10/14 Practice Circle: Clinging and Letting Go

| October 11, 2018 | 1 Comment

Several of my MBSR teachers use Mark Nepo’s book, The Book of Awakening, as a source of inspiration and practice guidance.  The book contains 365 contemplations, one for every day of the year, along with practice suggestions to go with each. Over the next few Practice Circle sessions, we’ll be working with chapters from The Book of Awakening, beginning this Sunday, October 14, with an exploration of clinging and letting go.  I’ve included an excerpt from Mark’s contemplation for October 12 below.

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We Tend to Cling

Things that matter come and go, but being touched and feeling life move on, we tend to cling and hold on, not wanting anything to change. Of course, this fails and things do change. Often, we are stubborn enough to go after what we think is leaving, trying to manipulate and control the flow of life. Of course, this fails too.

We can’t stop life from flowing. So we are left with feeling what is and what was, and we call the difference loss. But all the clinging and holding on only makes it worse. Now, new things come, and some of us anticipate the loss and just let the things of life go by without feeling them at all.

I have done all these things, but when clear enough and open enough, I try to let things in, to let things touch me. I try not to poke and pull at them as they move through It doesn’t eliminate loss, but when trusting enough to let this happen, I am tuned like a harp held up to wind.

Mark Nepo

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Category: Articles, Practice Circle

About the Author ()

Mark J. Knickelbine, MA, C-MI, is a writer, editor, political activist, and certified meditation instructor. "Buddhism Without Beliefs" and "The End of Faith" led him to seek out a dharma practice without the supernatural beliefs of traditional Buddhism. He found it at a local health clinic, where he learned mindfulness in the manner of Jon Kabat-Zinn. He has continued to study texts from the Pali, Chan and Zen traditions, and he is an active member of the mindfulness community at the UWHealth Department of Integrative Medicine. Mark is a member of the SBA board and serves as Practice Director.

Comments (1)

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  1. Hey Mark! What was that poem you shared at the end again? It truly connected with exactly what I was working with in tonight’s practice circle! Thank You!

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