Awakening

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Awakening is the process of emerging from sleep into wakefulness. Awakening and wakefulness are both often used metaphorically to designate progress from states of ignorance and confusion into those of knowledge, understanding, wisdom and enlightenment.

Quotes[edit]

  • The greatest of vices according to Buddha is the lazy yielding to the impulses of temperament (pamada); the greatest virtue (appamada) is the opposite of this, the awakening from the sloth and lethargy of the senses, the constant exercise of the active will.
  • Fortunately, some are born with spiritual immune systems that sooner or later give rejection to the illusory worldview grafted upon then from birth through social conditioning. They begin sensing that something is amiss, and start looking for answers. Inner knowledge and anomalous outer experiences show them a side of reality others are oblivious to, and so begins the journey of awakening. Each step of the journey is made by following the heart instead of the crowd, and by choosing knowledge over veils of ignorance.
  • Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind." Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, "Are we also blind?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains."
  • I often say to my students, when they first come and they begin to feel the infiniteness, the joy and the deep peace, and they feel very happy, I say to them, Don’t just joyride. Be quiet. Be one with this. Know that this is beyond belief. This is direct experience. But because this is taking place in you, a storm is coming. And this storm is the storm of ego! The storm of ego is going to come to crush what you have discovered, to bring fear in you, to make you feel that you are making a mistake, to bring in states of confusion. And some of you may give in to that and run away, and feel, ‘No, I must not do this anymore!’ But I want to encourage you. This exercise, this ‘meditation’, you may call it, comes from the very core of your Self. It comes from the God-place in you. And this tendency to run comes from the negativity, the toxicity that we have picked up in life. That is going to come up as though it wants to ruin your Garden of Eden inside your heart. I am telling you ahead of time that all beings who awakened to their true nature experienced these types of resistance, this type of aggression from the mind.
  • Just as a blind man might find a jewel amongst heaps of rubbish, so this Spirit of Awakening has somehow arisen in me.
    • Santideva, A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, V. Wallace and B. Wallace, trans. (1997), § 3.27
  • How is it possible not to strive to know what the awakening minds of the young are eager to learn from us? It is little less than criminal that we should put them off with foolish speech or lies.
  • I remember when I first went to Singapore. I marveled at how planned everything was. But the sense of marvel was not totally positive. They had everything laid out for you: where you were going to be born, what you were going to do as a child, where you were going to get your education, where they would channel you when you’d go to work. They had things planned out for your retirement, and then for your death. It gives rise to the feeling that you might as well go ahead and die and get it over with, if that was going to circumscribe the totality of your life. But thinking about the possibility that true awakening can be found through your efforts: that breaks through those circumscribed limits. That’s not part of anybody else’s plan, but that can be part of your plan. And to whatever extent you can nurture that conviction, it keeps your heart nurtured and nourished as well.
  • I hearing get, who had but ears,
And sight, who had but eyes before,
I moments live, who lived but years,
And truth discern, who knew but learning’s lore.
  • See if you can catch yourself complaining, in either speech or thought, about a situation you find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings, your life situation, even the weather. To complain is always non-acceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness.
  • Most humans are still in the grip of the egoic mode of consciousness: identified with their mind and run by their mind. If they do not free themselves from their mind in time, they will be destroyed by it. They will experience increasing confusion, conflict, violence, illness, despair, madness. Egoic mind has become like a sinking ship. If you don't get off, you will go down with it. The collective egoic mind is the most dangerously insane and destructive entity ever to inhabit this planet.
    • Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997) p.67
  • If a word doesn't work for you anymore, then drop it and replace it with one that does work. If you don't like the word sin, then call it unconsciousness or insanity. That may get you closer to the truth, the reality behind the word, than a long-misused word like sin, and leaves little room for guilt.
    • Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997) p.71
  • Open your eyes and see the fear, the despair, the greed, and the violence that are all-pervasive. See the heinous cruelty and suffering on an unimaginable scale that humans have inflicted and continue to inflict on each other as well as on other life forms on the planet. You don't need to condemn. Just observe. That is sin. That is insanity.
  • The modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all – from the most simple task to the most complex. If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.
  • An essential part of the awakening is the recognition of the unawakened you, the ego as it thinks, speaks and acts, as well as the recognition of the collectively conditioned mental processes that perpetuate the unawakened state. That is why this book shows the main aspects of the ego and how they operate in the individual as well as in the collective. This is important for two related reasons: The first is that unless you know the basic mechanics behind the workings of the ego, you won’t recognize it, and it will trick you into identifying with it again and again. This means it takes you over, an impostor pretending to be you. The second reason is that the act of recognition itself is one of the ways in which awakening happens. When you recognize the unconsciousness in you, that which makes the recognition possible is the arising consciousness, is awakening. You cannot fight against the ego and win, just as you cannot fight against darkness. The light of consciousness is all that is necessary. You are that light.
  • This book’s main purpose is not to add new information or beliefs to your mind or to try to convince you of anything, but to bring about a shift in consciousness; that is to say, to awaken. In that sense, this book is not “interesting”. Interesting means you can keep your distance, play around with ideas and concepts in your mind, agree or disagree. This book is about you. It will change your state of consciousness or it will be meaningless. It can only awaken those who are ready. Not everyone is ready yet, but many are, and with each person who awakens, the momentum in the collective consciousness grows, and it becomes easier for others.
