Meet Your Good Today…Part 6 Freedom

What does it mean to be free?  There will be different connotations if you live in the middle of a war zone in the Middle East, or in a job that you feel chained to that is joyless and boring, or if you are incarcerated in a prison “behind the fence” as we say.  Then there is the prison of our minds and emotions that keep us from being free of our thoughts of lack, limitation, and ill health.

As a college professor I have seen that fear in my students eyes when they enter my developmental English class and know that they will not be free to take the “for credit courses” and earn a degree in their favorite area of study if they don’t pass my class. And yet at some time during that semester I can see the light go on in their minds when they finally “get it.”  They are finally free of their negative thoughts and fears and able to move on with their education.

  1. Emily Cady in her book Lessons in Truth wrote:

You may think that something stands between you and your heart’s desire, and so live with that desire unfulfilled, but it is not true.  This “thing” is a bugaboo under the bed that has no reality.  Deny it, deny it, and you will find yourself free, and you will realize that this seeming was all false.  Then you will see the good flowing into you, and you will see clearly that nothing can stand between you and your own [good/freedom] (page 55).[1]

You will be free!

Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years and yet he was still able to be a powerful symbol of black resistance to apartheid. On February 11, 1990 he was released by President de Klerk and in 1991 he was elected president of the African National Congress. In 1993 Mandela and President de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work toward dismantling apartheid.  A similar story can be told in our country about Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Susan Bright Eyes LaFlesche (Omaha Native American civil rights activist.) and R.C. Gorman painter, sculptor and Native American the first Native American to be internationally recognized as a major American artist.

Freedom: Nothing stood in the way of their “hearts desire.” Do not let anything stand in yours either. Freedom is not a place—it is a consciousness.

R.C. Gorman Native American artist

R. C Gorman, Artist

Be free to meet your good today! Let me know how that goes!

In gassho,

Shokai

[1] Cady, H.E. (1903).  Lessons in Truth. Unity Village, MO: Unity House

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Caveat:

"Menju"or "Face to Face Transmission" aside from being the title of a chapter in Dogen Zenji's Shobogenzo, is also the name for one of the most basic Zen traditions. This "face to face" started with Shakyamuni Buddha holding up a flower on Vulture Peak and Mahakashyapa simply smiling. It is akin to the gaze between mother and child; a mirroring; a nourishment for mutual development.

Today we have the technological "IndraNet." It offers seemingly endless resources for the sharing of written and graphic teachings. This blog is one such nodule in the vast net.

However, the blog is in no way intended to replace Menju, our being together as a group or individually with a teacher. This blog is a service only. Its intention is to use the form, like the banks of a river, to direct or awaken the flow of ancient and contemporary wisdom for ourselves and the world we are part of.

Traveling in this blog, newcomers to our group may get a scent of the climate we practice in; a taste of what appeals to those who practice with us; and might take a step to sit with us and discover what it means to be with lovers of true silence. The silence that echoes from every teaching that connects and says "I have been here all along. There never was a need to search. Rest in this shared wisdom and find the place that seems most natural." Doshin Sensei