The Art of Letting Go – Part 2

Posted on by Sen.

You must learn to trust life to start letting go into its flow. Remember that this body that you take to be “personal” was actually created through the intention of life to express itself uniquely through this form. The body belongs to life and it will be recycled back by life. When the “mind” takes ownership of the body it eventually does not allow the body’s natural expression to unfold. Your mind can oppose your heart, and it’s usually the case in most people. Your heart is the metaphor for life’s natural will, and the mind is the metaphor for the “conditioned” will or unnatural will created through deluded thinking.

Letting go needs courage initially

Most people love to hear talks about spirituality, about “letting go” into life, but when it comes to the actual embodiment of this truth, they shy away. The mind does not want to let go, it wants to control, it wants to stay in the center. Adyashanti, a radical spiritual teacher, pointed out – “Letting go is not for the weak hearted”, by that he meant that one needs to have the courage to go against the conditioned pull of the mind to let go into the natural movement of life.

In most cases people let go when they reach a point in their life where their mind runs out of all strategies. It’s not a pleasant place to be in, but it’s usually where everyone will eventually end up because the personal cannot sustain itself forever. The latest, at the time of death, the mind realizes that no amount of personal will can stop death from happening, it realizes that it has no control and that life is ultimately in control.

In spirituality there’s a saying – “Die before you Die so that you can truly live”. It simply means let go completely of your will (like during death) so that life can truly live through you. Your personal will is created out of fear, out of a wrong vision. All the suffering and misery that is created in this world stems from the “personal” will trying to make effort under the hope that it will attain happiness through it. You can never experience true freedom as long as personal will is active in you. However, letting go of the personal will, voluntarily, requires some amount of courage and the willingness to see through the challenges of the transition.

All techniques and practices are forms of control

You can’t use a tool, technique or practice to let go, or surrender, to life. All practices and techniques are eventually forms of control and require the mind’s involvement. Whether you are practicing staying in stillness, focusing on positive thoughts, breath control or some form of meditation, eventually you are still trying to “control” and hence the mind is still in the center, it has not let go completely.

Practices and techniques have their place for a while to help bring some maturity, understanding and stability to your mind. Once you have attained understanding about the truth of life, once you have some stability and grounding in self-realization, you must let go of the practices and allow yourself to be completely “empty handed” (without any strategies). Only when you let go so completely will you start experiencing the pull of life taking over.

Continue to Part 3


  1. Pingback: The Art of Letting Go – Part 1

  2. Dave Sale


  3. David Sale

    Sen I have gotten so much out of your writing. I’ve been reading for over a month now and I wanted t let you know I’m here.

    1. Sen Post author

      Thanks David, I am glad you’ve been able to resonate with your own truth through these posts.

  4. Eternus

    Sen, I don’t know where I’d be without your writings just now. You’ve taught me so much in the space of just a few days. Every one of your articles gives me feelings of joy and hope. I don’t know who you are, but thank you so much for sharing all this. I accidentally came across one of your articles because I was looking for self-help material online, after going through a very tough festive period. I can’t help but feel that this is the beginning of the change I’ve felt coming for a long time. Life does indeed have some tricks up its sleeve…

  5. Amit

    If the ‘being’ is so intelligent then why did it create a thing like the mind which has so much mistakes and faults in its working………….


  6. Radiance

    Hi Sen,

    I think my perfect excuse to wait and not let go has been being a mother.

    I think I can do it and just take any experience, but I FEAR for my son to go hungry, or lack of anything because his mom wants to find her higher self.

    It also happened that when my own mom follwed her heart to pursue her dreams, I suffered.

    We are not isolated, the decisions we make, or not make will impact those around us.
    Is that a valid thought or just an excuse?

    1. Anonymous

      Radiance, parenthood does not need to be an excuse! Though you posted months ago, it strikes a chord with my own experience. If you felt/were abandoned, you seem to use that pain as a starting point for parenting differently (not abandoning your own child). That is a good use of the experience. However, the other side of the coin is harmful – by holding onto the pain of your own youth, you stymie your own expression. The pain defines how you act today, it limits what you do.

      Breaking the cycle of abandonment is a big step. If you can let go of the pain, you may find that the responsibilities of parenthood line up neatly, too. And you do yourself a lot of emotional good.

