I want to talk about awakening. I want to talk about the kind of awakening that is all around us, that doesn't require any special effort or activity, the kind of awakening that exists as the inner truth of all living things...of all things everywhere. I want to talk about awakening as a fact of existence, the kind of awakening in which that Silence that created the whole universe out of its own joy, suddenly remembers itself in the midst of life, in the midst of turmoil and confusion, in the midst of joy and prosperity, sadness and grief, in the midst of cities and forests, in the midst of sirens and traffic, in the midst of birth and death, in the midst multitudes and stark solitude.
There is such an awakening. The kind of awakening that occurs in parking lots and bus stations, in Disneyland and homeless shelters. This awakening is waiting for us in our offices and cars, as much as in a cave or meditation center. This awakening doesn’t need any particular conditions. We don't have to become ripe through years of effort and toil. We don’t have to climb into the high and rare atmosphere of mountains hiding like myths in exotic countries. This awakening is here, now.
Why wait? Are we not tired enough of sadness and separation, of carrying ideas and beliefs about Reality, when Reality itself, pure and shining, is but a glance away? Awakening means to awaken, to rise up, whole body and whole mind, whole spirit and whole heart, to awaken from sleep, from the slumber of past and future, from the deep sleep of thoughts, concepts, and beliefs, from the tragic burden of me, me, me...always me...awakening from all of this into the timeless beauty that is here, now, here, now...the beauty that can be seen, can be felt, can be known now, without any further preparation.
Whether you look inward or outward, left or right, above or below, there is only one thing to see, one thing that sees....it is that Silence, the true Self, the one in the many. How hard can it be to wake up and live in this joy, in this lightness, in this freedom, in this clarity, in this kindness, in this friendliness of the one Self?
How hard can it be, to see what is Real? It isn't hard at all. We are doing it now, together, as we listen, as we speak, as we hear, as we breathe, as we release our hold on thoughts, as we enter the Silence between them, between thoughts, as we enter the Silence from where thoughts come, from where questions come, from where the breath itself comes. Together we are awakening into the fulfillment of our truest dreams, finally fulfilling what our hearts long for, our souls cry for...and in this fulfillment, we become truly alive.
To be truly alive is to listen very, very deeply—not with our ears, but with our whole being. Not just with our whole being, but with the whole being of creation. Listening like this, we have no center, we have no beginning, we have no ending. Our center is everywhere, and so we begin and end here, and there, and here again. Listening with the enormous ear of creation itself, we hear life breathing...listen to this miracle...listen to your heart...also breathing...to your whole body, also breathing....what is next to you? Can you hear it breathing?
To be truly alive is to be deeply in love with this moment. Not the moment that we imagine, not the moment of our thoughts and beliefs about this moment, but this moment, as it is, the original moment, the unclouded moment.