18 Nov What is Liberation?
I have just returned from a gruelling trip which has taken toll on my body, and I need to spend this weekend holding some deep Hatha asanas to release the pent-up energy. I think I need to wind into a reef knot, but the problem is I might get stuck – forever.
Earlier in the week, I was meditating on my breath which is where my explorations are taking me now, but sometimes I vary this and just observe the fullness of the void and breathe into it. I was in my office and I decided to stretch my legs out. At that moment, I recalled a memory of me as a seven year-old sitting on a wall. This is VIVID image of my childhood because I recall wondering what my life would become; Whom would I marry? How many children? What would be my profession? Where would I live? What was the future, I wondered.
But then a simple shift in awareness told me I was that little girl sitting on the wall. Nothing but NOTHING had changed. There was no difference at all – so where had all the ideas of intervening years gone? How do I know that I am not that little girl right now? Why had I thought that anything else had altered?
MIND and its creation into the woman I became.
The experiential fact of the matter is that nothing had changed at all. That which is immortal in me – that which I AM, the silent majestic, cosmic and vital force of life, apparently still and unmoving yet explosive in its magnitude not only contains all life potential but IS all life itself. This is the great paradox of Divine Mystery. And you cannot explain this with the mind.
As I sat on the train station yesterday awaiting a delayed train, there was nowhere warm to sit, so I remained wrapped in my big coat, happy for its heat and sat in no-mind. This has become my default state now because I don’t do any thinking unless I am called to do so. I do not have a monkey mind; I do not have the 10,000 things. I have what is here and now, and only if required. The majority part of me is completely unmoved and profoundly still and nothings sticks to me, although everything has meaning. Joy arises spontaneously because I exist completely in the moment.
Living in no-mind or with the mind at rest (which means not using the mind because I don’t need the tool at that moment) does not mean an all out evacuation of senses or daily imbecility. In fact, it is to the contrary – nobody would know that your mind is under the covers. As I boarded the delayed train on the first leg of my journey yesterday, my lighthouse beam picked up a little toddler of about 2 years old dashing towards the train in her new booties out of her mother’s reach. The lighthouse bent down immediately and out her arm out in front of the child to create a barrier, and stopped her. If the unnerved mother had not been approaching, pushing the pram, the lighthouse would have morphed into a older, experienced mother grabbing a child in danger. But the light beam still would have been the primary experience, not the episode with the little girl which I immediately forgot as I climbed onto the train.
I can conceive projects and create wonderful things, but as soon as they are finished, they are gone, and the mind retreats to prevailing silence (but which is always present). When I celebrate a piece of work of mine, or I am complimented – I am aware that is the Mystery that has created it, and I acknowledge that in me AS me. That is the appreciation which leaves me in profound awe and tacit gratitude. I use the imagery (above) of a lighthouse casting its beam across far waters, as some of you know; sometimes catching the grey outline of a slow, distant steamer crossing the horizon, other times just watching the lashing of a tempestuous storm at my feet. In silence, in observation, without any need to categorise or label. That stillness and joy has become my natural state.
To be liberated is to be free from the mind. From the intellect, emotions, identification with the body (please – identification – not abandonment); to become the gap that is taught in Japa meditation or illustrated by teachers who point to what lies between two thoughts – what lies within the cosmic gap is the invitation to the secrets of the universe and immortality. It is all transcended because it is seen there is no more to learn, to experience, to create. This is knowing or realisation that the mind has come to an end in its search. This, for me, was the primal factor when I realised I had come to the end of life as I was constructing it. That – and the seeker was gone.
This is about physical EXPERIENCE, it is NOT about using the mind to understand its own absence. You have drop all and every morsel of literature and actually perceive and feel what is happening within you. What can happen in excellent and profound teachings however, is that you feel the resonance – the vibe, the pulse, the beat, the hammering, indisputable power of the truth, and you merge with that with your entire being; and realise what you really are. (N.B. Realising as in ‘dawns upon you and filters through you, NOT as “Aha! Yep, I’ve got it. What’s for dinner?” – Understand this crucial point, please).
To realise, in the spiritual sense, has the energy movement of receiving of UNBELIEVABLE, extraordinary, unexpected, mind-blowing, inconceivable, news. Think of Einstein (again..), Archimedes, or perhaps Dr Andrew Wiles who resolved Fermat’s Last Theorem in the 1990s. Their stories are similar the realisation or dawning descends. It’s THAT sensation which completely bypasses the mind, and your whole body become wired with increasing awareness (or realisation) as the news sinks in. It takes a while to filter through – but your body feels it firstly – especially if it’s a $10M win on the lottery.
Many of you know that I have returned to my yogic roots which I neglected as my life took its extraordinary course in its twenties. If there is one thing I regret, it is that. But life only evolves as it is supposed to because of our habitual conditioned responses, and I made the decisions all the way. It serves me right, therefore, that I feel like a dead spider this morning. For me, liberation was the beginning, and now I am back to square one ready to taste the nectar until I leave this mortal plane. Remember also, this is a short blog; I am gearing up to start writing books again, time permitting, and I am actually even considering a video or two…
So, do this exercise for me, please:
——— Sit on a chair comfortably, legs and arms released, eyes closed. Remember a time when you were carefree – you might be riding a pony, tearing up a motorway on your BMW motorbike, playing your guitar, rolling with your dog in the grass or lying locked in the arms of your first love. Act it out without moving a muscle. Lose yourself in the memory. Take as long as you like. Enjoy it …Put the alarm on and open your eyes when the bell rings.
———- Now – tell me, please. What is the difference? Can you prove it?
I found that photo of me on the wall this morning. Here it is. About 1963, aged 7. Yes – around JFK’s assassination.
With love and joy,