There are as many different types of freedom as there are ways to experience freedom. Many can relate to the feeling of freedom a day off work brings, or a long awaited vacation. Some may experience the financial freedom of making that last car or mortgage payment. Others may know the freedom of letting go of a habit, belief or relationship that no longer serves them.
Known as moksha in Sanskrit, freedom is associated with the crown chakra. This seventh chakra, located at the top of the head, is the last we will be exploring in this series. The crown chakra is known as Sahasrara in Sanskrit, which means “thousand petaled.” Aside from freedom, this chakra governs awareness, knowledge, consciousness, spirituality and truth. When out of balance, one might experience attachment, confusion, and either spiritual addiction or skepticism.
While freedom may feel like a lofty goal we never truly attain, I appreciate the view of BKS Iyengar who states, “By moksha I do not mean some fanciful concept of future liberation, but acting with detachment in all the little things of here and now.” His examples of this include not taking the biggest slice of cake and not getting angry when one cannot control the words and actions of others. Iyengar suggests that freedom is gained incrementally and over time via small acts such as returning the ice cream to the freeze, and bitter words left unsaid.
By practicing detachment, we bring balance to the crown chakra and begin to come into greater alignment with our true being. While we will continue to face challenges in life, we will gradually find the ability to identify with them objectively and compassionately, ultimately bringing a felt sense of liberation.
I invite you to apply the words of Iyengar to your own life. Reflect (maybe even journal) about how you might reframe your idea of freedom from a destination, you strive to attain, to a journey you experience daily. I believe the opportunities are many.