Why wake up spiritually? First, we then know what we are--Pure Awareness or Pure Consciousness--and therefore we recognize that we are not our social identities, belief systems, conditionings, and stories. That knowing produces astonishing freedom. Second, we begin living in the Now. Commonplace events show up as unique and delightful. Third, we exercise control over our lives; doubts convert to confident self-power. I could mention other benefits, but these three are high on the list.
Awakening or transformation is possible, but difficult. Our commercialized environment seduces us with "easy," ersatz solutions to every problem, from dieting to romantic love. The second difficulty is that our Egos--our sense of separation from ourselves and others--are rooted in childhood-based beliefs fortified by negative neuronal attractor patterns coursing throughout our bodies, but especially located in the limbic brain. To settle into the awakened state, we must replace these negative attractor patterns with positive ones. That process isn't an easy ride on a Disneyland tram car. Third, we humans are complex creatures. We require a spiritual toolbox that addresses both components of our human puzzle: the utterly simple What of our divine nature and the complex Who of our human forms and identities.
To authentically awaken, we need spiritual tools that are simple, powerful, effective, and pleasurable. If we utilize these tools with discipline and humor, we eventually will reside in the awakened state, and cease wondering, "What is it that keeps bugging me" . . . Who and What am I?
In my classes, I observe transformations. Through mastery of three or four spiritual tools, participants recognize their essence as Pure Awareness and also learn to maneuver past Ego's pitfalls.
The first and simplest tool is Dogzen meditation derived from the Tibetan Buddhist Dogzchen practice. Only two commands exist. First, Be aware of [an object], and second, Be aware of your awareness [of that object]. After a while, you may intuit, Aaahhhh, I am the Pure
Awareness that is the base of all experiences and perceptions.
Five attributes consistently result from execution of the second Dogzen command:
--emptiness, voidness, and expanded field of awareness
--luminescence or light
--ownership of the whole, or cosmic consciousness
People (and mystical practices around the world) specialize in one or more of these attributes of Pure Awareness.
The second core tool is Vipassana Insight Dialogue meditation. It teaches us how to communicate from honesty and openness. When partners practice this variety of Vipassana meditation, relationships become more free, spontaneous, and intimate.
The third spiritual tool is Focusing. With good focusing, we make friends with our emotions, graduating to a healthy cycle of witnessing, fully experiencing, and releasing our negative reactions. Callous emotions can drop by, talk to us, teach us about the gifts that dwell inside them, and leave when we choose to send them on their way.
To top off these benefits, all three spiritual tools can be used 1) all the time, 2) in a crisis, and 3) alone or with a partner.
This is a summary of the 8-week package, ï¿½Waking Up 101.
Love and luck to you all.
The first and foremost thing
is to bring an urgency and intensity
into your inquiry.
That brings clarity, and then
you can listen to everything,
and then there is freedom.
When you are conditioned
with beliefs and ideas,
your conditioned mind
is incapable of inquiry.
--R.P. Kaushik, The Ultimate Transformation
BILL BLAKEï¿½s 2nd book, Seven Traps On The Path To Spiritual Awakening. He is a retired college English teacher, and his work now is facilitating others "spiritual awakening". Blake has devoted himself to Rinzai Zen Buddhism, David Deida's masculine-feminine model, Marshall Rosenberg's Non-Violent Communication, Dogzen meditation, Vipassana meditation, Byron Katie's The Work, Focusing, and numerous Enlightenment Intensives.
Contact Bill at: firstname.lastname@example.org