May 31, 2018

Shambhavi riffs on the meaning of yielding and why yielding is a more useful way of relating to life than ‘letting go.’ A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi

First Words from Podcast

I was in a health practitioner’s office this week flipping through a magazine from a professional Rolfing association. There was an article in there about something called yielding—which is apparently a fundamental principle in Rolfing. They talk about yielding being your basic, best way of being in the world, relating to other people, and relating to your own physicality and circumstances. I was fascinated by this because I recognized that it’s something that I do all the time. It’s actually a more useful, practical, day-to-day practice than the famous or infamous ‘letting go.’

Let’s say you’re experiencing some difficult emotional moment, or some compulsive idea moment, or you’re having a rough patch with somebody else. You might get the advice from somebody to just let it go. Or you might even think to yourself ‘Oh! I should let this go.’ Letting go is kind of a tricky thing because no one can really let go until it’s their time to be able to let go. And ‘let go’ has this implication of a resolution. It’s not just that you’re letting something go, but you’re actually saying goodbye to it, leaving it behind, or watching it sail off.

So I thought about the differences between letting go and yielding. Letting go has an idea in it that we’re not going to feel that thing anymore, or that thing isn’t going to bother us anymore. That’s very, very difficult. Of course, sometimes we do let go. Sometimes things let go without even trying. Those are the best times. We don’t even notice until a week’s gone by, and we realize, ‘Oh! That thing we let go of it, it’s gone.’ But as a moment-to-moment practice that you can do when you’re bothered by your own self, or by yourself in circumstance, letting go isn’t really that practical.

Photo by James Coleman


Satsang with Shambhavi is a weekly podcast about spirituality, love, death, devotion and waking up while living in a messy world.