We all want freedom.
That is a universal truth.
This deep human need for freedom inspires and compels people all over the world, in all cultures, in all families. We all want to be free.
But what are we trying to get free from?
Of course, we all want the freedom to live a safe and peaceful life and take care of our families.
A deeper look at that question can help us appreciate the mysterious nature of freedom. What are we trying to get free from?
Let us consider this experience. We can have profound moments of freedom, especially in spacious and safe environments. But when we leave those places, we may lose that free feeling.
And this one. We can find ourselves in a breathtakingly spacious environment with no one imposing on us and we can still feel imprisoned and trapped.
In one of my favorite books, called Good Life, Good Death by Rimpoche Nawang Gehlek, there is a story about a Tibetan monk who had been imprisoned by the Chinese. When he was released in the late 1980s, he met with the Dalai Lama to tell him what happened in prison.
"There was danger," the monk explained. One can only imagine the possible ways his life had been threatened.
But what he discusses with the Dalai Lama is the danger of "submitting" to his anger or hatred -- not anything that was done to him, but what he might have done to himself.
What the monk understood about the nature of freedom is true for you and me and all of us. Deep, lasting freedom arises when we explore who we really are inside.
When we encounter our presence -- and we naturally experience the dropping away of thoughts, beliefs, judgments and stories -- we have a spacious home inside in which to abide.
It is possible for us remain in that free space, no matter what is happening outside of us. If we leave temporarily, we can return. Freedom is our energetic birthright and our true home.