Ruth Landstrom,Ph.D.                                                                                                                  
Fall 2009                                                    Volume 3, Number 2
If you're reading this newsletter, chances are you're seeking something -- to be more calm, more present, or more happy.  I want to pass on to you what my teacher Narayan recently said to me: "Just give it up."   

Just Give It Up

Right now, if somebody asked you what you needed to be happy, what would you say?  
I'm guessing that the first answer springing to mind is not that you need to give something up.  It seems to be natural to wish for more -- more love, more money, more influence, more happiness.
What if you just gave up that piece of you that holds out for something more? 
What if you really, really relaxed and surrendered to whatever your experience is, right now?      
What if you stopped striving to get somewhere else?   
 "[T]he spiritual path is truly simple.  It is simple because it is not about acquiring, accumulating, or achieving anything.  It is all about giving up what we don't need.  It's about giving up what isn't useful instead of acquiring things with the idea of going somewhere or achieving something."
Anam Thubten, no self no problem (Snow Lion Publications, 2009), p. 37.


Day to Day 

So there I was on retreat, chewing over "Just give it up."  I spent a day or two trying to feel my way into what I needed to give up, watching my breath, feeling my body, becoming aware of lingering hopes for something else to happen, and felt that I was getting somewhere.  ("Oh, that's what I have to give up!")  Then during yoga I became aware of some tension and irritability.   Afterwards, at dinner, I found myself kvetching (in silence of course) about the food.  I looked at my striving to "just give it up" and suddenly realized how much I was still trying, trying, trying to get somewhere else.  

I asked myself, what if I really stop trying?  What would happen if I just let myself be and don't try even to be aware? 

Guess what happened? 

Awareness continued.  Seeing still happened.  Tasting still happened.   And my sense that I  was doing these things -- seeing, tasting, walking -- just dissolved. 

Such a relief!

Temporarily at least.  :) 



Coaching and psychotherapy
Ruth is available for  both coaching and psychotherapy in Warwick, NY and New York City.   Coaching is also possible by phone.  Call 212-721-0499 (NYC), 845-986-7686 (Warwick) or email to set up a free consultation.
Coming soon:  Guided Meditations
I am now recording some short guided meditations for my website,


I'd love to hear from you!  Please e-mail me your comments, questions and requests.  If you or someone you know would like to explore coaching or meditation, you can contact me for a free phone consultation at 1-866-788-4526 (1-866-RUTHLAN) or