A feeling of lightness, of exultation and joy pouring from you, the pure expression of the essence of your being, the expansion of the unconditional “I AM,” the quiet thankfulness in your heart, acceptance for all that you encounter inside and out . . . what does it mean for your soul to be free? It’s such an esoteric idea, a head in the clouds notion.
In his upcoming book, I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation, though, Tao master Ilchi Lee defines the soul as the part of us that is most essential. It is pure and unchanging energy that came from the Source of life and carries on after we die.
Over the course of our lives, that pure, bright energy easily gets covered up by things that aren’t so pure or unconditional, such as our emotions and our notions of who we are or who we should be. The more we pay attention to these more surface-level things while ignoring our core essence, the stronger they get. Meanwhile our soul’s energy weakens. The weight of everything covering our soul grows even heavier when we hold on to all those notions and the hurt from our life experiences. These attachments can form a thick crust around our soul—if we let them.
But they don’t have to. You’ve probably already heard, but we can let our attachments go. And we can do it regularly and diligently. We can scrub away enough space inside us that our soul will grow big, bright, and free.
Yes, a free soul may sound esoteric, but we’ve all probably seen one because a free soul shines from the inside out. We can see it in a person’s bright eyes. We can feel the joy that shines out from them and recognize the love and care they share with others. We hear it in their voice, especially when they sing.
Ilchi Lee includes a technique for freeing our souls regularly; it’s for letting go of the attachments that hide their light.
Meditation for the Soul’s Freedom
Bring one hand in front of your chest, palm turned upward. Cup your palm as if to receive falling water. Close your eyes and imagine your hand as the cup of your soul.
Once there was nothing in the cup of your soul; the weight of your soul was zero. As you’ve lived your life, though, you have put many different things in that cup. Those became attachments that have gradually weighed down your soul.
What does the cup of your soul hold now? What attachments are inside it? Are they attachments to wealth and material things? Attachments to power and prestige? To people you
love? Is there hatred for people who have troubled you? What is it that keeps your soul from being free, that oppresses it and weighs it down? Different kinds of negative emotions and forms of consciousness? Greed, selfishness, victim consciousness, feelings of inferiority, arrogance, defeat, guilt?
Do you want to be a free soul? If you do, then let all those things go, for they are not the substance of who you are. Only one thing is your substance: your soul. Everything else is like a rock that clings to your soul.
For your soul to be free, you must dump that rock, and that requires courage. Only you can make that choice. No one can force you to choose, and no one can choose for you, either.
Now count to three in your mind and slowly turn your hand over so that your palm faces down, pouring out the things contained in the cup of your soul.
One, two, three!
Completely let go of everything that burdened and troubled your soul. Feel the ardent desire to become a free soul, and feel only that desire. Feel the earnest desire in your heart to soar freely in the heavens, like a bird.
Now spread your arms to your sides and flap them up and down like the wings of a bird. Give yourself complete freedom.
Slowly fly into the wide open sky.
Your energy gradually grows lighter and brighter. You are a free soul! Feel your chest opening and breathing. Fully enjoy the freedom of your soul as a smile spreads across your face.
Slowly stop moving, place your hands on your knees, and adopt a meditation posture.
What are you feeling in your heart right now? Do you feel freedom and peace?
Someone whose heart is at peace is blessed. Peace of mind comes when we let go of our attachments. Attachments come from foolishness, and foolishness develops when we don’t know the purpose of our lives. We become attached to money, prestige, and people when we don’t know why we live, why we’ve come to earth, and what we should live for.
We have come to earth for the growth and completion of our souls. Though we can discard everything else, we can never discard our soul. Though we have to leave everything behind when we die, the one thing we have to take with us is our soul.
Your soul is the substance and essence of who you are. For the growth and completion of your soul, you have been crying, laughing, loving, hating, and learning life’s lessons in the training hall of enlightenment that is life.
We have come into this life for training, for spiritual practice. Everything you have experienced, good or bad, bitter or sweet, has been meaningful and has taught you. When you realize this, gratitude and peace begin to develop in your heart.
The seed of your soul starts to grow when your heart is at peace. Place your hands on your chest, one over the other, and yearn solely for the growth and completion of your soul. Great light will come to you. The light of great wisdom teaching you where you should go will shine upon you. Entrust everything to that light. Once dark, your mind and the depths of your soul will grow brighter and clearer. Your heavy chest will grow light and peaceful.
You’ll feel it. “Everything happened because of my attachments! These attachments blocked my heart and troubled me!”
If you’ve seen the eternal light and found the path of your soul, have gratitude to that bright light of wisdom that shone on you. Remember that the light of wisdom is always shining on you, and hold peace in your heart.
How do you feel after trying this meditation? Do you feel lighter and freer? Share you response in the comments.
Learn more about the soul, its growth, and its completion in I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years by Ilchi Lee.