The Rain of Freedom

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'I want to be free of climate, of weather...'

Take back your singing in the rain Like Dorff, I wanted to take back my freedom, but not break any laws or wind up on some terrorist watch list. And, for heaven's sake, not get that song "Freedom" stuck in my head! That took about three years of my life in the nineties. I decided to give my friend Robert in Fairbanks, Alaska, a call.

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An attorney and lifelong civil libertarian, Robert once complimented Sarah Palin on her painted toenails while he was stoned as she was serving him a hot dog on the campaign trail. Robert said Alaskans would probably welcome Stephen Dorff with open arms. There's no record of how much energy they use. Another way people can take back their freedom in Alaska, said Robert, is by joining a militia.

Hundreds stick through the rain at Freedom Fest in Springfield

While helpful, I found Robert's suggestions -- including the prospect of life in a post-apocalyptic world in remote Alaska -- a bit hardcore for my tastes. Was it that difficult to take back your freedom? Perhaps Stephen Dorff was right after all. All one had to do to take back your freedom was simply exercise your right to vape. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Boy was Dorff being himself with an e-cig. The comment was accompanied by an animated emoticon of someone smacking the side of their head.

Taking back my freedom wasn't going to be so easy after all. Robert did not find fault with Dorff's assertion. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.

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Let us know what you'd like to see as a HuffPost Member. Canada U. US News. World News. Social Justice. Donald Trump. Queer Voices. Black Voices. Latino Voices. Recognition and acceptance lead to the third step of RAIN, investigation. Now we must investigate more fully.

F.A.T.E. – Freedom Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

Buddhism teaches that whenever we are stuck, it is because we have not looked deeply enough into the nature of the experience. Buddhism systematically directs our investigation to four areas that are critical for understanding and freedom. These are called the four foundations of mindfulness: body, feelings, mind, and dharma, the underlying principles of experience. Here is how we can apply them when working with a difficult experience.

Starting with investigation in the body, we mindfully locate where our difficulties are held. Sometimes we find heat, contraction, hardness, or vibration. Sometimes we notice throbbing, numbness, a certain shape or color. We can investigate whether we are meeting this area with resistance or with mindfulness. We notice what happens as we hold these sensations with mindfulness. Do they open? Are there other layers? Is there a center? Do they intensify, move, expand, change, repeat, dissolve, or transform?

In the second foundation of mindfulness, we can investigate what feelings are part of this difficulty. Is the primary feeling tone pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral? Are we meeting this feeling with mindfulness? And what are the secondary feelings associated with it? Often we discover a constellation of feelings. A man remembering his divorce may feel sadness, anger, jealously, loss, fear, and loneliness.

A woman who was unable to help her addicted nephew can feel longing, aversion, guilt, desire, emptiness, and unworthiness. With mindfulness, each feeling is recognized and accepted. We investigate how each emotion feels, whether it is pleasant or painful, contracted or relaxed, tense or sad. We notice where we feel the emotion in our body and what happens to it as it is held in mindfulness. Next comes the mind. What thoughts and images are associated with this difficulty? What stories, judgments, and beliefs are we holding? When we look more closely, we often discover that some of them are one-sided, fixed points of view, or out-moded, habitual perspectives. We see that they are only stories. They loosen their hold on us. We cling less to them. The fourth foundation to investigate is called mindfulness of the dharma.

Dharma is an important and multifaceted word that can mean the teachings and the path of Buddhism. It can mean the truth, and in this case it can also mean the elements and patterns that make up experience. In mindfulness of the dharma we look into the principles and laws that are operating. We can notice if an experience is actually as solid as it appears. Is it unchanging or is it impermanent, moving, shifting, recreating itself? We notice if the difficulty expands or contracts the space in our mind, if it is in our control or if it has its own life. We notice if it is self-constructed.

God Is the 'You' You Don't Know Yet

We investigate whether we are clinging to it, resisting it, or simply letting it be. We see whether our relationship to it is a source of suffering or happiness. And finally, we notice how much we identify with it.

The Rain of Freedom The Rain of Freedom
The Rain of Freedom The Rain of Freedom
The Rain of Freedom The Rain of Freedom
The Rain of Freedom The Rain of Freedom
The Rain of Freedom The Rain of Freedom

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