Let’s begin by first understanding exactly what “spiritual awakening” is. We are hearing this term more and more, as spiritual teachings become more mainstream, but do we fully understand it, and are we sure we want to experience it?
Once we understand exactly what it is, how it occurs and what it entails, we can choose to put more energy into bringing about our own spiritual awakening, as we take simple steps in the direction of greater consciousness, greater freedom, greater compassion and selflessness.
Spiritual awakening is the most natural and important process that occurs within a human life, after birth itself. It could be seen as a second birth, or a rebirth in which we open our eyes to a light-filled reality which we always sensed existed, yet always remained just out of our awareness, except for a few brief glimpses if we were lucky.
It could also be seen as the flowering of our True Self, the blossoming of our heart as it opens its petals fully to the warming light of reality, allowing it to shine upon its very core, so that its deep inner beauty can be illuminated for all to see.
This experience is a very tangible one. We feel it within our heart, as well as perceiving the Truth within our mind, and thus it brings and experience of total balance, wholeness and inner completion.
There is a path to walk, and along the path we must learn how to let go of our mental fears and anxieties, because it is these which keep our heart in a state of contraction and prevent it from opening fully. There are many fears that arise on the way, and the important thing to learn is how to not engage with them when they do. We must learn how to choose to remain connected to our peace and to Truth, rather than give our power away to thoughts and energise them with our attention.
This is much easier than it sounds, because it is actually a very natural thing. Choosing to invest our energy in thought instead of peace and happiness is just a tendency, a bad habit that was started in our formative years, as we were surrounded by thinking adults who demonstrated to us that this is normal human functioning.
But of course, it is not, even if most of the human population do it. This is why meditation and yoga have now become mainstream, because they are deeply valuable tools and practices that are helping people re-establish a healthy way of functioning, mentally, physically and emotionally. People are using these practices to help themselves return to a state of sanity and clarity, balance and peace, and to liberate themselves from the pull of negative tendencies that create struggle, unhappiness and suffering in their lives.
So as we use these tools to help ourselves awaken from the realm of perpetual thought – which is where fear, stress and mental suffering originate – we simultaneously awaken the heart also. The heart wants to be free, to be awoken and liberated from the constriction that fear creates within it. The heart wants to be free to experience joy, happiness, peace and love. It wants to give, to care totally and unconditionally, and feel deep compassion and connection to all that lives.
To allow the heart freedom to fulfil its purpose in our lives is the most intelligent thing we can do, because it benefits absolutely everyone. We feel a deep fulfilment within ourselves, as well as the deep freedom and joy that naturally bubble up from a healthy heart. Others feel the care and compassion that flow from us, and we enrich the world and those around us simply with our presence on this planet.
If you consider that the realm of thought has created certain structures on this planet, such as mainstream society for example, which operate on logic, limitation, punishment and reward, and most significantly, money as a means of fair exchange. Such a structure has a modus operandi that dictates that if you want something, you must earn it. You don’t get something for nothing, and you must sacrifice your own happiness in the process.
Such structures comes from unawakened minds; minds which see things in terms of right and wrong, good and bad, and other such dualistic qualities. Yet an awakened mind does not see reality in this way, because it is no longer divided. It perceives reality from the unified perspective of the heart, and thus always considers what is the most loving course of action in any given moment. Imagine a society based on such a principle?
Punishment would not exist. Instead we would have corrective procedures for those who were disturbed or mentally ill enough to hurt another individual , or exhibit any other socially inappropriate behaviour. Such behaviour obviously does not come from a happy, well and balanced individual. It comes from someone who is probably angry, desperate or troubled in some way. Such an individual certainly has the capacity to be healed of their troubles, because healing is always, always possible, no matter how extreme or depraved the person’s mind may be.
And again we come back to the source of the problem, which is the unawakened mind which is split, confused and agitated, experiencing a distorted view of reality and thus naturally resulting in volatile and irrational emotions and behaviours. There is no balance, no perspective on the thoughts and emotions which are arising, and thus the human has a tendency to be possessed by whatever energy arises, whatever thoughts whisper in their ear.
So when the mind is healed, and when traumatic emotions are resolved and released, balance always returns. And when balance is supported by a healthy lifestyle, it grows stronger, more deeply rooted and unshakeable. An awakened mind does not sit on the clouds, indifferent to the world, but rather it sees the solutions which are needed in the world. The primary one being more care, compassion and understanding between all people.
When the mind and heart join forces, the full creative power of the Universe is harnessed and we are able to create new social structures based on the rock-solid principles of compassion, tolerance, healing and love. Such structures cannot fail to work for everyone, because everyone needs such principles to guide them in their life. Such principles ensure that people do not suffer, and it is plain to see that there is far too much suffering in the world at this time.
Can we really look forward to a future free of suffering? Yes, absolutely, but we must all play our part in the collective shift of attitude that is so desperately needed now. It is happening, and we are being asked to awaken from the old paradigm of intolerance, punishment, and heartlessness that had ruled humanity for so long. Love, understanding and compassion for all beings without exception is the new paradigm, and we must establish this in our own lives first, before we see society change dramatically.
How do we do this? Simply observe the mind’s tendency to judge and to condemn others, even if it someone who has wronged us in some way. Because as soon as we engage with such a mental perspective, we keep ourselves locked in the old paradigm, which is a paradigm of suffering.
Instead, we always strive to understand what has motivated another human to behave in a certain way. It is usually hardship, frustration, suffering and emotional or mental disturbance of some form. When peopled are troubled to a greater or lesser degree, they behaviour always reflects this, and what that person truly needs is not hostility, judgment or punishment. They need help
The new paradigm asks us to help each other, rather than to punish each other. To understand rather than to judge. To care rather than condemn. And such things are starting to happen in the minds of billions of men and women around the planet on a daily basis, as we move forward collectively into the new era of peace which awaits us.
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