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Letting Go

Jon Kabat Zinn | 3:55


Letting go. We can think of as the opposite of clinging or grasping. There's a certain way in which, when we want something, we grasp it, we cling to it, even if it's an idea. And very often, we get very fixated in that kind of a way.

Letting go is reminding us that it's possible to actually not get involved in grasping and clinging to what we want and trying to push away what it is that we don't want. Because it's inevitable that things will arise that are unpleasant, and we'll want to push those away, and that other things will arise and there'll be pleasant, we'll want to hold on to them. 

So letting go really means letting be, it means allowing things to be as they are, and not but be too caught up in having to have them be a certain way when the evidence is they already are not that way. So therefore not forcing it, of course, goes with non striving as well, allowing things to be as they are. In India, they sometimes use a particular way of trapping monkeys, where they, they take a coconut and they cut a small hole in one end, and then they tie the coconut with a wire to the base of a tree, and they put a banana inside the coconut.

And then monkeys come down from the trees, and they put the hand in the coconut that the hole is crafted so that if you grasp the banana, you can't get your hand out of the hole, the fist is too big.

So you have to let go of the banana to actually release your hand. So the monkeys don't want to let go. And that's how they're trapped. So letting go. Or letting things be as they are means allowing the recognition that when you are caught by your own desire, by your own attachment to things being a certain way, that that's painful, but that the letting go is actually the doorway to freedom. And it's something that you don't do once it's something that you practice, over and over and over again, moment by moment by moment, every time.

Excuse me, every time you catch yourself clinging to something you remind yourself, it's possible to just let it be and just let it go. The breath can remind us of that too. Because every time we take it, we say because the breath can remind us of that because every time we take a breath in, we have to let it go. Because otherwise there's no room for the next breath. So it's a natural part of life to receive. And then release, receive and let go

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