Realisation is a matter of becoming conscious of that which is already realised. -Wei Wu Wei
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. -Buddha
Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. –Hindu Spiritual
What we’re all after is the joy of being.
No matter who you are or what your life is like, you have had the feeling that life can be much easier, more natural and happier than it is. This is the start of the process of Awakening.
Awakening is a realization. Awakening is the realization of the true nature of reality. Awakening is awakening out of the illusory mind of past and future and struggle. It is awakening to the truth of who we really are. Awakening is an explosion of insight (but not an intellectual insight). Awakening is not improving the story of ‘me’ but seeing beyond it. It is something we’ve always known and forgotten.
Awakening is this important insight, and it is also a continuing verb. It is the process of practicing techniques which allows this realization, and going beyond. I use the word Flow as well, because it is descriptive of a continuing process of letting go of resistance.
Awakening is usually defined in negative terms. What it is not. Buddha said enlightenment was the end of suffering. Ramana Mahirishi said it is not the five senses, nor the body, or the mind. Krishnamurti defines it as “Freedom from the Known.” Awakening pointed to in negative terms because the mind cannot comprehend the simplicity of natural being.
There is no need to describe the mystery with fabulous, powerful, surrealistic or spiritual concepts. Awakening defies description. Is that surprising? Can we describe the color orange to someone who has always been blind, or the song of a bird to someone who has always been deaf, or the outside world to someone who was born and has lived in a cave? How about describing water to a fish? Reality is indescribable because the mind can communicate symbol s but not actuality.
Awakening is the simplicity, ordinariness and immediacy of who we are, right now, right here. Awakening is far simpler than the complicated movements of spirituality, philosophy, science, religion, zen, kundalini yoga, kiryas, meditation, bliss-peace-love, One Consciousness, Unity, Wholeness, Enlightenment, Advaita, Non-dualism, and whatever else you may have heard about it. It’s best not to hold and pre-conceived ideas about Awakening.
The big-bang experience that many describe as awakening is not important. We cannot even know if that’s real. We cannot know if someone is ‘enlightened’ or not. As a goal, awakening, like happiness, is unattainable. It is an attitude; a realization, not a goal.
What will Awakening give us?
It gives us nothing at all in the material world. With expanded awareness, you will not win the lottery, and the perfect partner will not magically walk into your door, and you will not suddenly be fit and healthy.
What it does give us is the fresh joy of being. Isn’t that what we’re really after, at the root of all of this? That’s all. We want to experience the world as it is, not as the mind sees it. We are after a life that flows without resistance. What we want is to live a life which is free of the exhaustion of constant mental gymnastics. We are after the simplicity and immediacy of just being, because we already know this is possible. We want to drop the baggage.
The first obstacle to this realization is the deep identification with the mind, which keeps us from seeing the possibility of natural being. More and more people are seeing a possibility beyond the mind, but many are still caught up in this mind-trap. This is sometimes overcome by suffering, or some exposure to the awakened state, or some exposure to the delusions of the mind, or simply openness, or a technique or meditation.
The second obstacle is the ego’s resistance, even after this possibility is seen. This can show up as attachment to beliefs, concepts and traditions and practice and effort. It can show up as the identity of a ‘spiritualized’ ego. It can show up as seeking that which we already are. It can show up as dogma. It can show up as yet one more way the mind can chase its silly desires.
We take something that is so very simple and natural, and complicate it by throwing in ‘beautiful’ concepts and spirituality and knowledge. Why does this happen? Very simply, it happens because of the frequent thought “I should be different.” We can overcome this by relying only on direct personal experience, and dropping any expectations we have of awakening.
The important thing about Awakening is that it is a continuing process and it is available to all of us. It is not easy and it is not difficult; it is only delicate. It is slippery, only because we complicate the simplicity of it by throwing in concepts and expectations and spirituality and knowledge and dogma.
It is simple. We all already know the process. We know we have awareness. We know that all experiences are always in the present. We even know how to release old stuff; we’ve just forgotten. This is simple, effortless, and natural.