Guided Meditation on Freedom
A Special Republic Day Meditation Introspection and visualization on Freedom!
Tyagi Shurjo and Tyagini Narayani:
Good evening, everyone, Jai Guru.
For us, sometimes freedom means like, whatever I want to do, I can do it. Okay, I can eat whatever I want and go wherever I want. And that's a concept of freedom, but that's a very, in fact, slavish concept because it just says, I can get into any desire I want, which means that desire has power over us. You know, and that I can act wherever, however, I want, but we're not acting consciously; we're just reacting. And then we call that freedom. The Constitution gives shape and form to that freedom. And it says this is how we are going to express that freedom. And it's interesting to think about that. True freedom can only be expressed when there's an actual kind of direction to that freedom, which says, I will do this, even when I don't feel like doing this, even when my desire is pulling me in some other direction. I have the freedom over my desire to come back and say, no, I will follow this path, I will follow the path of dharma. It takes true freedom to follow a path. And that's what the Constitution is.
Build the framework of your freedom.
Finally, our forefathers they said, yes, we're free. But what does that mean? This is what it means and our forefathers, spiritually speaking, they've all given us a framework, a constitution; this is what your freedom will look like. And that's what we need to aspire towards. And that's what today is. It's committing our sense of freedom in a very particular direction, framed by certain sets of expressions, Do's, Don'ts, this is how I'm going to express my freedom, this is what I'm not going to do because that takes real power. So that's what we will try to aspire for even in our meditation, to just feel what are what does freedom really mean to me and what are those things that I know I must do every day. This is what I'm going to live my life based on. And do I have enough free will, enough power of my own individual freedom to overcome my likes and dislikes and my desires and my natural pools? That would happily draw us down? If given the option and will I be able to rise in that freedom?
So, with that little preamble to our constitution, let's sing this song. These words of Swami Kriyananda and the song is called Rise in Freedom.
Do you want to say the words? Let me say the words.
Nothing on earth can hold me. Rise oh my soul in freedom. Rise oh my soul in freedom. Nothing to fear anymore.
Such a beautiful affirmation, nothing on earth can hold me, rise oh my soul in freedom.
Identify your spiritual constitution.
For true freedom, there is always this concept of rising. The freedom of our own nation came at a great cost but it came because some individuals decided to rise up, rise up against circumstances, rise up against outside influence, rise up against their own fear, their own cowardice. So, we're going to have to learn to rise as well. That's the very definition of meditation, to rise up, raising that Kundalini flag, hoisting it. So, as we prepare our own individual in our constitution where we can write and say, we the people, we the spiritual aspirants, we who are seeking freedom, and then the rest of the words need to come from you.
And let's especially draw upon the presence and grace of those who have risen and found that freedom. Fortunately, they have left us a clear roadmap, a very well Laid down constitution of practices and techniques and attitudes and actions an entire way of life that's not always easy but it always demands of us that we rise, every one of them. And so feel their presence in your heart, whoever they are to you. For us, of course, we draw upon Babaji, on Lahiri Mahasaya, on Christ and Sri Yukteswarji, on our Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda but also on saints of all religions. Every one of them who found that true freedom? For they are masters of themselves. And having mastered themselves, they became masters to us all.
So, what we'll do today will be a little bit of an introspective journey, something that just shows us what our current constitution is. Which means what is the current frame around which we live our lives? What are the principles? What are the expectations? What are the do's and don'ts that we follow every day?
And in the same process, we need to also identify our oppressors, those who keep us in slavery, those tendencies that rule our minds, our feelings, and our actions.
Let's sit upright, really holding that flag high above. That flag is at the spiritual life, fluttering on the winds of freedom, of joy, of bliss. Straighten your spine and relax your shoulders. Do open your heart. Especially in the heart is where lies all our bindings, all our chains. But also, in there is the very vehicle of our salvation. There is so much power in our hearts. If only we learn to channel that energy toward our freedom
So, let's focus just for a moment, on those things that bind us. I'd like for us to just introspect. Just what we did today, nothing more. One day should be plenty to give us an understanding of our current state of awareness and consciousness. And we're trying to identify those things that helped raise our energy and our awareness. And those things that drew us downward into greater bondage.
Let's start each of us by how we awoke in the morning. Where did we awake with a sense of joy and purpose? Or did we just somehow step out of our bed, not quite sure not quite even interested. What are the first thoughts that come to us when we wake up? What are the first actions we perform after having taken care of the body and its needs?
Do we energize? Do we do some yoga? Do we meditate? Do we try to awaken in us a greater sense of purpose and joy?
Continue on this journey. Who do we interact with in our home? What kind of interaction is it uplifting or just factual, loving or irritable? Are you restless and agitated? Or do we feel calm, relaxed?
Just let this introspection guide you in its own way. You know what you did today, what you ate, what you said. Today was a holiday. How did you use your holiday? Did you use it, y going deeper and deeper into the subconscious state, being lazy? What did you use the time that you would otherwise have to give to work, to express greater freedom, to expand your mind and consciousness, to open yourself up to greater possibilities?
Go through especially how you felt throughout, asking what thread of feeling ran throughout the day, boredom, indifference, excitement, enthusiasm, joy, agitation, relaxation. And keep identifying when did you feel uplifted. And when did you feel just about present or just about aware but not quite, trying to recreate our own constitution that we will follow
What are those habits and tendencies that find their way into your life, again and again, drawing your mind downward, drawing your awareness towards the self rather than towards the divine
Who were the people that you met? How did they make you feel? Did they uplift you? Did you uplift them?
