The Unfettered Mind



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"Many people have the misunderstanding that liberated beings become very boring," provides Shunyamurti, the director of the Sat Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. "It's a very bad misunderstanding because the ego never wants to be boring, and so it always has an excuse: 'I don't wanna waste my life sitting in that cave doing nothing. I wanna be active.' And of course nothing is further from the truth: the more liberated we are, the more creative we are. The more empowered we are in every field that moves us, and we are moved by infinite fields of possibility the more liberated we are."

"I was reminded recently of one of the great Zen Masters in Japan, a man named Takuan Soho. . . . He was a great poet, artist, calligrapher, philosopher, master of the tea ceremony. Unfortunately he became very popular, and the Shogun called him to the court and that's where his problems began. He got into politics as well; now this is an interest that we have to be very careful about. But in the court he became a teacher of the great samurai warriors. . . . And he was able to teach them because his mind was so still that he could help to bring a swordsman into that timeless state where he could be aware of what was happening in slow motion and be able to respond with absolute accuracy. And he developed there the concept of the 'unfettered mind.' . . . And so he had a number of samurai students who he was teaching the art of swordsmanship to, but through the means of meditation."

"But this idea of the unfettered mind is a very powerful concept. And the idea is that the mind must not be detained by anything; the mind must remain forever free. It cannot be stopped. . . . And the thing that detains the mind most of all is the ego. The ego is a series of conventionalized thoughts that have an emotional charge. And as soon as we get caught and fixated on any one of those charges—any signifier, any self-image, any pattern, any emotion that's connected to the ego—we're lost. . . . And so one must remain in the state where one does not have an ego in order not to have anything that binds the pure awareness and the emergence of the full flowering of our creative potential."

"So meditation is letting go of that illusion of the existence of a separate entity. And that entity is only an appearance in consciousness, as is the whole world. And if we can let go of that obsession, the entity itself dissolves because it's only kept alive by our attention that we give to it. Let it go, and there is an unfettered mind. There's freedom. There's Liberation." Recorded on the evening of Thursday, June 17, 2010.

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