As a young person, I thought getting enlightened would mean the end of my worries and troubles. That I would be in bliss all of the time and nothing would bother, worry, or trouble me. Yet, I met, read about and heard about enlightened beings who still suffered and had imperfections – how could that be?
I sought out religion, thinking that relationship with God through a specific dogma would solve my problems. Over time, I learned that dogma is not a cure, but that a structure can be helpful to growth or stunting, depending on whether we use it to hide from our problems or to uncover and deal with them; that attaching to the outer dogma without working on inner change can be just another way to hide from our own areas in need of healing and growth.
Then, I was introduced to the 12 steps and thought that once I accepted my powerlessness over people, places and things and worked the steps, nirvana would be reached. Indeed, the steps did and do continue to provide the key to overcoming addictions and codependency, but addiction switching can be rampant and so, repeated working of the steps is required to go back again and again to powerlessness in order to emerge more empowered.
Over time, in my 12 step work, I began to understand what it says in the AA text about “Spiritual Awakening” most usually being gradual. I got it that the path is often fraught with continued challenges. It dawned on me that the need to keep practicing spiritual principles of living in order to grow in spiritual awakening means that the journey can at times be more of a “trudge” than a joy. And I continue to ‘get’ the value of treading and retreading this path in order to grow stronger spiritually.
I’d always wanted to find my purpose, and thought that when I did, life would be perfect. And, indeed, finding and living my purpose has brought me a sense of peace in areas of my life that were previously fraught with discontent. Yet, in travelling the purpose path, I’ve found that staying on the path involves looking deeper within to bring all of my ego parts into harmony with my purposeful life if I want to live even most purposefully. Yet another take on what I’d been learning all along.
So, recently, when I found the book The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment by Adyashanti at my local bookstore, I picked it up to see if I might find some insights on what this journey is about, how it occurs, what to expect and where I am along the path. In this book, I found the opportunity to go deeper in my own understanding of what it means to awaken and to become more motivated to pursue the inner work regardless of what is going on around me. By writing about everything I’ve learned along the paths I’ve travelled and describing experiences I’ve had and hope to have in the future, the author helped me integrate a lifetime of learning and living in just 216 pages.
So many of us on the growth path find that no matter how far we seem to get, there seems just so much further to go. Others ‘bliss out’ and ignore the growth still to be attained, and in doing so may miss the potential for even greater spiritual growth and fulfillment. And here is a book that speaks to the journey in a clear, down to earth way that really pulls together all of the disparate pieces of life in our time for people determined to awaken as well as those who have and might not even know it...
If these ideas touch you, or if the concept intrigues you, I recommend the book. And if you do read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts, your journey, your insights.
All the best,
Beverly A. Buncher, MA, CEC, LTPC
Family Recovery Coach
786 859 4050