Is it time to let go of your stories?

I’ve been cleaning out my bookshelves. Getting rid of books I no longer have any interest in. And in the process, I’ve been building a little stack of books I want to re-read. Some of these cherished volumes I’ve read several times and I still want to read them again. They’re deep, multi-layered texts that reveal more with each reading.

Then there are books I’m getting rid of.
I’m done with them and don’t have any interest in cracking their covers again. They’re stacked inside Trader Joe’s paper bags on their way to the Friends of the Library bookstore.

Letting go of books is one thing – letting go of “stories” is another.
By stories I mean all your ideas, values, assumptions, and emotions – that weave together to create your sense of self. When you look deeply at your sense of self you see that – it is a tapestry of stories.

You’ve woven your identity with strands of personal history.
And tied it all together with knots of memory. This sense of self is like a well-worn shawl. Familiar. Comforting. Until it isn’t.

When you see how the knots of memory limit you – the impulse towards freedom arises.
This is a huge revelation: you don’t have to be defined by the patterns of your past. You can untie the knots of memory and recreate your life afresh. But not with the fumbling fingers of your everyday mind.

Is it time to let go of your stories?

It takes a meditative mind to untie the knots of memory.
The meditative mind is non-identified with the patterns of personal history. The meditative mind is able, therefore, to enter into the knots of memory with loving kindness and wisdom.

As the meditative mind infuses the knots of memory with loving kindness and wisdom – they relax.
The meditative mind is able to witness and feel the untying process completely. You see directly how identifying with memories causes the knots-in-consciousness that constrict you. And this motivates you to go deeper. To allow the natural healing power of the meditative mind to untie the hidden knots in the heart – where the most primal doubts and fears reside.

As the knots loosen – your freedom increases.
And an uncontrived sense of self blossoms. This self isn’t a story. It’s not woven of memory or personal history. It’s beyond words – but not beyond knowing.

Love & Shanti


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