Balancing your knowledge with wisdom (letting go)

“Knowledge is learning something every day, wisdom is letting go of something every day” – Zen Proverb

Dear Integral Meditators,This weeks article explores how we can balace our accumulation of knowledge with the wisdom of letting go. Enjoy!

In the spirit of  wisdom,




Balancing your knowledge with wisdom (letting go)

“Knowledge is learning something every day, wisdom is letting go of something every day” – Zen Proverb

We all know that feeling of being overwhelmed by the amount of information coming our way in modern day life.
Whilst we definitely need to keep increasing our knowledge, in order to make sure that our wisdom also increases in proportion to our knowledge we also need to spend time dropping our knowledge and resting in a state of simplicity and conscious ‘forgetting’. This means not just once every few months, but once a day!

A practice for letting go of things
Imagine you have a mirror in front of you. As you look in the mirror, you see that you are dressed in a jacket that has many big pockets, and you have a backpack loaded with things strapped to your back. As you start to explore what is in your pockets and in the backpack, you see that it is full of all the knowledge and experience that you have accumulated over the years. They are also full of the emotional baggage that you carry around, your personality, and your desire to ‘fix’ all your problems today. Spend a bit of time just noticing the weight of your accumulated life experience and knowledge, both the good and the bad.
Now I want you to see yourself emptying the pockets, and putting down the backpack. You can even take off the jacket. In fact, you can take off all of your clothes and imagine yourself sitting totally naked if you like! As you put all of this, you can feel your mind, body and heart simplifying, relaxing and becoming lighter. You get in touch with that part of you that is happy just to be and doesn’t have to do all the time. You feel yourself letting go and moving into a space of wise, intelligent presence. Breathe and relax in this space for as long as you like. Try and let your body-mind really get a feel for what it is like to let go of all you know rest in a state of simple, wise, being.
When you have finished, you can put your ‘coat and backpack of knowledge’ back on, but you can now balance your state of doing and knowing with a state of being and letting go.
The point here is not to give up knowing and doing, but to create a complementary state of regenerative, wise being that keeps you light, flexible and joyful.

Related article: Four Zen meditations

Article content © Toby Ouvry & Integral Meditation Asia 2019.

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