Have you woken up yet?
This question is the most alien one that you can ask someone not familiar with Oriental spirituality.
She/He will look at you wondering if you are OK.
In Zen Buddhism, to be awake is just to be, the ultimate goal to achieve permanent serenity.
2500 years ago and after 9 years of ongoing meditation, Siddhartha Gautama, then a 29 years old prince from India, shouted: “I am awaked” meaning: “ I am now experiencing the factual realities of Life”
Among these factual realities of Life let me mention the most prevalent ones:
1) Suffering, 2) Its causes, 3) How to fix it, 4) To achieve serenity and Nirvana, 5) The impermanence of all things”. His followers gave him a nickname “The Buddha” which means “ The awakened one”.
The opposite of being “awakened,” in its spiritual sense, is to be in a permanent dreaming state fed by your wandering mind and its master-feeder called the ego or self and all of its negative consequences.
We are “Day sleepwalkers on the trails of our wandering and deceptive mind.
It means that the road towards Awakening is impossible as long as your mind is in control”.
Nobody chooses to be run by negative feelings such as regrets, guilt, anger, worries, expectations, conflicts, dysfunctional social behavior, poor self-image, being in the past or in the future most of the time, and many more.
No one chooses to be hooked to ongoing desires, hatred, illusions, and being perfect.
And yet, all of the above are the non-stop products of our minds. This is closed to insanity.
It all happens because we don’t know how to be mindful of our runaway mind because it is only our permanent awareness i.e. mindfulness of what our mind is saying and doing that awakening is possible. There is no other way to wake up from our mind-made dream world.
As long as you are conditioned by your mind, as long as you are your mind, what choice do you have to be awake?: NONE, you are trapped forever.
When your body and mind are in 2 different space-times, doing different things, you are “sleeping”
in its spiritual meaning.
Being fully aware means having your genuine self at the moment where body and mind are together doing the same thing.
Most of us are never fully present in the factual reality of the now because we believe that the next moment must / will be more important or exciting than the current dull and routine stuff.
If we miss the present moment, we miss our whole life, which, by definition, exists only in the Now.
Past is dead and the future is not born and yet. They are fictional and yet, we are in these 2 space-times most of the time. Planning for x,y,z, is obviously critical but its results don’t exist...yet.
In other words, we are living outside our Life and, by doing so, we are at the opposite spectrum of Awakening.
How can I achieve it you may ask?
You don’t have to achieve anything.
It is not like taking a course to get a Ph.D. in something, or to read a zillion of books, or to have some special divine or knowledge skills.
We don’t have to achieve anything, because Awakening is already within us all the time.
A simple analogy will be to look at the sky above us: the sun – Awakening- is always there but hidden by the clouds that is our wandering mind.
The practice of meditation is to blow the clouds away and this is exactly what the Buddha did so successfully.
He realized that learning to tame our wandering minds is like blowing away the clouds above us.
Even a few min. of meditation is practicing Awakening because you are in the moment, experiencing
the true, factual reality of this present moment. During this time, clouds are dissipated.
They will come back and you will blow them away, again and again till the sun persists.
At this point, it is serenity. T Y