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  • Writer's pictureAkanksha Damini Joshi

Isn't meditation about freedom?

Dhyana ० Meditation ० Mindfulness ० Relaxation

Over the last few posts I have attempted to write, albeit briefly, on the modern confusion around these words above. There is another, perhaps the most mind-muddling lifestyle-word that goes around in 21st century Meditation circles as a sort of a synonym for Dhyana, #Freedom.

“I need my Space” “What I do is my Freedom” “Without Freedom, what meditation?!” People, well meaning people, who want to destroy their past mental conditioning, end up assimilating this another, lethal ... let’s say, modern conditioning.

The quest for the Ultimate Freedom, the root word for that in Sanskrit, #moksha. The thirst to break away from the limitations of the mind. The desire to Realise. One’s Mukti - translated loosely as Freedom. Is, of course, the grounds for being a #mumukshu, the one who desires moksha. But this quest for Freedom, is not FOR the self, but FROM the self.

This is neither political nor social freedom. Where you -naturally, obviously- have to fight for rights, to create space for your story, your life, your values. Nothing wrong with that. It’s important. But, this - the aspiration for Mukti, Freedom - in the world of Indian darshan Philosophy, from where originates the most vital mother-root of #Dhyana is NOT that.

It is to attain freedom from one’s own ego, one’s own attitude’s, one’s own concept of ... yes, even a private space. - Our ancients have known. In world - as is the nature of the world - there can be no Freedom. Sure, there can be temporary illusions of freedom. But not Mukti. Want to cut bonds, the dependence and go away? Into your own solitude. Away away from ... this crazy chaotic world? Where will you go?


Watch. The ones that have attempted. Watch close. Watch deep.

The dirty ego politics, the lust for power, the clinging to property, the manipulation of others. In those places created as refuge for seekers. All this, in the grab of Truth. Modern day meditation centers. Stuck in cases of ownership, trustee battles. Sucking up to rich folks for donations. To politicians for blessings. Are the people running these meditation paradise ... Free? Truly? [And yes, exceptions exist. To prove the rule.]


Watch. Watch close. Watch deep.

Us. The people facilitating meditations for you. The modern priests and priestesses. Watch us, not for 4-5 days, the sessions you see us looking all beautiful and peaceful and grace-filled in. No. Watch us when we are in our intimate relations. With our wives, our husbands, our parents, our siblings. Watch us when we are not playing our role, performing our art.

Watch us then, as people in the past saw teachers - in their full Life. 360 degree.

That Love we speak of. The Love, we claim to live. The Peace, we can so melodiously pour over you. The mantras, the zen tricks, the zikrs, the charms, the yoga ... That we claim to be breathing in, breathing out. Do we live it when you catch us ... off guard? Or are we folks, just like you, making a career of selling Meditation to you?

Nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. Except, pretension. Projection of what one is not. Fooling people, one ends up fooling oneself. Are we, the facilitators ... Free? Truly?


In this day, where else would you want to go for your #freedom ?

Not to a Himalayan cave, for even there, the seekers depend on householders for food, for warm clothes, heck, for salt! Free? In the world? Truly?


#JeevanMukta yes, we have a term for that. Free in Life.

But it does not mean politically socially sexually free. It means : being in the world, yet, not of it. To know what THIS means, is a lifelong sadhana. A realisation. That Ultimate Freedom is a freedom from ones own limited self.


Watch. Ma Chinnamasta. The one who beheads her self.

You will see a couple, Kama and Rati in deep union. She is standing on top of them and beheading self - the ego. As she does that, the vital energy begins to flow, to gush ... feeding her friends and her own being too.

Freedom? Yes. Freedom from self.

Beheading - destroying all notions of limitation, even that of freedom! Freedom not for, but #from the self. That is the sadhak, the dhyani, the seekers journey.


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