Do you get confused about your process of self-growth? Developing emotional and spiritual freedom can seem daunting. It takes a very long time to let go of our false identities in search of the truth, so it’s easy to feel discouraged. A good analogy is that of moving in a rowboat in the middle of the ocean.
You keep rowing and rowing, but everywhere you look all you see is endless water and open, empty space. Although you gradually get better at it, your undertaking takes much effort and often appears to be useless, because there’s nothing to indicate you’re getting closer to your destination.
In fact, you don’t even know what your destination looks like! There are no landmarks or signs guiding you, only sporadic insights among continuous mental fluctuations. Your outdated patterns of perception keep revolving in your reality, making you feel emotionally stuck in the past, which creates the resistance to move forward—that is, to delve more deeply within.
And yet, you are Divine Consciousness in individualized form. This means that freedom is your original nature; you just have to remove what distorts the perception of who you already are (see Without Self-Awareness All You Can See Is Ego). Dissolving the delusion of duality and separation causing you suffering is achieved through grace, but no effort is ever in vain. In truth, you’re always at the threshold of your own liberation.
Spiritual Freedom Is Freedom From Ego
Let me share a personal story. During my first 40-day Vipassana retreat, an awakened master initiated me as a nun and I spent the day in walking and sitting meditation, in silence, and mostly on my own. After a while, I could recognize how repetitive and predictable the mind was, since I observed everyone in the group go through what I was going through, as if we were taking turns with similar sensations and reactions.
At some point, I was instructed to continue with the practice throughout the night. As the hours passed, I struggled to stay focused and awake. My mind bombarded me with all kinds of negative emotions, fears, aches, pains, and, of course, a tremendous desire to give up the practice and go to sleep. I persevered, however, battling my demons and discomfort.
Then the fear of death completely invaded me. I was convinced I was about to die! There was no logical explanation for this ominous feeling, but in that moment it was more real than anything I had ever experienced. It wasn’t the first time I had faced death, but in previous occasions there was a clear, objective reason.
I almost drowned in a pool as a child and also in the ocean in my early 20s, when the undercurrents pulled me in while the waves kept crashing over my head. Both of those times, my response was that of total surrender. I had accepted death (what else could I do, right?) before a woman suddenly lifted me off the pool and the undercurrents that had dragged me into the ocean delivered me back to the beach.
Peace & Freedom Are Your Essence
My resistance was much stronger during Vipassana. But as soon as I let go, I went into the super-conscious state known as Nirvana. When I came back to ordinary consciousness, everything I had been battling that night and throughout the retreat had burnt away in pure Consciousness.
Not only was my mind clear and at peace; my perception was transformed by a deeper understanding of life (and myself) that never left me. Who would have guessed that such a profound, transcendental state was just a step ahead of my own resistance!
Clearly, this was the result of being on retreat with intense practices, but the process of spiritual maturity in daily life is not that different; it just takes longer because it’s much easier for the ego-mind to distract and discourage you when you’re engaged with the external world (see Discover the Power of Silence To Master the Ego-Mind).
That’s why most people don’t even make the effort; rather than looking within, they focus on getting instant gratification and buffering any discomfort with all kinds of substances and impulses. It takes courage, patience, and perseverance to pierce through your own resistance and access the inner peace of your true nature.
But as you give continuity to your process, no matter what, trusting that you’re always guided and supported, the reward is the emotional and spiritual freedom you deeply yearn for and are here to uncover. So contact me today to embark on your self-exploration, to heal the past and master the ego-mind by letting go of the identifications that get in the way of your true Self!
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