There is impermanence and then there is impermanence. I sit here on April 10th in front of my oscillating electric heater. It passes to my right side, then my left. I savor each moment that the hot air touches my skin and then feel the slight contraction as it moves on. This dance of hot and cold on my body reminding me of how nothing lasts, especially when oscillation is involved. Oscillation is basically a cycle and that is what the natural world is made of.
Lately, I have been exploring David R. Hawkins‘ work on letting go as a spiritual practice. In the book Letting Go, The Path of Surrender, he offers a practice to free ourselves of everything, really. It entails surrendering to every emotion that arises, to feel it in our bodies as a sensation without the thought attached to it. In this practice, the invitation is to be willing to let go of things as they arise and to surrender wanting to control them, change them or have our own way with them.
There have been several times in the past when similar practices entered my periphery, but not with the simplicity and clarity that I have found in David’s work. During my Nia Black Belt we were given the practice of “no concern”. As part of a movement training, I feel this was offered to free us to be in the unknown, the play, to be okay with making mistakes. It was fun to be in a place of no concern, and although I could identify the sensation of it in my body (relaxation, shrugging shoulders, outstretched palms – it kinda felt like surrender), this was still a mental exercise for me. I was still judging myself, but then pretending to not care. It had a rebellious quality to it.
I met this again with Vanessa Stone in the form of “receiving what is being offered”. This was closer in flavor in that I was looking at everything in my life as an offering from Goddess to me. Whatever is in front of me is what is being offered to me. I can receive it or I can deny it. Nonetheless, is it what is here. To surrender to what is here without condition is liberating. Without the grip of control, I am able to appreciate what is, to look for the lesson, to be grateful for any insights. When I am receiving without trying to control or change, I have much more available energy. I realized at that time that much of my suffering came from wishing things were another way. When I let go of the “if only’s” and surrender to what is, there is a creativity unleashed and appreciation for this very moment.
Now, thanks to David, along with “Receive what is being offered” I have other mantras. Here are the two that are on my fridge:
Don’t look for answers; instead let go of the feelings behind the questions.
Disappear it by choosing to be one with it and refusing to want to change it as it arises.
Although this is serious spiritual practice it is also deeply practical in its manifestation. Looking back at my like, these principles have been at play all along. Several years ago, my husband was working at a sleep-away camp. Every June we would pack up his stuff and off he would go, with the kids, for 8 weeks at a time. Initially I visited once or twice, but then realized that our relationship was suffering as a result of all that time apart. There were so many layers; feelings of resistance and why this loneliness?, why summer?, why now? and disappointed expectations. So many questions in my mind about why this whole experience was happening to me. Eventually, I took what was being offered and began to organize my life so that I could be where he was more often. I worked at the camp office a couple of days a week and drove back down to take care of the studio for the rest of the week. After 3 years of this back and forth, I felt like I had got it down. It was finally working for me. Since he was telling me that he wanted to do this forever, I surrendered to the point where I was completely at peace with how it was going to be. That was the summer that he decided that he was done with working at a summer camp. Although it took me 5 years to truly surrender to it, in the end I disappeared it!
Becoming more aware of the letting go technique has helped me recall other times in my life when this disappearing happened. It is as if once the lesson is learned, or the resistance has been released, or I had felt behind the questions, the thing no longer has a reason or the energy to exist. And the more consciously and consistently I do this, the faster things disappear. Thank you, David for sharing your work! Participating in the impermanence. Magic. And yes, I am calling him David.