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Awareness is Liberating: Let Go, Be Free

Karma means action. Each individual’s thoughts, words and actions create their own karma (good, bad, or neutral). We often see life, not as it truly is, but as we think it is, superimposing thoughts and judgments onto present moment experience. Awareness is our true essence yet thinking can cloud our perceived experience. Regular mindfulness practice helps cultivate consistency in remaining consciously aware, beyond delusional thinking. When we shine the light of awareness on our perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, this helps to transform our behaviors into more skillful responses to life’s experiences. 

Thoughts are real but not all true.

“Thoughts are things, but they’re not you.

“Thoughts lead to or from disaster.

“Thoughts are servants, not our masters.

~ Author Unknown

IMCW teacher, Satyani McPhersonCountless causes and conditions give rise to every experience. Each person generates their own karma. No one can change the karma of others. Our own loving and wise actions may or may not lead to the conviction or exoneration of someone else for their deeds. We may or may not live to witness the resolution of difficult or unjust situations. Whether we love, hate, forgive, or condemn another has no bearing on their karma, yet generates our own personal karma. 

Each of us is subject to the universal law of karma. Our judging thoughts calcify our own hearts. Choosing to let go, to feel compassion for ourselves and others, even to forgive (not condone) is a personal practice, an inner process that frees our own heart and mind, having nothing to do with anyone else. A hardened heart blocks the natural flow of life’s essence; an open heart is available to the infinite potentiality of aware presence.

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

 ~ Buddha

Each of us is responsible for our own liberation, devolution, or stagnation. Our individual assignment, should we choose to accept it, is to continue striving to improve our own limited thinking and behavior, repeatedly, until the last breath. This, I feel, is the purpose of human incarnation.

Energy flows where attention goes. That which we focus on expands. What is the outcome, what is my karma if I hold on to anger or joy, or if I let it go? What does it feel like within my own body/mind/heart when I hold on to thoughts, feelings, and especially judgements? What does it feel like when I release them? 

Who would I be without that thought?

~ Byron Katie

What do I wish to experience, to create in this life? Do I choose love, compassion, peace, the elimination of injustice to relieve suffering, the transformation of ignorance for the liberation of all beings? The invitation is to take our judging thoughts to the universal court of open awareness before an impartial presence which is judgment-free, compassionate, knowing, infinite awareness.

What stands between me and my true nature? Whatever we hold onto results in suffering, whether dung or diamond. We do not have to believe our thoughts, but simply to be aware of them as they come and go. Everything arises from and resolves into the universal aware presence that includes everyone and everything.

Rest the mind in open awareness as it is. Be with whatever comes in the mind. Don’t choose, just listen to the mind, thoughts, feelings, perceptions, whatever comes. Finding nothing, that’s the gap. Be with the gap.

Problem becomes solution. Obstacle becomes opportunity.

~ Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

May we all open our hearts and minds, resting in and as the infinite potentiality of our true nature, aware presence.

Our innate awareness is limitless and liberating. Let go, just be, and be free, ὰṣẹ!

 

[1] Àse (pronounced "ah-sheh"; also spelled ὰṣẹ or ashe) ... from the Yoruba language of West Africa (mainly Nigeria). Àse is generally defined as "the power to make things happen", also refers to the ... life force that flows through things, much like the Chinese concept of chi. Àse can also be used to express agreement. Saying "Àse!" can be like saying "Right on!" Àse is also a way of saying, "so let it be"... https://web.archive.org/web/20180307075108/http://aseire.com/meaning.php

 

Satyani McPherson co-teaches the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Sangha, which meets monthly on Saturdays. Her schedule can be found on her Teacher page.

It is the mission of IMCW/The Insight Meditation Community of Washington is to support the awakening of hearts and minds through the direct experience of the Buddhist path, and the integration and manifestation of wisdom and compassion in all aspects of life, for the benefit of all beings.

IMCW
P.O. Box 3
Cabin John, MD 20818

Phone: 202.986.2922

Email: meditate@imcw.org