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The Four Relinquishments

--by Peace Pilgrim (Oct 31, 2006)


Once you've made the first relinquishment, you have found inner peace because it's the relinquishment of self-will. You can work on this by refraining from doing any not-good thing you may be motivated toward, but you never suppress it! If you are motivated to do or say a mean thing, you can always think of a good thing. You deliberately turn around and use that same energy to do or say a good thing instead. It works!

The second relinquishment is the relinquishment of the feeling of separateness. We begin feeling very separate and judging everything as it relates to us, as though we were the center of the universe. Even after we know better intellectually, we still judge things that way. In reality, of course, we are all cells in the body of humanity. We are not separate from our fellow humans. The whole thing is a totality. It's only from that higher viewpoint that you can know what it is to love your neighbor as yourself. From that higher viewpoint there becomes just one realistic way to work, and that is for the good of the whole. As long as you work for your selfish little self, you're just one cell against all those other cells, and you're way out of harmony. But as soon as you begin working for the good of the whole, you find yourself in harmony with all of your fellow human beings. You see, it's the easy, harmonious way to live.

Then there is the third relinquishment, and that is the relinquishment of all attachments. Material things must be put into their proper place. They are there for use. It's all right to use them; that's what they're there for. But when they've outlived their usefulness, be ready to relinquish them and perhaps pass them on to someone who does need them. Anything that you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you, and in this materialistic age a great many of us are possessed by our possessions. We are not free.

[...]

Now the last: the relinquishment of all negative feelings. I want to mention just one negative feeling which the nicest people still experience, and that negative feeling is worry. Worry is not concern which would motivate you to do everything possible in a situation. Worry is a useless mulling over of things we cannot change. Let me mention just one technique. Seldom do you worry about the present moment; it's usually all right. If you worry, you agonize over the past which you should have forgotten long ago, or you're apprehensive over the future which hasn't even come yet. We tend to skim right over the present time. Since this is the only moment that one can live, if you don't live it you never really get around to living at all. If you do live this present moment, you tend not to worry. For me, every moment is a new opportunity to be of service.

--Peace Pilgrim


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4 Previous Reflections:

 
On Nov 2, 2006 Nipun wrote:
On that note, here's the link to the Happiness Project: (see link)

On Nov 2, 2006 Neerav wrote:

Here's the link to the academy-award nominated claymation movie I was talking about: (see link)

On Nov 2, 2006 pavi wrote:

Thoughts from the Wednesday Circle: * To me the relinquishments are about happiness-- when you drop these things it makes you happy. Today I ran into a blog that was called the happiness project- this woman her name is Gretchen, she's taking a year off to write a book to do everything that people say make you happy. She's done all the research and now she's trying it all- her blog is about all her experiences. Oprah in her show yesterday she had the Free Hugs guy on the show, the mayor of Newark Cory Booker he was on the show too, he lives in a place where there is no running hot water- if other people live there then he wants to too he puts his kettle on in the morning and then goes running. Oprah asks him why he does it and he says he feels calls to do it. At the end of the show she gives everyone a 1000 bucks and she says go out and do something kind. So the question I put out there for the circle is what would be your relinquishments for happiness- and what would you do wit  See full.

