Author Topic: my perspective of letting go  (Read 2223 times)

JMatlack

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  • I am a psychology student who meditates
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my perspective of letting go
« on: February 06, 2015, 11:57:34 PM »
I have heard of many different theories of how to let go of trauma and promote happiness. Here is what I think after studying psychology for 4 years and hopefully for the rest of my life.  Its simple, your brain as researched and proven by neuroscience forgets what is not used. Neurons that fire together wire together. Those that are not used are lost. We are born with 200 billion neurons and die with 100 billion.  Actions, speech, thoughts, and feelings are all USED in some way or another by the brain for reasons that are never really logistic in the way that we see things rationally. Remember the brain is only 10 percent rational. So to me suppression creates distance form a thought and feeling producing detachment if done properly leading to an easier time letting go which is the fading and forgetting of something consciously.  I have personal experience with this but I do however consider events to have different values to the brain.  Call it craving and aversion like and dislike, but it needs to be corrected first. Contemplation is required on what value system your brain uses and its different for everyone. The goal of all meditation practices should be to teach conscious activities like suppression and letting go until they are tools that can be used at the fly of a hat. Not reacting to a thought in a alarming manner as the amygdala will constantly demand you do will not only shrink the amygdala but will increase non-attachment.  I use anapana with a very serious and vigilant intention of not deviating form the nostrils. It can be done a thousand different ways but this works for me.  By doing this I increase my ability to suppress and even let go although I don't focus on witness which is happening.  Intrinsically they are the same except for the outcome.  I also practice relaxing deeply and breathing rhythmically, both proven by neuroscience to be affective against emotions.  I feel as I am writing that I have a sense of certainty here with my practices because they are proving( to me) to be effective. I hope you don't take me the wrong way. I am very open to anyone else's opinion on my opinion and would love a conversation about my conclusions.  I would love to throw some science out there too if that's something the forum would be interested in! :)
"THE ALL (god) is MIND; the universe is mental" written in The Kybalion

Dharmic Tui

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Re: my perspective of letting go
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2015, 01:14:14 AM »
For me I tend not to put much energy into trying to determine the hows and the whys, but I don't think science has enough of an understanding of the mind to make sense of ego separation anyway.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
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Re: my perspective of letting go
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2015, 01:37:09 AM »
This is a hefty subject. From the Buddhist perspective letting go is part of remembering (Sati/mindfulness/remembering are synonymous). You can't let go of your attachments to things/experience/etc without remembering them. In meditation letting go for not mean to forget but to remember, feel it fully and let go of clinging or aversion.

From personal experience I can say I suppressed painful memories for 30+ years that then came to the fore and were recalled in good but not perfect detail. I think you are suggesting neurons will "die off" if unused but this experience counters that view - your own words regarding 10% of the brain being rational (aware/conscious) also offer the possibility that the other 90% may be happily firing of staying connected and alive and well despite any level of "suppression".

Those are my initial thoughts on this very chunky subject.

M
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 01:42:24 AM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

JMatlack

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  • I am a psychology student who meditates
    • mindfulness
    • determined
Re: my perspective of letting go
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2015, 02:45:43 PM »
It s chunky isn't it.  :D 

I can see your point of view as you have remembered things long forgotten that had been suppressed.  My perspective is out of sight out of mind and that's what I hope to accomplish at whatever cost although I would prefer to let go.  I agree that this subject will only lead to speculation and theory so I will end it there as we all probably know all the theories already or we wouldn't be here haha.
"THE ALL (god) is MIND; the universe is mental" written in The Kybalion

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: my perspective of letting go
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2015, 12:02:12 AM »
It s chunky isn't it.  :D 

I can see your point of view as you have remembered things long forgotten that had been suppressed.  My perspective is out of sight out of mind and that's what I hope to accomplish at whatever cost although I would prefer to let go.  I agree that this subject will only lead to speculation and theory so I will end it there as we all probably know all the theories already or we wouldn't be here haha.

I don't agree it will only lead to speculation and theory - and I strongly suspect that you will pay a high price for your "out of sight out of mind" approach.

