Freedom & a Nighttime Drive

I’ve always been a person who needs to feel free. I grew up in the country where I could roam all over the place and I remember the feeling when I bought my first 10-speed. It was red and it was glorious and it was my ticket to more freedom.

When I was in 8th grade, I started to sneak out at night. I wasn’t rebelling against the rules; I was seeking something I couldn’t find in my room nor in the presence of anyone else. I wanted to feel independent. I wanted to feel empowered. I wanted to bathe in the palpable energy of a country night.

The nights were never quiet, but consumed with the sounds of nature and the vision of the nighttime sky. Longing to taste freedom, I would borrow my brother’s car and drive through the country roads with the windows down, breathing the scent of possibility.

His car had a standard transmission and that caused me to focus on the process of driving. I loved the level of control that gave me as I tuned-in to the sound of the engine giving me the signal to change gears. The finesse it took to shift from 1st to 2nd to 3rd without jerking the car was an exercise in mind-body connection and I could easily lose myself being immersed in the small moments.

This is still what I practice today and I am still seeking the ultimate freedom: oneness.

The tools we have to experience this connection are all around us and, to me, the key seems to be presence. Take a moment to stare a the center of your left palm. I mean, really stare at it. Go ahead, do it. Do it for about two minutes. I’ll wait…

Now, do the same to your right palm. Take your time – really observe the lines in your hand, the shapes the lines make, the way the light changes as you shift your palm, and feel the energy change as you focus your attention more acutely.

Now close your eyes and feel the connection between your hands. Do you feel the tingling? You’ve just tapped in to your energy. You just connected to the pulse of all things.

We only know how to talk about an experience of transcendence in dualistic terms and pointing to that experience is what artists do. What I am here to do is guide my students to a place within themselves where they can experience losing themselves.. where they can drop the boundaries and feel beyond the labels of experience and become immersed in the experience itself.

The deeper the connection to the moment, the more likely we are to experience oneness and the more we will feel free.

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