Awakening to What?

Those of us who see ourselves on a journey of self realization or spirituality, have a sense of awakening. But an awakening to what? I wonder if we all awaken to the same thing, or if we awaken to whatever we are ready to awaken to…

Whatever it is, when we find it we think “This is it!” But it is really so? Is it the final piece of the puzzle or just an other piece along the way that finds its rightful place?

woman in blue and white floral long sleeve shirt holding a round shaped puzzle

Photo by Wesley Carvalho on Pexels.com

As I reflect on my life there have been moments of awakening, when it seemed like my inner world and outer world launched into a new way of being. Yet, on reflection it is now clear that these have just been pieces of the puzzle.

These pieces connected to each other, yet they revealed only a part of a great unknown picture. Here are my reflections on my journey towards the unknown and the awakenings along the way.

Life Awakenings

I can only imagine what it must have felt like when I first discovered I was no longer in a dark and nourishing space merged with my mother. This experience is beyond my thinking,  but I can imagine how traumatic and profound it must have been becoming separate and in all that bright light!

The next awakening was when I learned who I was in relation to other things and people. My ego developed as I grew into a separate human being with preferences and beliefs. I learned how to get what I wanted, how to be in relationship with others. I created beliefs about who I was as a girl child, daughter, sister etc…

Not long after this revelation came, the waking up to feeling hurt when I didn’t get what I wanted, or when I was not seen in a way that I wanted to be seen, or when I felt abandoned and unloved. I believed that there was something wrong, and it was me. I wasn’t good enough. So I would try to be good and perfect.

This part lasted for quite some time. I continued to learn who I was in this world from those around me, and in the roles I played. I was looking outward for validation and love.

Then as an adult I awakened to the part of me that wanted to express herself fully. To slough off the conditioning and expectations of others. I started to look inward so I could find the real “me”, not through anyone else’s eyes, but through my own… Awakening to myself as a strong individual who mattered… Stepping into my own shoes and expressing myself to the world.
From not being good enough, I realized I was precious, unique and strong. I could make things happen! I took on challenges and overcame my fears. It was a period of tremendous personal growth.

Around then I began training to became a life coach. For the past 20 years I have worked with people to discover who they are as unique human beings who can overcome challenges and be their authentic best in the world.

Yet, this was not the end. From this place of self growth, confidence and expansion, an other kind of awakening started to unfold. One where I started to question who “I” was.

self inquiry

At a time when I was disillusioned with the competitive, self absorbed human beings around me, I fully embraced yoga and took my first yoga teacher training. Unlike a lot of yoga trainings nowadays, our practice was more than postures, sequencing and breath work. We had time for self reflection, we read yoga philosophy, and committed to following the eightfold path of Patanjali.

Through yoga I became aware that my personal “self” was made up of my thoughts and beliefs. The world around me mirrored my own perception of it.  I had been creating stories about who “I” (this “small self”) was. I had grown as a person, but had replaced stories of not being good enough, with new stories about all I could achieve and show the world.

A part of me still got caught in patterns of self-doubt, fear and worry. I also had moments of glory and immense satisfaction and had glimpses of the timeless beauty and mystery of being alive.

In yoga I felt drawn to the belief that we are all connected and share the same Source or Conscious Presence. When one says “namaste” in greeting and farewell, it means that one recognizes the light shining within each of us.  This inner light is our true spiritual Self.  We connect to something more that our human body and thinking mind. Whether we call it God, the Divine, Brahman, Source, Presence or the Universe. There is a part inside of all of us that is connected to an infinite beingness, that words can’t fully describe.

Then something happened. It was like the outer shell cracked and the gloriousness of what was within was revealed. From understanding in my mind, I experienced a overwhelming feeling of love and connection with my fellow human beings, animals and nature.  There is a deep sense of oneness that is profound, no matter what is happening in life. It is hard to put into words, because it feels beyond words.

