5 Steps to Spiritual Independence
How much does our self-identification reside with the country that we think "owns us" or "owes us" something?
It seems that in 1776, travelers to a "new and better" world thought this was so, and thus, generations thereafter have been celebrating each year ever since. (and I might add, us ex-pats, too)
But surely, what we are becoming independent from is "the establishment". People are the problem, and not real-estate. I think it was Swami Devananda that used to fly his plane all over the world and refuse to own a passport.
When we set boundaries of allegiance, we can become desensitized to the pain of people in other countries in the same way that we can become de-sensitized to the politics that shapes our constitution.
I like to think of marking the event as a sort of spiritual unfoldment and independence. The time and space to think for myself about what is important to me…….or not, and what I really want to become independent of.
Guess what the answer is?……… not Britain, or America, or any person. I need to seek freedom from my concept of who and what I am.
I can attribute that gem to my Paramguru and spiritual teacher, Goswami Kriyananda ,whose teaching has never been dependent upon how much a person gives to his Temple, nor how much service they provide there-in. This person, in other words, is comfortable in his own skin, and does not try to manipulate or control other people. That’s my kind of teacher. One that can let me be, well me, or rather, my personality. That is true independence. The spiritual kind, to which I, as a spiritual seeker in time, aspire to.
Here are 5 thoughts that I want to "firecracker" out there, which may ignite some thoughts on your spiritual path:
The first big leap of independence is the leap from childhood to adulthood, as a person really tries to make it on their own without the help from mommy or daddy. It usually necessitates some form of financial independence, and I for one am looking forward to that for my children.
The space to create something for our-self is independence. To choose where we live, what job we take, whom we marry, what and when we eat, etc.( I couldn’t wait to decide on my menus and times to eat as a teenager)
To make our contribution in our world means that we know what our goal is in life, and our purpose. The physical challenges can be an issue for any of us, such as an accident or illness setting in and that can cause us to forget our goal in life. Nonetheless, comfort and stability in our body temple is vital. This is because "Our" body IS the very vehicle of our-own enlightenment and as every-body is different, the path to emotional and spiritual independence is unique to the individual.
Freedom to choose or free will is a huge leap of independence for any of us as if we choose to make our life choices wisely. “I choose to make my life…………………” sounds like a bit of a settlement to dependence me as I heard recently. We don’t have to choose to “make” our life, but choose to live our life to its greatest potential. If we live life in this way, then death is just another phase in our birth/death cycle.
And here it is, the greatest leap in anyone’s independence. Learn how to stand on your own 2 feet! Don’t blame your spouse, kids, teacher, guru or country but you. You are the Mantra Kara. The maker of your own destiny by the very thought you think, words you speak and actions or non-actions you take.
The question you might ask is; what is MY main purpose in this life? And is it dependent upon what someone else wants?
We all have emotional baggage in terms of cultural and family ties, and it can really be difficult to think for ourselves and not think, say and do things that are echoes of the past from other people in our lives of cultural group. Taking time for stillness and pausing before we speak and take action can be a valuable spiritual practice that we could all utilize, especially as we gather in clans with resonant minds over this weekend of Independence.
Happy Independence Day!
Check out Camella’s Dharma at www.camellanair.com where she covers all aspects of one’s spiritual independence.