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Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Right Kind of Independence

Yesterday was the 4th of July, an American holiday celebrating our liberation from Great Britain so that we became a separate country instead of a collection of British colonies. It is sometimes referred to as Independence Day.

Some friends of mine at a barbecue yesterday kept greeting people with "Happy Inter-dependence Day," and I definitely find that more appropriate a wish given what is needed in the journey ahead if we are to survive as a species. We need to recognize our interdependence and begin working together for the common good, instead of trying to climb over each other's bones for a personal "win."

Yet a deeper interpretation of the word "independence" offers a promise for even greater human triumph than that which social interdependence could bring. The independence of which I speak is freedom from the tyranny of a mind that criticizes everything you or anyone else does, is impossible to keep happy for long, and which seems to feel it has something of value to say about every little moment of your life.

Do you ever find yourself thinking, "My head hurts. I need to get some sleep. I need some peace and quiet. But these thoughts keep running through my head, on and on?" Do you ever tire of the constant judgment flowing through your head? Wouldn't you like to be free of all that?

Well I sure would, and that is what I want to invite you to cultivate in your life. May you find independence from the tyranny of your chattering mind. May you be at peace. May you close your eyes in just a moment, take a deep breath in, think "I accept myself" as you breath out, then pause on empty and allow your mind to go blank. Then breathe in again as such, and begin the cycle again. May you do this over and over for the next 10 minutes, and opening your eyes, find yourself immersed in an all-pervading clarity and peace.

Be well.

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