Tuesday, 22 February 2011

What is True Freedom?

When I look for freedom today I find it not in fantasy or in dreams, but in my sitting practice. What kind of freedom is it that exists in doing nothing? It is the freedom not to interfere or react. It is the freedom to merely observe. I don’t have to judge the trauma that arises in mind. I don’t have to get involved with the hundred narratives that might try to occupy my mind during the day. In not clinging to thoughts and ideas, wants and desires, hatreds and resentments, the bondages of my most negative thoughts and emotions have faded into a haze that still arises but no longer dominates my life. I have found freedom: it is the freedom of nonattachment, the freedom to not cling and to not resist. It is the freedom to allow myself to be with myself.

Ananda Baltrunas, "A Prison of Desire"

Received as
Daily Dharma from Tricycle.com on the 19th of December 2010


There seems to be vast plethora of people and websites around these days promising freedom in some form or another. These usually amount to e-books, on-line course, coaching and the like to help you leave your current job and become "free" by emulating the person or website offering the advice. Some of it could well be very valid and useful advice and guidance, getting out of an unpleasant job might well be a first step to gaining some clarity in life, writing about and sharing your skills with other in a helpful way is usually a good thing. Travelling to experience difference places and cultures is also usually a good thing.

However, as Ananda Baltrunas sets out very clearly, true freedom comes from not having to interfere or react to whatever arises in life. Leaving a job, becoming self-employed, earning a passive income on-line, travelling to different places - all of these still have in place the one key limitation of your freedom: you!

Find the freedom to be yourself without clinging or resisting though and it won't matter if you are employed, self-employed, unemployed, at home or abroad, you won't be a problem for yourself! That way, you can truly focus your energy on doing the work that you know matters most, whatever that might be.


Barry said...

How rare to find someone who knows that problems are created solely by oneself.

Puerhan said...

Thanks Barry. Mirrors some of your recent posts :-)