Gentle Awakening

(c) Microsoft Image
(c) Microsoft Image

Awakening is elusive, incomprehensible and complicated. It has been one of the many spiritual buzzwords discussed by religious leaders and spiritual teachers. For most people who have developed a wider sensibility of spiritual practice, awakening is a treasured goal. Yet even the wealth of Eastern wisdom and its Western interpretations cannot make sense of its abysmal and shadowy reality. Those who speak about it never truly understands it, and those who do never speak about it. The irony is that when a person strives to reach it, it becomes unreachable. And more ironic is that one can never be sure if awakening is something worth to reach.

Once, I asked a friend this question: “What if awakening is a process and not a goal?” He quietly nodded, and gave it a serious thought. “It could be,” he said. He has mentored me a great deal on many Eastern teachings and have learned his long time meditation practice. He didn’t explain to me anything at all, but his silence became a wise response. Anyhow, awakening does not really need words to convey its truth. It needs an authentic experience.

Liturgical awakening escapes our logical mind, so I do not intend to define the indefinable. Rather, I invite you to see awakening, like any other powerful word (be it God, Soul or Love), as a three-dimensional experience, with many angles seen from various directions. It is best to see it through  metaphors and symbols, for they all paint a picture of something that has no image at all. I invite you to see awakening not as a religious and intellectual pursuit, but a simple and uncomplicated process found not in the sacred texts but in the groundedness of being human.

In such down-to-earth manner, awakening is no way different from waking up in the morning. If sleeping makes me clueless of how I look or what the world looks like, waking up again is a refreshing  way to discover that I am alive, that I again see myself and the world I live in. To finally distinguish that the dreams that I thought were real are not my waking life, this is awakening. It is literal, but more importantly, it is insightful.

Gentle awakening is how Love awakens within us, to find it in in every divine creation and sacred humanity and harmony in between.

The feeling of awakening is ever more present and more poetic. It is not some outburst of out-of-this-world or out-of-body nirvana. It is not something that you’ll find yourself so high and floating in the space. Awakening is but a subtle movement of life, and how we truly witness it. It is the rays of the sun radiating from the horizon as it rises. It is the rustle of leaves as the cool breeze passes. It is the seed that sprouts slowly without even being seen, as its first leaves rising from the ground. It is the blooming of every flower, the bubbling of every brook, the tweeting of every bird, the drifting of every cloud. It is the freedom of each butterfly, the silence of a huge rock and the contemplation of each tree. To witness them is to be gently awake to a reality that we rarely see.

(c) Kavita /
(c) Kavita /

To breathe each moment is the beauty of being gently awake with the unseen divine force we easily neglect. To see the colors and rhythms of life is to hold that harmony that gently awakens in our heart. To smile and show this happiness that brings our presence as a gift to others is to rise out from the gloom of our self-isolation and seek the light of the shared self. To touch and hug and speak and laugh to a loved one or a friend is to extend that gentle awakening, knowing that we can always share the magic and subtlety of experience.

Even if logic fails to understand and explain, to be awake is to embrace that inability and to allow the innocence of our human mind to rest in the very center of that experience, and finally discover that wisdom is never a calculation of intelligence but  a  soulful discovery. Gentle awakening is how Love awakens within us, to find it in in every divine creation and sacred humanity and harmony in between. We have all been sleeping all our lives, and we have long forgotten that can always wake up anytime. Now, as we rediscover Love in thousand creative ways, we are now ready to be awake.


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