Friday, July 17, 2009

What Does It Mean to Be " Spiritually Awakened"?

I have been hearing this term a lot lately being used to describe one's state of spiritual progress. When properly understood, it represents a critical turning point in one's path toward understanding who we are and why we are here. Various spiritual texts over the centuries quantify the Awakened as typically representing approximately 9.99% of the earth's population at any one point in time. The vast majority of people, about 90%, are Asleep and completely oblivious to their True Nature. Churches, especially Christian, are the source of their spiritual knowledge and no one can tell them, or their "teachers" anything different. I have tried many times but they just can not "see" anything beyond the superficial, "feel-good", teachings of their church. I know this is just the way things work but I want these people to know what they are missing. This is the one frustration, attachment, that I continue to have today and must eventually come to terms with before I can fully accept everything as it is. I believe that I have this problem because I like answers, I need answers, and this impenetrable state, called Asleep, defies all logic. However, for now, I will move past my problem and zero in on this state called Awakened.

Awakening is not a gradual event in your life nor is it an event you could overlook or be mistaken about it. It seems that one day you are just a part of the crowd blindly following everyone else because surely they know where they are going. Anyway, most of these people like you are just too caught up in every day life making money, spending money, "sinning" like crazy, and going to church on Sundays because they do not want to be left behind when "the end" comes - or something like that. Materialism is the name of the game and your Egos are in this game "to win". Then one day all of this changes! You have this strange feeling in your gut and suddenly all of these people, the aforementioned crowd, look like they are lost and do not know what they are doing or where they are going. The stuff they are teaching in church just does not make any sense anymore. At least that part about just believing in Jesus and hocus-pocus, 1- 2 - 3, everyone goes to Heaven. Nah, it can not be that simple! No sir, it has a real gut-feeling of just scratching the surface and you know there must be more to this God, Jesus, and Heaven business. So you decide to look at your Bible again and read what Jesus said. Well, now his teachings are saying something completely different than the last time you read them. In fact, you have this new feeling of excitement about his words. You can feel this truthful ring in your gut and you know this is something very important. You might go to a book store and start looking through some books on spirituality. Maybe you pick up the "Tao Te Ching by Lao-tse or "The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma" and in a short time, you feel the connection, the sameness, between these great teachings and the words of Jesus. Now this is when you go "nuts" looking for more books, more ancient teachings, more, more, more....! You are Awake my friend and you have never felt more alive!

Awakening is really far more exciting, far more experienced or "felt", so much so that no words I write here could ever come close to describing your spiritual Awakening! There is much more to it than this brief description but there are certain aspects that clearly separate the Awakened from the Asleep. Here is a short but absolute list:

- You know that God is not Judging you because IT is our objective Source, Self, Tao, True Nature, et al, and does not Do anything.

- You know that Jesus was just a man who Awakened just like you, eventually overcame this world, and came back here to show us "The Way" to do the same thing. He is not the only one to do so either. He is very clear about this.

- You know that this "One Truth" has nothing to do with any particular religion, has been taught in every culture throughout history, passed down by word of mouth, by ancient texts, and still runs at the core of all of the great religions of today.

- You see it and feel it everywhere in Nature and experience this "connection" with everyone and everything.

- Whenever you see pain and suffering, you FEEL it at your very core! This is Compassion!

- Whenever you see joy, love, kindness, or good fortune, you Feel it too! This is Altruistic Love!

- Material things have lost their importance except when giving them to someone in need.

- You see the significance, the beauty, and the wonder not only in the universe of the macro, but maybe even more so in the universe of the micro.

There are so many more but by knowing these, you will know by listening to others whether they are truly Awakened, or just following a "new crowd". In Zen, there are basically only two roads that lead to the path (Awakening): Reason and Practice. Hard-headed me had to die twice and experience the four all-inclusive! I know this is probably the main way but I hope no one has to practice like I did......and still do. Awakening is beyond incredible but it is just the beginning of your journey. Just wait until you experience your Path with Heart!! Here is a tiny example of what I experience being One with my Path. After I do my seated Kenpo exercises, I practice imagery, visualization of and interacting with my energy, or chi. I always do this exercise in silence but tonight I had my station playing on the computer in my office. The very instant my intent was to start my energy work, the music stopped! I immediately knew it was a blessing but had no idea, technically, why the music stopped at that exact instant. I have an idea now why the music stopped but it has absolutely nothing to do with the timing. I lost count of these wonderful blessings many years ago but I always take pause to recognize them and say Thank You! Those of you who are truly Awakened, welcome to the great journey! To everyone else, if this meant anything to you, then maybe your Awakening is coming soon. I hope so! I also sincerely pray for everyone to Awaken so please open your minds and maybe something you read or experience will be the spark that does it.

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