YOU ARE ALREADY FREE
Modern psychology asserts that thoughts create feelings (e-motion/call to action),
which in turn engender behaviors that, in turn, cause our consequences.
It all begins with thoughts! If we change our thoughts, we change our emotions, our behaviors, and ultimately our place in the world. Change your thoughts, change your life! But, we can do more ... we can come to the truth about ourselves and be totally free.
The basic problem that needs to be understood and dealt with is that we take ourselves to
be something we are not. As an example, when the stock market crashed in 1929,
some individuals jumped out of their office windows to their death. They thought they
were their money!
Our inner dialog (trauma brain) was created by our best attempts to cope with the many difficulties that arose mostly in our childhoods. Libraries are filled with books on this matter; therefore no need to dwell on it here. Over time, we come to take our thoughts to be ourselves - we think we are our thoughts. This is not true!
A moments reflection shows that we are 'that' which is aware of those thoughts. Simply put, we are that pure vast awareness (loving, forgiving, merciful) and we have forgotten that unchanging fact.
Meditation is the search for what to give up!
There are so many spiritual/meditative practices. Here's a simple one that works well:
First take a couple of deep breaths and sit comfortably. Then just imagine yourself sitting on a porch in front of a busy street watching the cars go by. If we run out into the street the cars will run over us, and if we go back in the house we miss the traffic. Now switch to looking at your thoughts (like cars) going by your awareness. We don't judge the thoughts, avoid any thought, or even try to stop them. Just like the cars we notice them passing by.
Do this practice for one minute more than is comfortable. This is the practice of detaching from 'your' thoughts thus gradually and gently reducing your mis-identification with them.
Practice is the key ... the only way one can fail at this is to not practice.
Ohhh ... this practice can be difficult as some of the thoughts (cars) passing through our awareness by are going to unpleasant. No matter the content of the thought, just notice them as they pass by. Detach from the thoughts that meditation should be pleasant - every sit is different.
The biggest barrier is trying to do it right. "Doing it right" is one of the first thoughts from which to detach. Earnestness is the key.
Lots of self - lots of problems,
less self - less problems,
no self - no problem.