Two monks are walking alongside a river when they come upon a woman who needs to cross to the other side.

At this time, monks were not allowed to touch or even speak to women. But without hesitation, the first monk picks the woman up and carries her safely across the river.

He comes back to his companion and they continued to walk in silence…


The second monk stops his companion and says, “I can’t believe you picked that woman up and carried her across the river!”

The first monk replies, “Yes, but I put her down 5 miles ago and you’re still carrying her.”

Letting go is difficult.

Think of all the big and little hurts that you’ve been trying to let go of for the past 30 or 40 years.

Even when you think you’ve let something go, it unexpectedly sneaks back into your mind to bother you.

You say to yourself, “I thought I let that go.”

And you start ruminating on the past, arguing with yourself, and trying to figure out exactly what went wrong.  In essence, you become the second monk.

The bad news is: you cannot really let anything go.   

The good news is: you can be like the river and allow events and memories to flow through you. You can consciously surrender.  

The trick is to allow what hurts to pass through you without over thinking it, without saying things like,

“I thought I let this go years ago.”

“Why is this happening now?”

“ Maybe I’m not as spiritual as I thought I was.”

You see, once you start arguing with the memory, thought, feeling, or emotion, you’ve created a burden for you to carry.

Surrendering does hurt sometimes.

It doesn’t feel good to allow the feelings of being rejected on the playground when you were 8 move through you.

But the price you pay for not doing it is that you will carry that wounded eight year old child around with you for a very long time.

The next time you catch yourself needing to “let go” of something, try this:


  • Lie down flat on the floor with your legs slightly apart and your arms away from your body. Give yourself to the earth.
  • Imagine that your body is the bed and banks of the river. Imagine too that the Source energy within you is the water.
  • See the unpleasant feeling, thought, or image as debris in the water.
  • Now feel the current of water sweeping it away.
  • Surrender and allow the Infinite energy within you to do the work.
  • Just breathe, just be…


Photo Credit: Dave Contreras