It’s Monday again and it’s raining. Raining because it’s spring and spring flowers need rain. Raining because it’s April and April showers bring May flowers. Raining because it was very dry and my rain barrels were empty. Raining and spring bring about changes and I have a lot of them to write about…..but I’m saving that for later. Today I want to end our discussion on the Four Aims of Life. Previously I have written about duty, prosperity, and pleasure. Today we’re going to talk about Moksha: Freedom.
Freedom is a very hard purushartha to discuss because it sounds almost in opposition to the first aim: Dharma or duty. Why does it seem like our life is lived in dualities that don’t coincide? I can either work or have fun, but not both? In aiming to live a balanced life we want to be bound to a duty to serve, but also to experience freedom. We want to be free from pain and suffering and that which blocks our happiness. We want to be free to do what makes us happy.
This is why yoga can be hard. How do you balance all four aims? How do you work hard and be happy? It comes from meditation and enlightenment. It comes from understanding yourself and your purpose in life.
- What have I chosen to bind myself to?
- Do I feel trapped?
- Can I be free from blaming others? Myself?
- What am I doing that makes me unhappy?
- How can I not be run by emotions?
- Is my mind free?
I have felt trapped at times by the choices I have made and the roles I have filled. In those moments meditation can make me see what I wasn’t able to because my self-centered human nature got in the way. What I wasn’t seeing is that it was my choice to take on too much, put myself in that place, agree to do something that I didn’t want to, look at myself that way, give someone permission to use me. What I learned through meditation on freedom is that having a free and open mind allows me to have a free and open life. Free to be myself without judgement of myself. And that leaves me open to the happiness that I want.
Do you feel freedom?