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A man comes to a master to ask how much man is independent, free. Is he totally free, or is there a limitation? Is there something like fate, kismet, destiny, a God who makes a limitation beyond which you cannot be free?The mystic answered in his own way – not logically but existentially. He said, “Stand up.”

The man must have felt this was a stupid kind of answer, “I am asking a simple question and he is asking me to stand up.” But he said, “Let us see what happens.” He stood. And the mystic said, “Now, raise one of your legs up.”

The man, by this time must have been thinking he had come to a madman; what has this to do with freedom, independence? But now that he has come… and there must have been a crowd of disciples, and the mystic was so respected; not to follow him would be disrespectful, and there was no harm. So he lifted one of his legs from the earth, so one foot was in the air and he was standing on one foot.

And then the master said, “That’s perfectly good. Just one thing more. Now take the other foot up also.”

“That is impossible!” the man said, “You are asking something impossible. I have taken my right foot up. Now I cannot take my left foot up.”

The master said, “But you were free. In the beginning you could have taken the left foot up. There was no binding order. You were completely free to choose whether to take the left foot up or the right foot up. I had not said anything about it; you just decided. You took the right foot up.

In your very decision, you made it impossible for the left foot to be lifted up. Don’t bother about fate. Just think of simple things.”

this story by Osho

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even a bird must land now and again

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“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”

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“A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
and floats downstream till the current ends
and dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
can seldom see through his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own.
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.”
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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each of us are shackled by our own habits, yet we have the freedom to choose them.

have a Zen-filled day

 (*_*)
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