Letting Go

The Buddha once said, “The root of suffering is attachments.” Pain is created through attempts to hold onto form, by trying to hold onto things which have been outgrown.  When conditions are clung to because they provided joy yesterday and we assume they will again soon, enjoyment and spiritual nourishment in the present are sacrificed.  Even worse, when old wounds fester within, we use these inflictions as an excuse for our misery. The only solution is to let go. We must learn to let go of our attachments and rediscover the peace within ourselves. 

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Pain is created by holding onto form when life is a continuous transition. Years ago I opened a storefront and spent hours, weeks, months, and all my money, to create a beautiful serene environment. After a couple of years and a grueling breakup, I was asked to let it go. The pain was so intense that I cried for a season. The storefront represented my identity.  It was a form used to channel spiritual work and a space for others to practice. A year passed before the realization came to me that it was my essence that made the venue sacred. A space of reverence is not restricted to a structure and can be created anywhere. The attachment to the storefront was causing my suffering.

So often conditions that once provided joy are clung onto hoping they will again provide joy in the future. However, in the present we suffer from a sense of lack.  Over the years I have kept friendships out of obligations or by a self-imposed need. So much time, energy, and resources were spent on people who stopped reciprocating long ago. They become spiritual vampires sustained by the life force energy of others. Let go of them. In doing so, you create an opening for more fulfilling connections with others to occur.

Lastly, let go of the old wounds that dwell deep within. If left to fester, these wounds manifest as disease in the body. The art of forgiveness is a skill to master.  In forgiving others, we forgive ourselves. Forgiveness creates an opening to release, process, and heal from an experience. It can be more painful to forgive the person than to heal from the wound inflicted. Yet, there can be no peace without forgiveness.  

A spiritual journey is an evolution of self identity and awareness in the collective whole. The curriculum includes observing your attachments and the difficulty of letting them go. Pain is created by holding onto form as it transitions. Suffering emerges when clinging to conditions and situations no longer present. Old emotional wounds must be forgiven and released from captivity within the body. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Connect more to the Light within and to less of the other stuff.

Hear the Call

Within each of us are two voices - the Ego (the voice of separation) and the Divine (the voice of unity).  Throughout our daily lives, the ego voice is often the loudest.  However, at some point each one of us is called to an awakening of sorts and hear the call of the Divine. A Course In Miracles says, “The Call is a mandatory part of our curriculum.” The call is an an awakening to unity, oneness with the Divine. This lesson can be delayed years, even decades, but one day, even if it’s your last, the call must be answered. The Call is the atonement with the Divine and the dissolution of separation.

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Growing up Catholic, there are stories of Renaissance saints relinquishing their possessions upon hearing the Call.  Hard to imagine a saint today giving up a smartphone to hear the voice of God.  As a teenager with little possessions, I heard the Call of something greater than myself. One Saturday evening I was watching a show on the children of Fatima. It was a familiar story of Mary appearing before 3 children in the Portuguese town of Fatima. Legend has it that the Virgin Mother taught the children to pray the rosary everyday.  They were praying for the souls of man and closure for the deadly World War. Inspired by the story, I prayed the rosary that evening. Such a practice was easily adapted to praying with mala beads once I was introduced to yoga. I prayed again on Sunday.  By Monday night my interest in repeating this daily ritual started to wain. How could my prayers impact the souls of others? I prayed but decided Monday night would be my final attempt.  Tuesday morning I got up and went to school like every weekday, but that day was September 11th, 2001. 


There was a collective moment of realization that the events of that day would shift our society. When the trusted adults in my life were dazed, confused, and could provide no guidance, the only sense of peace I could  discover was within the self. So I went home and prayed the rosary that night, and every night thereafter for 4 years. It was the start of my atonement, the union with the Divine and how I heard the Call. The repetition of the prayers was my introduction to a meditative practice. Although I eventually stopped praying the rosary, I continued meditating. Once you are aware of the infinite soul and connected to something greater than yourself, the ego voice appears to be full of illusions. This awakening shifts perceptions, values, and restructures your relationships with the surrounding world. 


Each of us will eventually feel the urge to reconnect with a higher source.  Just as you are a unique expression of the Divine, how you connect to the Light may be unique to you.  Prayer, meditation, breath awareness, music, observing nature, reading scriptures, tai chi, and yoga are just a few ways to reunite. Our journeys may be different, but the curriculum is the same. Whether it takes a moment or a lifetime, discover what inspires you to release the limited form and be part of the infinite whole. Can you silence the ego voice long enough to hear the peace within yourself?  You are invited to be part of something greater, if only you answer the Call. 


Francisco & Chris