"Robert Cornell has written a wise and practical book for our times. A book that beautifully integrates psychological health and well-being with a genuine spiritual path."
Roshi Robert Joshin Althouse, Zen Life & Meditation Center, Chicago
"This is a book that bears witness to a life-long journey of intense self-understanding and is an exquisite exploration of the oft-heard spiritual injunction to "let go." I say intense and exquisite, because you will be stunned by the subtle layers of the human psyche that Robert has beautifully un-packed and articulated in a way that will give every authentic pilgrim of the human experience some new territory to ponder and explore."
John Dephouse, Associate Priest, All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena, CA
Excerpt Part 1
You have not to do anything in the positive sense of the word, in order to realize God. Simply undo what you have done in making your prison house and there you are, God already, truth personified already. - Sawan Singh There is a funny spiritual story about a man who goes on a pilgrimage up in the mountains to find a guru who can give him spiritual guidance. He starts out along the winding path in the morning in the bright sunlight, but as he continues through the day, the clouds come over the sun and it starts to rain and become very dark. As he slogs along the narrowing trail, he loses his footing and slips over the side of the sheer cliff below.
Luckily, he is able to grab onto a small bush on the cliff but he can’t get enough purchase with his feet to be able to haul himself back up onto the trail. In his desperation, he calls out, “Help, help! Is anyone there?” To his surprise and relief, God answers him back in a deep clarion voice, “Yes my son. I am here.” The man shouts back to God, “Help me!” And God replies to him gently, “Let go my son.” The man is quiet for a moment and then he shouts, “Is there anyone else up there?”
On this funny note is where the story usually ends; but let’s take it a bit further. There is no answer, so the man hangs on until morning and then notices in the increasing light of daybreak that there was a ledge just a little under his feet. Had he listened and let go, he could have rested on that ledge and then easily pulled himself up in the morning. Instead, he had to struggle to haul himself with great difficulty back up on the trail. And as he lay there exhausted, he realized he didn’t need to go up to the guru for advice: he gained the wisdom he had been looking for from his own struggle the night before: trusting when to let go. In the story above, a man goes on a journey, seeking wisdom in the words of a guru far removed from the noise of everyday life, But instead he finds himself facing his own survival, hanging onto the edge of a cliff.
Excerpt Part 2
He is looking for wisdom outside of himself and instead life circumstances bring him to hanging desperately onto a small bush over the edge of a cliff. (Has Life ever done this to you?) And then God tells him, kindly, to let go! The poor guy doesn’t trust God and hangs on for dear life. But his struggle is what in fact leads him to the very wisdom he has been seeking. Isn’t this how we spiritual seekers often are: looking for a guru or a book or a philosophy that will tell us what to believe or what to do to gain wisdom, when the very thing that will lead us to real wisdom is our life itself that we struggle with, distrust, resent and resist?
So this book is not a compendium of easy advice to solve your problems but rather some suggestions on how you might relate more wisely and willingly to the difficulties and challenges and the opportunities to let go more gracefully. In this book, I invite you to engage with your life, as it is, not the idealized, elevated spiritual life that you wish you could attain, but to engage with the very nitty-gritty life that you have now, with all of its ups and downs and challenges. Yes, that life!
Excerpt page 1
Excerpt Page 2