I find myself thinking about ‘freedom’ and what it means to me to be free; at least (and most) free from the inside out. Free from my small mind, thinking small thoughts. You might know the kind – thoughts that are judgmental and well, just plain old small. I want to be free from my ego telling me to worry more, free from getting tied up in knots over a to-do list, free from the allusion of control, free from fear and anxiety in the middle of the night or in the bright light of day. Free from my mind bunny hopping all over the place in a matter of a few seconds, and the list goes on. How am I ever going to be free? Free from this prison I build for myself. And just as I am asking these questions in my heart, I find myself at a labyrinth retreat and hear the workshop leader speak these stunning words from Hafiz, a beloved, 14thcentury Sufi poet and spiritual teacher…
The small man builds cages for everyone he knows,
While the sage, who has to duck his head when the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long for the beautiful, rowdy prisoners.
Wow – instantly recognizing myself, I sigh with gratitude to hear those words. Not so sure about beautiful and rowdy, but I do know I am a prisoner of sorts. And I want the The Keys – that’s all I need to free me from this prison. I can put the key in, turn it, and walk right out the door. And therein lies the question, and the answer. The keys are the answer – but what about “the keys”? Now that is a question; for me and for you.
Thoughts come to me about my particular keys.. I have come to know them as writing in my gratitude journal, silence and contemplation, walking, prayer, being with the Divine Companion or by whatever name you know this Presence, practicing yoga, practicing self-awareness and forgiveness, creativity, being of service, nonattachment..compassion – on and on it goes, so many keys it turns out! I just need to use them – and often. Sweet freedom – it’s an inside job. So spacious, I might even have to duck my head when the moon is low.
Hafiz has totally captured my attention so I picked up a book here in the shop of Hafiz’ work. The author in his introduction of Hafiz writes…”Hafiz shares his intoxication with the magic and beauty of divine life that pulsates everywhere around us and within us. He urges us to rise on the wings of love. He challenges us to confront and master the strongest forces of our own nature. (Is he talking to me?) He encourages us to celebrate even the most ordinary experiences of life as precious divine gifts”.
Amen. So any of you beautiful and rowdy prisoners out there, your freedom is at hand – what are the keys that free your soul?
“What is this precious love and laughter
Budding in our hearts?
It is the glorious sound
Of a soul waking up!”
Domahain Anama ~ Deep Peace,