How We Awaken 2: Preparing or Helping It Happen
How To Awaken – Part 2: Preparing or ‘Helping’ It Happen
Make sure you’ve read the previous How To Awaken post before going through How To Awaken- Part 2.
As we stated, on the one hand there is absolutely nothing you can do to awaken or accelerate the process – because anything “you” try to do is simply the ego resisting what already is and trying to manipulate things to be “better” than they are. At the same time, we’ve hear many awakened masters say even though you can’t do anything, you can “lay the groundwork” or “prepare the way” or “open the space” for Awakening to awaken in you. Which, of course, sounds like you can do something, some kind of pre-action or “fertilizing the soil” to allow Awakening to blossom through you. Some kind of preparation or helping it happen.
Don’t take either statement too literally, no matter where you hear it. Remember, you will find your own unique path to Awakening and it will never be a precise copy of another master. Learn from them, and never abdicate your authority to someone else’s path or teaching. Find what works for you.
If you take the statement, “there is absolutely nothing you can do to awaken or accelerate the process” too literally, you may figure, as Adyashanti says, you can just plop yourself in front of the TV, crack open a brew, and sit back and wait for Awakening to come in it’s own good time.
Take the concept of “preparing the soil” for Awakening to blossom in you too literally, and you may think, “I must give up all my attachments to this world, enter rigorous meditation & inquiry, and lay the groundwork for Spirit to show up.” As if there is some direct connection between how much you immerse in spiritual life and how soon Awakening dawns in you. Or even more mistakenly, as if Spirit ‘sees’ that you’re sincerely opening to It, so It says, “OK, you’ve finally turned your attention toward the Truth, away from the illusion…now I’ll Awaken in you.”
It’s easy to see these are both are misguided approaches. There have already been billions of humans who took the nonchalant course of “doing nothing” and waiting for Awakening to appear or God to save them, and neither happened for them. And their have been many millions of one-pointed seekers, meditators, and even those who chose to live in a monastery, so as to give their whole lives over to the pursuit of awakening, who also have not experienced a full awakening in this lifetime. If “bringing on” Awakening were merely a case of doing ‘nothing,’ or of sincerely & dedicatedly doing the right combination of ‘somethings’ (spiritual practices,) half of Earth’s population would be enlightened by now!
And interpreting ‘preparing the way’ or ‘opening the space’ for Awakening to occur as a way of ‘coaxing’ Spirit to show up, because it ‘sees’ you are finally ready, can only prove false, because it lands you right back in duality instead of ‘only One.’ Spirit is not another ‘object,’ like you or your mind. Spirit or Pure Awareness is the empty containerless-container that all objects appear in. It is all that exists. Thinking Awareness will notice ‘you,’ your interest in It, your readiness to give up this life of illusion, or the mind-space you’ve cleared out for It would mean there are two separate things – ‘you’ and Awareness. But there are not two separate things, there is only One. Awareness is all there is; you and your supposed separation from It don’t exist. There is no ‘two things’ to merge as one, by sincerity, committed practice, or even a shift in interest & perspective. But you can notice there are no two things, and celebrate it!
So what can you do?
Be Here Now, as all the Masters would say. Meditate, sure; inquire constantly as to the nature of Reality and Who you really Are, yes; Chant, serve and turn your attention away from the illusory world and towards the One, wonderful. But do it all from alreadybeing awake and complete, not “If I do enough of these things, Awakening will dawn.” That will only reinforce the separateness – the feeling of two-not-One – in you. Be enlightened now. There’s nothing to stop you! Except maybe your belief that you can’t be enlightened now – that you haven’t practiced long enough or suffered enough or understood enough, that you don’t deserve it, that “nobody can just shift from being unawake to being Awake, just ’cause they say so.” In fact, that is the only way to shift to being Awake, by living it, starting right NOW. You and Awakening are already One. Awakened Awareness is all there is, so it’s already here, in you, around you, through you. Stop pretending it isn’t, and just start living it!
How to awaken? Truly I say to you, this is the way. Do any practices – meditation, inquiry, chanting, breathing, service, love – whatever you like, but do them as a celebration of the Awakened Awareness that’s already here in you, and everywhere, Now, not as “plows” to prepare the soil for some Awakening that will occur ‘later.’ There is no later. The future is an illusion. There is only Now. If you aren’t Awakened now, you won’t “get Awakened” then.
You don’t get Awakened by any effort, study, or practice of your own volition and you don’t get Awakened by doing nothing. You can only Awaken bybeing Awakened! This may sound paradoxical, but it’s only paradoxical to your ego-mind. Because minds & egos are, by definition, where the illusory you ‘figures things out,’ plans things and does things to get results – ultimately to survive. So your ego-mind won’t be able to figure out how you can just Be Awakened Now. It’s too steeped in future control & goals. It’s too scared that just being awakened starting Now won’t work (or, moreover, too scared that it will work, since it signals the ego’s ‘death,’) and it wants the step-by step manual. The one that not only gives infallible instructions on how to “reach Awakening,” but does so in a way that allows it, the ego, to enjoy it, bliss out on it, and keep on existing.
In our next several posts, we’ll look at how to meditate well, dis-identifying from our thoughts we believe in so dearly, contacting Pure Intent, and other simple ways to experience & celebrate your already-enlightened state now (not later.)