Exploring the Radical Immediacy of Freedom
The insight that I want to share with you today is that in order for us to experience spiritual awakening we must first know in our heart of hearts that liberation is possible.
We all come to the spiritual path called by a possibility. In some way or other we have felt limited and contained, and we knew that much more was possible for us.
Usually, we discover this because of some experience, some recognition, or some insight that revealed our unlimited potential.
In the light of that insight, experience, or realization, our normal relationship to the world and to ourselves started to feel as if it was being forced into a box that was much too small to hold it.
So we embarked on a spiritual path.
Attaining Spiritual Awakening
The key to attaining the awakening that we seek is knowing that it is possible.
Most of us struggle with doubts about our unlimited potential. If you want to be free then in your heart of hearts, you must already know that it’s possible.
And even more we must know that it is possible for us right now.
Thinking that it is possible in the future, even being certain that awakening is possible in the future, is still predicated on an assumption that it is not possible now.
If I owe you money and you say, “Are you going to pay me the money?” and I say, “I will definitely pay you tomorrow.” What I am also saying is, “I am not going to pay you now.”
So if you say, “I know that I can be free tomorrow. I know that liberation will be possible tomorrow or at some point in the future, even a few seconds from now.” You’re also saying, “I know it’s not possible now.”
Freedom right now, not later
The journey that we are on together here has to start at the deep end of the pool because the beginning of this journey is knowing that liberation is possible right now for all of us. This is a journey that starts at the destination.
You don’t find liberation, you realize that it was always yours.
Take a moment to scan your experience. Whatever you are experiencing right now, whatever thoughts you are having, whatever you are looking at, whatever your body feels like, whatever emotions might be arising, whatever it is, has to be what liberation is, because otherwise it would not be available until your experience changed.
The only place that you can find freedom is right here. Right here, smack in the middle of the experience you’re already having.
This is where freedom exists. It doesn’t exist anywhere else. It doesn’t exist in some future moment. It doesn’t exist in some memory of the past.
Right now, in the experience that you’re currently having… yes this very one… freedom already is. The fact that you may or may not feel free does not in any way limit the possibility of being free now.
Freedom is not a feeling; it is a reality.
The only place that liberation can be available is right now and not an instant later, because now is all there is. This moment is the only moment we could possibly be free because it is the only moment that exists.
You can’t be free in the past because you aren’t there any more.
You can’t be free in the future because it doesn’t exist yet.
Freedom is in the present moment
The only place we’ll ever experience freedom is right now in the present moment because that is the only moment that actually exists.
Contemplating the truth of this can bring you to the direct recognition that you are already always free, that you always have been already free, and always will be.
The key to recognizing and experiencing and becoming aware of your own inherent liberation is knowing beyond doubt that nothing that you are experiencing right now disqualifies this moment from being a moment of freedom.
Freedom is here no matter what your mind might be telling you, no matter how many excuses it might be throwing at you.
Liberation is what?
“No, this couldn’t be it. This can’t be liberation. Liberation can’t include this feeling. Liberation can’t include this experience. Liberation can’t include this thought.”
There may always be, and probably will be, a part of us that continuously attempts to disqualify this moment—which is the only moment there is—from being the one. It will always find a way to try to convince you that this could not possibly be the moment and that liberation is not possible right now because something is wrong.
That part of us will always conclude that something needs to change—some feeling needs to be included or some other feeling excluded, some thought needs to be extricated, or some other thought needs to be found.
Whatever it is, that part of you will always believe that the experience of this moment requires some amount of tinkering, shifting, altering, or tweaking before freedom will be possible.
Ultimately, the only thing that keeps us from recognizing our inherently liberated state is our belief in some excuse that is trying to convince us that freedom isn’t possible yet.
If we buy into that justification, we won’t feel free and we won’t believe that freedom is here. Instead we will feel as though we are stuck in a moment that isn’t the right moment, and feel trapped in an experience that is not free.
Unfortunately too many people live their whole life in the experience of a moment that they believe is not the one.
If, on the other hand, we don’t believe that part of our mind, we will realize that all the thoughts trying to convince us that this is not the right moment are just thoughts.
They don’t in any way inhibit the possibility of freedom now.
We realize that we don’t know what’s possible and that means that anything is possible right now. And when we feel like anything is possible right now, that’s liberation. That is as free as we can be, and it is already true.