Abandon Only What Is Not Yours — by Shaila CatherineSome people fear that letting go could diminish the quality of their lives, health, abilities, achievements, or personal property. To this, the Buddha said, "Whatever is not yours, abandon it; when you have abandoned it, that will lead to your welfare and happiness." This invites a profound reflection on what one can authentically claim as one’s own. As we discern the impermanent, conditioned character of all material and mental processes, we eliminate perceptions, sensory experience, and material things as fields for possession. On the surface it seems like we are asked to give up everything, but simultaneously comes the realization that there is actually nothing possessed and consequently nothing that can actually be given up. The great abandonment is to let go of the concept of ownership.