The First Step of Freeing Ourselves: Letting go of “Me” and “I.” (Finding a New Hope, Week 5)


Doing without doing

Think about the labels we use; about what you and others “are,” about what people are “doing.” Such as, “I am….”, “She is…,” “He’s doing…”

Tell yourself ten times that someone is a wonderful person. How do you feel? Now tell yourself ten times something fake, but negative about that same person, and see how you feel.

When Daehaeng Sunim uses the expression “doing without doing,” generally she uses it to describe a method of spiritual cultivation where one actively lets go of all thoughts related to the mistaken view of a separate doer, i.e., “I,” “me,” “mine,” etc. By letting go of thoughts of “I,” and practicing “doing without doing,” one is able to overcome the limitations inherent in the construct of “I.” Letting go of thoughts of “I” dissolves the persisting labels and dualities that “I” creates, and allows things to change and grow naturally. One’s actions and thoughts naturally move into harmony with the fundamental nature of reality, which in turn makes awakening and true spiritual development possible. About this, Daehaeng Sunim said:

The essence on mind cannot be described with words, and its functioning penetrates everything…You must discard the illusion of “I.” If you discard this illusion, all difficulties will subside. Your worries will disappear. But if you do not discard these persistent thoughts of “I did” or “I must live,” which are based upon your concepts of the material world, you cannot die. This does not mean the death of the body. It means instead that you harmonize yourself with the truth, the truth in which everything flows, constantly changing from one form to another.

(Here’s the link to the audio file of this week’s talk:)

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