The Freedom of Being: At Ease with What Is ~ Jan Frazier

Popular spiritual writer and teacher Jan Frazier shows how to move from emotional and mental turmoil to quiet joy and happiness in The Freedom of Being: At Ease with What Is.

Frazier, the author of the bestselling When Fear Falls Away: The Story of a Sudden Awakening, offers practical and effective suggestions for developing “present-moment” awareness as the key to awakening. Frazier shows how getting caught up in being on a spiritual journey often sustains the illusion of time–specifically some future time when you hope to awaken. But letting go of the idea of the future and staying focused in the present can give you access to a rich life free of suffering.

“When you are hurting, or feeling very unawake, or dissatisfied with yourself, instead of saying ‘I’ve got to change’ or ‘I’ve got to get enlightened,’ step outside of the whole thing and simply observe your thoughts and feelings — neutrally, without judgment. This nonjudgmental looking is transformative.” -Jan Frazier

Whether you feel stuck in your life, or simply want to suffer less and live more consciously, The Freedom of Being offers a blueprint to make the shift into the present.

Book excerpt:

“Begin with this, and end with this: the present moment is it. It’s all there is. It will never be otherwise. When you give yourself to the present moment, you sense the eternal that is your deep interior. Here, there is the felt oneness of the spiritual and whatever might have looked like the antithesis of the spiritual. Awareness in the act of feeling its aliveness, its beingness: that is the moment. That’s life. That’s you. That’s the whole thing. It’s the sensation of being awake. There’s not a perceiver and a perceived. There’s not a someone experiencing a something. It’s only in the mind that the whole can be teased apart into components, or that moments can be strung together into an image of ‘life’. See that you do not exist apart from your aliveness this moment. What better way to prepare the ground for awakening than to be alive to the present? What could be a more fertile field for transformation? Who would awakening come to, if not one who’s awake to this moment?”

Jan Frazier


Until the summer of her fiftieth year, Jan Frazier lived a life typical for a well-educated, middle-class American woman. A divorced mother of two teenagers, she was making a modest living writing and teaching writing. Following a Catholic childhood in Miami in the 1960s, she had studied English in college and graduate school. In her late twenties, longing for hills and snow, she moved to New England, where she was active in the peace movement. But the inner peace she sought always eluded her.

Then, in August 2003, she experienced a radical transformation of consciousness. Fear fell away from her, and she was immersed in a state of causeless joy that has never left her. While she has continued her life as writer, teacher, and mother, she has discovered it is possible to live a richly human life free of suffering. Her wish now is to communicate the truth that within every person is a pool of calm well-being that waits patiently to be stirred to life.

When Fear Falls Away: The Story of a Sudden Awakening (Weiser Books, 2007) is Jan’s day-by-day account of the shift in consciousness and its alteration of her life. The Freedom of Being: At Ease with What Is (Weiser Books, 2012) looks at the nature of suffering and explores ways beyond it. Her poetry and prose have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies. Her poetry collection, Greatest Hits, was published by Pudding House, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has been inspired by Gurumayi, Krishnamurti, and Eckhart Tolle, but the joy she lives in belongs to no particular tradition, and is available to all. Jan lives in southern Vermont.

A firsthand account of spiritual liberation. A 50-year-old American woman living an ordinary life, Jan Frazier changed from being at the mercy of fear to living in a state of causeless joy at the mercy of nothing. This day-by-day record shows her transformation as it unfolds over the course of eighteen months.

Book excerpt:

“Imagine this: whatever has weighed on you suddenly no longer weighs. It may still be there, a fact in your life, but it has no mass, no gravity. All that has ever troubled you is now just a feature of the landscape, like a tree, a passing cloud. Every bit of emotional and mental turmoil has ceased: the entire burden, some form of which has been with you as long as you can remember. A thing familiar as your closest friend — as much a part of you as the language you speak, the color of your skin — is utterly, inexplicably gone. Into the startling emptiness flows a quiet joy that buoys you morning, noon, and night, that goes everywhere you go, into any kind of circumstance, even into sleep. Everything you undertake happens effortlessly. You are happy, but for no reason. Nothing bothers you. You feel no stress. When a problem arises, you know what to do, you do it, and then you let it go. . . . Because your equanimity is disconnected from anything in your outer life, you know that no matter what challenge you are handed — for the rest of your life — the peace will sustain.”

Jan Frazier talks to Alan Steinfeld about her Awakening

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