Spirituality

Mindful Awakening: The Cost Is Just Everything

Source: Science and Nonduality | by Jessica Graham

awakeningThere are certain defining moments throughout spiritual development. When you first recognize that you are not your thoughts. When you experience physical or emotional pain break up into flowing sensations that are no longer “bad,” therefore revolutionizing your relationship with pain. When you fully grasp the truth that suffering is optional. When you come to know oneness—not in the wow-woo, new age way, but in the fully realized way. And when you fall in love with everything, including the emptiness, knowing only love. All of these and more are awakening.

These fundamental discoveries rearrange you at the deepest level, creating paradigm shifts and psychological evolution. Once you’ve woken up, you can’t really go back to sleep. But you can hit the snooze button and hang out in a kind of groggy half asleep limbo. This is not a very cool place to reside. But it’s a spot where a lot of folks get stuck for years and years.

The thing is waking up is scary. It means losing everything, and that doesn’t sit so well with the small, self-centered, pleasure seeking self that we are tethered to before waking up. In fact waking up is the last thing that that part of us wants to do. It wants to get off, feel good, and get its numerous daily fixes. We want the booze to make us happy, the pills to make us sleep, the Netflix to keep us entertained, the sex to keep us satisfied, and our loved ones to make us feel like we are enough. Waking up means seeing through all of that, and then watching it all slip away.

It doesn’t generally happen all at once with a flash of lightning and a dramatic sound cue. It’s usually more of a process, which is a good thing because otherwise waking up would cause a lot more psychotic breaks (it does happen…). Gradually we peel back the layers of identity and attachment, which slowly over the years deepens awakening. But with each of these layers comes another death, another instance of letting go—whether you like it or not. This kind of “letting go” is not really an active thing that you do. It’s rather a thing that happens to you, you let go. When you fight this natural effect of your spiritual work, life gets painfully challenging. You are trying to hold on to something that is no longer even in your fingertips, let alone under your control. Everything starts to feel hard. You don’t want to meditate, you don’t want to interact with anyone, you don’t want to feel or think anymore. A spiritual malaise sets in.

It can feel like you are stuck in a kind of hell. Unable to go back to the old ways of excess, avoidance, and unconscious suffering, but also unable to open fully to a new way of life. You have one foot in and one foot out. The resistance to embracing the next iteration of your awakening can be strong as all get out. It can come in the form of falling back into old self-destructive patterns (which, sorry to say, won’t give you the fix they used to), becoming “depressed” and attaching to that identity, and the good ol’ trick of spiritual bypassing.

Spiritual bypassing is when you use your past insights to avoid your present feelings. I’ve seen that there is no self, so I don’t need to do any personal work. Everything is love so I can just ignore how much I hate myself right now. I know suffering is optional, I’m not suffering, I’m past that point. Really. And so on. I myself have been an expert spiritual bypasser over the years. Luckily I have friends, teachers, and a partner who don’t let me get away with it for very long. I’ve also come to see the urge to bypass something as a form of resistance. Whenever there is resistance it’s sure that a new insight and a deeper awakening is close by. In this way resistance has become one my my best friends. When I become aware of it I get all happy, giggly, and throw my arms around it, just like a good buddy. Resistance, if treated gently and with love, peels back to reveal the brightest of jewels. What you really are.

Yes, seeing what you really are, in all the endless ways, can be scary. You do have to wade through loneliness, grief, confusion, and immense loss. You have to see and love the parts of yourself that frighten and disgust you the most. You have to be willing to die into the fires of awakening, with no hope of recovery. You have to let go of getting a fix from that guy, or that show, or that cookie, or that meditation technique. The part of you that can get a fix will be no more, and when you try to get off on whatever it is, it won’t work. It’s scary and you lose a lot, but once you stop hitting snooze and wake up to the next transformation, none of that will matter. You will be operating from a whole new perspective. Born again, so to speak. Until you reach the next plateau and do it all again. The good news is, your relationship with this process will change as you do. It won’t always be such a big drama to awaken. You won’t hit snooze so many times, and eventually not at all.

