Dear Hisham, I was thinking during, and obviously after, the last meditation session and discourse of the true meaning of “letting go” of the past while living in here and now. But our past made us whom we are. I am so grateful for having every single minute and what I appreciate the most are those darkest moments, our past makes us, and being aware to our past experiences and how we managed to deal with them will make us grow… we honor our past, and live the now and the future will eventually come so we take it as it is. How can I let go of the past if it made my now?
When it comes to dealing with the past gratitude is the highest blessing. It is the step through which we incorporate all our experiences to the peak of the now. Gratitude is actually accepting the now and embracing our being and summing up all the impressions of the past and the hopes of the future to meet the majesty of the moment.
Looking back to the past, you can see the changes that took place in your body, in your mind and in your beliefs. You can see, you witness. As the willow beside a running river witnesses the continuous flow of water, thus you witness the continuous change that takes place day by day… the change that never stops. As change takes place, is it the observer or the observed that has changed? The past experiences lead to a clearer understanding of who we are. The past is there for the present. It should not be a mental obstacle that veils the now, a wall that blocks the way to the full experience of reality, of who you really are.
There is a story about a train which was going peacefully on the rail-tracks suddenly deviated from the tracks and went to the fields nearby and then came back on the tracks.
The passengers were horrified. On the next Railway station the driver was caught. When he was questioned he explained that there was a man standing on the track and he was not moving from there even after lots of honks etc. Then authorities questioned, “Are you mad? Just to save the life of one person you put the life of so many passengers under danger. You should have run over that person!”
The driver said,” Exactly, that is what I also decided, but this idiot started running towards the field when the train came very close.”
The past came and ran into the fields. It has already passed. When it is an obstacle run over it! Don’t chase it in your present moment. Once you run over it becomes your treasure! It builds you up… it becomes a step to growth.
Yes, the past is a treasure. It is to be appreciated. But don’t live in your treasure box. The past is the cradle of today and today is already a cradle for the coming future… when the past was here it was today, and when the future will come it will be today.
Letting go of the past doesn’t mean being unthankful. The contrary, it is the ultimate gratitude! Living in the now and accepting it is the greatest “thank you” one can say to his / her past and future both together. Letting go of the past is understanding that the past was a now, and only the current moment can exist. Letting go means not to reject any single experience one passed through and not to cling to any… letting go is the end of all judgment and resentment and regret. It is not denial, not rejection, but the opposite: full embracing and appreciation!
Even if it seems weird to hear it, what you are doing is exactly the “letting go” that you are afraid of! honor your past, and live the now and the future will eventually come so take it as it is! You are on the right way. Don’t hesitate. Enjoy!