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1.7 More on Renunciation & the Centrality of Letting Go on the Path

The centrality of letting go as a basis of the path. We talk through an overview of these 5 foundational practices/understandings, and how they all incline toward letting go. The first 2 Noble Truths describe a deep letting go, which we can understand on literal, psychological, and existential levels. But also, letting go is complicated under neoliberal capitalism, especially for poor folks.

Letting go is still the heart of the path, because it’s existentially true, but it’s a hard virtue to accomplish well in a scarcity economy. We ended the night talking a bit both about poverty and scarcity, and then trauma and the nervous system. What if “letting go” is synonymous with deactivation from the self-protective ANS states of fight, flight, and freeze? If so, then the initial conditions that support deactivation (safety, pleasure, time) will be necessary before letting go is really possible, or before letting go is the right teaching. This is why this initial sequence of foundational teachings is useful.


Talk

What’s right, and complex, about the teaching on letting go

(Recorded on 2.19.19 at Insight Meditation Satsang, Berkeley, CA)
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