Giving Way

Let come what comes, let go what goes. See what remains.
— Ramana Maharshi

"Giving Way" as one of the components of spiritual practice can benefit the whole context of our life.  It is one of the ways that we have of navigating between our sense of self as a distinct individual and the larger field of life.  As such, it is a link between "Positive Participation" and "Turning Inward".  Acceptance, Surrender, Release, Letting Go, Forgiveness are all forms of "Giving Way".  They are both inner and outer processes.  We move beyond narrow self-interest, self-preoccupation and its ingrained, self-reinforcing patterns of thoughts and feelings.  We stop consuming our limited energy in struggles and problems that we cannot find our way through, giving in to a more expanded reality-- beyond our limitations--to which we and everyone else belongs.  We surrender our  personal, separate demands and desires, giving way to that which is greater and which we are not separate from--Higher Power, the Universe, God, Divine Wisdom, however we name or define that.  We get out of the way, and give over to the Spiritual.

Looking at it psychologically, giving way in relationship is one way to resolve conflict, but if it's our only way of resolving conflict, it is likely to lead to one-sided connections with others where we lose sight of the reciprocity that fuels meaningful relationship.  On the other hand, if we are the kind of personality that never gives way, then we also loose.  Relationships remain superficial and one-sided, because we have failed to penetrate the barriers to empathy and understanding of others.  Giving way from a spiritual perspective alters things;  it no longer is about two separate individuals.   Each are woven into the unity of life.  Giving way becomes an appeal to Higher Authority, the willingness to step aside so that what is highest and best for all can lead to resolution.

Giving way in meditation marks a transition.  As beginners we often assume that we have initiated an inner process that requires our effort and therefore is subject to our control. We approach meditation with an attitude that we can and should control our thinking, our attention, our bodies, our feeling states.  Try as we might to stay open, we have begun the practice with some expectation, some goal in mind.  Self-discipline plays a role in meditation, but at some point we discover that the art of meditation means giving way, letting go, and letting the practice reveal itself.  Giving way means giving up control.

Giving way as release is accepting that life is movement and things change.  If we move forward with the process of life, we naturally must let go to move beyond that which is no longer alive for us.  We make our peace with what has been, put events, possessions and changes in relationships in that peace by finding each a place in our past.  We bring a spiritual perspective to the passing of time and the movement of life, letting change happen.

Forgiveness reaches across all these forms of giving way.  We forgive ourselves for not being able to control every experience.  We forgive our need to control.  We forgive the internal struggles with ourselves.  We forgive God and life for not making it easier.  We forgive people for being problematic and for not being as we truly think they should be.  We forgive the pain of loss, the confusion of existence, and the onward movement of life that pushes us, or beckons us, forward.  With the practice of giving way to the Source of life, beyond our understanding and control, we find that we are sustained and life opens before us in wondrous ways that we could never have designed ourselves.


We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
— Joseph Campbell