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Buddhadharma : Summer 2019
26 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY Letting go is like cleaning your garage or your closet. How many of us have cleaned our closets and found stuff in there that we were not using? This is a simple opportunity to practice letting go. When you open your closet and see something you put in there five years ago that you haven’t used, haven’t even touched, go ahead and take hold of it and let that one thing go! Energetically, these small acts of letting go can make a big impact. Even just deleting photos from your phone—a simple act of selecting and then deleting—can lighten our attachments. Do you know someone who has too much stuff, whose house has almost no space for people to move, let alone any sense of spaciousness? Energetically, that’s not good for us. In a monastery, the monks clean a lot. When they clean the gompa, shine the floors, clean the shrine, it’s seen as a purification. Both a shrine and a closet are easier to clean than the chakras. If you cannot clear your central channel, at least open your closet and clear some of those blockages. There are many ways to enter the next moment. Ceremonially, socially, we do various things that are symbolic. In the Tibetan tradi tion, we perform a lot of big ceremonies at the end of the year. The end of the year is a time for clearing the old year, so we do purifica tion and rituals. We raise a prayer flag on the first day of the new year, symbolically raising all the forces of elemental energies. In our daily lives, the principle is the same. We can find a way to bring the best out of each new space, new time, new purpose, new mission, new beginning, new phase of life, new moment. It doesn’t have to be the end of the year. Every morning can be like this. In the Tibetan tradition, every day we make an offering of the fresh water on the altar. This is an old tradition, and lately I’ve been feeling a strong connection to it. Bringing something fresh to the shrine, my sense of the day ahead feels very different. That sacredness, that freshness, that sense of connection, of offering, that sense of not forgetting the refuge or source, connecting there to start my day, is very powerful.