#35 Personal Liberation
The idea of Personal Liberation was very important to Bruce Lee. This idea was so important that his wife Linda included the quote “Your inspiration continues to guide us towards our personal liberation,” on Bruce’s headstone in Seattle where he and his son Brandon are buried.
Many of Bruce’s writings cover the topic of personal liberation and its connection with flow and freedom.
“Freedom is something that cannot be preconceived. To realize freedom requires an alert mind, a mind that is deep with energy, a mind that is capable of immediate perception without the process of graduation, without the idea of an end to be slowly achieved. Pre-formations simply lack the flexibility to adapt to the ever changing. At this point many would ask, ‘How then do we gain this unlimited freedom?’ I cannot tell you because it will then become an approach. Although I can tell you what it’s not, I cannot tell you what it is. That, my friend, you will have to find out all by yourself, for there is no help, but self-help.”
Some patterns that we set-up are good for the moment, but we have to constantly be aware and tweaking so that we live in the moment. We are growing all the time so what works for us now might not work for us forever, and it’s important to have awareness to change and grow. Personal liberation relates to being in a process, living and understanding your authentic self.
“When our mind is tranquil, there will be an occasional pause to its feverish activities. There will be a letting go and it is only then, in the interval between two thoughts that a flash of understanding, understanding which is not thought, can take place.”
“Where there is resistance there is no understanding. A so-called well-disciplined mind is not a free mind. A choice method, however exacting, fixes the mind in a pattern, a crystallization. Fixing forms can never bring freedom. This type of dead drilling is not an adequate response to the ever-changing moment. This ever-changing moment must be met newly, freshly for the moment is always new.”
“To free yourself, observe closely what you normally practice. Do not condemn or approve, merely observe.”
Freedom lies in understanding yourself from moment to moment. “When you’re faced with looking at your own life with awakened eyes, you will have increased a bit in the knowledge of yourself. In other words, your mental and physical capabilities will become clear to you. And knowledge of anything outside of yourself is only superficial and very shallow. To put it another way, self-knowledge has a liberating quality.”
Sometimes you have to zoom out of the moment and get an overhead view of a situation to get some perspective.
“I try to live freely from moment to moment, letting things happen and adjusting to them.”
Bruce said, “I couldn’t live by a rigid schedule.” The goal is to be happy in the doing. If you’re always setting happiness as a goal ahead of you, then it’s going to be hard to attain. There’s no wrong or right way to this, it’s all about your personal liberation.
“Listen, can you hear the wind? And can you hear the birds singing? You have to hear it. Empty your mind. You know how water fills a cup? It becomes the cup. You have to think about nothing. You have to become nothing.”
Observe closely what you normally practice without judgment. Where are you feeling stuck or trapped? Where are you striving and straining to do something? Document where you feel peace of mind, what is happening when you feel that freedom from patterns. If that can be captured and repeated, make time for that on your calendar and dedicate weekly time to create more moments of peace of mind.
If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Awesome Asians and Hapas)
This week’s #AAHA shout-out goes to Vietnamese-American actor Ian Alexander. Ian’s debuts his talents on Netflix’s show The OA. His character is Buck Vu, an Asian transgender teen, just like Ian himself. At only 15, the OA is Ian's first acting project, but his performance is outstanding. He got the part because he responded to an online open casting call and he didn’t tell his parents until he was asked by casting to fly to New York. Ian’s family has lived in Japan, Hawaii, and D.C., and he’s always had an interest in the arts and is an advocate for trans rights. We know that especially in the Asian community, it can be challenging to be anything but the “norm,” so we want you to know you’re awesome Ian! Check out The OA on Netflix, it’s great and we love the diverse cast.
This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Jeddy A.:
Let me first express deep gratitude and admiration to you for carrying on your father’s mission and message. What is clear to me is that Bruce had a rare and unique purpose in this life, and I see that part of your gift is to translate and transmit his message to those who could not hear his voice when he was still alive.
I wake up every morning with your father’s voice in my ear. Growing up, I considered Bruce Lee nothing less than a superhero, whose mystique and rare power was out of reach because he passed away more than a decade before I was born. Like many who come to know the deeper gifts this incredible man had to offer, I have taken strongly to the observations he made of life, living, and the mystery of the human experience.
I stumbled upon the Bruce Lee Podcast about 2 weeks ago, and - despite owning a start-up business, working a 9-5, being a husband & father, and a committed martial artist - I managed to listen to EVERY episode (some more than once) in this span of time. Your incredible gift has allowed me to tap into Bruce’s sacred wisdom and the way in which he engaged with life with so much intention and purpose. As a young man pioneering my path in the world and establishing the foundation for my own legacy, Bruce’s teachings have served as a collection of stones making ripples in the lake of my own life and stretching out into the world that I influence each day.
I am a martial artist. I am a healer. I am a mentor to young men. Thanks to your father, I humbly consider myself a philosopher. One who listens deeply, reflects frequently, and shares his version of the way with any whom are attracted to and may benefit from it.
My “Bruce Lee Moment” occurs every morning during my dawn meditation and movement practice. Every 15 minute bike ride to work. Every window of opportunity - however brief - to tap into your father’s message and decide how that fits into my own experience. Of all the layers and textures of Bruce that I relate to, the most resonant is his journey of holding and living a massive vision while relishing in the magnificence of my wife and 1 year old son. As I write this, it brings tears to my eyes that his voice found me just when I needed to hear it most. Thank you for being the vessel that carries his gifts forward so that he can continue to be of service the way I imagine he would have liked to long beyond his passing.
I will continue to walk on. I will never give up the vision because I have finally witnessed someone taking it all on, taking it all in, and rising again and again.
Blessings & Deepest Gratitude, Jeddy A.