Recently I was reading about the process of awakening and questioning whether or not one is awakened or enlightened. Sometimes people believe that there will be a moment in time in which they will arrive somewhere beyond where they are now, or have an experience in which they become awake. There is so much energy used to get to this destination. This attention on the process of awakening is very beautiful and yet, in truth, can also be a distraction. At times in the history of human kind, there have been profound awakenings in which the being dissolved into That so permanently that they were seen as a sage or enlightened one. Yet this experience does not occur for most seekers on a journey to the Self. It is often much more subtle.
From this more subtle perspective, if there truly is only now, not some time in the future in which one awakens, isn’t it really about being awake, or conscious, right now? The future (or the past) does not exist, except in the mind. If we are hoping that at some time in the future we will “wake up”, that keeps us from fully being present right now. Yet if we let go of the future and any possibility of it, what is present here? Are we aware and awake in this moment? This moment is really all that we have, all that exists. It is the space in which awakening can occur. So if one is awake right now, isn’t that all that is relevant? Any other time is an illusion. If, in this moment, we are awake to this moment, than we are awake.
This seems too simple, yet that is what is confusing about this enlightenment issue. It is simple, very simple. If it was complex, we would need to do something, or go somewhere or hope the imaginary future will offer us a huge shift in awareness. It would be a doing, an activity, an experience that can come and go. It isn’t this way ~ it is a beingness, it is our nature. In fact, even if we are not aware of the truth of ourselves, we still are that. If a baby is not aware that it is a human, he or she is still a human. This is true with being as well. We can’t not be being. And we can’t not be here. Here is all we have and all that we are. If we let go of the thought of awakened or spiritual or even the big one, “I”, which is a thought that pulls us into the past by it’s very nature, being a bundle of concepts and thoughts from the past, we are simply here. Becoming aware now allows us to participate fully in each moment of our lives, which are only a series of now moments. Wide awake, wide aware, we can realize that this now is beyond time, beyond our stories and beyond any idea of itself. It is all that is. And we can dissolve into this now, which in reality has never moved or changed. “I” getting awakened doesn’t compute here. This thought is too much, too heavy. It is a movement away from this Silence Itself.