The Secret to Reaching Ultimate Freedom
By Jafree Ozwald
"You are the all-pervading, all-transcending Reality. Behave accordingly." ~Nisargadatta Maharaj
If you look at history, at all the wars and religions that were formed throughout time, they were all based on one thing. People did not feel intimately connected with their divine spiritual nature. If they did feel this real connection inside themselves, there would be no reason to fight for anything or search for God. When you know deep down in your heart that you are one with God, all is well. You feel perfectly at peace inside. All your complaints and problems will fade into the Light, like how a candle flame disappears when held up to the blazing of the Sun.
All suffering on this planet boils down to this one simple thing. The illusion of separation from our spiritual Source. This stems from the ignorance of our inherent spiritual nature. Of course many of us know this intellectually, yet to be living it is an entirely new experience. The rest of this article is an attempt to bring you back home, and show you exactly how to re-discover and experience your divine spiritual nature. You must open a brand new door in your heart, if you’re going to find a whole new Universe, and the real gateway to total freedom.
The enlightened state is a way of being, where the mind is at peace with itself. The demands and issue of the world no long have the push and pull on us. The Westerners are no longer forcing themselves to be on time, busy and constantly productive. There is more an exploration of the heart in leisurely time, sitting around, deeply relaxed, and doing absolutely nothing. This is what it takes to open up the enlightened state.
What I find interesting is that even when we do take time to relax and do nothing, the mind continuously goes on searching, scheming, planning, avoiding, pretending and pondering. Its completely wrapped up in itself, caught in its own spiders web that its weaving. Thinking over 60,000 thoughts a day it can seem like a monumental task to deal with them all. How to manage them, manipulate them, be more creative with them, stick to the good thoughts and transcend the bad ones. I’ve found that whatever all these thoughts are about, it doesn’t really matter. Our true enslavement is created from being unaware that you are continuously following these thoughts, one after the other, like soft innocent little sheep.
Most people are addicted to following the white sheep (good thoughts) and avoid the black sheep (bad thoughts). They were taught through social behavior that this is what you to do reach happiness and survive. Yes, there is much truth to this, yet that mind game is never going to lead you to the ultimate freedom. What I’m suggesting that you try is something radically new. Stop following any of these sheep, no matter what size, shape or color they are.
We all have been following our inner flock of sheep for a very long time. Wherever they seem to wander, we just tag along. These sheep have you in a very deep trance, believing your thoughts are Reality. You may think that you don’t have the option step back from your thoughts at all. You’ve followed the same exact routes the sheep walked yesterday, and perhaps the day before that, so what else could there be? Be careful…these are Lions in sheep clothing. If you aren’t aware that you’re always following sheep, you may do this your whole life, and then one day you’ll look at yourself and realize you’ve become one of them!
The very instant you stop following your flock of sheep, you will start to experience something very powerfully new. Don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself. Practice stepping back from your sheep just for just one day, see what happens. Get a bird’s eye view on the entire pasture, and then step back from that thought inside your mind. Explore the experience of watching your flock of sheep with detachment. It all starts with being present to your own soft sweet presence, instead of the thoughts. Feel what is inside your heart instead of what’s up in your head. A soft simple pure awareness is always there, resting as the core of you.
They say the level of intense desire that a drowning man has to inhale just one more breath of air is the same level of intensity you will need to find freedom from your mind. Freedom happens to those who do whatever it takes to wake up from the perpetually dreaming mind. By constantly following your thoughts, you become imprisoned in an addiction to serving them. Every thought you believe is true causes you to maintain the walls inside this "thought prison". Wherever the sheep wander, you must follow them. How free is that?
A truly free being has the option to follow the flock or leave the pasture at any moment. This is all I’m asking you to explore. Your soul really wants to experience being free from the mind, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article this far. When you have tried every spiritual technique in the book, and still have not found freedom, take the chance to explore what I’m saying here this week. This is not about improving, changing or "fixing" yourself. It’s much easier than that. This is simply seeing who/what is already free from these thoughts. This one little inquiry can take you beyond the stars.
