“I give you permission to let go”…..the words I had never before heard in a class. A meditation class, where the point is to train the mind and develop single pointed concentration. “Let go of trying to be still, of trying to stop yourself falling asleep, of trying to concentrate” the teacher instructed. “we are so caught up in perfecting our technique that the pendulum swings from tightly held awareness to sleepy dullness – just let go, if you sleep, then lucky you!” he laughed.
Let go – a foreign concept to me. Let go of trying to get it right, of trying to stay awake, of trying to concentrate. WTF?!? Was this dude crazy? How the hell can I let go?
Those simple instructions were some of the most potent instructions I have received in meditation. Not just the part about letting go, but the part about permission. The part where someone is saying “its’ ok, stop trying so hard”. It’s not just in meditation, I am a pro at holding everything tightly. My ideas, my plans, my mind. Wrapped up like a tight little ball most of the time, letting go feels actually quite scary to tell you the truth. But for some reason, when this guy said “I give you permission” it all of a sudden seemed like the most logical and rational thing to do. To rest into the moment that it was, rather than be vigilant about noticing the movement of my breath, simply letting go and going with whatever arises. And on this occasion it was a dull and heavy sleep like state. Kinda nice and warm and fuzzy, but maybe not so useful in you are training your mind for concentration and focus.
So what is the message in all of that? For me to hear those words was like a reminder of all of the things I was hanging on to in that moment. The worries about the future, the regrets of the past. The to do list, the shoulda woulda could as’. The whole lot. Letting go was just what I needed to hear this week.
Sometimes letting go makes way for letting in. When we hold on to something so tightly, we leave little space for anything new to venture our way. Maybe it is a belief or habit pattern, a need to get it right, an idea of how things should be – imagine if for just a moment you let go. As what I found this week, I let in. I created space, not through the meditation (or sleep to be honest) but through simply loosening my own expectations around how things should be.