Question:(Unedited) How does one let go to reduce his/her suffering as a layperson other than meditation?
Thank you for asking me.
There is no guarantee that meditation can help one to let go and reduce suffering. The most important criterion is to understand the Buddha's teachings and then to put them into practice.
Under normal circumstances, we react to external stimuli. We are happy when we get what we want. The more we have, the more we want.....greed. We are unhappy when we get what we don't want. The more we get those things that we don't want, the more miserable we become......resentment, aversion, hatred. Throughout our lives, we succumb to these external temptations and bombardments. So long as we fall victims to our desires and aversions, we will always be miserable. This is because we cannot be fully satisfied with our desires; and we cannot fully control undesirable events from hurting us. "To let go" in this Buddhist context is to understand the real nature of this life and this world; and then to skilfully surf through the waves of life while maintaining a balance in our lives. In this way, we can reduce our "suffering".
To be contented with what we already have. Not to crave for things that we cannot yet obtain. To live for this day, and not for tomorrow. Living in the present. This will set the mind free from unnecessary worry and unsolicited desire. When the mind is contented, we will be contented. The more practical approach is to reduce our desire for the yet unattainable, and to reduce our aversion of the undesirable which we cannot control. However, this does not prevent us from working towards our goals, and from taking preventive measures to avoid disasters.
Learn from yesterday,
Live for today,
Let go of tomorrow.