I am a big believer in having a huge toolkit full of mindfulness practices. While yes, you do eventually “lose” them too, having useful options on the spiritual path makes for a smoother ride. If you know how to deconstruct thought and emotions, you know how to deconstruct whatever self is arising. That includes the acting out self, the shut-down and avoiding self, and the spiritually bypassing self. If you have some lovingkindness and relaxation techniques available you can soften around your resistance, while also sending it unconditional love. If you can focus on your breath, you have the concentration and equanimity to go about your life even when you are trudging through the Dark Night. So, no matter how awake you are it’s helpful to keep your mindfulness tools clean and sharp. You never know when they might come in handy.

I also believe that community, or sangha, is a required support when traversing the ever shifting landscape of awakening. While sometimes we need to climb the mountain alone and sit under the stars without company, we also must be willing to climb back down and join humanity once again. A community of peers, teachers, and students is what deepens and sustains my insights and awakenings. I need to be seen, and to see others, to truly transform. I also need oversight, and opportunities to be of service. Plus the loneliness of the spiritual path is eased by having friends you can talk to who know what the heck you are talking about! Perhaps even more than all that, I think the reason we are here at all is to have relationships with others. Through these relationships we heal, grow, and wake up. It is our birthright to connect with everyone and awaken to each glorious moment. And the cost is just everything.

So give up. Give in. Swim out until you can’t see land, and then drop down deep to where there is nothing you’ve ever known. Then pop back up and go to a silly movie with your sweetheart, or eat some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and binge watch The Walking Dead, or go have a super hot one night stand with a stranger at the bar. You’ll find that it really isn’t either-or. You get to be an enlightened, spiritual being and a beautiful, imperfect human being. You may not relate to the fixes of life the same way as you used to, but the joy and pure pleasure of just being will deepen and flourish in ways you could never imagine.

You won’t want back what you lost, though you may grieve it and have moments of melancholy and heart-aching nostalgia. Remember you are human—it’s hard to let go of the things we hold dear and attach ourselves to with the glue of thought and emotion. But you are also much more than just a human with a mind and body. You are all of it, and all of it is you. You don’t need to earn your awakening, you just need to put both feet in and remember to wake up. Now. And now. And now.

This article previously appeared on Deconstructing Yourself

5 thoughts on “Mindful Awakening: The Cost Is Just Everything

  1. There were some of us who came here and were born into this world as I was in the early 1950’sand became an integral part of the PEACE LOVE GENERATION. I am not refering to the broad brush that most yellow journalists who write oped pieces for self serving rags like the Rothschild NY Times, WA Post and every other major lieing and corrupted informationthat hasno idea how to live in truth with love in your heart for all livinf beings.

    I am referring to a small splinter group from Laguna Beach, CA in the mid 1960’s who hung out with TimothyLeary, but the FLOWER CHILDREN we thught of us as, were not defined by anythng that ever closely resembled what this culture of any culture on this planet ever resembled, we represented what we knew had to come if we were to ever find true love and harmony and balance among us, and thst is to remove from the mental psche what has been put into place for generation after generations of people who keep recycling the same obvious insanity that peole follow and have a complete inability to even self inventory how it is that their entire belief system is eve founded upon and reflect upon how that belief system isitself founded upon what we called back then as “SELF ANNIHILATION and why for profit socio-economic and polital systems og hierarchy are designed by defualt to collapse the biosphere, and they can’t even see it, has always amazed us.

  2. OUR NATURAL STATE OF BEING,
    IS LOVE ENERGY
    Here were some of us who came here and were born into this world as I was in the early 1950’sand became an integral part of the PEACE LOVE GENERATION. I am not referring to the broad brush that most yellow journalists who write op-ed pieces for self-serving rags like the Rothschild NY Times, WA Post and every other major lying and corrupted information that has no idea how to live in truth with love in your heart for all living beings.

