Once upon a time I thought freedom was to be able to do what I wanted whenever I wanted to. Does it sound familiar?
It seemed to me that freedom was a sudden wish for me to go somewhere, go to the airport, buy a ticket, and take off where it takes me. What else?
Yes, but I did not take into account the fact that Freedom includes both Responsibility and Price. What is the price that others have to pay for my Freedom? If I wish for myself that I am suddenly free, will I not enslave someone else with my actions? For example – I decide to go, but someone has to run my work in Sofia. Well yes, I’ve never had a chilled period in my true life. Just like that, to have no commitments, to no one. I watched people leaving for camping for the whole summer, without a phone, without the Internet, and I thought- wow, free people. And me, you see, with these projects, with these anchors that hold me in Sofia, how I’ve been enslaved … So the question is – Is the chilled man a free man? Is the working man enslaved?
I will unravel this subject from a universal, human and yoga perspective.
We humans believe that FREEDOM is what enables us to follow our hearts. Isn’t that so? However, very often we exclude the Responsibility from the term Freedom. Meaning, to follow my heart does not mean at all costs. Imagine a woman who had given birth a few months ago. The baby weeps, she has no time to take care of herself and suddenly her heart says – go on the road, go take care of yourself. And she, as her heart told her to, drops her baby and goes to a 1-month detox. Is this freedom? Who’s paying? But here is another scenario – the woman has given birth, the baby is crying. Here’s the same, that’s reality. But the choice of action may be different, for example, the woman spends 30 minutes each day alone for herself, while the baby is asleep. Or takes an hour. Yeah, exactly an hour, just for yourself, while the dad or a grandmother is watching the baby. So the woman does not get to the point where her glass is totally overflowing with emotion and completely drained of energy.
And there is no need for another freedom, because her freedom is that she has become a mother. This is a great freedom, although some people say that when you give birth, your life has ended – blah – blah. Out of such allegations young girls are afraid to become mothers – not to end their freedom. As if someone can take away your freedom? No, you freely give it to yourself, from the fear of the memories of the slavery that is in our cells, the idea that you can escape for Freedom.
Here is where the example of the prisoner fits perfectly. Imagine a man in jail – he’s lucky, he’s been imprisoned in a prison where they practice Vipassana *. He enters charged of a serious crime, but in prison he starts meditating. Day by day he begins gradually to realize what he has done. He passes through the realization of his guilt, through his anger, through his pain and one day, suddenly something breaks in him, something opens and a beam of light begins to glow. He has broken the chains and has received a blessing, But …. there are another 10 years in prison. However, he internally moved. Something has changed in him, and prison bars no longer define him as a prisoner. His body is jailed, but his soul is released. He has been touched by the Unspoken.
And now imagine a person who goes to work every day, from 9 to 5, and sometimes even later. This man complains, he sees himself as a victim of the system, of the state, of his family, of his destiny. He makes good money and can afford a trip. But ….. fear has made him stiff. How is he going to be fine, as he does not speak English so well, how is he going to drive on the opposite side, well we have to get vaccines, they say it´s very dangerous in Asia, with these viruses, parasites. And here the Freedom ends. He is outside, in the world – supposedly free, but a full prisoner in his head, slave to his fears.
And here’s my favorite image, the Chilled One. So, the Chilled One takes a spliff, it’s clear, no judgement. And clearly he looks at life at large. He may even believe in the universal miracles and in these so convenient synchronicities, that he noticed happening by letting go with the wave. However, what happens when the Chilled One enters the city? A struggle starts, a resistance, a resentment – this city, I do not live here, I want a beach, and like that, thoughts start to shake the head of this otherwise peaceful person. So where did the Freedom go?
Where is our Freedom?
In Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism a term is known under different names – Moksha, Nirvana, Mukti, Kivavlia and others. In Hinduism, Moksha is a central concept, along with three others, which form the framework of the goals in human life – dharma (mission), arta (welfare), and kama (satisfaction). The four goals are known as Purushartha.
Moksha is the supreme principle of Freedom, like Liberation from Ignorance and Samsara. ** We are all in the trap of our karma. Karma is not a dreadful consequence, it is simply an action. The law is brilliant – each of our thoughts, words and actions creates a resonance in the material space. Nowadays, we have the blessing to change our karma instantly, by altering the thought that would grow chaff.
So what is it really like to be Free?
To wake up the OBSERVER. This is the essential part of you that remains unchanged. It only observes without wanting evaluation, without criticizing, categorizing, without defining, without being emotionally involved. If you let the OBSERVER talk about you, you will hear some impartial words that have no trace of emotion. Try the following – stand in front of the mirror and tell by yourself an event with a strong emotional charge of your life. Look yourself in the mirror. Then step outside, shake yourself off and tell the same story in 3rd person on behalf of the Observer. Look at the difference.
TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
It is getting old now to point at the outside world and to say – You, you, you, you. Well it’s not you, it’s me, me, me, me. When you awaken the Observer, this “YOU” loses its power, because you see clearly that nothing comes just like a thunder from the outside. Everything is the result of your past actions, of the subconscious programs you have taken up to 5 years of age and of the systemic connections and loyalties in which you are entangled. Try start from the idea – What can I give, can I make, can I change in myself, that it acquires a beautiful image in the outside world? An exercise you can do is close your eyes, connect with your breathing and remember a situation where you blame someone else for something. Revisit the situation and try to share the responsibility. It’s never just you, or just me. From the point of view of the deeds that refer to two or more people , it is important to have the feeling of US.
What does surrender mean? The opposite of struggle. Some people confuse it with giving up. Allowing you to release control and deliver it to the Omnipresent Power. Call it God, Goddess, Genesis, Universe – it does not matter. The question again rests on you and your Faith. Can you let go of the wave without fear, no worry, no desire to change the circumstances? Can you relax in the pain, suffering, fear, without trying to escape from them? Could we escape somewhere? But if we stay and plunge into the experience of the situation of the moment, something great happens. Suddenly we see that fear is no greater than us, that suffering comes not from events but from our point of view, that the same thing can bring joy to one and sadness to another. So instead of running away from the difficulties and attracting pleasure, we remain centered and anchored in REALITY, as it is now. And so we take a breather. Fighting and suppression requires a lot of energy, and the reception releases a huge amount of soft energy that allows us to wander in the waves of life.
MEDITATE. Yes, this is the only way to really awaken the Observer. Find a door to yourself, there are many techniques to suit everyone. If you are a beginner you can begin with a guided meditation. You can hear my short meditations in the A GIFT for you section.
SELF-EXAMINE OF YOUR VISION OF FREEDOM
Sit and write – what is Freedom for you. Remember the moments in which you felt really free. Describe them and remember what brought you into this state.
I wish to all Bulgarians to reach the Wings of Liberty, which happens only when the pursuit is stronger than the fear …
* Buddhist meditation technique, it means seeing things as they are.
** Samsara is the wheel of karma – the cycle of birth and death
Author: Teodora Racheva (Devi)
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