If we set out on the spiritual path with great enthusiasm and decide to make big sacrifices or commit ourselves to substantial changes in our life without proper preparation, our practice will be unstable from the very start. We might break our commitment later, doubting the reasons for having made it or, even worse, regretting that we ever did. It is much better to go gradually, step by step, so that our good qualities have a chance to develop. Then we can slowly deepen our commitment.

First we need to reduce our attachment. There is a simple exercise that you might find helpful. Take something you value — gold, silver, jewelry — and hold it in your right hand; then "give" it to the left, saying "I'm giving this up." Then offer it back to the right hand. From one hand to the other, repeatedly give it away.

It may sound simplistic, but in this small, humorous way, we can begin to break down the habit of holding on to things. We mentally practice giving them up again and again.

Chagdud Tulku in Change of Heart by Chagdud Tulku, Lama Shenpen Drolma