How to Let Go?

In easy ways or in one line to let go suffering - "Let go of our ego of I, me and mine." Thinking of anything, even the body of ourself as "ours" is cause of ego that leads  to suffer.

The Origin of all suffering is attachment. Attached to the concept of 'me' or 'mine'. For example if this house of mine is on fire, I suffer the most. If the house on fire is not mine, I may just feel sorry for the owner. But it won't be too long before I forget that feeling. Things that are me or mine. Whether it is my child, my house or my things, are the most significant. Things that are 'not mine' are trivial. This is usual how it is. When changes occur to our things, this affects our feelings. We are concerned that 'our things' may one day be gone or taken away from us. This is suffering caused by us being attached to the concept of 'me' or 'mine'. 'Letting go' does not mean like one have to live like a monk, In monk cell or in a cave. It does not mean giving up driving, watching television nor anything. What we should give up is the concept of 'me and mine'.

For lay Buddhists, 'to let go' simply means to observe the five precepts.
1. To refrain from taking life of living beings.
2. To refrain from taking what is not givin or stealing.
3. To refrain from sexual misconduct.
4. To refrain from telling lies.
5. To refrain from alchohol and all harmful substances.

This creates safety for ourselves, for others around us, and for us to gain a sense of the Dhamma. Failure to abide even one of the Five Precepts move a person away from gaining a sense of the Dhamma. If we observe all the five precepts. we may watch soap operas, listen to music or go out occasionally, as long as we keep it within resonable limits.

Committing to the Eight Precepts on Observance Days or the Buddhist Holy Days can be considered as talking an extra step in 'letting go'. We may also abandon some entertainment or fashion clothing, not because this things are evil but because abandoning them keep our lives simpler. This is to test to see if letting go of these things for a day would cause us to suffer. If it causes us to suffer, it means the attachment is too great. 

'Letting go' starts with adjusting our habits. After that, we can try to let go of certain pleasure which casuse carelessness and hindrance to gaining sense of the Dhamma. For those who want to go more deeply into the Path of Nibbana, you must let go of the concept of 'me or mine' that has been hard-wired into the mind. Our body is merely 'a' body. Our mind is merely 'a' mind. The belong to the vast nature without an owner or controller. Life is a flow of phenomena, dependents on causes and conditions. This is the insight into the cessation of attachment to the agregates or what can be referred to as 'an illusion of self'. The enlightend beings who attained the fruition of Sotapanna are the ones who accomplished the cessation of the 'illusion of self'. To cease is to completely eliminate. This is not easy to accomplish in today's world. The hardest part is to overcome temptation, which is a cause of suffering. To be able to do that would be a great advantage.

Using of mobile devices or social media or engagging apps is not necessarily unfavourable. We only have to be mindful while using them. When you are at home with your family restriction may be placed on the use of mobile phones. For example, during meal times, you may set the rules for mobile phone use, sending and receiving texts, using social apps or ipad. Otherwise, it may affect family relationships. Everybody is looking at their screens and not at one another. This does not mean that you have to completely abandon them altogether. It is not possible today. However, you must know when to put your phones down for your family, for example during meal times. It is also important to be mindful of the effects they have on your emotions. Excessive use may bring distracting thoughts. Meditiation can help you to find out if and how much your mind has been filled with distracting thoughts.  It is important to always keep the word 'moderation' in mind. Then apply it to everything you do. If you cannot eliminate them altogether, how much use would be 'moderate'? When you speak with your children, you may treat them with respect by not telling them how long they are allowed to use thier phones. But let them propose how long they think is a 'moderate' use. Allow them to negotiate and contribute in establishing a mutual agreement. Both the parents and the children must recongnise the word 'moderation' and use it in their discussion to find the 'moderate' usage. It starts with accepting 'moderation' as a principle for the family.

It depends on how you define suffering. Buddhism recongnises the preciousness of human life, regarding the human birth as a privilege because of the human ability to go beyond the given. So, how can human put an end to suffering? If we settle for the most basic level, just to get through life, that is also okay. However, it is such a shame, because we are wasting the given opportunity to elevate our mind; because we choose to settle on just getting through life, day by day. If we do not set our goal to achieve the elevation of the mind and to overcome defilements observing the 5 precepts can be meaningless. The elevation of the mind, although difficult, can be achieved by practicing mindfulness, wise shame and wise fear. Therefore, it is important to distant yourselves from activities or situations where your mindfulness, your wise shame and wise fear could be weakened because they could be obstructive to your practice to elevate the mind.

People who never practice the elevation of the mind do not have tools to help them to distinguish between good and evil. We see evidence of this every day in our society. Most serious crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol and harmful substances. Whoever is established in the 5 precepts creates safety for all around them. You make a commitment to not never harm anyone. The first precept is very essential, but if the 5th precept is neglected, the first one cannot be guaranteed. It is like you make a commitment to refrain from taking life, stealing, sexual misconduct and telling lies, only when you are not under the influence.

Many people view drinking as a recreational activity and as an another way to end suffering in everyday's life. But it is merely to help them to temporarily forget the suffering. As long as their lives are as planned, it may not be a problem. However, when they are facing with problems in life, whether it is a divorce, a separation of being out of job, they feel the kind of suffering they have never experienced before. Drinking does not help them to figure out a way to deal with the problems because they never learned to strengthen their mind, never learn to let go; because their mind is powerless. A person who occasionally drinks for recreation could become a heavy drinker because he never trained his mind. His mind becomes lazy. So, whenever he feels distressed, he indulges in food and drink. He becomes even more weakend. When crises arise, he lacks the tools to help him cope.  This is a long-term damage.

Overcoming attachment requires the more advanced training of the mind. It is not easy to achieve instantly but gradually. Practicing detachment takes endurance. Some attachment may be difficult to let go. So, one must have ability to endure the suffering. Endurance does not mean grinding your teeth in anger but it is the ability to endure discontentment and hardship whilst keeping calm and accepting its existence. Until the mind becomes strenghtend/strong enough to let go. It is important to emphasise that letting go is not the same as negligence but it simply means the ability to let go of the concept of 'me and mine'. It is not to let go 'of' an act but it is to let go 'in' an act.

Always remember - "Letting go requires the ability to endure (Suffer patiently) discontentment and hardship whilst maintaining a calm state of mind".
"To become content is to have trust and strong belive on God who is always their to bring the contentment for thous who patiently Trust Him."

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