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Birthing the Heart: Relinquishment

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2014-12-02
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Spiritual practice is all about unburdening our lives, which depending upon the circumstances, can be called surrender, renunciation, letting go, simplicity, or relinquishment. Suffering is the process of adding to the nothing we are. Every psychological, material, and spiritual layer we add on, ultimately weighs us down, narrows our options, and ties us to its limitations. For example when we define ourselves, we are forced to live as if the definition were true and deny a range of qualities that do not fit our image. At some point the burden of these add-ons become overwhelming, and we then become willing to surrender everything that we have artificially imposed upon us. Relinquishment is returning to our natural state by releasing our accumulations. This process can go as fast or take as long as we wish it to take. The more we are accountable to the burdens we bear, the more willing we become to relinquish that unneeded weight. The timing is ours alone, but the process of relinquishment is very simple and straightforward.


The spiritual side of the holiday season is about simplicity, love, and connection. It is a good time to ponder where you are and where you intentionally want to go. Is your life working in a more worldly or spiritual direction, and is that satisfying? Does the speed and direction of your life deprive you of a deeper love and connection with nature, family, yourself? Relinquishment is not backing away but pausing and examining what is pushing you forward. This week live with the conflict between what you deeply cherish and whether you are living counter to that purpose.


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