I have had an ongoing thought experiment for years. It centres around a simple question: “What would our world be like if everyone was Awakened?” In other words, what would life feel like if we were all free from unconscious beliefs and habits that caused unhappiness and dissatisfaction in ourselves and the people around us? In what ways could we transform our community, if we were completely free to creatively respond to the dance of life?
Freeing Our Mind seeks to help as many people as possible develop the tools to make this vision a reality. The root of most of our struggles lies in our misguided notions that we are each separate individuals, striving to survive in competition with other separate individuals in the world. This way of thinking leads us to a sense of isolation, tears apart our connections when we most need them, and pits us against one another. This framework makes us feel we need to compete, rather than cooperate, with one another. It compels us to feel we need to protect ourselves from the exploitation of others.
This old paradigm lulls us into the false belief that we need to compare ourselves to others, which creates a false sense of superiority, inferiority, and even equality. But we are all part of a whole. It makes no sense to say that our fourth left toe is superior, inferior or equal to our right hip, or to our face. They are all parts of our body, the only body we have. Similarly, we are all part of a vast, complicated and interconnected network far beyond our ability to comprehend; the only network there is.
This mistaken belief moves us away from harmony with ourselves and all around us; it pulls us away from the essence of our humanity. Our lack of deep understanding of our interconnected nature with all of existence prevents us from perceiving nature as it truly is, takes us away from deeply connecting and engaging with one another, and holds us back from making the change we wish to make in our own lives and in the world.
Freeing Our Mind aims to create a community of explorers of a new paradigm of thinking and living, starting one person at a time and changing the way we each experience life. We start with our flagship course, where we learn about and explore important elements of life that help with the process of freeing our minds from the habitual patterns that cause us to feel dissatisfied with life and prevent us from achieving our potential. Because we all start off with the misguided belief of our separate, disconnected selves, we need to train our minds to help us out of this tendency. We can learn from each other, explore for ourselves, share with each other, and continue the process of learning, exploring and sharing until no one is left behind.
If there is interest, we will also plan to offer meditation courses and guidance that teach people, from total beginners to very experienced practitioners, meditation with the ultimate aim of full Awakening from the habitual patterns of our minds that result in the fundamental delusion of a fixed, separate self (in order to experience what the Buddha referred to as anattā). The courses will be delivered in a way that is accessible to people of all beliefs and faiths; the aim is simply to free the minds of anyone who is interested.