Author Topic: Letting go?  (Read 288 times)

Orkide

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Letting go?
« on: June 24, 2018, 06:36:11 AM »
Hi all

I've been meditating on and off for a bit more than a year now, but got quite serious again over the last 3 months and feeling very happy about it. Still, I realise it's babysteps. I always look forward to my daily practice though, that's not the problem.

Yesterday the meditation was about letting go. Rationally I understand everything about the benefits of being able to let go of what you can't change. But in reality...

I work in the student administration of a university and this time of year is always extremely busy. I have to make sure to get all the grades so I can register them before a certain date. Otherwise students won't get correct information about their results.

Thing is that the teachers drive me crazy. They don't give me the info in time, every year they forget how those things work, they don't do their own input - "the program is not working" - but send me a file for me to do it...

For me it is extremely hard not to get livid about all this. I think their behaviour is so disrespectful. They make me feel very frustrated and then I think of letting go and I laugh. How does one do this, I wonder? "If you can't change it, let it go". But in the meantime I feel like a doormat sometimes. If I'd let go, I'd give in, that's how I feel.

On the other hand I DO realise that I can't change it. And it's not just this job, it's everywhere where people have to work/deal with people.

But okay, well: how do you do this? I am really curious.

Have a good day.

chin

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    • Goenka
Re: Letting go?
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2018, 09:45:16 AM »
Firstly, see it as it is - the teachers don't send in their inputs on time and send their files to you instead. Everything else seems like stories your mind is creating -
- they're driving you crazy (only you can do that to yourself),
- every year they forget how it works (do they all or do some of them? do they have access to clear instructions easily available?)  ,
- they lie ("the program is not working" - maybe it really isn't? try and see why it's not working for them?),
- they are disrespectful (maybe they just don't see it the way you do? try and calmly explain to them that you feel that way? try and see how it looks from their perspective?)

Let go of the stories, and along with it the anger and frustration, and you'll find a solution that will work for yourself and the teachers.

BeHereNow

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Re: Letting go?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2018, 03:26:56 PM »
Hi Orkide,

It is wonderful that you are enjoying your practice and also starting to incorporate it into your everyday life!

I completely understand your frustration.  I have been struggling with something similar at my work for years now, and I have to say that while I didn't see it as such at the time, it has been my best teacher.

When situations and people trigger us, it is an opportunity to get really curious.  What is actually happening in the moment?  What are your thoughts about it?  And most importantly, what are the sensations in the body?

Usually what happens is someone says something that impacts us, and then we start running all kinds of thoughts about what it means, about them, about us, about needing to change... if we can become aware of the "thinking", even label it as such, and then also look to the body to see what you are "feeling" and even label it as such, it can give us a way to work with it.  In the moment, there are thoughts, and there are sensations in the body.  We allow these to be there without needing to do anything about it in the moment.

And most importantly, we give ourselves tremendous compassion.  These situations are triggering pain in the body that has not been felt.  As we become aware of ourselves, we will feel the pain and want to project it elsewhere, or repress it, or change the situation, because pain is painful!  But as we feel the pain, get curious about it, as best you can let the storylines be there without feeding them, you will get insights about the pain, and about the patterns that keep that pain stuck in the body.

It is not an easy process.  Nor is it necessarily a pleasant one.  But it is truly the only path that will transform the pain as you become better able to relate with it in a different way.

Best of luck with it!

Much metta,
Paula
"You are the Sky.  Everything else is just the weather." - Pema Chodron

Middleway

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Re: Letting go?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2018, 10:43:27 PM »
Hi all

I've been meditating on and off for a bit more than a year now, but got quite serious again over the last 3 months and feeling very happy about it. Still, I realise it's babysteps. I always look forward to my daily practice though, that's not the problem.

Yesterday the meditation was about letting go. Rationally I understand everything about the benefits of being able to let go of what you can't change. But in reality...

I work in the student administration of a university and this time of year is always extremely busy. I have to make sure to get all the grades so I can register them before a certain date. Otherwise students won't get correct information about their results.

Thing is that the teachers drive me crazy. They don't give me the info in time, every year they forget how those things work, they don't do their own input - "the program is not working" - but send me a file for me to do it...

For me it is extremely hard not to get livid about all this. I think their behaviour is so disrespectful. They make me feel very frustrated and then I think of letting go and I laugh. How does one do this, I wonder? "If you can't change it, let it go". But in the meantime I feel like a doormat sometimes. If I'd let go, I'd give in, that's how I feel.

On the other hand I DO realise that I can't change it. And it's not just this job, it's everywhere where people have to work/deal with people.

But okay, well: how do you do this? I am really curious.

Have a good day.

Letting go does not mean you have to put up with other people not following agreed upon process. Be firm, be kind and repeat. Letting go is not getting into yourself entangled in the situation with all your emotions. Do what you need to do to correct the situation but with compassion for yourself and others.

Good luck.

Middleway


Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Laurent

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Re: Letting go?
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2018, 12:25:51 PM »
"Letting go" also means "accept", so...
I think that the "If you can't change it, let it go" is a little simplistic. We could also say "If you let it go, it will change"
Meditation allows space to train. The thing is you can't really try to let go, it just happens itself. It is, once again, about patience and persistence.

Metta.

Orkide

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Re: Letting go?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2018, 06:35:08 AM »
Thanks all for your replies!


It is not an easy process.  Nor is it necessarily a pleasant one.  But it is truly the only path that will transform the pain as you become better able to relate with it in a different way.

I told the head of department in a very calm and friendly but firm way that I am more than willing to offer support and help out, but that I don't want to feel taken for granted. Told her that she might want to give her staff a course on how to deal with the administrative stuff. She agreed wholeheartedly. Thing is - I can't know that now yet - that from experience I know that so many plans for improvement have been made through the years, but in many cases they stay that way: plans. So I did say what I wanted to but that is it for now.

I was talking to someone about the issue. This is what he said in case practical change isn't possible (and I will quote):

"We can simply be aware whenever thoughts and feelings about the situation arise. We can be curious about our reactions to the situation. We can start to see the futility of telling ourselves, 'It shouldn't be like this.' If this is how it has to be, then can we simply be with that, accepting that it is far from perfect.
Turning Towards Difficulty meditations can be very useful here. In befriending difficulty, turning kindly towards it without judgment, rather than turning away from it, we facilitate both immediate and longer-term effects. In the short term we begin to see how quick and keen we are to avoid dealing with the unpleasant in our lives. We become more attuned to the way negative thoughts give birth to anxious feelings which, in turn, give birth to disagreeable body sensations. And vice versa.
With practice, we can gently and skilfully undo the habitual reactions that seem to cause us so much suffering.
In the longer term, we develop more skillful ways of relating to troublesome experiences. "

That is more or less what you were saying, Paula, isn't it?


BeHereNow

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Re: Letting go?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2018, 09:48:01 PM »
Yes!  Beautifully said  :)
"You are the Sky.  Everything else is just the weather." - Pema Chodron

garyatblackhouse

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Re: Letting go?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2018, 02:26:52 PM »
I heard a good one a few years back, it might have been from Ram Dass where he said "You don't have to let go, you just have to stop holding on." That may help.  :)
"If you haven't cried deeply a number of times, your meditation hasn't begun." - Ajahn Chah

dharma bum

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Re: Letting go?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2018, 10:34:33 PM »
it's interesting how different people interpret 'letting go'. when someone says "let go", i interpret it as ungrasp, or let go of attachment.
Mostly ignorant