Is there a journey toward Awakening?
“I have been meditating for 2 years with the group and alone at home every day.
Also, I have been listening and read all Dharma talks.
Where am I in the journey toward Awakening” asked the student.
“ You are far away from it and also too close” I replied.
The request to talk about Awakening is the most frequent one even if we talk about it on regular
basis and the last one was just a month ago.
Maybe only a few of you were attending or did not bother to read the blog.
It sounds that many Zen practitioners believe that there is a long journey toward Awakening and this journey is made of many stages full of meditation-based hard work during each phase.
It is like starting at point A and, after a lot of practice, POOF! the finish line is crossed and the student is
Awakened or Enlightened. This is pure delusion and the source of many disappointments.
Achieving Awakening or Enlightenment is not like taking a course and passing an exam.
There is no diploma at the end, and the teacher is more a guide rather than bringing knowledge.
The word Awakening is the word Awake and the word Awake means to be actively aware in its
literal and figurative senses.
Aware of what you may ask.......I will elaborate in a few min.
In the word Enlightenment is the word Light and the word Light means brightness or luminous
in its figurative sense. So...Awakening and Enlightenment are almost synonymous because one needs the other one. However, the word Awakening should be used since it is the word used by the Buddha
rather than Enlightenment which sounds more like a miracle or a bliss. Remember: the nickname “Buddha” means” the one who is awaked”
To be aware is to pay attention, in a nonanalytic way - meaning in a mindful way- to the current moment and its contents such as where you are, what you are doing, what your senses are perceiving around you.
Concisely put: To be awake is to experience, in a mindful way, factual realities of life in the precise moment. Or not to be in a permanent dreaming state.
How to do this?
It is done by bringing your out-of-control wandering mind where your body is and what it is doing in this precise moment.
Therefore, Body & Mind form a single entity rather than having, all the time, a split personality where your body is doing something and your mind something else in a different space-time.
So, Awakening does exist already in all of us. No Ph.D., MBA, or MD. are required!
Practicing awareness of the factual realities of life in the current moment has immediate consequences such as being fully mindful of our delusions as opposed to these factual realities. Our common delusions on which we should be awakened/alert to include:
- Things last: No they don’t. Everything is transient and we exist only in the present moment.
- I control my life: No you don’t. Wishful thinking.
- Life should be happiness: No, suffering is also part of Life and is mostly generated by our
- Past, future, thoughts, and feelings are real. They do exist but are fictional that is don’t have any
- I am an indispensable and independent entity: No, we are all interconnected and graveyards are
full of indispensable people.
A student asked Zen Master Suzuki: “What is Enlightenment Sunim?
He replied: “When you eat, just eat. When you chop wood, just chop wood”
Sorry folks. It is not mysterious, sexy, or exciting. IQ above 200 and hard work are not necessary.