Inner Freedom: Quotes from Week 1


"This magnificent refuge is inside you.

Enter. Shatter the darkness that

shrouds the doorway...

Be bold. Be humble.

Put away the incense and forget

the incantations they taught you.

Ask no permission from the authorities.

Close your eyes and follow your breath

to the still place that leads to the

invisible path that takes you home."

—St. Theresa of Avila


Introduction


John O’Donohue: “There is a place in the soul that neither time nor space nor any created thing can touch. What that means is that your identity is not equivalent to your biography, and that there is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there is still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where there is a confidence and tranquillity in you. And I think the intention of prayer and spirituality and love is, now and again, to visit that inner kind of sanctuary.”


Freedom with your mind


Jack Kornfield: “My mind is a dangerous neighborhood – I try never to go there alone.”


Richard Rohr: "So how do we find inner freedom? We can begin by noticing that whenever we suffer pain, the mind is always quick to identify with the negative aspects of things and replay them over and over again, wounding us deeply. This pattern must be recognized early and definitively. Peace of mind is actually an oxymoron. When you’re in your mind, you’re hardly ever at peace, and when you’re at peace, you’re never only in your mind.”


Gerald May: “…we are blinded by our attachments, we are so preoccupied –our attention is so kidnapped by our compulsions – that we tune out the background of God’s love. …We want to notice divine love, but we ignore it like we ignore our own breathing, in favor of the things that have captured us.”


David Frennette: “God’s presence in awareness is like the cinema screen upon which all of a film’s images are projected. At the movies, we normally are quite caught up in its drama and not aware of the screen. At the end of the movie, if we stay long enough, we will finally see the screen that was there all along, silently, secretly holding the film. Similarly, at the end of your own movie, your own life’s story, you will experience the reality that silently, secretly held you throughout your whole life: God’s presence. Why not realize this presence during life? Then, you can be aware of God at the same time as you live your ordinary life. You can be at one with the screen and the movie at the same time.


Presence


Eckhart Tolle: “Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”


Cyprian Smith, a scholar interpreting the work of the great mystic Meister Eckhart, wrote: “The present moment is shot through with Divine Light, because it is in the present, and in the present alone, that the world of time touches the world of eternity.”


Mark Williams: “Being mindful means that we take in the present moment as it is rather than as we would like it to be.”

He goes on to describe mindfulness as "a direct, intuitive knowing of what you are doing while you are doing it…. Most of the time our attention is not where we intended it to be. Our attention is hijacked by our thoughts and emotions, by our concerns, by our worries for the future, and our regrets and memories of the past. Mindful awareness is about learning to pay attention, in the present moment, and without judgement. It's like training a muscle - training attention to be where you want it to be. This reduces our tendency to work on autopilot, allowing us to us choose how we respond and react."


Awareness


Mooji: “As long as your loyalty to identity persists, you will fight against your total freedom.”


Michael Singer: “There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind—you are the one who hears it. ... If you watch it objectively, you will come to see that much of what the voice says is meaningless. Most of the talking is just a waste of time and energy. The truth is that most of life will unfold in accordance with forces far outside your control, regardless of what your mind says about it. ... Eventually you will see that the real cause of problems is not life itself. It’s the commotion the mind makes about life that really causes problems.”


Richard Rohr describes it as a discovery of: "… the safety, the spaciousness, and the scary freedom to be who we are, all that we are, more than we are, and less than we are.”


Beatrice Bruteau: “as it loses each of these [descriptive] selves, the praying consciousness finds itself more and more at liberty. The more you take off bondage, the freer you become; the more you lose restrictions, the vaster you become.”


Thomas Keating: “We are kept from the experience of Spirit because our inner world is cluttered with past traumas. As we begin to clear away this clutter the energy of divine light and love begins to flow through our being.”


Conclusion


Jack Kornfield: “In meditation we can reconnect with our heart and discover an inner sense of spaciousness, unity, and compassion underneath all the conflicts of thought. The loving heart allows for the stories and ideas, the fantasies and fears of the mind to arise without believing in them, without having to follow them or having to fulfill them. When we listen with the heart, beneath all the busyness of thought, we discover a sweet, healing silence, an inherent peacefulness in each of us, a goodness of heart, strength and wholeness that is our birthright. … When we return to our original nature, we can acknowledge the ways of the mind and yet rest in peace and goodness. We discover the healing heart beyond the thinking mind.”

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