Mindfulness/Sati/remembering is the opposite of your attitude. You are trying to force things out of mind, what you will achieve is a strengthening of those things (the old trick of telling someone not to think about an elephant - that's all they can think about). Additionally you will have slathered a thick layer of fog on top.

Practice has taught me that to let go you must first remember in intimate detail: the experience, the feelings, the clinging or aversion. Only then will you be able to truly let go. This is why relaxed awareness and not forced silence is the key to good meditation; meditation that heals (meditation comes from the Latin word medicare, the same word that gives us medicine).

If you want to live in a rather dull bliss of foggy ignorance keep practising the way you are. But don't think whatever demons haunt you will be slayed, or put away - they will forever more influence your every waking moment, your actions, reactions and relationships. Maybe someday your Pandora's box will break open in a way neither you not I can predict.

If you want to truly let go you must first get to know and befriend that which you wish to let go of.

As a psychology student surely knowing your mind and freeing your mind is of greater worth than suppressing it? You might as well take pharmaceutical suppressants as continue the past you are on. And, if you intend to work in any professional capacity based on your studies in psychology realise this: all your work well be limited to the extent you have forced this "out of mind or of sight" viewpoint on yourself, whereas truly free you will not be limited.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 12:05:26 AM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

JMatlack

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  • I am a psychology student who meditates
    • mindfulness
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Re: my perspective of letting go
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2015, 04:06:14 AM »
Thank you for your wise words Mathew. I will definitely reconsider my position. So far I have definitely increased my attention to detail and noticed thoughts coming into my perception. This past meditation I witnessed the suppression of a thought in full detail as it returned multiple times. I did not remember the feeling or craving/aversion.  Much to learn from this young 26 year old student. That's why I am here! Thanks again
"THE ALL (god) is MIND; the universe is mental" written in The Kybalion

Quardamon

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    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: my perspective of letting go
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2015, 08:52:45 AM »
In reaction to the original post:

Maybe this sounds as a different track, but still:
In my view, meditation is a training method. It is part of the training instruction to say: "Let go" and "Do not follow thoughts". But the training method as such does have a goal. Telling what the goal is, is not part of the training instructions. The reason for that, is that the student will mislead himself and will have experiences that are close to the goal, without really being close to the goal. (One may call that self-hypnosis. And it is difficult for the student and for the teacher to know the difference between the real thing and the made-up thing.) So the teacher will tell the meaning and use of experiences after the student has had them, not beforehand.

Meditation as part of a scheme of "how to let go of trauma and promote happiness" does not have the religious goal that meditation originally has. It is using a technique because of the effects that the technique has.

"Sati" is seen by the people of IMS (like Jon Kabat-Zinn) and in the school of Mahasi Sayadaw as meaning: "pure awareness" or "choiceless awareness". An original meaning of "sati" is "remembering". In my personal view, the difference between the two is very small, if any. I suppose that what is meant, is remembering the original state of the world/ the mind/ reality. And I suppose that the talk of "pure awareness" is also a call to go to the primordial ground of the world/ the mind/ reality.

The goal of all meditation practices should be to teach conscious activities like suppression and letting go until they are tools   
I see that as an intermediate goal.

From my practice, I would say that I make decisions a lot of the time, even while letting go. I choose for instance for the feeling tone of the kind of thoughts that I have. I choose to direct my attention to my body, or my aura, or my direct physical surrounding. Or I choose to bring rest to the many things that are visiting my mind. (Like recently after a meeting with friends, after which I could not sleep. I counted my breaths for one hour, forcing quiet. I never used that technique for more than 20 minutes before. I finally could sleep after that.) A basic choice of mine is to widen my circle, to deepen my understanding, to grow strength, so that I can enjoy being on the road with others.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: my perspective of letting go
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2015, 12:55:27 PM »
Beautiful post Q.

One thing to add to my previous post:

Equanimity and "letting go" are intimately related (and to the pure awareness Q speaks of).

Seeing clinging and aversion for what they are, and letting go of them is the development of equanimity. Equanimity is a ground for pure awareness to arise.

M
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 06:19:35 PM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Quardamon

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    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: my perspective of letting go
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2015, 06:38:24 PM »
Thank you Matthew. :)

 

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