    I am referring to a small splinter group from Laguna Beach, CA in the mid 1960’s who hung out with Timothy Leary, but the FLOWER CHILDREN we thought of us as, were not defined by anything that ever closely resembled what this culture of any culture on this planet ever resembled, we represented what we knew had to come if we were to ever find true love and harmony and balance among us, and that is to remove from the mental psyche what has been put into place for generation after generations of people who keep recycling the same obvious insanity that people follow and have a complete inability to even self-inventory how it is that their entire belief system is eve founded upon and reflect upon how that belief system is itself founded upon what we called back then as “SELF ANNIHILATION”.
    And why for profit socio-economic and political systems of hierarchies, are specifically designed by default to collapse planetary biosphere’s, and most living entities on this planet have little intellectual capacity to eve conceptualize just by connecting the dots in a macro-scale planetary puzzle of how energy is channeled that make that so, and why it’s so mind-boggling how so many in the west cannot even see why this is.
    You can do the math yourself, because it’s not like those like us who are deep ecologists have not already done so, where you can quantify and qualify by using the exponential function to determine the rate at which everything we extrapolate in natural resources and then couple that to human capital labor that is monetized as well, against the rate at which mother earth will keep providing a constant supply of those natural resources, that is sufficient enough to provide everyone the necessary items we need to provide what we need as energy to survive, because I the end this has always been a global system that is managed and operated on how energy in all its iterations is managed, be it emotional, intellectual, physical or spiritual.
    The more we operate on love energy what happens?

  3. Have you ever in your life ever walked down any city street with 1000’s of people from all walks of life and gender have smiles on their faces from ear to ear without exception because they are so happy and feel in harmony and balance because they are feeling tis way because we all knew this was the natural state of being where every acknowledges on a collective basis what we have will allow for everyone to never be without what they need most that is priceless and free and that is LOVE.
    Everywhere we went, that is what we spread.
    We spread love to everyone be it animals and all living things and when we arrived here we never gave any intellectual, emotional, physical or spiritual energy, to anything that represented anything less than what love is in its purest form.
    We completely rejected every single belief system and way of life that was being represented by its current form, because it was put I place deliberately to make sure we never realized the full potential of what we ca be and what we can become together to have love be the stream of our collective consciousness and why would anyone choose to try and destroy what that means, was the epitome of what the US Senator Fran Church hearings were all about in 1973, but we know now when you look around, and what do we see?
    The final collapse of one more eon of time where the human population on this earth is struggling to find itself in what does it take before the oxymoronic state of being finally hits the mental psyche that has not been saturated with so much toxins that corrupt the intellectual, physical and spiritual nature of what we are in the pure essence of what it means to be an indigenous harmonic spirit that resonates with love that flows through all of the natural systems of this planet, that people can’t eve connect those dots, of what western European Babylonian whores that idol worship their way across the planet actually believing there is a power greater than love in the universe, and instead that it is war, destruction, pillage and plunder of children and their SATANICLUCIFERIAN belief systems only end up with one singular outcome. Their own self-annihilation, for EASTER ISLAND oughta tell you that in the first place, if it doesn’t through simply watching how water flows down a mountain, or through a small canyon, what do you see at work?

