In this guided meditation, we explore Chapter 1, Verse 11 of the Ashtavakra Gita and we come to the realization that we are already free, we are already liberated.
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If we just take a deep breath in and take a deep breath out. Take a deep breath in and exhale. Do it at your own pace. As we mentioned two weeks ago that allow your breathing to be as natural as possible. According to the speed that you normally breathe in. The most important thing in meditation is to be as natural as you are. To be as you are. There's no need to increase the breaths in terms of the speed and there's no need to decrease the speed of the breath either. Just be at your normal pace. So take that deep breath in and then take that deep breath out. At your own comfort. As you're breathing. Notice the sounds from outside, listen to the sounds in your house, whether it's the creaking of a floorboard, whether it's the sound of somebody in the kitchen or the sound of the refrigerator. Or the sound of the TV in a different room, allow all those sounds to be in your experience. Be aware of them. Don't get rid of them. Don't ignore them, take in everything that your senses wants to take in. But remember to be the awareness behind the things that you can hear. Listen to the cars going by, listen to the birds chirping if you can, if it's raining where you are, listen to the rain, whatever your senses perceive, fully embrace them. So we'll begin now with the Ashtavakra Gita and we will look at chapter one, verse 11. And it goes like this. Whoever's free has realized that freedom as one's very own, as what one always is one's self. So we'll break it up. As we meditate upon this line, whoever's free has realized that freedom as one's very own. As what one always is, One Self. What Ashtavakra Ji is showing us in this line is that those that think they are free are free. Those that think they are liberated, are liberated. Another way of thinking of this is whatever you think you so become. But this line, whatever you think you so become is also in the Ashtavakra Gita, but the line isn't for our material existence, it's for our spiritual existence. What we really are. We are already liberated. If we are not this body, if we are not this mind, if we are not the senses that we just utilized earlier, if we are not made of any matter, but are Pure Consciousness. Then consciousness is already liberated. Can Consciousness liberate Consciousness from Itself? Is that even possible? We find that that cannot be possible. So those that know that they are free because they are Consciousness are always free. Let's meditate upon this for a few moments that those that understand that Consciousness is freedom are always free. Can this Pure Consciousness, this Pure Awareness that is observing everything through which we experience life. Has that ever been bounded in any way? Can this body bind, imprisoned Consciousness. This Formless consciousness can anything that is Formless, imageless, shapeless be imprisoned in any way, by our mind or by our body? You may have thoughts that are taking you away from what we've been talking about. Let the thoughts travel. Let them be free. If you are free, let your thoughts be free. So if they arise, watch them and they will disappear by themselves. Don't give them any attention. Just watch them. Don't focus on them. Just watch be an observer. And then when you're ready, go back to consciousness, go back to that Formless Awareness. Where there is freedom, there is no resistance. There is no conflict. So do not have conflict with your thoughts, with your emotions. They are just appearances or forms across that Formless Awareness. Does the screen ever get damaged by what happens in the movie? No. Does the screen become blissful from whatever happens in the movie? No. The screen remains as the screen should. It remains in its True Nature and our True Nature our Shared Being is this Formless Awareness. Here there is no resistance. Here everything flows as it should. In the very next line, Ashtavakra Ji says whoever's bound, remains imprisoned in the thought that one is bound by things that limit what one is. We see here that if we think we are bound, then we are bound. If we think that we are stuck in this world, in this material world, and we will never be free, then that is what will happen. But if we go by the first line that we looked at, If we understand that we have always been free because we are consciousness, then there is no way we can be bound. So we have to release every preconceived notion that we are bound by any way, that somebody holds the key to our freedom. If there is anybody that holds the key to your freedom or my freedom, it's our own self. Nobody can give you freedom because how can somebody give you something that you already are? So as Ashtavakra Ji guides us, if we think we are bound, we will remain bound. If we think we are stuck in samsara, we will stay stuck in samsara. If we think we are stuck in Maya, then we will be stuck in Maya. You have always been free. You always will be free. If I say I am ignorant, then I am imprisoning my own self. But if I understand that this I am is Pure Consciousness, Pure Awareness then where does ignorance even exist? Let's ponder, let's meditate upon that question. You find that ignorance does not exist here. In this Formless, in this Awareness, in this Consciousness, ignorance has no place. Ignorance cannot reside here. And then Ashtavakra Ji continues to say that such is the truth of what is said, that as one thinks, so one becomes. Of this the changing world is made. So those that are willing to be the sages, the meditators, the one that want to be aware of this Pure Consciousness, they will become this. They will realize this, they will unveil this, but those that get stuck in the world, of their desires, of their needs, more so their wants, those people will see the world accordingly. So we decide what we want to see in the world. And the world is our own existence, but as Pure Consciousness, like the blank screen It remains as It is, whatever the projector may project, the screen does not get affected. So you will have desires. We will have desires. We will need to meet our needs. We may have certain wants, we may have all of these things, but we go back to that Pure Consciousness, when we understand that those things cannot make us happy, they cannot lead us to that eternal happiness, that bliss that we talked about in the last meditation. Consciousness as it is, that Formless Awareness is always happy. That's the natural state, J Krishnamurti used to talk about the natural state. This is the natural state, where there is contentment. The desires may arise and you may go on the journey to meet those desires because that's the play of the body and the mind. But in the day, take out some time to remind yourself that there is only Pure Consciousness. There is only Formless Awareness. That way our desires, our needs, our wants, they will not lead us to imprisonment. But we use them as gateways towards our freedom. And that freedom is because we know that our Consciousness, this Pure Consciousness, this Shared Being of Awareness is always free. Always liberated. Remember, that you have the key and you are the door. You are the key to your own liberation and you are the door to the liberation, door to that freedom. And then again, at the same time you are that freedom yourself. You are that liberation yourself. This is the non-dual understanding of what we really are. From the non-dual perspective, there is nobody that needs to be free. There is nobody that is bound because how can consciousness, which is the only real existence be bound or imprisoned in any way. Anything that is a narrative that we create to explain this world is simply the play of duality. But as seekers of the truth, we understand that Consciousness is ever free. What is Formless cannot be bounded by form. What is imageless cannot be presented in an image. What is Shapeless cannot be formed in any shape or geometry? What is Dimensionless does not belong to any dimension nor can any dimension impose itself upon that Dimensionless state. No limit can be put onto this Limitless. No time can impose itself on the Timeless. And the finite cannot hold itself against the Infinite. Right now feel, and experience and be that Infinite, Formless, Imageless, Limitless, Consciousness, Awareness. So as you go about during the day, there may be times when you say I'm feeling tired or, I'm not happy about this, or this is not good, whatever may happen in the day, let that be the play of the body of mind. But always remember and discern, have that viveka, that wisdom that you are, that Pure Formless Consciousness, that Pure Formless Awareness and rest in That. Take time during the day to remind yourself of this. Each day of this week, keep reminding yourself about this then you will always be in that moment of freedom, you will always be liberated. And as the Sages of the East have termed this as jivan mukti. You are Jivan Mukt. You are Liberated whilst Living. This is the purpose of every spiritual path is to experience freedom. Liberation in the here and now. Here you are free. Now you are free May that Consciousness, which is free, always be in the background of your day to day life.