Giving It Up

This morning. Half awake. Half asleep. Caught in that in between time. Half formed thoughts flowing on from a conversation yesterday. We were talking of the difference between giving up in the way one does which is looking down. And giving up in the way of giving up while looking up. Give it up. That’s what I came to, half awake/half asleep this morning. Give it up means giving up while looking up.

My early training would be full of instructions to let it go, offer it up. To be honest such instructions seemed to paralyze rather than move me on. Now give it up speaks more clearly of how it is. Not the giving up of despair more….let me think now…..more that giving is center stage, gratitude is center stage. Not that I think grateful thoughts all day long. Such thoughts hardly come up at all. Giving it up has a powerful connotation, for me, of release. Of release into activity. No namby pamby (which was the younger me) will I won’t I. Ought to. Should do.

Increasingly I find myself at a loss. Lost in the labyrinths of words when words, bless ’em, are what we have. Lost without them, lost with them. But let’s not get into that trap. The lost, tired, where am I and what’s to do thoughts are common to all. They, such thoughts, are the trap. Or can become so. They call out, come wrap yourself up in what you know, wrap yourself up so warm and cozy so even your eyes can no longer see, your ears can no longer hear. And you can no longer move or speak.

If all you think you know
Is all you know
And that uncomfortable/comfortable knowing
Has you wrapped up all warm and cozy…

Then, literally
Open your eyes
Allow what is there
To be there

Beyond your eyeballs
Behind your eyeballs
Where is the boundry?
Give up – look up!

There is then, nothing more than this…it is enough.

Well, this might work for a handful of readers. And if it does great, and if it doesn’t don’t worry. Look out for your wisdom as it races past you. Follow it knowing it is not yours to hold and keep. Give it up!

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7 thoughts on “Giving It Up”

  1. Your poem really hits the spot!

    It was also helpful to hear how some instructions used to be paralyzing. I have found that to be the case as well, to the point where I just had to move on based only on simply moving on. I may not have looked at it even as “looking up”. For me, more perhaps as a looking up and seeing that it was a looking in all directions. This may not make sense, but there it is.

    Thank you for the directness of your teachings.

    In gassho, Jim

  2. To be in the joy of giving ‘it’ up, realising, and so opening up and becoming, is what I hear here.

    In gassho


  3. I have had the same feeling when I’ve often been given the advice, “Let it go”, “Give it up”. Often I could feel my hands ball up and my insides as well, as letting it go caused more cramps and tension of holding on. And then I had a surprise once, my grandma gave me before her death a silver box with an engraving of a bird sitting on a branch of blossoms. It was a special gift because she loved birds and we both liked to watch them in the morning and evenings in the Rocky Mountains. And she and my grandpa could imitate most of their songs. Well, when I opened the box after some time after her death I saw on the inside lid was simply this note on a yellowed piece of paper: “Let it go, UP and AWAY!” I’m not sure why she wrote that,but it gave me the feeling of what it really means to let go; an UP and AWAY is also somehow involved. The box is a perfect size for incense sticks and that’s where I keep the ones that I offer on our home altar. A connection and letting go. UP and AWAY!

    Hope you are doing well!

  4. Hello Jack,

    I enjoy your comment and feel like I’ve met your grandparents somewhere.Perhaps it’s their generosity of spirit and joie de vivre that you describe so well.

    Also, your story of the serendipity of the box (and its perfect size), the note, and your response to Rev. Mugo’s posting is compelling.I hope you write more about your relations and your training.

    In gassho, Jim

  5. This struck a chord with me today, when tired after the weekend I have been trying hard to be grateful and kind and lovely to the children, but have been miserable and self- centred. Making Deborah’s bed I was shouting at myself (in my head) to let go and find gratitude and not surprisingly it didn’t happen. We went out to play on the swings and it was listening to the children laughing, feeling them coming and going (quite literally but there was something else about letting go and interdependence but I couldn’t way what) and the glorious blue sky inspired some giving up. Not much, but just enough to put a small crack into the self centredness and ensure a happier day.


  6. Hello Rev. Master Mugo….your blog is very timely for me. Sometimes I do ‘hold’ too tightly and it (whatever ‘it’ will be at the time) just kind of sits there and ferments. Fermenting does not feel comfortable. However, when I can remember, in the words of Hui Neng that “only your mind moves,” I can laugh at myself and realize that nothing happens – really! It is only my mind that thinks it so.

    On another note, I am just in the last few days of getting ready to go to Shasta Abbey for Jukai. I am so excited AND a little trepidatious. Our sangha has been working with the Precepts since just before Christmas in preparation for the few of us who are going. I look forward to our drive down there, and the full journey itself.

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