Letting Go for Real Offers Real Freedom

In all the decades that I have been teaching Kundalini Yoga as I was taught by Yogi Bhajan, I have observed that we sometimes misunderstand what it means to let go. So what does it mean to let go for real?

I have been doing a little research in the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings, and I found some excellent wisdom he shared with us about letting go and surrendering.   

In a lecture he gave in August 1971, Yogi Bhajan said, “When you surrender, you will be lifted.” This is the central teaching of letting go. When we let go, we are not letting go in a sense of saying goodbye to anything, sweeping it under the rug, or ignoring our troubles. Instead, letting go for real gives us an opportunity to hold every challenge in our awareness but give it over to the Divine Reality—to give everything to the Divine as a gift. We are letting go to inwardly say, Here you go, my Beloved, my highest consciousness, you take over.

Yogi Bhajan said, “Letting go is not a denial; it is a fulfillment.” Letting go is not about turning your awareness away from anything and forgetting. When we let go, we do not disengage or detach. Letting go is about allowing supreme consciousness to carry all burdens as well as all victories. Let it all go, once and for all. Everything.

“Jivanmukti” means to die while you are alive. This is not a death of our sensitivity; that would make us go numb. This is not a death to our passions, so that we check out and no longer care, nor do we pretend to be “above it.” No, this kind of death is the death of the ego-driven agenda and the ignorance of the mind. 

Yogi Bhajan says that, when you “die while you are still alive,” there is total liberation; you are liberated because you can never die, you are already dead. When we let go for real, we realize death as release. We let it all go into a space of awareness.  This means we release every burden to the consciousness of the Divine. We trust the Divine to carry every burden. 

Burdens come in all shapes and sizes. Larger challenges include the emergencies, crises, and tragedies we face now and then. Smaller burdens include every little tension that we hold within the muscle memory and the biorhythms of the physical body. We use the science of Kundalini Yoga to tense the body simply to gain wisdom about the action of letting go. Contemplate holding a stretching pose for three minutes and then releasing that pose. Consider, from the perspective of every muscle and cell, how it feels to finally release that (or any) challenging yoga pose. 

Through Kundalini Yoga, we train the body to remember the release so that we grow a habit of releasing tension. We can then transfer this wisdom to grow more aware of how we hold on to our life’s burdens. The science of Kundalini Yoga offers guidance on feeling the release: Place any life burden on an inhale and then let it go on the exhale.  Allow this exhale to be an act of placing down that burden at the feet of the higher powers.     

Yogi Bhajan also said, “Remember that whatever you sacrifice for God Consciousness and universality, you will receive back tenfold.” This means that we can even let go of the intentions and agendas and goals we set. Simply act, from moment to moment, in service of expanding the awareness of all beings; act, from moment to moment, for the benefit of the greater whole. When it’s a challenging moment, don’t detach or react; instead, maintain poise and observe, process, and give permission to the moment to be complete as it is.    

If our actions are selfless and pure, we needn’t hold on to anything, really. We can exist in an ever-continuing state of letting go for real. Our moment-to-moment existence can be imbued with complete ease and freedom. What is more, we will then give all beings in our presence a sense of ease and freedom on the subtle level of essence. 

When we let go for real, we let go for Divine Reality to play out its glorious play and sing out its glorious song in this very real, very alive Creation.

Find out about upcoming programs with Krishna Kaur at Kripalu.

Krishna Kaur, E-RYT, a dynamic, heart-centered Yoga teacher, began studying yoga in the 1970s and has passionately taught the art and science of Kundalini Yoga for more than 45 years.

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