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Questionnaire on Awakening

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Intro to the questionnaire sent to Dharma teachers

We often hear and teach that the Dharma serves to point us to awakened life. We endeavor to bring the practice on the cushion into our daily life in order to live awakened life. But what exactly does it mean?  What is an awakened life and what is an awakened moment?

I offered the following questions to seven of our dear, wise and long-standing friends in the Dharma who hold the role of teachers and whose voice has been a great contribution to the process of awakening – my own and for many others in our Israeli sangha.
Their generous responses have created a rich and enlightening tapestry, each adding another color and angle and depth.
Awakening is not a "thing", and as such cannot be described, yet they all made a brave, humble, open and eloquent attempt to describe it, to shed light on this intriguing, elusive yet most significant theme. On that which is the ultimate goal of the path, yet is contained in every moment.

Each of the views expressed here is unique, yet it is interesting to note some common threads, such as that an insight or deep understanding is known by its results: it must have an expression in our life, must result in a difference in the way we think, speak and act, must produce a shift in the way we view the world and in our priorities. It must transform the mind.

Another common thread is that there is no hierarchy between the spiritual and the mundane, the ordinary and the extraordinary, the everyday and the "unformed, unmade, and limitless", as Christopher puts it. In this context, I love the words of the poet Rumi:
"When you look for God,
God is in the look of your eyes,
in the thought of looking, nearer to you than your self..."

These answers serve as reminders. Let's enjoy these words of wisdom with gratitude and joy, because what better thing is there to do with our lives than to aspire to be awake in every moment for – as Stephen wrote – its own sake?

The questions:
Please answer some or all of the following questions:
• What is to you an awakened life or an awakened moment?
•  What is your definition of spiritual awakening or awakening in daily life?
• Please share with us an insight you've recently had.
• Please write any other thoughts or anything else that you may like to add.

Sandya Rakefet

 

 

 

Christopher

Christopher Titmus

An awakening moment interrupts the conditioned view, marks a break with the past and the old ways of looking at things. A deep awakening shifts consciousness from relative to ultimate, it's a freeing up of the inner life. We can tell whether an awakening has changed an event, a situation, through what arises afterwards: does it change the way we feel, think and act?

 

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stephenji

Dr. Stephen Fulder

Awakening is a shift to another way of viewing the world, a sense of perfection, completion and interconnectedness; It is about surrendering to the hidden voice of stillness, and to the powerful stream of samsara; It is often known by its results: a sense of perfection and of reality

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Shaila

Shaila Catherine

The effect of a significant insight or awakening moment is that it frees the mind from attachment. Enlightenment experiences are not defined by a temporary sensation, pleasant feeling, perceptual distortion, or acquired knowledge; the experience is defined by a transformation of mind

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thanissara

Thanissara

Awakening as not an experience, it is the end of experience. It inducts you into a sphere of 'unknowing'. In daily life it is the recognition of pure consciousness, which is not bound by anything. Awakening as process – consciousness evolving and awakening itself through the forms of life. The implications of this is a tremendous sense of awe, mystery, zest. The sort of feeling you have when meeting your lover

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Jaya

Jaya Ashmore

Not to think that awakening is what we think it is, what we imagine it is, what we hope and fear it is. Yet, awakening is a clear end -- of distortions of the mind and being. We cannot imagine it, yet it is real, precise, and possible

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Kitisaro

Kittisaro

 
A unified heart, a composed heart, sees things the way they are. Realizing that everything is always becoming otherwise, the heart lets go of grasping and notices the ever present peacefulness of its own nature. Any moment when we see things as they are, is an awakened moment. Every moment of mindfulness be a waking up

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Ajay1

Ajay Singh – live interview

How would you describe an awakening moment?

Not holding. Not holding back. Activities knowingly happening, but there is no regret. Generally in life we might say in the evening: “Ah, I should have done this differently” – that kind of thing is not there. There is more living; living so fully that there is no need to dream.

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