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Day six – letting go

Letting go is a big part of meditation.

We don’t have to let go of all our thoughts about the past and the future forever; we only let them go for the duration of our sitting. Letting go of our thoughts about the past and future to bring our awareness back into the present moment becomes much easier if we have already acknowledged and accepted the thought.

Some of our thoughts will be easy to acknowledge and accept.

Let’s say you’re thinking about what you need to buy when you go shopping next. Letting go of the thoughts about shopping and returning to the present moment will be relatively easy. If you’re feeling a strong emotion about something from the past or you’re worried about something in the future, it may be more difficult to let those thoughts go this very second and return to the present moment.

There is no need to rush the process. If the feelings or thoughts are strong about the past or the future, you can take as much time as you need with them. Acknowledging, accepting and being kind to yourself is necessary well before the thought can be let go of while you are meditating.

Daily exercise:

When you’re sitting comfortably with your eyes closed, observe whether your thoughts are about the past, present or future.

If you’re thinking about something in the past or the future, let it go and gently direct your awareness back to something happening now, in the present moment.

You can experiment with whether you need to use more acceptance or warmth before trying to let the thought go.

Maybe the thought is interesting or important. If so, you can simply say you’re happy to continue on with the thought when the meditation has finished. Letting go only needs to be for a few minutes while you return your mind to the present moment. The important or interesting thoughts are allowed to come back later, when you have finished your meditation session.

Each time you notice your mind thinking or talking about something to do with the past or the future, let the thought go and gently guide your mind back to the present moment.