To be completely honest, I am afraid of true freedom. Correction: my mind and ego are afraid of true freedom. Why? Because they don’t know how to exist without having the job of controlling me.
I have always thought “if I allowed myself to go deep into meditation for an extended period of time the universe would tell me there is something else I must do with my life; maybe I should renounce my physical attachments and let go of all I have built up for my life so far.” But, the paradox is that this is a fear-based contrived thought.
Why? Because if the universe wanted this for me, then I would have already heard the message and listened. What I am doing right now with my life is exactly what the universe has asked me to do as my duty. And, let’s be honest, this destructive mentality is an excuse to not sit on my cushion and meditate.
It’s quite funny if you ask me. In fact, it’s quite clever of the mind to come up with these subtle and ego-centered fears which are complete illusions in order to continue to control my freedom, or lack there of. My mind’s control over me does not allow me to go deeper into my true self. This makes me more attached and dependent on the mind, of course. And the mind likes it that way.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali states you don’t have to renounce things, you just have to renounce your attachments to those things. The even funnier thing is once you have freed yourself from attachments, then you have experienced what or who you truly are, so it doesn’t matter anyways. According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, we are Purusha, God, Om, One, etc.
The problem lies with knowing this conceptually, but what does it mean experientially? Personally, I read and follow the sutras with faith and hope. I believe what the sutras are telling me is absolute truth so if I follow these principles and practice accordingly, then I will experience my true self, this Purusha, and get back home. And home is the place we all feel most free to be ourselves – our true selves. Another paradox is that home is already here. We don’t need to be searching for it because it is and has always been right within us.
We, as humans, have been the ones to place our own prison walls around us. We create and learn our “reality” so we must unlearn these realities in order to see the truth. As the wise Yoda states, “You must unlearn what you have learned.” Take out all the “shoulds” and regrets in your verbal and mental dictionaries. Set your past free in order to live freely in the present.
To simply express my freedom is to be true to myself and Purusha in every moment, every second, every breath. And in this pure space, I have no inhibitions although I choose to communicate with love. That is the caveat. Expression from a place of hatred is binding. Expression from a place of love is liberating, even if it is tough love. Although it may seem painful it is actually making your heart bigger and your love stronger by expressing yourself from this space.
So, I say “fart, burp, laugh, cry, sing, dance, love, feel, give, receive, and share to your hearts content!”
What do you have to lose?
Just your mind!
Editor: Kate Bartolotta