The Furnace of Awakening

You have no self? You lost your ego a few years ago? You’re no longer a person? All sense of ‘me’ has fallen away? You have a fabulous awakening story to tell? You’re a completely, totally awakened spiritual teacher without parallel?

Wonderful! Now, fly, my child! Go, out into the world (which is now none other than yourself) and forge that awakening in the brutally loving and lovingly brutal fire of life itself, in the unsparing fire of pain and grief, in the furnace of intimate relationships with partners, friends, parents, students, who refuse to spare you from brutally honest feedback about yourself, who do not agree with you all the time, and see if you can really hear and feel what they are saying without being defensive or attacking them or resorting to telling stories of your own spiritual superiority or blocking them out of your life forever.

Go, live, love, explore, have a child, or not, let a child go, or not, teach and become disillusioned with teaching and preaching and pretending to know, learn to love it when they listen and love it when they don’t, allow them to stay and allow them to walk away, find the joy in the simple things, discover hidden urges in yourself, those feelings of deficiency and superiority and the need to be loved and approved of, feelings that you thought should disappear after awakening, meet all the unmet shit you thought you’d managed to escape, meet all of life as yourself, allow it all into this awakened space, greet it all as a welcome guest, for now it is, and notice, with crushing humility and awe, that it’s allowed whether you allow it or not, and that you do not know what you thought you knew about ‘allowing’.

Live, love, weep, fall on the floor laughing, get cancer, scream in bed at night, piss yourself, experience bliss like you’ve never experienced before and allow it to pass when it needs to, experience pain like you’ve never experienced before and allow it to stay for as long as it needs to, lose a limb, watch a loved one lose their mind, go through the grief or joy or disappointment or ecstasy or terror of it and come out the other side with your heart broken open, more exposed and vulnerable and open to experience and to others (who are now yourself) than you ever thought possible.

Experience all of it, all of it, crucify yourself with all the sacred moments of life, and then, on your deathbed, in your final moments, I will hold your hand, and then, maybe, if you’re still interested, and if you can still remember, we will talk about your fabulous, complete, unparalleled awakening.

Or, we could just sit quietly together, here, now, in this intimate presence, beyond all stories.