24 Mar 5 Minute Philosophy Break – You Can Only Lose What You Cling To
“You can only lose what you cling to” – Buddha
Yogic wisdom tells us that our true Self – who we are beyond this body & mind – is whole and complete. This means that there is no part of your true Self that needs to prove anything to feel content, or to receive anything to feel complete. 🤔Just pause for a moment, close your eyes, and imagine what it would feel like if, right now, you had the experience that nothing was missing in your life 🌴🌅 Well, lemme throw something crazy at you. What if…. Just what if… this is actually true?! What if our true Self is an infinite well of this deep peace and contentment right now…and tomorrow…and always… right in the middle of life’s chaos?
Obviously for most of us, the idea that we are already complete does sound a little crazy, because that’s not our experience! We feel SO incomplete at times. It’s only by cultivating a relationship with our true Self, through intentional heart-centered practice (mindfulness, yoga, meditation, talking walks in nature…) that we can start to experience the deeper truth of our inner peace and wholeness. Otherwise, our minds are so easily distracted and confused with mixed messages from our environment, and we begin to identify with what we see, and all the crazy thoughts in our head. We begin to believe that we ARE our mind. “I think therefore I am” becomes our reality – just a small, individual, separate self in a whole big world of others.
When this happens, we naturally start to cling to stories and relationships that further feed and protect our identity as a small separate self. Our experience becomes one of loneliness, lack, scarcity and fear because as much as the ego tries to cling to anything for protection, it knows deep down that it’s doomed.
The reality is that our body, mind and ego are only here for a blink of a cosmic eye. They are bound to the cycle of life and all the clinging in the world cannot keep them from dissolving and returning back to the earth when their time is up.
But what if you and I are more than this body and mind. What if there’s more to life than what we see on the surface? What if, as the ancient yogic texts tell us, we are eternal, formless, whole & complete? And what if, through mindful practice and meditation we can begin to actually feel and experience this truth? Then our life experience becomes very different! Our perspective shifts from small and separate, to cosmic and connected, from loneliness and lack, to connection and abundance.
With mindful awareness, we see more and more clearly that everything in this manifest universe is constantly changing, shifting and dissolving, and that clinging too tightly inevitably leads to loss and a false sense of identity. Instead we can enjoy life with an open palm – living and loving fully while letting everything grow and change as it must. And at the same time cultivating inner peace through our yoga practice.
As we feel more connected to our own source of inner peace, we no longer need our relationships to fill an internal void, and instead, we can more fully see and appreciate and love others for who they really are – formless, eternal, whole, complete, and magnificent, just like us 😉
I started with a Buddha quote, so it seems fitting that I should end with a sacred and powerful mantra… from 38 Special
“Just hold on loosely
But don’t let go
If you cling to tightly
You’re gonna lose control”