Step Two Hundred and Sixty-Four
Today think about your lesson on the hour and think about what freedom is. In your longer practice periods, devote your mind to thinking about freedom. This is a very important focal point today. In your longer meditations in particular, devote your mind entirely to reviewing your ideas about freedom. What do you think constitutes freedom? What do you think prevents people from being free? What produces a freedom that is lasting and secure? How can this be achieved? What will support it in the future? After you spend approximately thirty minutes thinking about all this in each practice, enter into stillness and silence. Open yourself to allow Knowledge to speak to you. Abide with your Teachers there. After you have exhausted your ideas, enter into stillness and receptivity.
It is very important that you be aware of your own ideas about freedom because until these are recognized and adjusted, they will continue to cast their influence upon you. They will continue to dominate your thinking and thus your behavior. A greater freedom is now available to you, but you must learn how to approach it. Today you shall learn more about freedom—what you think freedom is and what freedom really is.
Practice 264: Two 40-minute practice periods. Hourly practice.
Now, however, I feel a shift in my thinking, now I think more in terms of freedom “to.” As I devoted my mind to thinking about freedom today, I thought of freedom as the freedom to do what feels right in my soul, the freedom to be who I am, the freedom to allow Knowledge to manifest itself in my life, the freedom to step boldly ahead in the direction Knowledge is guiding me, the freedom to embrace my True Self.
And it is also the freedom “not to” – the freedom not to do things that don’t sit right with me, the freedom not to be a people-pleaser, the freedom not to burden myself with tasks that sap my energy, make me uptight, run against the grain.
Freedom for me is the freedom to embrace the truth, the truth I feel like a burning constant deep within.
To answer the questions posed in this Step, I wrote the following.
What constitutes freedom?
Being at ease with myself - inner freedom. Ideally inner and outer freedom should coincide.
What prevents people from being free?
Unawareness. Misunderstanding what freedom really is.
What produces a freedom that is lasting and secure?
Reaching the inner core of myself where Knowledge abides and being at total peace with myself and the world. Trusting that all is as it should be. Trusting that I am being taken care of.
How can this be achieved?
This can be achieved through constant practice - taking the Steps to Knowledge, being in stillness, sinking into Knowledge, listening, observing, watching, being conscious, being aware.
How can this be supported in the future?
Through greater awareness and self-application.
I still have a long way to go ....