Before you eagerly pounce on this quest, I must warn you. The addiction to following these sheep is very very deeply ingrained. You may think that you are wiser, stronger, or smarter because you are following these sheep. You might receive loads of positive feedback for the wonderful sheep you’ve accumulated in your pasture. It may be very very challenging to ignore your flock. Your flock is so soft sweet and naturally innocent. The addiction to following sheep is very ancient. It’s what you’ve done your entire life, so its not going to be easy.
The mind is what enslaves us and eventually liberates us. We are constantly hypnotized by its power and caught in the matrix of ideas it has formed around us. Our whole lives we were taught that we must do something, become someone, earn something, and make some success of ourselves if we wanted to be free. We’ve believed we must follow these thoughts because they will give us those things we are searching for in life. It’s only when you go beyond the mind, into pure consciousness, awakeness itself, that you’ll know you are free. Discovering your true nature is what will unblock you from manifesting what you really want in life.
Let me be crystal clear about my message. I’m not saying the sheep are the problem here, they are just sheep. The problem lies in the addiction to following them. It’s a survival instinct to follow them, and the habit is deep in your psyche to remain fixated on your flock, and never to step out of queue. There are many succulent thoughts that will pull you in. Deep desires that your heart is burning for will pull you back into the pasture every time. I’m not saying its wrong to live your life in the pasture, just realize how to step out of it. Know yourself so intimately that you can choose not to follow the same sheepish beliefs you had growing up.
Perhaps you feel you’re somebody who is deeply content following sheep. You know your flock intimately, they are predictable and you enjoy eating the soft green grass all day long (always fulfilling the ego’s desires). The spiritual path is not for those who are addicted to their comforts. You might be so content that there is no desire to explore this level of freedom at all. This is ok, your time will come when you realize the ego is never ever satisfied with anything. It’s definitely not satisfying for the ego to stop following these sheep. This is because the ego IS the entire black and white flock! It’s also the tight controlling electric fence surrounding them. There is no way to get out of the flock, until you find the sheepherder and start ignoring the sheep. You must use every power and resource inside you to do this. Do whatever it takes to be silent, still and centered. Imagine what its like to be free from all thoughts, and just feel the soft stillness inside you.
"Don’t rely on the mind for liberation…just have faith and act on it. You are the sum cause of the entire universe." ~Nisargadatta
I hope you realize by now that the purpose of this article is to provoke you, shake you, wake you, and stir up more awareness inside you, so that perhaps one lazy weekend when you’re checking your email, you have the insatiable burning desire to be free. If you truly want to be free in this lifetime it takes courage, curiosity, and vigilance. The courage to be real, the curiosity to keep you innocent, and the vigilance for stepping back from this habit of following sheep. If no radical new thinking is introduced, your mind will continuously follow the wandering lost hungry flock of sheep, lifetime after lifetime.
To begin freeing your mind from its long history of enslavement, turn up the volume on your longing desire to explore the spiritual mystery of who/what you really are. What this means is that every chance you get, take the time to dive into this question. Who am I? You are not these thoughts, so who are you? Freedom will come more quickly, the more often you inquire into this. Use all the free time you have to sincerely ask yourself this question. Every time you’re waiting in line at the store, in traffic or anywhere, take time to relax, breathe deeply, slowly, and feel into the space which separates you from the next imposing thought coming in. Practice practice practice letting the space between your thoughts get wider and wider. You can let go of the thinking machine and become that which is aware of it, existing beyond it, gently observing being the non-attached observer who is allowing all thoughts to pass on by. This is the first step to total freedom.
The second step is being eternally patient with yourself. The good news is that you have an infinite amount of time to get it right. Your soul has been trying to reach the ultimate state of freedom for lifetimes, and it is going to keep getting lost and unaware that you’re lost again in the pasture following the butt of yet another sheep, until you are fully integrated in this new perception. The black and white wandering sheep are always going to be surrounding you, for they are actually what is assisting you in your awakening process.
It’s good to remember that when anybody has a truly revolutionary spiritual realization, it doesn’t make the front page of the papers. It usually goes by unnoticed. The collective consciousness of society cannot utilize it, so it remains hidden in the dark basement in safe storage. The secrets that will liberate people from all their suffering is inside the basement of the subconscious mind. The only way to access it is through quieting your mind, which comes through practice, patience and consistent self-inquiry.
