If an awakening is exponential growth in a short period of time where the doors blow off your previous understanding of the world, how do you keep growing after a spiritual awakening? By adopting mindfulness. To me, this is also the practice of animism.
Animism is engaging in life the way that it is, in this moment. Not as an observer, but a participant. It’s a romance with the sun, your bed, the fog, your family, and your partner. It’s walking a slack line between being you and being a part of a community. If you do this every day, you won’t fall asleep. And if you don’t fall asleep, there is no need to awaken.
Every day offers newness. For example, I have been walking down by a stream in the mornings. Just as I arrive, the sun is peaking over the trees in a way that makes the soft golden light look simply amazing. It takes my breath away. So I just stand there and take it in. And each day it changes. We have two more minutes of sunlight every day. So unless I arrive earlier and earlier and each day dawns clear, this view will soon be no more.
And that’s okay because there will be something new to see and feel. THAT is the magic of mindfulness. I have to first be here. Then I have to see what there is to see, then engage with it. If I only notice the peak experiences, I have a lot of “dead” time in between where “nothing” is happening. That’s time to click on the “been there, done that, nothing to see” program that lulls me to sleep.
If my threshold for delight is low, I can be inspired by a mushroom that’s a slightly different color than his buddies. I can feel awe at the twinkling of the frost on a blade of grass. Surprise can overtake me at seeing the glowing eyes of a spider in the nighttime grass. These are your teachers. They are right in front of you. Look at them. Let them burst your heart open.
If you are in pain, let yourself experience the pain. Pain is a teacher too. It’s telling you that something is not right. Are you eating the wrong foods? Are you too sedentary? Do you need to clean up your environment or social life? What are you holding on to that needs to go? Are you not in alignment with your values? When you get right with what is, the pain will go.
So, it’s not about what feels good or having what you want. Living is just about being here. Engaging with life as it is. If you appreciate everything that shows up, you will have a fantastic ride. And you won’t need a spiritual awakening because you haven’t fallen asleep.