With this awareness, you are coming into the natural rhythm of action and non-action, peace and agitation. While inner agitation tends to be more and more brief as you release more unconscious aspects of yourself (there tend to be some that remain even after a profound awakening), outer agitation may continue. For instance, the bumpy drive of the road or the momentary discomfort that comes with working with a lot of very unhappy people. Awakening doesn't shut out these things. It invites it all into your life as it accepts all things. With that said, let's talk about these rhythms and what it means to rest within the movement.
Life Is ChangeLife has not stopped changing ever...well, at least as far as I know. In this regard, I'm speaking to the world of duality that we live in. Human beings, plants, animals, and even this Earth will all come and go. In several billion years I believe the sun is supposed to go super nova or something, so much of this part of space will be forever changed. That is how it is. In having learned to let go of control and resistance to change, huge amounts of peace can be brought into your life. For the awakened soul, it is really silly to try and control or manipulate life. It is not that we ever forget that we have a paddle to help steer our boats, but we don't get out and try to stop the river. That is impossible.
Consequently, we can fully embrace changes as they arise in life. Consider becoming a parent. As a woman goes through pregnancy, gives birth, and starts raising a child, the rhythms of life can be come quite intense--especially the childbirth part. Resting in awareness here means non-resistance to what is happening. This kind of loving awareness isn't the constant romantic, ecstatic love ideal that people have in their heads. No. It is simply present to what is, and you totally accept what is here. That is all. In embracing change, new life is born everyday. You are reborn every day and can accept each new day exactly as it is. In the example of parenthood, letting of who you are and being reborn as a parent is part of accepting what is and resting in the rhythm of life.
This is one of a dozen examples I could offer, but the gist is the same. Life changes, and the rhythm of intensity or ease in your life changes. But you can still remain in your awakened awareness as this rhythm shifts.
The Arising and Passing of the Unconscious EgoI think for some people the unconscious ego is eradicated with spiritual awakening. For most others, it rears its head from time to time as you learn to re-program yourself and act in different ways. However, the arising of unconscious ego is not a bad thing. The more you rest in awakened awareness, the more the idea that this could be a bad thing goes away. There's no need to judge it. When you get lost in old stories, fears, angers, and so forth, you will notice. In noticing, you bring awareness back to the moment, and then you can adjust your actions if need be. There may not be a need to do anything. In this culture that believes in constant action, one of the great revelations for many people on the spiritual path is just how little they really need to do to live and cultivate their happiness.
Now, life isn't always happy on this path. Spiritual awakening never promised that. Maybe some phony, self-help guru promised you constant happiness, and I'm sorry to say that that is not life. Trying to make yourself happy all the time is another form of control. It creates a long, long shadow of unexpressed and repressed emotions. This is not the spiritual path. The spiritual path embraces all, and as you rest in awakened awareness, you can accept all emotions as they arise. In so doing, you won't be as reactive as you once were. Someone can make fun of you or insult your work, and maybe the unconscious ego arises to retort. Maybe you say something. Or maybe you catch yourself with that one extra breath in and out. One little sacred pause can mean everything, and then the inner smile can come back as you realize that what this person is talking about has nothing to do with you. With that awareness, a little more of the old ego is melted away.
Rocking Back and Forth in the Stream of ConsciousnessThere is something so delightfully gentle and relaxing about this place of awareness. I think many people are afraid that somehow life will be boring, useless, or otherwise unsatisfactory if they let go of things like desire. That is not my experience. My experience is that there is more space for joy and that all the desires to attain joy were simply getting in the way of it. Do I live in constant joy? No. At least, the joy I feel isn't like what people would normally consider joy. I'm not sure I felt much joy last week as I was healing some very deep old karma inside of me. That was very painful, but it was part of the rhythm of consciousness. My consciousness and God's consciousness decided to surface something from deep within. It was time to heal it. So the fear and sadness arose. It became very uncomfortable in my body, and then it passed.
This wasn't a joyful time in the sense of enjoyment; this was a joyful time in the sense of acceptance and the practice of being fully alive. In truth, few people really experience joy and happiness because they are all too numb. They aren't feeling most of their emotions and are hiding from themselves. Then when they are half numb and deadened, they seek thrills, romances, passions, drugs, alcohol, and more to feel to good about themselves. But this kind of joy is like drinking muddy water when you want champagne. It can get so bad that when someone offers you champagne that you cannot appreciate it. It's a sad thing.
But after awakening and embracing this in your life, there is a natural movement of consciousness that you are no longer numb to. You can feel its rhythms. You can feel if its time to find a life partner for marriage. You can feel if its time for a new job. You can feel if there is something wrong with your body and you need to go to a doctor. You can feel if its time to rest and let go of the cares and work of the world. It becomes easier and easier to listen to your inner guidance, and that inner guidance is naturally linking more and more deeply into your heart and body.
Intuition Merges With Heart, Body, and MindI've talked extensively about intuition on this blog. Your inner knowing truly is the only thing that you can rely on in this world. Everything else is made up. Sure things like science are helpful, but science is--much like the ego--simply predicting the future based on what has already happened. Gravity is a law based on what has happened. If something changes today that when I drop a cup it falls up instead of down, science has to change again. It does what most egos do at first, however; it'll deny the phenomenon of falling up or will declare that it is an aberration. But in life, we never really know what will happen. Lots of people try to use psychics to tell them what will happen, and in truth this is really an attempt to find safety in the future. Practically no one goes to a psychic to be told that they'll die tomorrow. No. They want to find out that they'll meet their soulmate, be rich, and all the usual juvenile stuff we've been taught to seek out to make us happy.
But with our inner knowing, we are tapped into something profound and which is particularly tuned to our truth. As we rest in the awakened awareness, intuition naturally merges with heart, body, and mind. This means that you will more easily feel what is right to share emotionally with others. You will intuitively do what you need to do, and then a kind of flow happens in your life that arises from this space of intuitive action. In truth, you and the river of consciousness have come together. So there isn't this inner conflict between the heart, body, mind, and God. Where conflict arises, it becomes increasingly obvious. Where before, everything was confusion and it was tough to know what was what when you tried to listen to your intuition, now there is much greater clarity.
If the idea of intuitive action is new to you, you can always just go for drive. Ask your intuition to guide you, and then trust wherever you go. You will likely hear your mind chime in with suggestions, but I encourage you to just smile inwardly at it. You already know where you are going.
Expansions and Contractions ContinueI have talked about how life offers expansions and contractions--times for growth and times for rest. These continue with the general rhythm of life. In the initial part of awakening, expansions and contractions can come so fast that it feels like you're hyperventilating. Usually they slow down unless you simply have a different life path. I'm not sure that many people really need to feel like they're constantly running around--most of that is part of a Western Society transfixed on constantly doing things to define itself and gather more than it needs to survive. So, you will usually find much more ease and energy because you're not expending so much all the time. You will find that there are still difficult moments in the river of life, but that is life. And there are times when you need to rest or go within more deeply to face old pains that have arisen again. All of this is to be expected. If there is any remainder of the idea that you will be perfect, then let that go. There is nothing to perfect. You are already beauty and perfection itself.
The photo comes from my friend and reader, Becky Stiller. You can check out her beautiful work on her flickr link.
For more on this topic, here is a video: