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Freedom Inside: A Course in Self-Inquiry with Gangaji

 

“Until you discover your inner freedom, all of life will seem to imprison you. And when you are free inside yourself, no outer prison walls can contain your peace and love.”

 

There are physical prisons and there are mental prisons. You can live in either or both. If you are reading this and feel imprisoned by your mind, it is possible to be free no matter where you find yourself physically.

 

Gangaji’s long-standing prison program is the sure proof that your circumstances, your past, your future, your successes, and your failures cannot touch the pristine truth of who you are. The possibility for all of us is to discover the freedom and peace that are alive within us, to end our unnecessary personal suffering, and to live a life of peace and fulfillment regardless of our physical circumstances.

 

Freedom Inside, a course that was first designed for those living behind bars, offers a pathway of self-discovery, one that leads you directly home. The challenges of your life can be met, and the capacity of your heart can deepen when you are willing to discover what is here and who you are.

 

 

September – Self-Inquiry: The Inner Dive

 

In our restlessness, we think that we have to do something to get to lasting peace or happiness or freedom. Self inquiry proves that all that is necessary is to be willing to open the mind. Very simple and yet, supremely challenging. 

 

If you have been on a search to find lasting peace or happiness or even just to find some rest, where have you been looking? In our September online meeting, Gangaji invites you to look where you may have never thought to look. Guiding us past the superficial, Gangaji leads us on a deep inner dive that reveals our true face and the very source of lasting peace and happiness.

 

Along with providing a clear perspective on what self inquiry is and isn’t,this month Gangaji discusses the willingness required for self inquiry and how we can continue to deepen that willingness..  If you have never met or spoken with Gangaji, this will be a great opportunity to discover what Gangaji is offering.

 

 

October - Is Your Story Real?

 

“Most humans are born inescapably defined by their stories, yet if we remain limited by those definitions we live a life of inner bondage. When we recognize the stories that generate our definitions of ourselves, we are closer to the discovery of what is indefinable within us. That discovery reveals inner freedom and lasting fulfillment.”

 

What narrative are you repeating to yourself about yourself? This month, we examine the stories we tell ourselves over and over that create our mental prisons. Though inquiry, we can recognize the open doorway that leads to true self discovery.

 

 

November - The Nature of Our Emotions

 

“Just for this particular session, just for now, let your attention move from what you are saying about your emotions to directly experiencing them, feeling them, and then discover what’s underneath them.”

 

Last month, we began to examine our repetitive stories so that we can recognize what we are telling ourselves and what we believe about ourselves. This month we look at what gives our stories their life: emotions. Often we analyze our feelings rather than simply feeling them. Join Gangaji for this inquiry into our nested human emotions, and discover what is underneath the phenomena of emotional states.

 

 

December - Healing the Primal Wound

 

“Until you discover your inner freedom, all of life will seem to imprison you. And when you are free inside yourself, no outer prison walls can contain your peace and love.”

 

When you desire freedom, you have to be willing to face what you have been avoiding. Gangaji invites us to recognize the power of emotions to define our human inner experience and to realize the prisons we build around ourselves for protection from certain emotional states . If emotions are running your life, you can discover there is a fresh choice available to you.

 

 

January - Support is Everywhere

 

“In the instant of no longer being enslaved by previously entrenched reactionary habits of thinking or feeling, gratitude is here. The gratitude to be and to know without a doubt I am is the open door to a life of freedom, whatever the circumstances.”

 

Support appears in countless forms including those that may be unwelcome. This month, we see how all circumstances, both positive and negative, can deepen the recognition of who we are at the core. What support do you welcome and what support to you reject? What support do you offer and what support do you withhold?

 

 

February  – Self-Hatred & Victimhood /Victim No Longer Part 1

 

 "The willingness to realize the truth of yourself, the willingness to be free, is the willingness to no longer be a victim—regardless of pain, circumstances, or the actions of others."

 

 No matter what the world is reflecting, whether circumstances are beautiful or terrifying, if your internal story is one of victimhood, you will suffer. It is very simple.  Without needing to deny being victimized, Gangaji supports us in how we can consciously meet that experience so it doesn’t direct our lives, and we don’t perpetuate victimization. Conscious freedom is the freedom to meet suffering consciously, and then consciously choose to let it go.

 

 

March – Self-Hatred/Victim No Longer Part 2

 

Redemption means being included, and that means including myself. When you include yourself, this inclusion extends to all, to everything around you.”  ~Program participant

 

In the second part of our inquiry into victimhood, Gangaji supports us in being radically honest about how we victimize ourselves, turning the harsh knife of self-judgment against ourselves. What are we getting out of that? What does it take to meet self-hatred?

 

 

April –Divine Disillusionment

 

When you realize that all the work you have done to improve yourself has failed to bring you lasting happiness and fulfillment, there is a great disillusionment. In the pain and heartbreak of losing hope that we can transcend or escape our circumstances there arises the longing for true freedom. This is what Gangaji calls the “divine disillusionment” because it opens the door to self-realization.

 

“Whenever this longing appears, fall directly into it.”

 

 

May – What is Being Protected?

 

“There is no how to surrendering or to being still. The how is in how the mind holds on, how the mind resists.”

 

This month Gangaji challenges us to tell the truth about what we are protecting, and how. What are the strategies we use to stay safe, to hold on, and to avoid the unguarded openness of surrender.

 

 

June – Ending Our Patterns of Unnecessary Suffering Part 1 – The Survival Drive

 

“Do you have the courage to be who you truly are, to die to your conditioning? This is a huge question that should only be answered with serious examination.”

 

Our bodies, as well as all life forms, are hard-wired to survive. In this first of three sessions that explore how we perpetuate unnecessary suffering, Gangaji demonstrates how the drive to survive can keep us from the truth of our inherent freedom.

 

 

July – Ending Our Patterns of Unnecessary Suffering Part 2 – Sexual Identity and True Intimacy

 

 “The truth is that sexual intimacy is not necessary for the discovery of the deepest intimacy.”

 

The second drive that is the cause of so much human misery revolves around our sexual identity. Sexual energy is a huge force, and there is deep conditioning to do something with that force. At the heart of it is a longing for intimacy. In this session Gangaji will explore the true meaning of intimacy that includes, but is not limited to, sexual intimacy.

 

 

August – Ending Our Patterns of Unnecessary Suffering Part 3 – Personal Power/Real Power is Conscious Awareness

 

 “At the most basic level, spiritual maturity has to do with the realization that you are not in control.”

 

The drive for power is naturally alive in all of us to one degree or another. It is an aspect of our shared humanity. Whether you identify yourself as having power or being powerless, this month Gangaji offers the possibility to recognize what is untouched by any power.

 

 

September – Discovering Natural Fulfillment

 

“You are naturally already who you are. But when you continually try to avoid, fight, deny or dramatize the pain or suffering in your life, you overlook what is always free of that.”

 

Gangaji will speak to the real consequence of overlooking who we truly, naturally are. When we misidentify or define ourselves based on our thoughts, emotions, bodies, and circumstances, we get caught in a painful trap that Gangaji calls “the story of me.” Whether that story is relatively positive or negative, we can be consumed with escaping the relative pain and suffering we are experiencing or seeking greater pleasure. Seeking any form of escape keeps us on the wheel of suffering rather that simply stopping and being ourselves.

 

 

October – Fulfillment and Responsibility

 

“I am inviting you to take responsibility for the awakened presence that you realize to be the truth of who you are, in this precious body, in this precious human incarnation, for this precious time on Mother Earth.”

 

Whether you live the life of a simple hermit, a busy householder or an activist, this month Gangaji invites you to simply open and allow your life to be used by the force of freedom that is alive in your heart.

 

 

November – Forever Free from Brokenness

 

“You don’t need to perfect anything to discover who you truly are. It’s already perfect.”

 

By their very nature your body, your mind, your emotions and your circumstances are subject to imperfection, but who you truly are is not. Through inquiry, we can discover that there is actually plenty of room in perfection for our experiences of imperfection.

 

 

December – Morality & Mistakes

 

“I am not here to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do in your life. That’s really up to you. Your own innate capacity to be still and know who you are uncovers an ocean of natural intelligence.”

 

This month Gangaji will lead us in examining our fallibility as humans. It is humbling to discover that even though we may have had moments of great illumination and insight into the absolute truth of being, we still make mistakes. We still have the capacity to harm, and we do unintended harm all the time just by being alive as humans on this planet. The possibility is to tell the rigorous truth: Who are you, really? Where do you begin? Where do you end? In that discovery, there is naturally a deep concern for yourself as the totality, alive and in love with itself in all being.

 

January – The Willingness to be Wrong

 

February – Freedom in Relationship

 

March -  The Mind’s Surrender to Silence

 

April – Where is your Allegiance?