If I were to try to use words, it was be something like a veil had been lifted to reveal what had always been there. It is something that once felt, can always be accessed.

The aum symbol of yoga symbolizes this seeing beyond the veil and embracing an unchanging reality of oneness with spirit or pure consciousness.

aum symbol with meaning

Finding Your Middle Ground

Finding your middle ground is the gateway to this awakening.  The starting point is when we take time to pause and become self aware. We begin, by simply learning to slow down and noticing what is going on inside: our thoughts, judgments, emotions, body sensations … and al the stories we make up about ourselves and the world around us.

I like to think of it as the phase of personal expansion and growth. Its a place of new perspectives, letting go of the past, and understanding and truly accepting ourselves as imperfect human beings.

We start to explore new aspects of ourselves, our passions and what gives us meaning in life. Taking time to pause and ask ourself the deep questions that we want to know the answers to, allows us to go beyond what we know in our mind and tap init the wisdom in our heart.

From this place of mindful awareness, we can come new insights into who we are beyond our beliefs and conditioning. Beyond our own small separate self.

With more compassionate self awareness, meditation and mindful living, a new way of seeing ourselves and the world unfolds.
We realize that we are not separate, but are connected to something so much bigger, and to each other.
We come to know that we are not the master of the universe, but are simply a part of it all.
There is no right or wrong, because we know that it’s our thoughts that make it so. Everything becomes as it is.
We stop resisting life, and begin to let go into its own flow.
We let go of ego and surrender to being small as we connect to the Source of being. From wanting to be somebody, we embrace being nobody.

Wherever we are on life’s path, we can open ourselves to new insights and awaken to a new way of expanded being.

As human beings perhaps our purpose is to awaken to what we are ready for, and to be open to surrendering to the next unknown.

Thank you for joining me on this journey to freedom.

Namaste

Human Being

photo of man on the beach

Photo by Daniel Ap on Pexels.com

“You are a Human Being.  These two words not only describe who you are as a member of a particular species but, if examined more deeply, also point to the twofold nature of your identity.  Human is who you are on the level of form; that is to say, your body and mind.  Those two aspects of your form identity make up your conditioned self.  That self is conditioned by genetics and the environment, as well as other factors as yet unknown to science. 

Being, on the other hand, points to the essence of who you are as timeless, formless, and unconditioned consciousness. 

Human and Being, form and essence, are ultimately not separate, in the same way that a wave or ripple on the surface of the ocean is not separate from the ocean or from any other wave or ripple, although it may appear to be so.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

I’m feeling very Human right now as I get ready for a vacation in Scotland and with my Mum on a river cruise in the Netherlands. Lots of distractions in getting ready and anticipating the days ahead. There is also the conditioning of genetics, culture, familial roles and the environment that pulls me away from the contentment of Being.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing my favorite posts to inspire us all in our Being and to Find our Middle Ground.

 

Tolle Inspiration on Awakening

astronomy dark dawn dusk

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What does it really mean for human beings at their current evolutionary stage to “become more conscious” or to “awaken”?  If I had to put it in a nutshell, I would define it as “disidentification from thinking.”  When you realize that the voice in your head, your incessant compulsive thinking, is not who you are, then you have begun to awaken. 

A new dimension of consciousness has arisen, which we could call awareness, presence, or wakefulness.  You haven’t fallen below thought; you have risen above it.  Now you can use thought instead of being used by it.  Your sense of self shifts from identification with your mental positions and narratives to the alive presence within you, which is consciousness itself.  

