Finding Freedom

The sound of a gentle stream flowing.. What is more soothing than the sound of water? A trickling stream or a flowing waterfall just seems to wash away all cares and worries, leaving you feeling fresh and new. It’s as if we touch freedom for a moment.

I recently visited Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, CA. It’s a Buddhist monastery that is open to the public on Sundays for anyone to enjoy the peace, quite, meditation and beautiful nature of the area. I happened to pick up a book there called Be Free Where You Are by Thich Nhat Hanh in which he gives insight about finding freedom:

“Everyone walks on the Earth, but there are those who walk like slaves, with no freedom at all. They are sucked in by the future or by the past, and they are not capable of dwelling in the here and now, where life is available. If we get caught up in our worries, our despair, our regrets about the past, and our fears of the future in our everyday lives, we are not free people. We are not capable of establishing ourselves in the here and now…”

“Life is only available in the here and now. The past is already gone, and the future is yet to come. There is only one moment for me to live-the present moment. So the first thing I do is to go back to the present moment. By doing so, I touch life deeply. My in-breath is life, my out-breath is life. Each step I take is life. The air I breathe is life. I can touch the blue sky and the vegetation. I can hear the sound of the birds and the sound of another human being. If we can return to the here and now, we will be able to touch the many wonders of life that are available.”

“Many of us think that happiness is not possible in the present moment. Most of us believe that there are a few more conditions that need to be met before we can be happy. This is why we are sucked into the future and are not capable of being present in the here and now. This is why we step over many of the wonders of life. If we keep running away into the future, we cannot be in touch with the many wonders of life-we cannot be in the present moment where there is healing, transformation, and joy.”