The Practice Of Letting Go

The practice of letting go is very effective for minds obsessed by compulsive thinking: you simplify your meditation practice down to just two words — ‘letting go’– rather than try to develop this practice and then develop that, and achieve this and go into that, and understand this, and read the Suttas, and study the Abhidhamma…and then learn Pali and Sanskrit… and then the Madhyamika and the Prajna Paramita…get ordinations in the Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana…write books and become a world-renowned authority on Buddhism. Instead of becoming the world’s expert on Buddhism and being invited to great International Buddhist Conferences, just ‘let go, let go, let go.’

I did nothing but this for about two years—every time I tried to understand or figure things out, I’d say ‘let go, let go’ until the desire would fade out. So I’m making it very simple for you to save you from getting caught in the incredible amounts of suffering. There’s nothing more sorrowful than having to attend International Buddhist Conferences! Some of you might have the desire to become the Buddha of the age, Maitreya, radiating love throughout the world– but instead, I suggest just being an earthworm, letting go of desire to radiate love throughout the world. Just be an earthworm who only knows two words – ‘let go, let go’.

Ajahn Sumedho