You want to awaken. You’ve had enough of the voices in your head, telling you you’re wrong or not good enough. You’ve had enough of feeling low, feeling blue, feeling like the world is a terrible place. You want to feel loved and safe.
You want to awaken. You want more peace, more happiness, more bliss. You want to feel confident, to be a master of your own destiny, to rise above life’s struggles, to be immune to the world’s suffering. You want only good things to come to you. And you want these good things to come easily.
But I’ll let you into a secret … awakening doesn’t change anything. At least, not in the world of form. It doesn’t make you – or your life – perfect. It doesn’t make you more confident, more capable, or more comfortable. It doesn’t make you more successful, more wealthy, or more lucky. And it certainly doesn’t make you all-powerful.
The trajectory of your life continues, even after awakening. Your history, your biography, your karma, and the sacred geometry of your unique manifestation as a human being .. all this continues to weave the mystery of your experience here on earth. You have no more power to stop this than the earth has to stop itself from turning on its axis.
After awakening, you continue to feel the waves of your human story, you are immune to neither the raging storm nor the scorching sun. You continue to feel the horror of the world, the unbearability of humanity’s suffering and humanity’s infliction of suffering onto other life-forms. You continue to experience failure, brokenness, vulnerability, and confusion. YOU .. continue to be human.
So, what’s the difference then between being awake and being unawake?
If your heart is pure, if your mind is humble, and if your soul is courageous .. you will not shy away from anything that appears in your earthly experience, you will not cling to an idea of having arrived at blissful perfection, and you will not claim awakening as a trophy to hide behind. Instead, you will continue to hold openness as your highest achievement, tenderness as the ground of your existence, and raw naked honesty as your guiding light.
You will have realized that what your life looks like has nothing to do with awakeness. Most likely you will – at least at some point on your human journey – continue to strive to be your best, to express your unique voice in the world, to know love with another, to follow the song of your soul. None of this has anything to do with how awake you are. The difference? You will have come to a place of deep acceptance .. of both the freedom and the struggle, both the irrefutable light and the transformative power of darkness, both the existential agony of being human and the unending silence of who you are as consciousness.
So then you may say “so what” .. what does it matter if I am awake or not? Why strive for something that doesn’t make any difference to my life anyway?
Because it does matter! It matters because in deep acceptance you have resolved inner division .. and because you now move in the world from an undivided state. In deep acceptance you do not necessarily resolve the problems or struggle of your human life .. but while the surface of the ocean may be choppy, the depth of you is still and silent. The more you give your primary allegiance to this depth, the more you move as this stillness and silence .. even when you appear to be running to save your life or screaming to say “no” to an invasion of your boundaries. The more you are devoted to the depth of this moment, the closer you are to ending the war in yourself and in the world.
Awakening is not for the you you think you are, my friend. It is for love. Because it is love that has been forgotten for so long. Because it is love that moves everything even when you have turned away from it. And because it is love that is now attempting to evolve through us. Awakening is simply love recognizing love .. so that love becomes the driving force of humanity, always.
– Amoda Maa
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East Coast 5 Day Silent Retreat – Kripalu Center, Massachusetts, December 3 – 7, 2017
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