A MEDITATION ON LETTING GO
© 1987 Stephen Levine
(FROM Who Dies?)
(To be read slowly to a friend or silently to oneself.)
Let your attention come to the breath.
Not the thought of the breath, but the direct sensation of the breath,
as it comes and goes by itself.
Let the awareness come right to the edge of sensation as the breath
enters and leaves the nostrils.
Let the awareness be soft and open, making contact with each breath
without the least interference.
Experience the natural tides of the breath, as it comes and goes.
Don’t attempt to control or change it. Just observe it.
Open to receive each changing sensation that accompanies the breath, moment to moment.
Let the breath breathe itself. Without comment. Without any
attempt to control it in any way. Allow the breath to be as it is. If it is
slow, let it be slow. If it is deep, let it be deep. If it is shallow, let it be
shallow. Allow awareness and sensation to meet, moment to moment, with
each inhalation, with each exhalation.
Let the breath be completely natural and free. In no way held by the
mind. Just the breath breathing itself. Sensation arising, instant to instant,
in the vast spaciousness of awareness.
If you notice the mind attempting to shape the breath, to control it in
even the least way, just watch that tendency and let the breath float free.
No holding. No control.
Completely let go of control of the breath. Let the body breathe by itself.
Don’tinterfere with the subtle flow.
Just awareness. Vast as the sky. Spacious.
The sensations of the breath, arising and passing away within this
openness. Nothing to hold to. Nothing to do. Just the breath as it is.
Each breath unique. Sensations changing, moment to moment.
From the body, other sensations arise and pass away within boundless
awareness. The hands folded in the lap. Buttocks touching the pillow.
Each moment of sensation floating free. Each moment of experience just as
it is. No need to label. No need to interrupt anything.
Not naming experience, just contacting it directly. Just being.
Experienced in the vastness of awareness.
Notice how thoughts arise. Commenting, remembering, thinking.
Each thought a bubble passing through the vast spaciousness of mind.
Existing for an instant. Dissolving back into the flow. No need for
control. Just the vast open flow of change. Just process unfolding, moment to moment.
Thoughts think themselves. Nothing to condemn. Nothing to add.
Let go of control in even the least way. Just let things be as they are,
approaching and receding within the vastness of being.
Let go of the body. Let sensation float in vast space. Let go of the
mind. Thoughts. Feeling. Arising and melting away. Nothing to hold to.
Nothing to do but be. Soft. Open into the vast edgelessness of
Thoughts that you own or are responsible for, the mind seen as
just more thought bubbles, floating through. Thoughts of me and
mine arising and passing away. Instant to instant. Let them come. Let them go.
No one to be. Nothing to do. Nowhere to go. Just now. Just this much.
Let go of the body. Let go of the mind. Experience being unfolding
all by itself. Without the least need of help or control. No judging. No
interfering. Just being. Just flow and change.
Be silent and know.
Once and for all, completely relinquish control. Let go of fear and
doubt. Let each thing float in its own nature.
Dissolve into the vast spaciousness of awareness. No body. No
mind. Just thought. Just feelings. Just sensations. Bubbles. Floating in vast space.
An instant of thought. Of hearing. Of remembering. Of fearing.
Like waves, rising for an instant and dissolving back into the ocean of
being. Into the vastness of your true nature.
No one to be. Nothing to do.
Let each instant unfold as it will.
No resistance anywhere. Let the wind blow right through you.
No one to be–just this much. This instant is enough.
Nowhere to go–just now. Just here.
Nothing to do–just be.
Holding nowhere, we are everywhere at once.