Awaken from Your Awakening
Awakening is really important to those who believe they have not awakened, to those who are seeking it, and to those who believe they have awakened. It is not important once you awaken from your awakening.
To awake from your awakening is to – metaphorically – throw your spiritual resume into the fire, to give up hope of ever understanding life, death and circumstances. It is to give up trying to be spiritual and instead just being whatever you are in any given moment. It is to give up all elaborate conceptualizations about awakening or who is awakened and who is not. People just look like people. No one appears awakened. No one appears not awakened. This is because you are no longer even using those labels to describe or compare people. It is to give up clinging to your realizations and insights. It is to give up even the notion that you have awakened from your awakening. To even title such a writing as “awaken from your awakening” is to use a play on words that seems to create a hierarchy that doesn’t truly exist. It may sound high and mighty but it is not. It is the humblest of things, something so normal and usual it is almost not worth mentioning. It is not any of the things people brag about. It is not for show. If you see Buddha on the road, kill him. Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
Somehow you find yourself right back where you started, right in the midst of work, life, relationships, challenges and even death. But something has changed. You aren’t trying to avoid feeling any of that. You aren’t trying to figure any of it out. You aren’t making a big deal about whether there is a self or not. And you aren’t trying to be perceived as awakened or to view any of that from “an awakened perspective.” Instead, you are just right in the midst of all of that. You forget that you are awakened. You forget in each moment. And it is such a lovely forgetting, for it leaves behind not only the attachment to all the drama but also the attachment to being free from the drama. There is absolutely no specialness to it at all. In fact, it is more like simply being human, being who or what you are, unapologetically and also not seeing who you are as better or worse than anyone else.
The only reason to even write about it is to encourage others to continue looking at where they believe they are not awakened, where they believe they are awakened and how they are still holding onto these ideas. A writing such as this can be so easily misinterpreted as though the writer feels he is truly awakened. Not even close. A total misinterpretation. Such a writing comes from not caring at all about those kinds of things or caring only enough to encourage others to inquire into them so that they too will not care about those things anymore. It is to invite all to come back to the place that you never left – the present moment, the place where absolutely everything gets burned up in the same fire and no trophies are left hanging on the wall. This is the place where no one gets to be anything other than or better than simply being alive. This is the great equalizer. A place big enough for everyone. Welcome, come on in. Leave your awakening at the door.