Finding Freedom in Every Moment

Almost all of life is acting out of “residues” – thoughts, words, and actions arising out of deeply embedded patterns.  Rarely do we rest in the freshness of this present moment, free of the past and future.  Free of patterns.  Free of suffering.

There is so much release, so much relief, so much freedom to be found in just letting go in each pristine, open moment.  Every single second, we have this choice:  pattern-bound thinking and its consequences or thought-free wakefulness.  The secret is to simply return – time and again – to the sky-like space of the true essence of mind.

9 thoughts on “Finding Freedom in Every Moment

  1. It is so simple and so profound, yet our patterns are indeed deeply embedded. It takes diligence, patience, and a good dose of humor to keep remember and returning. I’m far from perfect in any of these dimensions. But I like to write to remind myself of the potential we all have to unlock this freedom.

  2. This is a powerful message and so beautifully written. Every word is exactly right.

    I’ve been a bit “hooked” this week on a family drama. I’ve been trying hard not to keep replaying my patterns. Your post today is such a needed reminder and inspiration. Thank you!

  3. One of the best books I’ve read on how we form ruts and grooves in our mind is The Mechanism of Mind, by Edward de Bono.

    He used a lot of powerful metaphors and ways to explain how we can get trapped in our own thinking, and how we can break out. He also explained how “insight” happens, and how it’s very similar to humor.

    I try to keep a “beginner’s mind” by periodically getting a fresh start and asking new questions and testing my results … the tests keep my curious mind open to new possibilities.

    • J. D.

      I agree with de Bono. When you have a moment of true insight, there’s a greater feeling of spaciousness and humor. It’s a wonderful aspiration to have beginner’s mind! You inspire me.

  4. Hi Sandra,

    Pattern bound thinking has its uses when it comes to routine chores and decisions. It makes life simpler for us. But it is this very need for simplicity and efficiency that can become a problem if we allow it to control us while being unaware of it. Such is the paradox of life. What is useful can be harmful if taken to extremes.

    While the obvious answer is balance between pattern bound thinking and thought-free wakefulness, I believe that each situation has its own Tao or demands. Sometimes pattern bound thinking is best. At other times it is better to approach it with thought-free wakefulness. Being aware of the Tao of each situation will enable us to manage best as needed.

    Thank you for sharing these lovely thoughts! :)

    Irving the Vizier

  5. Irving,

    Thank you for your intriguing thoughts on the topic. I wonder if we are using the word “pattern-bound thinking” in two different ways? My meaning is being on automatic or operating habitually from past patterns. Being awake in the moment, doesn’t mean we’ve lost our capacity to know or see or have no memory of how to function. So I can’t think of an example of when it would be to our benefit to be awake in the present moment as whatever the routine task at hand there maybe be something vitally different about it in this present time. I guess one example would be riding a bicycle. It kind of happens automatically, but it still pays to be present in the moment it would seem to me. I appreciate that you have a different perspective and it seems likely that I just don’t understand it fully as I know how insightful you are!

    • Hi Sandra,

      I wrote my comment before I read your article on deeply embedded patterns. It was my mistake for not fully understanding what I was writing about and going off topic. I am only human haha!

      In my comment I was referring to doing things without thinking. True, riding a bicycle happens automatically but it pays to be present because the external world we are riding the bicycle in may not be friendly or safe.

      An example closer to what I was trying to convey about routine chores would be simple things like brushing teeth or our daily morning routine when we are in a rush for work or stuff like that. The environment is safe, generally speaking, so it does not really matter if we are fully present or not.

      But as situations become more complex and there are more unknowns then it is usually better to be present.

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