The most important thing about freedom that we must understand is that everything counts when it comes to freedom. Nothing we do can be dismissed. Nothing we do is irrelevant. As our Guru said, there are always only two options, whether moving towards the light or farther away. We're never just staying in the same place, even in our consciousness. Every thought, every action, every word we speak propels us in either of these two directions, and I want us to really feel.
What are the choices we make? Do we even make them? Or are they made for us? That is the very definition of bondage, of slavery, where we don't make these decisions anymore.
How easily do you give into moods? How quickly do you get irritated at those around you? How easily does your mind drift away in the middle of a conversation? All of these are indicators of our freedom or the lack of it, and as we celebrate the republic day for our country, can we also pin down our own spiritual constitution? How is it that we will represent and express our freedoms? And will we rise in them or will we fall?
Go through the day all the way to the end, all the way till this very moment, and ask what you ate, how you ate greedily. Did you stuff yourself? Just try to go into the minutiae of the experiences of the day. Did you serve others? Did you serve yourself first? Did you cook? If somebody else cooked and did you thank them? Did you compliment them? Or did you just assume that that's what they do?
Just find that stream of consciousness that runs through you, and let's really define that stream right now. Create a baseline. Just watch this process as impersonally as you can.
Don't judge yourself. Don't even worry about every little thing. Know only that you are ready to learn and that you want to grow. That is the first step towards freedom.
Watch already if your mind is restless, agitated, bored, ready to drift away, or even in this tiny little focused exercise how much of it is under your control?
Visualization of your ideal day.
From here, let's shift now to a visualization of our ideal day. If you were not bound by any habit, by your desires and attachments if you were not bound by your likes and dislikes, by your life circumstances, what would your day look like? How would you wake up? What would you do the first thing? What would you eat? Who would you be with? How would you relate and interact with those people around you? What work would you do? Who would you serve?
Just run through now another day, but this time make note of everything that you think is the freedom that you want, is your sole freedom being expressed? And begin to write that constitution based on this one ideal day. How long would you meditate? What would be the state of your consciousness? What life purpose would you fulfill? focus especially on who you would fulfill it with who are these people? Whether imaginary or real, whether already in your life or not yet in your life. There is no limit right now. In your mind, you are completely free. burdened by no karma, no pass, no compulsion. Build your constitution now. Build the framework of your freedom.
Use the lives of the saints if you must to draw inspiration from them. How did they live every day of their lives? How much of your time during the day would you spend on preoccupations and worries and fears and unreasonable expectations of others of circumstances of yourself?
How much of your day would you spend just doing things you do not enjoy purely for the sake of making money? How much of your time will you spend with people who are negative, uninteresting, and those who suck lifeforce right out of you? And how much of your time would you spend and give to those in need?
The beauty of every year celebrating these days is that they are reminders, reminders that anything can change and that nothing needs to remain the same. That we are not slaves of the past, in that the future is yet unwritten, and that we hold the pen and we hold the paper, and with God's guidance, we can create a life for ourselves that reflects truly the freedom we so desperately crave. Freedom, above all, from ego identity, from the bondage of the limited self
Keep making that mental note of everything you would do if you were not compelled otherwise, by habit, by your current thought patterns, by your preconceptions, by circumstances, and by people around you. What does freedom look like? Let's just meditate on this feeling above all. And it's not a mental note that we must make. We must etch this feeling into our hearts. That's where we must write the constitution in our hearts.
While we are feeling this and meditating on this, let's bring our attention to the breath as the anchor so that our own imagination doesn't just run wild and become more of a fantasy than an aspiration. Anchor your awareness in your breath. Let it keep you very much in the present moment. Feel the breath flowing through your spiritual life enlivening this visualization. Empowering everything, intention and thought, you are creating for your freedom.
Watch also how the breath behaves, how still it already is. Just in imagining how beautiful the day you could live if you chose to, see how the breath reacts to that visualization. So still so calm.
Enter into the breath now and use it as a vehicle to expand and enlarge in your understanding of who you truly are because the freedom that we are visualizing is still very much from an egoic perspective of ourselves. It still reflects, to a certain degree, our own limited desires, our own limited understanding even of this universe and our place in it. So, while we have a framework and aspiration, let us not even stop there but go beyond. And the breath will be our tool. Enter into the breath and come out on the other side to a state of breathlessness if you can.
And let's just hold this state now for the next five minutes in silence, allowing everything that we have done to integrate into our hearts into our consciousness as we rise in freedom.
Let go of your breath now, if you haven't already, and just rest in this state of freedom even from the breath of all thoughts. Behind the breath and thought, all that exists is just your pure consciousness of your being compelled by nothing and forced to do absolutely nothing. And everything that springs forth from this state of pure consciousness only that has true power in this world everything else is just bondage. We'll see choices over and over again and will be moved closer to the light or farther away.
Let's end this meditation. by praying for each soul on earth for their freedom of choice to choose is always the right environment, the right company to choose those actions that bring us in harmony with the divine within us. Let's pray for the freedom that comes by performing our dharma, by fulfilling our responsibilities, by being truthful, by being loyal, by choosing kindness, by choosing giving rather than taking. Freedom comes from choosing the light and trusting that the more we are aligning ourselves with the spiritual values, that's where true success lies.
Let's pray that everyone on Earth realizes the importance of freedom of choice and that they use that free will, that choice, in perfect harmony with their highest self.
Let's rub our hands together, magnetizing that light that is already within us, ready to be expressed through our arms, through our hands, out into the world, reaching out to every single soul.