And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Aniis Nin
Is this a familiar pattern of your life, your relationships, and your work:
Periodically, you examine your life-situation. You don’t like a lot of things about your situation. You feel worry, anxiety, fear, disappointment, hopelessness, and beaten down when you think about it. You want to be fitter, richer, more attractive, more effective, more energetic, younger; you want the perfect relationship; you want to save the world. You think about what it would take to change to this sometime in the future. You worry about the effort it will take, and the time it will take, and you may get discouraged just in thinking about it, and you doubt that you will actually succeed. Nevertheless, every once in a while, you do get inspired and you try.
You may try religion, spirituality, study, some sort of self-improvement, the latest new age fad, GTD, the latest guru, the latest diet, the latest secret of figuring out life. You read how-to books on making money, how to have a relationship, how jump-start your career, how to improve your health, fitness, looks, how to influence your life.
Sometimes you succeed. But the success is always effortful, temporary and specific. Pretty soon you have forgotten or you’re back to the same old thing. You forget about it all and go about your life. You fall back to your conditioning: internet, TV, food, alcohol, nicotine, other drugs, lying on the couch, giving up, depression, even work, or just the usual hum-drum life. You think about how tomorrow you will change everything, and this time you mean business.
This whole pattern repeats, for months, years, decades, a lifetime.
Does this sound like a good model of living? Yet, this is how the ego operates. It swings between desire and fear, and is convinced that anything worthwhile will take a great deal of effort and time. It knows struggle-desire-struggle-achievement-struggle. No matter what you have, the ego will only be happy if it can acquire more. It believes happiness is always in the future.
This mental framework is clearly insane, yet it’s the most popular model of living. Why is that? The simple and quick answer is because this is the model we’ve been using for 10,000 years, ever since civilization first started, and maybe even longer. Western civilization and the industrial age have done everything to promote it. It’s insane, but it is what we are taught and what we know. And sometimes, with a lot of effort or sheer luck, we do seem to succeed. But the framework is set up for failure because it guarantees unhappiness.
What can we do?
Well, we are certainly free to continue the madness. We can adapt seemingly new models of living, such as the self-improvement-game, God-game, or religion-game or some sort of new-age fad.
The trouble is that it’s hard to give any other framework an honest try. We can’t help but slap this onto our existing framework. The distance between what we want and what we think we want is too far, and that trips us up. It may be instructive to play around with frameworks, but it seems to me it is best not to have any framework at all, so we can experience reality as is, right here, right now, without any filters. No framework. Hey, that’s awakening! How about that!
Intend Awareness. Truth will manifest.There is great power in intention. Intention drives the universe and the sun and all of life. Intention is the bridge between the seed and the tree and between birth and death. We don’t know the power of intention because most of our intentions are false; they arise from conditioning and we cannot hold an uncluttered intention in the noisy mind.
The beautiful thing about intending to be natural again is that there is no distance between what you want and what you think you want. At the root of every one of our desires is the desire to feel complete and joyful. What we really want is joy, peace, love and the feeling of completeness, because we know it’s possible. We want this because this is natural to our being. We want out of the delusion.
Simply shift attention from thoughts to awareness. Awareness is that which is aware of thoughts and everything else. Use any technique that resonates with you. As awareness expands, there will be some emotional turmoil, as the mind cleanses and the past is felt and released. To help with this, use any release technique that resonates with you.
Intending Awareness is simply getting more interested in the Unknown than in the familiar known. Whether you intend it softly, or you intend it hard, it will work. But do be advised, once you intend it, there is no turning back. And the ride can be bumpy.