The State of Awakening
For millennia, enlightenment was related to as a coveted state of being. It was considered to be something like winning the "galactic spiritual lottery." It's a - you either have it, or you don't - type of thing. Those who do – know, those who do not – do not.
For centuries, we held the image of the enlightened guru sitting on a golden throne or at the peak of a Himalayan mountain, either pretzeled in a Yoga pose or gazing into the infinite while holding a lotus flower. We depicted spiritual progress as a lonesome experience, a solitary saffron adorned monk walking in the snow or into the jungle.
We've charted a map of separation, aloofness, and detachment as postmarks towards this celestial sought-after goal. So many words have been used to describe the miraculous state of awakening; Moksha, Satori, and Nirvana are but a few of the ancient buzzwords we've used to describe the ultimate peak of human consciousness.
The challenge with this ancient concept, as elusive, fluid, and flexible as it might be, is that as long as it promotes separation, it is nothing more than a passing fad. As long as the end result is that you can't feel the pain of the earth beneath you, can't witness the dying needs of the ocean and her creatures, can't feel the hunger of those around you -- your enlightened state has yet to truly blossom. You might have glimpsed the morning light, but you chose to snooze... you haven't woken up just yet.
The experience of oneness, of awakening, cannot be a solid state of existence. Enlightenment is a verb -- enlightening. It is a process, an endless becoming. To awaken is a constant evolution of an expanding, conscious heart. The age-old perspective of merging into oneness, resulting in the cessation of suffering, seeing the perfection in all creation, and thus remaining motionless, detached from all action, is an immature ideology. This paradigm must shift and evolve into the next phase of conscious awakening.
Awakening is nothing more than the constant conscious choice born out of the awareness of our interconnectedness. Understanding the tremendous impact each particle has on the rest of creation. Our actions will no longer be fueled solely based on our needs and desires but will become a harmonious response to the needs of the whole. Yes -- 'me into we,' but in a broad spectrum of taking anything and everything into account. How do my own eating habits affect nature? Affect society? How do we, as a whole, consider, manage, and sustain our trash, our materials, the oceans, and the forests?
These considerations can no longer be waited upon for a collective shift. But have to spring out of our own blossoming hearts. To awaken means that you and only you are standing in the center of a global revolution. That your choices, every moment, in what you eat, what you offer, the words you use to empower others, the one extra step you take to clean the earth around you… those steps, these choices are the awakening of the collective heart.
Don't wait to be the change you want to see in the world; the world can no longer wait for that to happen. It takes courage to change. To let go of habits we know no longer promote the health of the collective. Change is not about personal preference. It's no longer about whether you like eating meat or not if you believe in recycling. It's about the mature and conscious choices you make in this moment to support life and Mother Earth in all of her forms.
And so… How do we awaken? We change. We evolve. We make those choices our hearts know will expand us the most. We listen. We feel. We pause to witness the beauty around us. We stop and breathe, we reevaluate.
The awakened ones no longer live in ashrams and temples. Nor can they be found in the Himalayas. Awakening is happening. But it is happening in us all. In each and every single one of us who is choosing to open their heart and blossom as the ever-changing divine experience that we all are.
The outdated guru of an ancient past, the enlightened soloist, is obsolete. Humanity no longer needs narcissistic, self-absorbed teachers to heal our planet; it requires hearts willing to work together, to inspire and uplift, to hold and nourish each other. Awakening can no longer be something you do on your own... for your own personal benefit; the calling to awaken has expanded past this infantile stage.
The time has come to awaken together.