  4. Energy pathways of which water is but one, will always seek the least path of resistance, and that is because the creative intelligence of love and sprit in this universe to create and love what it does create to know of itself as it is doing so, can only do so with its own free will to emulate what energy naturally does, and that is cut its own path to naturally find its way to express itself, will NEVER allow for RKM Rothschild Khazarian mafia psychotic parasitic bottom-feeders, to ever hold sway over this universal truth, no matter how many bar-codes, electro-magnetic and HAARP, and cyclotron, or new cutting edge technologies ca ever have a success, and that is because every control system that they use their minds to create, fail to remember because yes they are that stupid, to know and acknowledge that the smartest snap on the planet are not those in a state of psychotic insanity, who think “CONTROL SYSTEMS” will ever become an ultimate reality to maintain their totally genocidal and ecocidal way of life, because the first rule of any living entity s survival.
    And it is the collective host of this planet as the “MIND” and not the body, because we are all connected through the “MIND” will naturally know every connecting rod that is in place that the RKM has put I place, means the collective mode of its own survival, will naturally seek the point of least resistance and its weaknesses, and it is that fact alone, that love and passion for life, is the first rule of love that the universe of love and harmony is brought to bear, on those who seek to control how an Eagle flies, a squirrel finds its nuts, a cat finds its mouse, a woman finds true love, a man finds unconditional over, or a dolphin knows how to find happiness through the same kind of love to be free to express itself which is what is by default, what it means to be free and independent and just be.
    And that sense of “being “wave is to be free to pursue life, liberty and happiness, where that happiness is what comes through the natural ability to create and reach our full potential in life, that comes through the natural bonding with the flow of love energy we are, in our natural state of being what unconditional love is, as the pure essence of love as spirit.
    When we are in a natural state of love, we have no fear.
    When we are in a natural state of love, we seek not to control anything but go with the flow of that natural energy that we can sing the song of love that unites us all in the highest state of joy and happens and when that happens what kind of intellectual, physical and spiritual expression do you think we can muster to see on a collective basis what that represents?
    When I was 4 years of and began to realize the collective makeup I how this planet was being managed, it was all about those who are sick, and they are sick because they do not seek to become the full flowering of what it means to be the pure essence of sprit as love that unites us together in harmony and instead these are people who seek to become the opposite, because these are idol worshippers who somehow blindly believe that happiness and joy and their collective longevity somehow comes out of the barrel of genocide and ecocide where we know just on default parameters alone, their belief system only leads to one ultimate outcome
    It is a natural state where those who are mentally sick and disturbed end up rising to the top pf the garbage pit, and that is simple.

  5. Most people do not choose to be in control or have any power over others, for the natural state of being for most of us who came here after WWII were seeking love harmony and balance and sought to use all of our collective energies to do just that.
    We sought to become the change we are by living it.
    And that means we are not living our lives in a material state but a spiritual state of love that knows what harmony and balance is.
    When those who are materialists seek to control and have power over others why is that?
    Because they know not how to live in peace, harmony love and balance and need to hierarchies in which to find that truth.
    This is why love and truth are the same.
    When you live in truth, you are that love that seeks to live in peace and harmony.
    Why is it so hard for people to grasp something so easy and simple to know, where people actually put money and for profit systems as being more important than life.
    The entire socio-economic, political and military machinery is based on a complete fraud of the mind, body and soul being held hostage to a complete fraud.
    I knew by age 12, that the level of knowledge that the average doctoral professor has in his inventory, can be realized by age 12.
    The only reason that we don’t have young men and children bearing children when nature said they were ready at that age and capable of being sovereign independent and completely critical thinking and creative free sprits to completely invest all of their collective intellectual capability with their emotional and spiritual energies at such a young age, is because the system in place is designed by default to make sure that most children are channeled in such a way to extend and spoon feed what they could learn and become by age 12, is extended until they reach their age of 21.
    I ca condense and completely reformulate a child’s curriculum, where by age 12, that young man or woman can be a completely free and independent functioning spiritual being, capable of building a free energy interdimensional space craft fully capable of embracing any interstellar civilization they choose to interact with and become friends and collaborators of love that they share with every living entities in the universe and I new tis the first time I looked up I the sky and said want to go home for I knew this was not my home organic place in which I am from, for this place was far too out of peace, love, harmony and balance then what I already knew my home planet to represent.
    How long must we have to wait for the rest of you to finally realize what is possible that you are being controlled by?

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