2 min read

The blocked artist.

The blocked artist.

In Dzogchen your true nature is introduced as the primordially liberated state of natural freedom. It can be hard to appreciate what is meant by this freedom when we have not yet experienced it ourselves. When all we have known is bondage and fixation, how can we get a taste of something outside our range of experience?

Think of a blocked artist. They want to create art and share it with the world, but there is something in them that is holding them back. It might be a thought, or a feeling, or their situation, or any number of things. Whatever it is, there is something that is holding the artist back.

Freedom from this limitation sets the artist free to do her work. She creates with intention and with purpose. She uses resistance and obstacles to push herself to explore the range of her art. She plays with borders and limitations as the container for which creativity can be expressed.

Having discovered this freedom to do her work, she also discovers that this freedom is for her own benefit and the benefit of others. She fulfills her own aims by having the freedom to create her art, and she fulfills others aims because her work impacts them and changes them in some way.

Freedom from enables freedom to. In discovering this freedom, we hold the keys for accomplishing the two-fold benefit of fulfilling our own and others needs simultaneously.

Just like the blocked artist, we are held back from doing our work, our best work, by our own limiting conceptions, negative emotions, bad habits and cultural conditioning. We want to be generous and kind and do work that matters, but it is often we who get in our own way.

Breaking free from those limiting factors and the resistance we encounter in doing our work, we discover freedom to actually be present, patient and kind. We can be generous and contribute meaningfully to the communities we serve. We discover the natural freedom of being open, available and responsive.

Having discovered this natural freedom, we recognize that our own aims and the aims of others are fulfilled simultaneously. We can be present, available and responsive to others, and also contribute meaningfully to the world around us. The two are not exclusive, but mutually supportive.

Freedom from, freedom to, freedom for. That is what we come to know and experience when we recognize our true nature.