The present Master told us recently, that all we need to do is sit down, close our eyes, repeat the names and let go. These instructions sound easy enough. The first three directives we have no problem with, but it’s the ‘let go’ part we cannot always get a handle on.
What exactly are we supposed to let go of? If we just think of it in reference to meditation, we have an inkling of what he’s talking about. We all know well the process of gearing up our simran as we begin to let go of our prattling thoughts. We all know how much concentration it takes to hold that defensive line of simran against that offensive line of charging thoughts – thoughts that do not like to be told to take a back seat nor to be ignored for any length of time.
When we put ‘letting go’ into that frame of reference, we all nod and say, “Ah, yes, I know that game.” This process of letting go of our thoughts takes constant, sustained, focused, and deliberate attention. And it takes the ability to pick up the ball (the simran) when we have been brutally attacked and brought down by the enemy (our thoughts) and then turn away from those thoughts and get back into the flow of simran.
In meditation we focus all of our attention on simran and on letting go of the thoughts as they surface. In Living Meditation, it says:
When we sit for meditation, we should be absolutely relaxed, start our simran and let ourselves go. Therefore, the first step in meditation is to place simran at the eye centre.
Then, in the next paragraph, it says:
If we begin in an unfocused way, our meditation continues to be unfocused throughout.
So here we have another condition important to the start of our sitting. Focus. It continues:
By switching our thoughts to simran, we extract ourselves from the world of concepts. We let go of the need to be endlessly entertained by our thoughts, give up our addiction to inner chattering, and step out onto the path of inner peace.
But that’s not the whole story, because letting go is a more complex concept than just letting go of our invasive thoughts during meditation. Letting go becomes the story of our lives.
We ultimately have to let go of our preconceptions of reality. We have to let go of all illusions of control. We have to let go of the idea that our ego matters. We have to let go of everything related to me, myself and I. We have to let go of all that we are grasping and clutching and holding on to in this life.
In our personal lives, the words ‘let go’ can strike fear in our hearts. We seem to have a congenital preference for the illusion that we are the captains of our own ship, in charge and in control! The words ‘let go’ mean to abdicate control: to release, to surrender, to give up our sense of possessiveness, our definitions of ‘mine’ and ‘not mine.’
It is so hard to let go sometimes, to loosen our grip on our grudges and grievances, our worries and frets. But in life we will be asked to let go of our children as they become adults; we will be asked to let go of the walls we have so carefully constructed that we believe will protect us; we will be asked to let go of what we believe is right now in our possession – the little we have.
We get better at letting go as time passes – not just because what we are carrying gets lighter with time and less painful, but also because our mind over time becomes more and more open to letting things go. It understands that letting go is something that can be done. It’s just a mental habit.
Once when someone asked Baba Ji how to let go, with a smile he lifted the corner of his kurta between thumb and forefinger and let it drop. That’s how easy it really is. So we start to let go of the negative, small, petty and unimportant stuff. We let go of trying to control the results of our actions. We let go of the past and old self-images.
Letting go is a journey that never ends, right up to our final act as a human being, which will be to let go of our physical body, to let go of our life in this world and of all the attachments that go with it. That final release, the relinquishing of the small, convulsive, controlling self, will free us to be embraced by something larger and more loving than we can possibly imagine.
When we finally are able to let go into the depths of inner silence, we will find all that we seek. We will wade into a never-ending sea of love with our Master, who is there offering us his hand and who will be with us from that moment on.