Letting go is an art.
We have a habit of grabbing for things, whether it be happiness, or material things, or food…
But peace is a circle we squash when we hold.
In other words, the best way to enjoy peace is not to seek to change anything, but to be content with what is.
The habit of grasping at things and people develops steadily and unconsciously. Busy times, especially, make us high on action and low on thought and feeling. The opportunity for peaceful reflection is limited, and before we know it, we are at the end of another week, exhausted and unable to think.
To avoid grabbing at things, and to develop a sense of peace, sometimes it’s nice to simplify everything into gentle restraint. This is one of the motivations behind silent retreats; it is also one of the motivations behind periods of fasting. By holding back our urge to grasp and grab, we tame ourselves, and calm our biological tendency to get more and more excited, and more and more lost in sensory confusion.
Instead of grabbing at people and things, we can let them be. We can realise we are not so important. Most of the world will run without our direct input today. And we might be better listened to if we were more gentle, less shouty and irritable.
The difference between war and peace is that, when at peace, the need for action is not desperate. There is still action, but it is gentle and restrained, respectful of everything around it.
Today, maybe practice not pushing. Notice any sense of impatience or urgency, and see if you can let it subside into a quiet appreciation of your surroundings.
Whenever you feel yourself grabbing at something – food, an opinion, a mobile phone, a person – try to hold back a little, and let things be. It can be slightly anxious-making initially (we are addicted to our usual grabbing actions!), but after a few minutes, a greater sense of peace can start to appear.
When we are busy, we grab at things, whether they be actions, food, opinions, things, or people.
Instead, we can practice letting things be, and become gentle and restrained.
This slows down the pace, and can bring us greater peace.