There is a momentum pulling us toward an emerging future, and this future holds the potential for a collective awakening that catapults us into the next stage as a species. For the first time in the known story of the cosmos, consciousness is becoming conscious of itself. But consciousness can only become conscious of itself through the vehicle of a living form that has the capacity for self-reflection.
This includes being able to reflect on the nature of its own thinking and feeling, its own past and future, its own life and death, and on the nature of awareness itself. As far as we know, human beings are the only life-form on earth with this capacity of self-reflection.
Consider then the possibility that a new consciousness and a new humanity is birthing itself through you as you. If this is so, could it be that you are the single most important factor in this birthing process? Could it be that you are the vehicle through which existence itself is attempting to re-create itself on the next highest level … and that your awakening absolutely matters?
Awakening is the most precious of human experiences. The discovery of this truth is like finding a priceless jewel in the one place where we’d never dream to look: in our own pockets. Once it’s found, the trajectory of our lives is ir1reversibly altered. It is a radical and profound revelation that literally enlightens us by breaking the spell of identification with form to reveal the truth of who we are. This enlightenment means that an ancient burden is lifted and we are finally free to live from the core of our true radiance.
Is Awakening the same as Enlightenment?
Awakening, or enlightenment (these terms are used interchangeably), is traditionally and historically the pinnacle of all spiritual paths. It’s also the holy grail of the modern-day spiritual seeker. The journey often starts when we’ve had enough of
the voices in our heads telling us we’re not rich enough, not successful enough, not loved enough, or not good enough, and we attempt to find ways to alleviate this type of internal torment. Our investigations may lead us to walk down any number of paths that open the doorway to personal growth.
We may invest ourselves in self-help methods, immerse ourselves in ancient and modern meditation practices, or follow a trail of metaphysical philosophies and disciplines. Each one of these promises to provide the key to eternal happiness. While this is a good start, because it gives us a golden glimpse into what is possible beyond our habitual thought patterns, if we continue to be seekers of a spiritual high we never break out of this beautiful prison.
If we’re lucky, somewhere along the way we get exhausted by the endless grasping for bliss, and our attention turns inward, to the genuine desire to be free not only of the story of “my suffering,” but also of the story of “my happiness.”
The honest inquiry into both the validity of the story and the validity of the story-maker has the potential to end the journey. It ends when we stop searching for something outside ourselves to save us. It ends when we stop looking for a spiritual practice or a guru or enlightenment or God to give us freedom. In this stopping, we wake up to the reality that we are that which we have been seeking. We are already free.
Awakening through the Ages
Whereas awakening is always a surprisingly original experience for the individual, there’s nothing essentially new about it from a historic perspective. Individuals have been awakening throughout the ages. Early messengers such as Jesus, Buddha, and Lao Tzu have led the way by pointing to an inner dimension of consciousness. Since then, many enlightened masters have shared the same timeless message in their own unique ways.
This awakened consciousness, although still relatively uncommon, is now flowering within countless ordinary people around the world. Some of these people are becoming the new spiritual teachers; others are expressing this awakened state of being in a very down-to-earth way, through their relationships, their work, and their everyday interactions. And some people are at the leading edge of a new culture that is bringing an enlightened perspective to social, economic, and other global issues.
How to Anchor the Awakened State
Perhaps you, too, are undoubtedly on the journey of awakening. Perhaps you’ve already tasted the sweet nectar of true liberation and are thirsty for more. And perhaps you want to ask the one question that so many others are asking: “How can I anchor myself within this awakened state when everyday life keeps pulling me back into old ways of thinking?” Well there’s a real possibility that discovery of the radiant jewel of your true nature is closer than you think.
I invite you to consider that something irrevocably new is being birthed from within you in this very moment. This “something new” is the fulfillment of your true life’s purpose—and this has enormous ramifications for you not only as an individual, but also for humanity.
Traditional spiritual teachings have all emphasized the cultivation of an inner state of stillness that awakens us to the truth of our being-nature. And they say this is achieved by turning away from worldly activity. While the recognition of our essential nature as this beingness is the foundation of awakening, what was relevant thousands of years ago is not so relevant today.
An exponential increase of pace and pressure in today’s world brings a radically new perspective to enlightenment that asks us to reframe our understanding of what it means to be an awakened human being. What’s important now is that awakening is no longer about abandoning or transcending physical reality in order to live a spiritual life; rather, it’s about the fulfillment of our divine destiny by living the truth of our inner radiance while in earthly bodies.
What’s emerging today is a whole new relationship to life that gives birth to an authentic human being. It is a refreshingly contemporary viewpoint that acknowledges the imperative to anchor ourselves within the ground of being while celebrating the emergence of that which we are becoming. Another way of saying this is that it’s an embracing of the absolute truth of stillness and the relative truth of the movement of life. The evolutionary impulse that drives the ever-unfolding nature of existence is calling us to awaken to the pristine perfection of our inner light, and then to fully embody and express this light amid the imperfection and darkness of the world.
The invitation is for you to collaborate in the birth of something new, for you to take a step toward your divine destiny by being willing to unwaveringly embrace the evolutionary process that wants your awakening to happen … because it is also the awakening of humanity.
This has been an extract from Embodied Enlightenment: Living Your Awakening in Every Moment, by Amoda Maa, and is used with permission of the publishers, New Harbinger Publications.
Amoda Maa is a spiritual teacher, offering meetings and retreats to support and deepen the living of an awakened life. She has been sharing her teachings since 2012, initially at small gatherings. Today, her teachings are followed by a growing number of seekers world-wide. https://www.amodamaa.com