Freedom Takes Everything

Freedom takes everything.

Freedom takes everything from our ego.    You actually get nothing out of the deal, except everything.   Just don't try to hold onto it.   And what are the things that we want to hold onto?   We want to hold onto our cherished ideas, and opinions and our likes and dislikes and our politics.    We love to hold onto all of this.   And what we get in return is a limited self created by the mind.    This is what our mind does; is create itself again and again through building a world, a self out of ideas.    And when we believe this to be ourselves, we suffer.    We suffer because we go from being big, open spaciousness; to being a me who doesn’t like this person or that person.    We go from silent and free to “look at me,  look how successful I am, don’t I look good in this corvette.”     And when the corvette doesn’t drive in the snow or gets repossessed because the economy crashes, we suffer.    But if there is no self to suffer, than there is no problem; and we need to examine this more deeply.    Because if this is just philosophy it has no power, we must take a deeper look and see if this is true.

When the Buddha was asked if there was a self or not, he did not answer.    He remained silent.   And it would be silly to get into the philosophy of self or no self, but what Buddhism teaches us, is that there is no permanent, solid, fixed self.    And if we think there is, then look for it and point to it inside.    Where is this self in us.    Of course there is something in us.    But it certainly is not fixed or permanent or solid.    The trick of our mind is that, we think there is a permanent solid self.    The reason that this is important is that if we stop believing in this, or stop being convinced by this unexamined and imagined self, what are we left with?   What is here when we stop believing our thoughts to be ourselves?    What is here?   Stop and look right now.    What we find is silence.     And we could ask is this silence here all the time?     Is it always here?     Most people say no, that their thoughts are here.    But don’t our thoughts actually arise out of silence.    See for yourself.    What is the space that thoughts arise out of?     Isn’t it Silent, Spacious, Awareness.   This is us.

Buddhism teaches us that everything is impermanent.    For example our thoughts they come and go.   Nothing in them is permanent.    They come and then they go; some stay longer.    But ultimately they go.     And if we are looking for a permanent self in us, we have to look a little deeper and see what we find.    If we look deeply we see that our thoughts come and go, every emotion we ever had has come and gone.   So what is here all the time?    Silence is here all the time.    A vibrant alive spacious silence is here all the time.    And this is great news.     This must be what we are; it is the only permanence of us, a spacious, silent, open awareness.    We don’t have to go anywhere to find it.   We don’t have to do anything to make it.  We don’t have to travel to India to discover it.   We just have to stop chasing and believing all the silly ideas and opinions of our own mind.     Freedom is nothing that we get, it is actually a giving up of all of our seriousness, our charmingness, our identity.    We have to give it all up, or let it be taken away and fall into spaciousness.    In the end, if we want to be free, we have to give up our identity with our imagined self.



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