"...You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and grief, but rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound..."
~ Kahil Gibran, The Prophet CLICK TO TWEET
I used to think freedom was freedom from pain, freedom from heartache, freedom from challenge, financial freedom... the list just went on and on.
But I was wrong.
True freedom is allowing the gradients of life to be. From the intenseness of grief and sadness, anger and fear to joy, peace and grace.
Instead of doing what we've been conditioned to do I realise none of that works. Distraction through eating, exercise, sex, holidays, drama and drugs, that none of these are sustainable, all of them only a temporary measure.
We can't eliminate the varying emotions and experiences of life through action and doing, but we can experience relief and freedom through 'being'.
It's Not Easy
It's not easy. This is why not many people take this road, but all distraction roads are always temporary band-aids.
Wouldn't you prefer a road that enabled you to welcome whatever takes place, be it moods, emotions, health issues, relationship challenges and so on?
I readily admit I dabbled with self reflection and awareness many times over my life journey. I would start to self enquire and after a while allowed the frustration and resistance of the ego to take hold. As self enquiry shines the light of pure focus within, some of the difficult feelings can come to the surface in bucket-loads and in the past whenever I reached the place where a lot started to come up, my ego said 'This is rubbish! I'm not sticking with this, I feel worse than I did before' and I would return to my daily habits of distraction.
In the past it was 'The Law of Attraction' and more recently it was simply over-eating, drinking and surfing the net, anything to distract me from self awareness, I even used my previous relationship as a distraction - a big distraction as I stopped meditating!! Not good for me at all.
It seems so simple, but the ego likes to fight the freedom road, because true freedom comes from witnessing the world and its changing events and dropping into full awareness as watcher.
How do I enquire?
Start a simple practice of meditation or being still. And as you drop into this space ask 'Who Am I?'
Relax into this question, don't stress or strain for an answer, because you won't get one in the conventional mind sense. You may get this feeling of openness, expansiveness, it may seem empty and nothing, because it is 'no-thing', no object, not bound by the illusions of form.
There are other questions you can ask also. I learned from the teacher Adyashanti and I like the question 'Am I aware?' This stops me in my tracks at any time of day and I needn't be in meditation. I can be having coffee, walking along the street, I am in the moment.
And recently when struggle comes up I ask myself 'Am I able to experience this unconditionally?' a reminder to be kind to myself in this process of living.
It's a personal thing.
If you have tried everything and struggle against suffering, maybe the freedom road will free you from the constraints of trying too hard to get what you want?
Teachers On This Topic
For more teachers on this subject for when you are ready for this practice, below are my favourites for this enquiry. Each one is different. I have described my experience of them all to help you choose.
Adyashanti - American, amusing, very open hearted and compassionate, I find him quite amusing and clear. No bullshit.
Mooji - still, calm and strong. He makes me laugh lots, again with his no bullshit approach. A student of Papaji.
Rupert Spira - I find Rupert very peaceful to listen to, his way of speaking takes me into awareness fairly rapidly.
Gangaji - a female Non-Duality teacher, calming, soothing, was a student of Papaji.
Eckhart Tolle - German teacher, well known for his book 'The Power of Now'. I like him sometimes, he amuses me, but I have to be in the space to listen to him. I find Adyashanti and Mooji easier to listen to because sometimes I feel Eckhart is not entirely on this planet LOL.
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