Do everything with a mind that lets go. Ajahn Chah
Buddhist teacher Ajahn Chah (17 June 1918 – 16 January 1992) was an influential teacher of the Buddhadhamma and a founder of two major monasteries in the Thai Forest Tradition. His words are those in italic, and they inspired this post.
A mind that lets go.
How few of us ever even think of this! Do whatever it is you’re doing, and then return to Being, and let it go. It will result in whatever it does, and then you may do it—whatever it is—anew, again, and then let it go again.
Instead what most of us do is ruminate. We do something, and then wonder what the outcome will be. We chew on it. We ponder. We focus on results, and as a result, we do not let go. No wonder so many of us live in Option Overload!
Let it go, my friend. You can always pick it up again later.
Do not expect any praise or reward.
This is such a foreign concept to Westerners! Do whatever you do for the sake of doing it, and do it well, for the sake of doing it well. Why? Because.
Because you’ll know you did it well for its own sake.
Instead, our first response to any request is, basically, WIIFM? What’s in it for me?
If you let go a little, you will have a little peace.
This part of the quote is the reason I chose it. Peace. Even just thinking that idea gives us a little moment of calm, a big exhale, inner serenity.
I swear that Peace is the only goal that every person on the planet can agree on. We all want (our own version) of peace.
Key: a little letting go makes for a little peace. Is a little peace enough?
That’s up to you.
If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.
This is its corollary. A lot of letting go makes for a lot of peace.
I didn’t realize it in the moment, but I’ve basically spent this whole day letting go as much as I can. The end of my day, as I’m writing this, is a lot more peaceful than the beginning of the day was.
Prove it to yourself. Think of a situation in which you need to let go. Then just do it. As an act of will, let go. Say to yourself, “I let it go.”
See what happens.
If you let go completely, you will know complete peace and freedom.
I haven’t yet let go what I need to let go completely. How do I know? I still feel shaky, and I have a tight place in my gut that isn’t releasing.
Still, I’ve proven the a lot theory. So I just have to/get to keep going on the letting go front till I realize that I’m completely at peace. When I am, then I feel free. [You will, too.]
Your struggles with the world will have come to an end.
I have been struggling with a piece of my world all day. I’m tired of it now. And my gut let go just a little bit more.
You wanna know a cool thing about having a body? Bodies don’t lie. They don’t lie because they can’t. Want to know if you’re at peace? Check in with your in-built barometer—your body.
Let’s put the quote back together now.
Do everything with a mind that lets go. Do not expect any praise or reward. 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 know complete peace and freedom. Your struggles with the world will have come to an end.
I’m hoping after a good night’s sleep that I’ll waken completely at peace but if not, I can always use my [free] will a little bit more to let go just a little bit more so I can have a little bit more peace.
Peace is always worth it.