Letting go

"Letting go of the need to be something, giving up the struggle to hold on to the old meanings that support identity, if only briefly, allows a clearing to open in the mind.  And this in turn reveals a basic intelligence and well-being, known as buddha-nature in the Buddhist tradition -- an essential clarity, transparency, and warmth intrinsic to human consciousness.  

This is not the neutral or scary emptiness that existentialism addresses, but a fullness of presence whose brightness and sharpness cuts through confusion, rationalization, projection, self-deception, and all the other tricks we play on ourselves."
-- John Wellman, Toward a Psychology of Awakening

I think the reason this quote resonated so with me this morning -- aside from the feeling words like clarity, transparency and warmth bring -- is that I've been able this week, now that I understand why conflict is so challenging for me, to explore the roots of several other related behavior patterns; those shoulds that operate just below consciousness and keep driving me into the future with this sense that I'm not "doing NOW correctly."

Seeing the patterns isn't the same as fixing them, of course -- that'll be the work of a lifetime -- but awareness of those compelling inner voices makes me doubly appreciate the peace that might be found if I can just get past the struggle; if I can release the compulsion, and the identity which now feels so constricting, and step into that cool clear sea of being...


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