Awakening is an odd thing. You can meditate for years and just not get it. Eckhart Tolle has sold millions of books, and many people diligently follow his practice. But how many of them have awakened to who they truly are? It’s not like baking a cake or something. You can’t awaken by simply following certain procedures. No, it’s not a mechanical process. No, it just happens. Something just clicks. How? As Adyashanti said, “No one can tell you. It’s not an understanding. It’s not something that anyone or anything can control. It’s a breaking through.” All of a sudden, it just happens. How many times did I meditate, and I never broke through? Then, all of a sudden, Ah Ha. Something shifts and you get it.
When you Do get it, you realize that it was there all along. You just couldn’t see it. Perhaps that is why people miss it. Perhaps they are looking for some kind of light show. In Don’t Miss It I described how many meditators pass right over it without recognizing it. As long as you place awakening in the future, it will remain there.
“The coolest thing about waking up is finding yourself standing in the Now. It’s as if you’ve always been there and just didn’t know it. It doesn’t matter when you entered the “Now”, you’re just there now and nothing else matters.”
– Zen Gardner
Awakening is a spontaneous event. You can never force it to happen. You cannot desire it to happen. In fact, the more effort you put into trying to awaken, the farther away it becomes. Effort pushes it away. In fact, it is only when you give up, that it will finally occur. Surrender to what is, and that lays the ground for it to happen. Relaxing is the key. Just relax.
When it finally clicks, you will know it. No one can tell you what it is, and no one can tell you exactly how it happens. There’s nothing to figure out. There’s nothing to understand. Knowledge can be helpful, but too much of it gets in the way. Let go without any expectations. In fact, when you realize that you really don’t know, you are clearing away the obstacles. It comes down to total resignation, giving up, surrendering to what is and relax. This is the ground for allowing that spontaneous awakening to occur.
“The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
So just continue doing your meditation or whatever else you do, but let go of any expectations. Just be present, satisfied with what you are doing or feeling now. Find happiness in the journey.
In my article, On Meditation, I wrote:
“I happened upon my technique quite by accident. I was in the mountains by myself, and I was just relaxing, taking in the beauty of Mother Nature around me. I was in a deep relaxing mode, so thinking was not part of the relaxation. I just let go, listening to the birds, the wind and the nearby stream. The sun felt warm and nurturing. All anxieties vanished. I wasn’t trying to achieve anything, just relaxing in the moment. In that moment I realized that I was in a very deep state. I didn’t consider it meditation. It was just letting go, slipping into a deep awareness of Self and my relationship with Mother Nature. At the time I wasn’t aware of what I had slipped into. It is very subtle. Most people would miss it. At first I thought that I was just being lazy, relaxing in the sun, which I was. I didn’t consider it meditation. I really wasn’t aware of what I had awakened to.”
That is what I did, but each person will have his own doorway. The strange thing is that I didn’t even recognize what I had awakened to at that time. I was expecting a light show or something, but that is not what awakening is. It’s awakening to that which you always are. It’s the awareness behind the world. It’s there with you always. When you connect with it, it deepens. The more you connect with that state of Being, the deeper it gets. There is no end to its depths, and the deeper you go, the more you and your world changes.
In reality, it all comes down to Grace. When Grace feels like it, she blesses you. But remember that Grace is always working through you on this journey. It is by Grace that you even began the journey, and it is by Grace that one actually awakens.
“In an instant, a life may turn around; a heart may open in a moment of grace. But preparing for that moment can take a lifetime.”
“Grace is within you. Grace is your Self. Grace is not something to be acquired from others. If it is external, it is useless. All that is necessary is to know its existence is in you. You are never out of its operation.”
So relax. Just let lt go and surrender to whatever the present moment brings. See what happens.
– Greg Calise