  • Until very recently, the transformation of human consciousness – also pointed to by the ancient teachers – was no more than a possibility, realized by a few rare individuals here and there, irrespective of cultural or religious background. A widespread flowering of human consciousness did not happen because it was not yet imperative. A significant portion of the earth’s population will soon recognize, if they haven’t already done so, that humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die. A still relatively small but rapidly growing percentage of humanity is already experiencing within themselves the breakup of the old egoic mind patterns and the emergence of a new dimension of consciousness.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, (2005)
  • To sum up: Enjoyment of what you are doing, combined with a goal or vision that you work toward, becomes enthusiasm. Even though you have a goal, what you are doing in the present moment needs to remain the focal point of your attention; otherwise, you will fall out of alignment with universal purpose. Make sure your vision or goal is not an inflated image of yourself and therefore a concealed form of ego, such as wanting to become a movie star, a famous writer, or a wealthy entrepreneur. Also make sure your goal is not focused on having this or that, such as a mansion by the sea, your own company, or ten million dollars in the bank. An enlarged image of yourself or a vision of yourself having this or that are all static goals and therefore don't empower you. Instead, make sure your goals are dynamic, that is to say, point toward an activity that you are engaged in and through which you are connected to other human beings as well as to the whole. Instead of seeing yourself as a famous actor and writer and so on, see yourself inspiring countless people with your work and enriching their lives. Feel how that activity enriches or deepens not only your life but that of countless others. Feel yourself being an opening through which energy flows from the unmanifested Source of all life through you for the benefit of all.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, (2005)
  • “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth,” writes the biblical prophet (Revelation 21:1). The foundation for a new earth is a new heaven – the awakened consciousness. The earth – external reality – is only its outer reflection. The arising of a new heaven and by implication a new earth are not future events that are going to make us free. Nothing is going to make us free because only the present moment can make us free. That realization is the awakening.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, (2005)
  • Awakening as a future event has no meaning because awakening is the realization of Presence. So the new heaven, the awakened consciousness, is not a future state to be achieved. A new heaven and a new earth are arising within you at this moment, and if they are not arising at this moment, they are no more than a thought in your head and therefore not arising at all.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, (2005)
  • To sum up: Enjoyment of what you are doing, combined with a goal or vision that you work toward, becomes enthusiasm. Even though you have a goal, what you are doing in the present moment needs to remain the focal point of your attention; otherwise, you will fall out of alignment with universal purpose. Make sure your vision or goal is not an inflated image of yourself and therefore a concealed form of ego, such as wanting to become a movie star, a famous writer, or a wealthy entrepreneur. Also make sure your goal is not focused on having this or that, such as a mansion by the sea, your own company, or ten million dollars in the bank. An enlarged image of yourself or a vision of yourself having this or that are all static goals and therefore don't empower you. Instead, make sure your goals are dynamic, that is to say, point toward an activity that you are engaged in and through which you are connected to other human beings as well as to the whole. Instead of seeing yourself as a famous actor and writer and so on, see yourself inspiring countless people with your work and enriching their lives. Feel how that activity enriches or deepens not only your life but that of countless others. Feel yourself being an opening through which energy flows from the unmanifested Source of all life through you for the benefit of all.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, Ch. 10, (2005)
  • The outward movement into form does not express itself with equal intensity in all people. Some feel a strong urge to build, create, become involved, achieve, make an impact upon the world.... Others, after the natural expansion that comes with growing up has run its course, lead an outwardly unremarkable, seemingly more passive and relatively uneventful existence. They are more inward looking by nature, and for them the outward movement into form is minimal. They would rather return home than go out. They have no desire to get strongly involved in or change the world... Some may feel drawn toward living in a spiritual community or monastery. Others may become dropouts and live on the margins of society they feel they have little in common with. Some turn to drugs because yhey find living in this world too painful. Others eventually become healers or spiritual teachers, that is to say, teachers of Being... On the arising new earth, however, their role is just as vital as that of the creators, the doers, the reformers. Their function is to anchor the frequency of the new consciousness on his planet. I call them the frequency holders. They are here to generate consciousness through the activities of daily life, through their interactions with others as well as through “just being.”
  • In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes a prediction that to this day few people have understood. He says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5, New Revised Standard Version). In modern versions of the Bible, “meek” is translated as humble. Who are the meek or the humble, and what does it mean that they shall inherit the earth? The meek are the egoless. They are those who have awakened to their essential true nature as consciousness and recognize that essence in all “others,” all lifeforms. They live in the surrendered state and so feel their oneness with the whole and the Source. They embody the awakened consciousness that is changing all aspects of life on our planet, including nature, because life on earth is inseparable from the human consciousness that perceives and interacts with it. That is the sense in which the meek will inherit the earth.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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