  7. Manoli

    Sen, Thank you so much. It’s been a while since all the techniques I used to use seem no more appropriate and I was a bit lost. Each time I feel bad now, the only way I’ve found (still hard to apply) is to accept it… and let go, knowing it will end. And in most cases, it happens to end more quickly than I thought.
    I’ve discovered your website yesterday but what you write resonates in me more than everything I’ve read these last weeks. Thank you again!

  8. Vrajesh

    What do you mean by

    “Practices and techniques have their place for a while to help bring some maturity, understanding and stability to your mind. Once you have attained understanding about the truth of life, once you have some stability and grounding in self-realization, you must let go of the practices and allow yourself to be completely “empty handed” (without any strategies).”

    I have been (trying) to meditate, be mindful etc etc so much effort! for a while, i even went to a 10 day intensive course retreat and it was very hard to focus, so much restlessness so much confusion of am i doing this right, is this the right technique for me or that last one that i was doing. I just end up with tension, frustration and confusion. Its hard for me to stop meditating or not hard but i will say a little fear and anxiety come when i think of it like that.

    What do you mean by practices bring stability and understanding? after my 10 day retreat i do not react to my thoughts like i used to previously and just know that everything arises and passes and this will too. What do you mean by once you have attained some understanding about the truth or life or self realization? I am at a point where i dont want to use anyones meditation technique. its so hard for me to just sit down and try to meditate because of the confusion and doubt. Most importantly frustration of just keep on going from one technique to the other.

    My question is am i ready to let go of all the techniques? and just ease in. I dont want to root into stages of meditation and work up to them, it just sounds like so much struggle and frustration. What do you suggest?


    1. Michael

      Vrajesh, what he means is that the practice of allowing and other practices you may use such as noticing your breathing, have their place for a little while, just for you to really know what you’re doing. You wouldn’t know how to be open if you hadn’t built up your awareness, as you do need to know what is going on for this to be effective.

      Your post is full of “I tried”, “I do”, “effort”, which all points to you trying to force something to happen. The widely accepted definition of meditation is to try and shut up your mind, which is not possible (at least for a long-lasting effect). The shutting up of your mind is just a suppression technique and no doubt, the 10 day course you went to was full of this “I am one with the stars” type of poetic talk that didn’t help anybody.

      Build up your awareness by noticing your thoughts without reacting to them, which can be done by sitting on your bed or couch for 20-30 minutes at a time and just watch your thoughts go by. If you will notice, most of your thoughts are just repetitive, so you may giggle at all of the credence and importance you were giving this quite unintelligible cycle. You can read a lot of Sen’s posts on this site, I know I’ve read almost all 300+ of them, some of them around 20 times, but I’m at the point where I just do so for entertainment purposes, there’s not really any more I can gather from here that I don’t know already.

      Once you build up that awareness, you can let go into total openness. When people told me that, I had no idea what they were talking about, but as time went on, I grasped it. It’s not something that you can read in an article or book and go “Ah ha!” and start doing it, it’s more like a light bulb appearing over your head one day after you finally understand.

      Openness is just allowing everything that arises without looking for assurance. Don’t think that that means you have to do it “perfectly”, because there is no such thing as perfection and it’s normal for the mind to get worried over what is happening. The mind is a survival machine, so if it interprets the release that is going on as something threatening, then of course it will make noise and may influence you to post a frantic comment or two on this website or any other type of “overreaction”. It’s fine if you do that, I’ve done it quite a few times, even though I have quite a deep understanding/internalization, that doesn’t mean that my mind just shuts off.

      The release constitutes of physical and emotional pain, depending on what you suppressed. For me, the physical pain doesn’t have any real rhyme or reason, it’s just severe carpal-tunnel, back pain, headaches, and being unable to breathe for hours at a time. If you negatively interpret these things, then you can try and shut the release down somehow, even though it’s a futile process. Of course you’re not going to be grinning ear to ear when you have a headache (that doesn’t respond to painkillers), but just know that something “good” is happening. I figure I still have a few months to go, probably at the end of the Summer is when I’ll be almost done, but I’ve had a lot of good progress in the past 2 months.

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