Recently, I have been having difficulty maintaining my blood pressure to keep it in a healthy range. During meditation, I found myself praying for the control needed to achieve this goal, when suddenly I realized that I needed to pray to let go, not to control. Let me explain and show how this is a powerful metaphor for life.
The blood pressure control system is largely involuntary and not something that my mind has access to, at least in a direct sense. When I pray for control of it, I activate my will, and one of the results is that I try harder to achieve the desired control. However, this in turn puts my body on alert and activates, for example, tendencies to be hyper-alert and tense, which is one of the primary mechanisms for high blood pressure.
The answer to this riddle is counter-intuitive. In order to achieve control, I have to let go of control and engage trust. I use my mental faculties to be sure I maintain a healthy lifestyle and take the appropriate amounts of medication and then simply let go, recognizing that I do not control from my will.
This realization led me to see this counter-intuitive process as a powerful metaphor for life. How many areas are there in which I assume that my will has much to do with the outcome of a particular activity? I’m not suggesting that the answers to this question are obvious, but it is now obvious to me that I need to live in the question, being sensitive to the possibility that activating will is the wrong way to go.
Returning to the issue of health, my mind can be helpful, probably essential, in the establishment and maintenance of a healthy life style. However, after I have done what I can in that way, I need to let go of the outcome and trust. If I were successful in this approach, I believe it would largely remove fear of death and dying. And without doubt, it would keep me from moving in directions that make the condition I am trying to improve even worse.
And that’s a future that excites me!