Spiritual Journey (Mileage 31 years old)
Category : Spirituality
During these years, i have been struggling with the concept “Letting Go”. And i slowly came to realize , hopefully this time it’s true, that Letting Go has a sea of meanings especially with our Buddhism, of course, what am i thinking !?..
Here are a few words which are interconnected with the word “Letting Go”.
Let’s jump to a real life example to see how interrelated those words are.
Following is the excerpt from Diamond Cutter By Geshe Michael ; Mcnally, Lama Christie since i am no where near to them explaining about Letting Go
The author is working as VP in a large diamond business company. While he is on oversea , somewhere deep inside of India mountains and forests where the first generation of telephone is still in used by only at nearby village, his boss asked him to order ten thousand carats of diamonds within ten days. Conversation goes like this.
“We need stones! Got a huge order! Gotta have ten thousand carats in New York within ten days! Talk to Bombay! Talk to Antwerp! Get it going!”
Now ten thousand carats of these particular stones would mean maybe a million little diamonds; and for every one you actually buy on the market you might have to look at two or three. So you’re talking checking a few million diamonds in ten days. Suppose it takes you ten seconds to pick up one stone and look at it with your magnifying glass. This means 6 stones a minute, and 360 stones an hour, per person. Suppose you can keep this up for five hours a day without frying your eyes out completely—you’re talking maybe two thousand stones a day, max. So you’re going to have to get at least a thousand man days out of your crew just to get close to finishing the order. So I ask again:
“Ten thousand carats, right, Ofer? You’re sure—ten thousand?”
“Yes yes, right away; get on it tonight! Keep calling, wake everybody up around the world, it doesn’t matter! Good luck!” Click.
I make a note in my diary about the quantity and the type of stone that’s needed, and then proceed to spend several hours trying to reach all the international buyers around the world. By the time I leave the phone exchange on Madakeri it’s almost dark; we walk out to a little garden overlooking a huge beautiful valley, enjoy the evening air and the smell of the wild Indian flowers, and watch the stars come out. I feel good, the good feeling of keeping a promise to do something even when it’s a tremendous pain to do so. Then we pile into the rickety old monastery car and head back, for another week or so of intense studies with some of the greatest Lamas in the world.
About the time the diamonds pour into the New York headquarters from all over the world, I’m arriving too, dusty and sun burnt. Ofer calls me up to his office, and I saunter in with the self-confidence of an executive who’s delivered the goods, despite the odds. I sit and wait for the congratulations to begin.
“What in the world is going on?” he starts.
“What do you mean?”
“What’s with all the diamonds? Do you know what you’re doing to the cash flow? What are you, crazy?”
You know the feeling. The sinking feeling. It’s not just another miscommunication or business mistake—it’s a whole statement on the condition of the world, our world. Why is it that things can’t go right? I think you’re getting an idea by now. But let’s go on.
“Wait a minute, Ofer. You told me to buy them—you told me you needed ten thousand carats as soon as possible.”
“Ten thousand carats! Are you kidding! I told you a thousand! What are you talking about? Why in the world would I order ten thousand carats!”
“But you did tell me to buy ten thousand. I remember, I asked you two or three times. I even made a note in my diary right there, while you were on the phone. Look, it’s right here—it says ten thousand.”
“How do I know when you wrote that? It could have been this morning! I never said ten thousand. Who would say ten thousand?”
Let’s connect those words , i have listed above to this real-life situation. We’ll use the “three elements” that the Buddha mentioned.The “three elements” refer to three parts of the situation going on at this moment: the yelling boss (Ofer); the VP getting yelled at (me, unfortunately); and the fact that the whole event is taking place at all. Each one has its own emptiness, or “potential.” In fact, there’s a whole pile of emptinesses in this situation that are contributing to the mess, and which will contribute as well to the fix, which is why emptiness (the “potential”) of things is so wonderful.
What’s the potential in the boss? He seems pretty ugly at the moment, but remember that if his partner walked in—that is, his wife Aya—she’d say that he looks wonderful right now, saving the company from an irresponsible dumb head who’s gone wild buying diamonds we don’t need and can’t pay for. So he’s not a monster or a genius from his own side, it just depends on who’s looking; he’s just blank or empty on his part, and whether he seems good or bad at the moment depends purely on what kind of imprints I’ve put in my mind from the past.
Remember too the other thing we always mention at this point: That, although it’s true that how he looks right now is something that’s being conditioned and even created by my own mind, this doesn’t at all imply that I can just wish him into a nice guy in the moment. And this is because I (unlike his wife) have imprints in my mind that are forcing me to see him as a very upset boss right now. The best I can do then is to be very careful not to plant any new imprints in my mind right now.
What kind of new imprints are we talking about? Well, how about an imprint to see a boss yelling at you for doing exactly what he told you to do? And how would a person get an imprint like this? Actually there’s only one way to get this kind of imprint—and that would be to yell at someone like your boss, who’s trying to address what he honestly believes is a serious and costly mistake. So what would be the stupidest thing to do at this moment, when you’re getting yelled at? You’ve got it: yelling back.
