There is a reason why when you become a monk, or nun, you renounce worldly possessions and shave your head. It’s very difficult to truly progress down the spiritual path when you are grasping, striving and accumulating ‘stuff.’ It is through letting go that real freedom is possible. In some traditions it is called “Original Goodness.” This is an innate beauty that we are all born with.
It is easy to fall into the trance of unworthiness. In other words, the mindset that we are not good enough. What happens is that we try and make up for this deceptive internal void by filling it up. We work very hard to satiate this ‘hungry ghost’ with things that will supposedly prove our worth in the world. But the only other people we might impress are other hungry ghosts!
What would happen, if instead of thinking you needed to add on to yourself, you focused on subtracting the things, that were no longer supporting you in a positive way? What if you let go of negative thoughts, past experiences, limiting beliefs, toxic relationships, bad habits, and unnecessary clutter? Perhaps the power of soul would have the space to emerge!
Hundreds of years ago there was a king named Ashoka. For years, he ruthlessly conquered most of India killing and destroying all that stood in his way. One day after a hard-fought battle he looked out across a field of carnage. At the edge of field, he saw a lone monk, in an orange robe, gliding across the ground with nobility. King Ashoka knew in that moment, despite his immense power and immeasurable wealth, he didn’t have what the monk had, peace of mind and an awakened heart. The King summoned the monk to give him the spiritual teachings and show him the way of the enlightened path. Over time, King Ashoka subtracted his layers of malevolence, and went onto to become a kind and generous ruler loved by the people. All this happened because one day he saw the undeniable beauty of a simple monk.
Practice Tip: Spend 15-20 minutes journaling on the things you can let go of physically, mentally, and emotionally. Once you have created some space observe closely the qualities that arise within that space. For example, if you let go of resentment related to an old relationship, you might notice a great feeling of joy expand within you.
Current Reading: “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success” by Phil Jackson