Freedom? July 4th musings.
Freedom? Let me just name it: it feels hard to celebrate this country right now.
In the yogic tradition there’s a term called moksha. Distilled to its essence, it could be translated as freedom & liberation – mostly from our samsaras. Samsaras are cyclical patterns of perpetual suffering due to our attachments and delusions. The freedom of moksha has little to do with personal liberties, more so the deeper notion that perhaps through practice, we ourselves can get closer to free in this life – free from the cage of our own mind. While there really aren’t any end goals per say in yoga, most spiritual paths uphold the ideal that we’re leading ourselves towards moksha in some way.
This real-deal freedom is aside from any independence from external systems. This is internal freedom where the soul sings freely, the eyes stay curious and the heart fears not exposing its biggest love – an open freedom that shines like ten thousand suns in the deliberate moment we pause before reactivity, or the supreme joy of sword-like discernment when we no longer feed into cyclical thought-loops of false narratives. It takes a heroic effort to keep our perspectives and apertures as wide as the Milky Way, yet this is the real liberation and the boon of practice.
Sometimes this path to freedom feels like having our hands bound in a blindfolded potato sack race to nowhere. Then, with a little earnest effort and a good teacher, we may get little nuggets of awareness through our sadhana – tiny, delicate morsels of mental freedom that we can savor as bread crumbs along the journey. These are the aha! and hallelujah! moments to be on the lookout for. They let us know the practice is working. And, of course inevitably we all fall in and out of our sedated slumber, back in the hamster wheel of our adorable human ways, bound to our delusions. This is why we call it a practice, to come back over and over again to clear the mind.
May you feel free today, in all the ways. May we all be free from any oppressive systems that don’t support and encourage the liberation of our soul, and our body's independence. We live in a wild world these days that seems to want to strip our liberties and keep us distracted in a myriad of ways. Tune your mind, align your breath and free your mind. A liberated mind is quite possibly the biggest threat to inadequate social systems, and our current systems are in desperate need of extreme challenging. May we work in earnest to create a more just world that upholds freedom and liberty for ALL. Be the bodhisattva. If you’ve received any glimmer of freedom from these practices, turn around and offer a hand back to someone else. None of us will be free until we all are.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti,