What is Awakening?
What is Awakening?
An alive question.
What is awakening? A fundamental shift in your relationship to life? An ongoing multifaceted path that continually unfolds throughout your whole life? Something you can’t really say anything about because as soon as you do, the rug is pulled out from under you?
For me, awakening includes all of the above and more. In fact, I’ve found much of the path of awakening involves or boils down to asking questions like these, questions that we can only answer through our spontaneous, immediate lived experience.
The practice of meditation is simply dedicated time and space for us to be present and directly engage these questions, to explore our experience, to see what is true, to reveal life to ourselves as ourselves, and to move and wonder with the ever changing dance of reality in our daily lives.
“Love says ‘I am everything’. Wisdom says: ‘I am nothing’. Between the two my life flows.” Nisgaradatta Maharaj
Whether you believe this with certainty or you’re completely confused by this quote (or with any quote on awakening that inspires you), if you’re interested in awakening to what a teaching like this points to, you must ask yourself: what does this really mean? The only way you find you out is through your own direct experience. How might that change how you experience yourself, others, and life? Awakening is about discovering life directly through your own lived experience.
Whenever we reveal and experience something within ourselves and life, the path doesn’t end. We are compelled to delve even deeper into this path of awakening, wondering, and questioning. We inevitably start to live our lives differently. Perhaps not in obvious ways. On the surface our lives might even look the same and seem quite ordinary from an outsider’s view, but how we live experience our lives fundamentally changes and deepens.
We live each day holding these questions and we practice in our lives consciously and often without realizing it. Our awakening unfolds quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) through our daily lives as a heartfelt response to the deep calling of life.
A path to discovering and revealing a more whole, embodied, and engaged life.
The path of awakening and meditation is a journey of living a more whole, embodied, and engaged life. Through dedicated practice and taking our life as our path, we awaken to our deepest nature, open to radical freedom, and cultivate innate, life-given capacities to respond to and engage our lives ever more fully.
It’s important to be clear on what this means: a less divided, embodied, and engaged life does not mean that you won’t experience pain, but you will have continually cultivated more presence and resilience to be and respond to your life.
“Enlightenment is intimacy with all things.” – Dogen
Whatever your personal experience is, you will find you live a more fearless, open-minded and open-hearted life, and you feel more resilient and capable of navigating and responding to your life, however it might present itself. You are simultaneously less shaken and more moved by it all. You might not be happier, but you’re happier. Weird, right?
How I can help
Now that you’ve read about my own views on awakening, I offer help in a few ways, discussed more on the approach page.
- Working with ‘big shift’ experiences
- Cultivating qualities of awakening
- Cultivating capacities and practices of awakening
- Engaging and deepening into your life through the ‘five gateways of awakening’