If you let your mind go through this process, or even a significant chunk of this process, during the three seconds before frustration and anger sweep you downstream, a couple of things happen. First of all, you avoid a mental imprint that would give you a lot of trouble later. Imagine going to pick up a coffee on the edge of your desk and accidentally grabbing a cup of hydrochloric acid instead (something that could really happen in a jewelry factory if you were careless enough). You’re having an animated conversation with someone so you don’t notice; you raise the cup to your face; you start to tip it; and then at the last minute you catch a tiny whiff of the acid and set the cup down pronto, with a sigh of relief. The accomplishment of stopping your frustration and anger at the last minute—the victory of responding to your mind during the three-second window of opportunity and heading off your anger, and the time bomb imprint it’s about to burn into your mind—is no less a relief.
Remember, a single moment of anger, a single moment of burning this kind of negative imprint into your mind, can lead to days or weeks or even longer periods in the future when you have to experience the result of this imprint in the world around you. You have just saved yourself from loads of trouble and pain; you have just taken a different road, and you will never have the accident you were going to have if you hadn’t made that turn just now.
So what about the “no-self,” and the “no conceptions”? Now that we’ve gone over an actual incident, these are easy. “No-self” means that your boss doesn’t have any self-nature—no nature of his own, no nature coming from his own side, no nature that he was born with—of being a screaming unpleasant person, even at this moment. If he did have any nature like this, then even his wife would find him unpleasant right then—but she doesn’t. So “no-self” means that whatever you see in him is coming from you, not from him. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist somehow, or that it would somehow be useful to pretend he’s not quite there.
The “no conceptions” part means that you stop thinking about him the wrong way: Stop conceiving of him as being something that is bad from his own side, and start thinking of him as an empty screen, one that is filled with a hit movie for his wife, and one that’s a horror movie for you right then. And the projector is, of course, your own mind, driven by the electricity called “imprints from what you’ve done to others in the past.” Again, the point is not at all that it would be of any help not to think anything, not to judge anything as being good or bad, not to attach to any of your feelings or emotions. Remember: the entire event, and how you seem to yourself and others, and how your boss seems to you and others (these being the three elements), is certainly real. Real people will get hurt, real companies will suffer damage, real VP’s will blow their next holiday bonus, but not for the reason you used to think caused them. It’s all coming from things you did before.
So what’s there to do now? It’s one thing to understand clearly that—if you respond negatively at the end of the three seconds—you are going to plant some new negative imprints of the same flavor and have to eat them again later on. Let’s talk now about the immediate consequences of negativity: Let’s face it, getting mad just doesn’t help anything at all.
There’s a famous verse from an ancient Indian Buddhist book that says,
If a situation can be fixed,
Why get upset about it?
If a situation cannot be fixed,
What’s the use of getting upset?
We’re talking here about the immediate benefit of refusing to give into anger. The main challenge has passed: You refuse to respond negatively, and thereby protect yourself from the same thing happening again in the future. Now go into your mind and refuse even an inkling of anger; in fact, go further, and wrestle your mind into a positive attitude. Instead of arguing about whose fault it was that the diamonds were bought, instead of fighting about who it was that messed up the cash flow, turn your mind immediately to the solution of the present moment. Here is perhaps the most important point of the whole exercise in this context: You’ll find that, because you fought the anger off even before it got fully into your mind, you’re able immediately to turn all your energy to solving the problem. Your mind is clear. Your face is calm. Your heart is beating normally, your breath is steady.
This is how you want to be when you deal with a serious problem, and this is absolutely the best thing for your body and your long-term health. Every time you refuse another few moments of anger or any other negative emotion, you are tacking onto your life and your business career several more hours of health and happiness, because it all adds up at the end. And for your immediate business it’s just a lot more intelligent to attack your problems with a completely clear and calm state of mind.
A final note of advice. The whole approach presented in this book is very similar to gardening. Our premise is that problems are created by seeds or imprints you have planted in your mind in the past. Once these imprints have reached a certain level of power, once they are going off or about to go off and grow into a plant, it’s essentially too late to do much about them. Conversely, it’s naive to think that you can plant a seed in the morning and expect much of a result by the evening.
The point is that you should train yourself, in advance, to view the immediate results of your actions with a grain of salt. You may be able to calm your own mind immediately and be ready to deal with a problem with cool rationality, but this doesn’t at all mean that everyone else in the room will calm down. Nor does it mean that the solution you come up with in your cooled-down state of mind is necessarily going to work: Don’t forget that this depends upon seeds planted long ago. It does mean though that you are gardening for your future—it does mean that fewer and fewer tense situations will be happening in your world to come.
End of Excerpt
So what the heck does it relate to “Letting Go”?
In this above example, you are supposed to let go of all things that you are thinking, seeing, believing since day one and only get hold of the truth at the moment (three elements), in other words, emptiness.
Quite deep, isn’t it. Letting go of all the things you are believing and getting hold of emptiness. What do you left with?
Do you know another characteristics of emptiness apart from being empty? Spaciousness !
Without spaciousness, good turns to bad very quickly. Nothing satisfies. Everything is a problem, and no amount of money, fame, or outward success is ever enough.
When we are spacious with the good, however, instead of fear or greed at those above mentioned moments, we have gratitude. We appreciate a given moment without needing to control or hold it indefinitely. We relate to these moments with trust instead of fear, with openness instead of greed, with letting go instead of holding. We see that the best way to have something is often to let it go. As such, we become a place where the creative visits more often and stays longer when it does.
References: Wisdom 2.0 , Diamond Cutter.