You realize the being behind the human, so to speak.  Something that transcends your conditioned personality begins to emerge.  You realize your essential identity as unconditioned consciousness itself, and you can verify within yourself the truth of Jesus’s words:  “You are the light of the world.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

Have a Curious Day

This morning I woke up and decided I will have a day where I am curious.

agriculture animals baby blur

Photo by Trinity Kubassek on Pexels.com

People who are curious tend to:

  • Engage more in the world and tune into the environment
  • Turn everyday tasks into interesting and find the extraordinary in the ordinary
  • Think from a place of possibilities and openness
  • Have closer relationships with others because we are interested in learning about them
  • Intuitively know that curiosity leads to passion and meaning
  • Seek to learn and build knowledge … and are open to what we don’t know
  •  Play well and add a sense of playfulness to what we are doing
  • Embrace uncertainty and rediscover the pleasure of surprise
  • Be happy with life

To be curious we must pause in the moment.

No longer skipping and skimming our lives into the future or letting ourselves be stuck in the mud of the past.

To be curious brings us to our Middle Ground and we flourish here. It awakens creativity, gratitude and our inner Presence. It is the gateway to transforming all parts of our lives and awakening our spirit.

Why not join me in seeing how curious you can be today? We might surprise ourselves and each other!

Happiness and the Movies

night television tv video

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“Looking for happiness in the body, mind or world is like looking for the screen in a movie. The screen doesn’t appear in the movie, and yet, at the same time, all that is seen in the movie is the screen. In the same way that the screen ‘hides’ in plain view, so happiness ‘hides’ in all experience.”

~ Rupert Spira

The wisdom of Rupert Spira touches me and gives me time to pause. When I hear him talk in conversations on YouTube, I have a sense of knowing and his words make sense. Taken out of context it’s harder to grasp the deeper meaning with an ordinary mind and limitations of language….

Happiness is there for all of us, at any moment, when we open up our awareness of it. Otherwise we just get caught up in the story that’s being projected.

… Or perhaps its too early in the morning to decipher what is on the screen.

I would love to hear your perspective.

The Essence of You

energetic being

Courtesy of Energy Network Italiano

Let yourself be the being you are

This being is in the deep core of your living experience

In every moment

This being is beyond anything you can think

The living presence is beyond any self image

It is the essence of you

Drop any notion you have of yourself right now

Just be here, in this moment

Take slow full breaths and allow yourself to soften

Let go and feel into the deeper beyond

Can you sense it?

Be with the being that you are

Inspiration – What Comes and Goes

scenic view of mountains during dawn

Photo by Stephan Seeber on Pexels.com

Whatever comes, do not push away; whatever goes, do not grieve. Everything appears just like clouds floating by; they just come and go. Stay only as the unmoving awareness. Awareness and Truth are one.*

~Mooji

 

Clouds are a wonderful metaphor for the comings and going of nature and life itself.

Next time you look up, remind yourself that you are the witness to what comes and goes. Don’t get attached to your thinking about things that have happened in the past, or might happen in the future. Stay in the unmoving awareness.

Truth is in our awareness, not our thinking.

 

 

*Mooji. White Fire: Spiritual insights and teachings of advaita zen master Mooji (Kindle Locations 249-251). Mooji Media Publications. Kindle Edition.

Loving Forgiveness

The most powerful wisdom is always worth coming back to. Again and again. May we find our way to peace. 🙏

ooOoo

Forgiveness is a powerful and empowering act, as it opens our hearts to ourselves and others. Finding a way to forgive is healing and freeing.

This is a three part meditation on forgiveness that I learned during my teacher training at Kripalu. All three parts should be read, preferably out loud.

May it touch your heart, bring some healing and peace.

be at peace

 

  • Part 1 Extending Forgiveness to Yourself:

I allow myself to be imperfect.


I allow myself to make mistakes.


I allow myself to be a learner, still learning life’s lessons.


I forgive myself.


If I cannot forgive myself now, may I forgive myself sometime in the future.

  • Part 2 Asking forgiveness from others for the harm that you’ve done to them:

Please allow me to be imperfect.


Please allow me to make mistakes.


Please allow me to be a learner, still learning life’s lessons.


Please forgive me.


If you cannot forgive me now, please try to forgive me sometime in the future.

