Letting Go of Thoughts
“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. If you let go completely, you will have complete peace.” Quote 101 from No Ajahn Chah, taken from Dharmaweb
“To give up yourself without regret is the greatest charity.”
Letting go of thoughts gets easier as I identify the thoughts that aren’t actually mine. A thought is not mine when I can hear someone else’s voice saying it, like a parent or preacher.
So, when is a thought mine? None of them are. We are all influenced by parents, advertisers, authority figures, friends, and our environments. It is unavoidable.
I am developing my intuition and seeing how “random” thoughts are really incoming information from everything and everyone around me. If a person has had a lot of influence over my life, letting go of the thoughts they instilled in me will be more difficult, but by no means impossible. Obsession is like a computer stuck in an infinite loop: the only way out may be to reboot (meditate and release all thoughts).
We are all connected, like it or not. There is no way to not influence each other. We live in a non-local universe with consciousness everywhere. It is all a matter of degrees of consciousness and attention.
If one can just observe the thoughts without identifying with any of them, there is much less drama in terms of what might happen to the individual thinker. Our needs are actually few: food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and communication. Once those basic needs are met, an increase in stuff does not necessarily lead to any increase in satisfaction. Then our energies can go into investing in our place in the larger scheme of things, how to contribute to the lives of others. We can use our interconnections for universal benefit. But that means it’s not all about me. This is anti-narcissism: using one’s consciousness for the greater good.
And if I don’t want to let go? Too bad. If I don’t do it voluntarily, invariably something forces me to let go. It’s happened repeatedly. Do I want to meditate, or would I rather have life rip my most precious thoughts out of my gnarled fingers? It’s my “choice.”