Category Archives: Freedom

I BELIEVE I CAN FLY!

Ever since I was a child I’ve had repeated dreams where I can fly. I literally just bend my legs and lean upward and I fly. At first there is a bit of an unsure feeling, but I quickly get the hang of it and delight in my ability to fly!

 

A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to attend a day long retreat/teaching with the Dalai Lama. He spoke of meditation within our current frenzied cultural context as a source of peace, focus and something that engenders compassion. He also spoke about the endless chatter that we all have going on in our minds, whether or not we are aware of it. He said: “Who wouldn’t want a break from all that every now and then!”

 

The other night I had another dream that I was able to fly. As always I woke up feeling sad that it was a dream and that I really can’t fly. Yet, for some reason, this particular dream of flying began to get connected with my meditation. Meditation is a way to fly on this side of life; it’s a taste of the total freedom and total weightlessness that we will experience – both a psychological weightlessness and a physical weightlessness. When one meditates, the deeper we go, the more unaware of our body and mind we are and, in a sense, we begin to fly! Some even say we get more in contact and at one with everything that is around us – because, as physicists say, everything that exists is simply wave energy vibrating at a certain frequency. This creates matter. When we meditate I believe we are in touch with this Energy (capital intentional, i.e., God) at more fundamental levels and so we begin to experience a freedom from this particular body and a unity with all that exists, all Energy – and in this sense, we fly!

 

Jesus said “the kingdom is at hand,” it’s here! What a blessing and what a relief that we can begin to experience the kingdom right here and now. I believe I can fly!

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Fear

How very much fear can rule our lives – and we are unaware. We calculate what we say, how we say it, to whom we say it. We fear losing the respect of others, or get caught up in what they think of us. We fear losing our position, our job, or a friend. As a result the light that we are is held back; our unique way of being and flavoring our world is diminished. Not to mention that fear is death dealing to the spirit.

I am saint and sinner. I fly to the heights and I sink to the depths – and both are my teachers. Although I write, preach, speak and sing I am by no means a guru and far from perfect – simply a fellow traveler, expressing what is within and trying to make sense of it all.

Be who you are.
Say what you believe.
And let the chips fall where they will.
At least you’ll be living!


Happiness and the Ever Allusive Boyfriend

Once again, I’m not strictly speaking of finding a boyfriend, but happiness, the ever allusive happiness that we all seek.

Last night at a coffee shop I began reading a book called The Way to Love:  The Last Meditations of Anthony de Mello.  Anthony de Mello was a Jesuit priest and spiritual guide who, in his many books and conferences, brought together Eastern and Western spirituality.  He himself was raised in India so was familiar with Eastern concepts.  If you have not read anything by him or about him I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!  It’s amazing how very much in line he is with the thinking of Tolle, Dyer, Jung, Frankl and many others who speak of being free of ego attachments and realizing the grace of living happiness in this moment no matter what is happening around us.  These people, I believe, like the Christ, have keys that can make a tremendous difference in living a happy, more peaceful life.  The Way to Love is a very small volume, something you could carry in your pocket, but is packed with lots of insight and practical wisdom that can change the way you go about life!  It’s published by Image Books, Doubleday.

Last night, on the heals of yesterday’s meditation, I read De Mello’s take on ever allusive happiness.  He says we are programmed from birth to believe that we cannot be happy without things, that happiness lay somewhere in the future when I get this person, thing or place.  Or we are programmed to believe that if we just change the situation and the people around us, then we’ll be happy, or when all our desires are fulfilled we’ll be happy.  All of these are FALSE.  It is only when we stop clinging to these things that we begin to experience what peace and happiness is.  It is only when we let go of these things and simply live this moment and accept what is here and now that we can begin to live in a greater state of peace and happiness.  For then we won’t waste a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to get this or that or to change this or that circumstance in our lives (See pp.5-12 The Way to Love) It’s difficult for me to put this in words, but I know what it feels like when I stop looking to the future for happiness, or some person, place of thing.  I know what it is to experience peace and happiness when I accept interruptions to my day, or when my day hasn’t gone as I had planned, or when something seemingly bad happens.  I know what it feels like when I simply accept that and stop resisting it.

I want to continue exploring this.  I find myself being lead to read Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning which chronicles his experiences when he was in a concentration camp in World War II and how he found that even in such horrible and unspeakably inhumane circumstances, one could still be happy.  Imagine the freedom!


What Will People Think?

Matthew 14: 1-12

Sometimes we are too concerned about what people will think and it affects the way we act. We often look at children and speak of them doing things to “fit in,” but don’t we adults do that as well? Sometimes we are afraid to go against the grain or to say or do something which might be a bit different.

In this Gospel, even though Herod has reservations, he has John the Baptist killed, all because he doesn’t want to appear soft or weak in front of his guests, let alone Herodias and her daughter! Killing, . . . just to keep up appearances! Seems pretty extreme!

When we hide and hold back the light of who we really are because we are afraid of what others might think, are we not “killing” a part of ourselves? Are we not extinguishing a light that might indeed make a difference for others in our world in a better way? Perhaps today we could let the light within us shine, and not care so much about what other people might think.


You Want To Be Free?

Matthew 10: 16-23

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.”

When we choose to live in freedom, forces will inevitably conspire to crush this movement.  We see this throughout history when a people begins to rise up in freedom and that freedom is opposed by the powers that be.  We see this very same drama played out today when people who live under repressive regimes begin to rise up.  Sometimes they are quickly put in their place.

When we choose to live free of an addiction, forces will conspire to crush this movement of freedom within.  It’s like that other person inside us, the addict, begins to rear its head.

When we choose to step out in speaking freely the truth within us there will be those who oppose that truth. There will be those who make us feel we are wrong and they will threaten and frighten and sow seeds of doubt.  We will feel like David up against the giant Goliath.

Sometimes though, the wolves are within our own mind.  We dream a dream, we have a vision, . . . and then negative voices within begin to tear it apart, saying it’s unrealistic, unattainable, impossible!

Truth and beauty and goodness and love and dreams and freedom will sometimes be opposed, whether that opposition comes from people around us or voices within us.  But truth, beauty, goodness, love, dreams and freedom will prevail!  Against all odds the human spirit rises up.  It is a like a shoot of a tree that pushes it’s way through the charred earth after a blaze of destruction.  Freedom finds its way!  What one of us, having drunk in messages since we were children that we were sick, flawed, sinful disordered or an abomination – what one of us would ever have dreamed that we would break free of all that and emerge half way sane, let alone thriving and a light of love and compassion in the world!  We are a testament to the resilience and fortitude of the human spirit!

And regarding those voices of opposition?  We are told:  “Do not worry about what you will say or how you will say it.  When the hour comes, you will be given what to say.”  There’s going to be opposition, but don’t worry about it.  Just do what you need to do to keep walking in freedom!

Is there something within you that cries out to be free?  Let us keep rising up and attempting to walk in freedom, despite the opposition around us or within our own minds.  And as we attempt to walk in freedom, perhaps we could remember all those around the world who cry out to be free and walk with them in solidarity.