  • Part 3 Extending forgiveness for those who have harmed you:

Just as I allow myself to be imperfect, so I allow you to be imperfect.

I allow you also to make mistakes.


I allow you to be a learner, still learning life’s lessons.


I forgive you. 

If I cannot forgive you now, may I forgive you sometime in the future.

 

As you come to the end of this loving forgiveness meditation, take a few moments and allow the words to absorb into your consciousness.

What do you notice in your body, mind and sense of being?

What is your relationship with whatever is coming up?

Can you be with it?

… and breathe.

Allow it to be.

Namaste

Reflection on Being Spiritual

“How spiritual you are has nothing to do with what you believe, but everything to do with your state of consciousness. This, in turn, determines how you act in the world and interact with others.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

It isn’t enough to hold on to noble ideals and beliefs, we have to bring them into our awareness and then into our lives.

When our consciousness transforms our actions will follow.

May we all go deeper and beyond the dogma, and connect to our intuitive awareness and higher Self.

Live life from here and follow the spirit within you.

Namaste

YOGA 101 – Om and Aum

Before we get started with some Yoga 101,  please note that “Ohm” is the Standard International (SI) unit of electrical resistance that was discovered by Georg Simon Ohm. The symbol looks like this:

Ω

This is not to be confused with the Om or Aum symbol used in the Hindu and Buddhist tradition.

Om and Aum are the same thing; it’s just written two different ways. It is believed that the sound of “Aum” – the slow, calming chant many associate with the word, is the sound that was made when all of creation came into existence. This symbol is a sacred syllable representing the essence of the universe and all creation known as Brahman.

Just as Brahman is the culmination of everything, so is the Aum symbol. It’s written in Sanskrit, and each part of the symbol has a significant meaning, relating to different levels of consciousness.

om symbol

Source: Pinterest

The large, bottom curve represents the normal state of being awake. The curve above it stands for the sleeping state, while the curve emanating out from the center of the two represents the dreaming state.
Those are the three states of consciousness that every human experiences.
The dot and the open curve above that is what elevates the symbol to a much higher and more sacred meaning. The dot signifies the fourth and highest state of consciousness, Turiya. Turiya is not a state apart from the lesser states of consciousness,  but pervades all levels of reality as transcended consciousness or pure being.
The semi circle at the top represents Maya which gives us the illusion that we are separate from realization of the Highest Level of consciousness.

The chanting of Om has three subtle parts sounding like A-U-M. It is an uplifting and  powerful practice to connect to the deeper meaning of life and higher consciousness. The shared vibration and sound can touch us deeply. Take a few moments to enjoy the good vibrations from this chanting meditation with Tibetan Singing Bowls.

The next time you are in a yoga class, and the teacher leads an Om chant, why not join in. Open your heart, let go of your ego, and experience it for yourself. Chant as if no one is listening.

Mind is like the Wind

thoughts as wind

Image by Alexey Wind – http://avantgallery.com/collection/alexey-wind/dark-thoughts/

“Mind is like the wind; your real Self is like space.

The nature of the wind is to blow about, but it needs space in which to do that. You know of the wind only through the effects that you see, feel, and hear when there is something in its way. Similarly, you know of the mind only because identity is there.

Space doesn’t move about; it is present everywhere. Space can be without the wind, but the wind cannot be without space.

The wind is always blowing in different directions. Can anyone determine which way the wind will blow? Whatever direction that may be, it can never move outside space.

Similarly, it is not possible for you to ever move away from your Self. When you know this so profoundly that it becomes kind of knowing beyond thought, then you are free. You can move as you will because you cannot move out of your Self.”

~ Mooji. from  “Vaster than the Sky, Greater than Space”.

 

May we let go of trying to change and control the wind and our endless thinking. It can never be stable. Instead, let us tune into the immovable space encompassing it and connect to our true Self. This is where peace lies.

Namaste