Thoughts from the Wednesday Circle: * To me the relinquishments are about happiness-- when you drop these things it makes you happy. Today I ran into a blog that was called the happiness project- this woman her name is Gretchen, she's taking a year off to write a book to do everything that people say make you happy. She's done all the research and now she's trying it all- her blog is about all her experiences. Oprah in her show yesterday she had the Free Hugs guy on the show, the mayor of Newark Cory Booker he was on the show too, he lives in a place where there is no running hot water- if other people live there then he wants to too he puts his kettle on in the morning and then goes running. Oprah asks him why he does it and he says he feels calls to do it. At the end of the show she gives everyone a 1000 bucks and she says go out and do something kind. So the question I put out there for the circle is what would be your relinquishments for happiness- and what would you do with a $1000 bucks? * I was recently experimenting with intentions- my son tells me all the time they are important but I wasn't really fully convinced and then I started with some positive intentions and it seems to really work. In terms of happiness, the ability to let go of things that are not really important contributes to that. * Regarding happiness I've observed through the years that one way to sum up what I am looking for is a happiness that is not dependent on anything and I want to know now what the independent happiness depends on :-) * How to spend 1000 bucks I'd probably give it to a 100 school kids and ask them to do something kind. * Two years ago I gave up two things that had been integrated into my lifestyle. I didn't give them up because they were inherently bad things I did it more as an experiment. The way I think about it- it was more for me the exercise of not being attached to those things. And now it doesn't matter whether I do it or not. I think the only time I am truly happy is when I am truthful to myself and those around me. * This quote reminded me of a tape called Inner Growth through devotion- it talks about surrender to God. It says when you really give up everything that's when it starts-- and I realize I don't trust God, I am not ready yet-- just reminds me of how much I use ego as a protection. We have friends whose mother passed away, the father doesn't believe in taking- he gives but with the wife not there he can't take. He's raising two daughters on his own, he's a physicist, soccor coach- but takes no help. He got a stroke. He keeps on saying I worked so hard it's not fair. And I realized that "taking" is also a form of giving. I feel that this is a strong message to teach him to take from his family and friends. * A few thoughts came as the thought was read. The three words that come together for me are view, intention and letting go. The view point in the second relinquishment- is usually less broad than what it can be-- it's true for me- I was driving and there was this woman who was standing there that I totally didn't see because she was in my blindspot-- and I realized that when I know that I have a blindspot I compensate with another perspective-- bringing that to intention, one of the quotes that people cite is "the road to hell is paved with good intention" and I think when your intention isn't grounded in the letting go of your view point then it is limiting. That's an insight that came for me. * The first thing I thought was a quote- Knowldge is a process of acquistion and wisdom of letting go. This week I've been doing a lot of post-travel clean-up. My place felt very cluttered and - interesting that awhile ago I never thought of myself as having a lot of stuff- in India I was traveling with three pairs of clothes- I come back and feel burdened by a closetfull of clothes. Six sweaters! Needed to get rid of all this stuff. That's my personal story of connecting with that idea of relinquishment. * I cannot really depend on myself for being happy. All the 4 relinquishments are about giving up self- identity. Maybe that will result in a happiness that's not dependnent on anything. About the 1000$ bucks-- recently I've been researching alternative currencies. A woman bought train tickets for villagers in India so that they could ride for free. The people in the village got on the train and that one act resulted in so many changes within the villages, just that exposure and freedom....a very smart way of spending a few 1000 rupees. Freeing people up from some constraint that they have. Maybe I would use the money to figure out how to get something done without 1000 bucks. * A few observations-- the physical giving up people find hard to do because they are sentimentally linked to the past. In terms of turning your negative energy to positive energy some people find that hard to do because they need to release it. About separateness I run into that a lot. When I used to get assigned to something I didn't like I'd always think my manager favored someone else- but when I changed my way of thinking that stopped. I could think it was for the greater whole. * I did see the video with the hugs-- that's something that I always wanted to do and to see it amost made me cry. I think I am different in a business environment I hold back- I don't know if it's because I think I'm not good enough or what- but now where I am working I feel like I have that space to be my self. I had this burst of happiness the other day and I walked over to my co-worker and said can I have a hug? And she said sure! And it felt so good. I felt like I had a connection with the people I work with and I wanted to feel that in that environment. * I had saved up just a few books from my college days and my daughter was really excited to see the physics book I had used 30 years ago. I save a lot of things I never use- but the problem with this quotation- if I don't need it today what if I need it six months later? The tip I read was to box and date all the things you aren't sure you need - a year or whatever later if you haven't used it -give it away. * The comment about the text books reminded me about finding my dad's textbooks and his masters thesis, his first resumes- I sat there and read through this stuff and then he tossed it all. I heard about this movie coming out called The Pursuit of Happiness starring Will Smith- everytime I see the name of the movie the Happiness is spelt with a 'y'-- i as opposed to you- or why :-) Recently watched this animated short- it's called More and there's no dialogue just a claymation. I would explain it but can't do it justice. * When I lived in India I shared a car with my dad and we'd go to the temple and I loved to offer sweets there. Suddenly realized that I didn't have money one day and wasn't going to go to the temple and then a song came to my mind- that says everything is God's so why bother- and I felt so happy. The temple became my second home. So now even if I can't offer something there it's okay. * I have four immense closets that are packed. Everything has an association, some place I went to or the fabric is really nice- but it's bothered me that I can't recycle any of them. This is a confession. When we had the fire in my building I didn't worry for a second- what was going to happen was going to happen- but I worry if I have to throw something away. * I think about relinquishment and happiness and remember that I work with a group of people who have found that and live it every day. What's the name of my company? Kindergarden. As complicated as teaching can be they teach me lessons everday. With a 1000 dollars I'd split it among them and tell them to give it to someone else - am sure the'd think of something good to do with it. * I was also going to share a story about learning relinquishment from a child. Those who have less tend to give more. In a village in South Africa I was tired of sharing food with everyone. So I snuck a bag of peanuts into my pocket for just me. A little boy came up to me and handed me an orange and said I want you to have this orange. And then I realized how miserable the peanuts in my pocket were making me. And his relinquishment was so joyful-- it was such a lesson. * The idea of intent is interesting- I saw this movie called The Secret- when you put forward an intention the law of attraction says that what you focus on will play out in your life. And it says that positive thoughts are a 100 times more powerful than negative thoughts. You have to not just think it but feel it- you start the intent but you don't know how it's going to happen. * I've been working with an organization trying to transform it and I feel myself getting bogged down in the existing culture. Have been thinking about how certain people resist change and other times for other people more habitually the unknown in something to embrace or explore. To me it would be gold to figure out what that is.

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On Nov 2, 2006 Navnit Mehta wrote:
Four relinquishmenta expressed above are essential for development of spirituality in our Life. But they are given in reverse order. The fourth one should be No.1. to initiate and it will help you to attain the Top.
Just ponder it over. This is not to critisize but to assist the real inspirants.
Thnks for this opportunity. Navnit Mehta from Mumbai