Renunciation is the 3rd Parami or emanating aspect of an Awakened Being. Learning renunciation is key to freedom, it appears to the worldly mind as depriving ourselves of everything we love, the pleasant and enjoyable. This is understandable, as it is the way the worldly mind conceives of letting go. But renunciation is actually an attitude, a way of approaching life, that invites us to give up what binds us—the mentally fabricated condition that to be happy or fulfilled, our experience must conform to our ideas and expectations or exhibit certain pre-ordained desirable qualities. Instead, our energy can be directed to understanding experience itself, however it is. Life unfolding is the constant opportunity to understand more deeply that whatever forms or flavors arise are Dhamma, offering surprise, delight and deepening wisdom and compassion.
Renunciation is not denouncing or getting rid of anything, but moving towards non-contentiousness, rest and ease—not manipulating, controlling, evading, suppressing or maneuvering experience. What a relief to give up that struggle! Deeply engaged in the conventional level of reality—society, justice, identities, relationship, livelihood and the marketplace, we know that if we grasp at and expect them to offer complete fulfillment, inevitably they will disappoint. Is this true of your experience?
Renunciation can seem like passivity, a dreary “door mat” philosophy, but it is the opposite. The ability to respond wisely, appropriately and compassionately naturally arises in the non-attached and consequently clear mind. Whole-hearted wise engagement and letting go harmoniously co-exist, unbinding the heart.