"All the greatest treasures are hidden behind that which we wouldn’t want to be with. You’re this ultimate mischief and brilliance. All the wisdom, compassion and treasure is within…so where are you going to hide it?" ~Pamela Wilson
Your thoughts will always attempt to shake you up or put you to sleep. They will do this until you are far beyond the flock. You must move gently and persistently through the flock with a burning desire to get beyond it. If you are truly persistent in your devotion for freedom, you will move beyond the sheep and one day you will see the golden sunrise and infinite pastures beyond the rolling green hills. The Universe will invite you, push you, pull you and entice you so that one day you are forced to master yourself.
Life will always feed you feelings of suffering and ecstasy until you master your thoughts. It will constantly invite you to pay attention to that "super important" sheep who is standing right in front of you. Remember one thing here, this Universe is divinely intelligent and designed to liberate you in the most mysterious way. It is here to turn you into an enlightened master, so that you manifest everything you want in your life. Every person you meet is actually a teacher, showing the next step to liberate yourself from your thoughts. If you honestly want this experience of absolute freedom in your life, you simply have to pay more attention to your burning desire to be free.
In the next paragraph I’m going to share the greatest sacred secret to freedom. That’s right, I haven’t told you yet!! It is very simple, deeply powerful and will transform your entire life when applied. So please use it, meditate on it the moment you wake up in the morning. When you get good at consistently practice this little secret I’m about to tell you, you will stop all suffering in your life. It may not be easy to remember it, you are likely to forget it because there are 300 white fuzzy sheep in every direction you look! So write it down and post this one little question on your fridge and bathroom mirror…
What is beyond form and formlessness? The greatest secret to freedom will come to you from sitting and feeling into the answer. Yes, this can turn into another sheepish thought for the mind to think about, yet truly this is the Lion that will take you beyond them all! To ride the back of this Lion you must FEEL the answer in your bones. You have to get beyond your head to win the jackpot. You must feel into it with your heart and soul and get a sense of what the answer really means. The mind is too small of a container to hold the answer, so you’ll need to step beyond your mind and stop using the mind to discover the answer. The spiritual being who you are is formlessness, the body is form, yet what is beyond these both? Meditate on this until you have a direct experience of it.
Very soon you’ll discover your true infinite nature. It is that which is beyond words, time and timelessness. Yes, we want to honor the fact that you are this body, and yet you are not this body. You are these thoughts and yet you are beyond them. You are the spirit, and yet you are something beyond the ideas of what we think a "spirit" is. You are beyond the form and the formlessness. You are beyond that which can be spoken. Who and what you are is infinite and this means you are beyond language. If we could talk about it that would create a limitation on it.
When you realize that you are beyond form and formlessness then everything changes. You become the master of your reality. You realize that YOU already are the ultimate sheep herder of all the sheep in the entire Universe! So it doesn’t matter if there’s 300 sheep surrounding you, or if some old mean sheepherder in the black sheep pasture pulls you into his dark flock. You are that which is beyond the herd, beyond the green grass, beyond the seasons, and beyond time. When this discovery is made from the heart, something deep inside you surrenders and relaxes. You feel the bliss of pure being. So meditate on this and FEEL what its like to be that which is beyond form and formlessness. Once you let it sink in it will bring such a deep relaxation into your life. When every cell in your body relaxes into this understanding, you will truly become unstoppable.
The concept alone that you are beyond this form and formlessness is not the goldmine. The true wealth comes from the experience that you are beyond the form and formlessness. This experience is the ultimate state of freedom. There is no higher peak to climb. You can stop here, your spiritual search can end here. You can simply merge with this peak. It will instantly come into you if you surrender to it. Let it slip into you, for you cannot push yourself into it. Do this daily and you will be free from any future suffering. It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. Realize this and nobody can ever disturb you again. You will be beyond the pasture and freed from the prison of unconsciously following another sheep ever again.
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“There are no accidents or coincidences in this world. Nothing is by chance. Everything you’re experiencing is a direct manifestation of where you’re focusing your energy, attention and consciousness.” ~ Jafree Ozwald
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