship to an unknowable future.

Nepo has a doctorate in English. He taught for 18 years at the State University of New York in Albany, New York.

Nepo is best known for his New York Times #1 bestseller, The Book of Awakening.

Books written by Mark Nepo include:

On the One Life We’re Given – Mark Nepo

Where Can We Find The Deepest Human Life?

Deepest Human Life

The Deepest Human Life is Everywhere 

Plato helps us realize that within each of us the very depths of being human are present – we see that each human life reflects something important about who we are.

The difference between regular folks and someone like Kant, pertains to our differing abilities to articulate the shape of a philosophical constellation – it has nothing to do with our inner substance. The pursuit of wisdom involves a confrontation with our ignorance, most famously embodied in the “I know I know nothing” of Socrates.

Regardless how challenging things may be, we take solace in the fact that even a profound confusion is a profound confusion. Whatever holiness can be found in Socrates and Confucius is within our reach.

Exploring Life Through Philosophy

Philosophy, as Plato shows, involves confronting the fact that our most stubborn attempts to think clearly come up short, but we nonetheless have to live as if we had answers to the stubborn mysteries. Philosophy is everything that humanly follows from a real confrontation with our strange predicament.

At it’s best it’s a way of life. The division between the wise and the foolish is not between those with all the answers and those who are confused. The great dividing line is between our usual folly and an enlightened folly, by which one understands life itself and has found a way of happily living in an impossible relationship.

Can Beliefs & Wisdom Coexist?

Thomas Aquinas, the master of the theologians, is said to have come down from his vision of God and declared his thousands of learned pages so much straw. Yet, as Socrates and other great ones teach us, we can’t do without beliefs. They’re a necessary part of being human.

Wisdom is compatible with any number of traditions, religious or otherwise. For wisdom is not so much the possession of right beliefs (though it involves dodging the worst of them) as finding a way to relate to our beliefs in such a way that the good parts of us are liberated. Wisdom isn’t a doctrine: it’s a style.

The Deepest Human Life
The Deepest Human Life: An Introduction to Philosophy for Everyone

Scott Samuelson

Background on Scott Samuelson

What is the Origin and Meaning of “Agnosticism”?

For T.H. Huxley, who coined the term in 1869, agnosticsm was as demanding as any moral, philosophical, or religious creed. Rather than a creed, though, he saw it was a method realized through “the rigorous application of a single principle.”

He expressed it positively as: “Follow your reason as far as it will take you,” and negatively as: “Do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable.”

This principle runs through the Western tradition: from Socrates, via the Reformation and Enlightenment, to the axioms of modern science. Huxley called it the “agnostic faith.”

Buddhism Without Beliefs
Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening
Stephen Batchelor

Background on Stephen Batchelor