There is increasing pressure from the New Age spiritual community to drive global AWAKENING. This is mainly to address the enormous issues facing the planet, yet this movement, although well-intentioned, can come across as condescending, cringy or fear-inducing.
But what is awakening, really?
"If I had to put it in a nutshell, I would define it as “disidentification from thinking.” When you realize that the voice in your head, your incessant compulsive thinking, is not who you are, then you have begun to awaken." - Eckart Tolle, The Power of Now
The Buddha said this thousands of years ago. However, this concept is as relevant today as its ever been.
Awakening is disidentification from thinking.
Let's explore this, shall we?
The average person has over 60,000 thoughts per day. That's a lot of thinking! Most of us believe that we ARE those incessant thoughts, i.e. the little voice/voices in our minds.
EXERCISE: Do this for 30 seconds: close your eyes and observe your thoughts.
Now ask yourself, who or what is doing the observing?
How can you BE a thoughts and OBSERVE them too? YOU are not your thoughts. No, there is a deeper level of consciousness in there. More on this below...
Back to thoughts. While thinking can be helpful in planning a birthday party or figuring out your taxes, it turns out that most thoughts are harmful. Of the 60,000+ thoughts we think in a day, 80% of these are negative, and 95% of these are the same thoughts you had yesterday.
These negative and repetitive thoughts keep us stuck in the same patterns, unable to progress in life in the ways that bring meaning, joy and peace to us. Even if we want to take action and bring about positive change in the world, our self-critical thoughts often hold us back.
Thoughts cause us to suffer
Most of our thoughts are us
Ruminating about the past that we cannot change i.e., we think about situations that we wish had gone a different way, and this makes us feel ashamed, guilty and ultimately depressed.
Projecting ourselves into the future, we fantasize about our lives being different: more happy, more peaceful, more healthy. Or we anticipate potential outcomes to avoid risk. This makes us worry, feeling anxious and dissatisfied with where we are right now.
Whether we're living in the past or the future, we're suffering because we're desiring something that we don't have now. Craving, regretting, worrying. Discontent.
Whats wrong with where we are now?
Every moment of our lives is an opportunity to choose to think about the future and worry, the past and ruminate or stop thinking altogether and simply BE.
Like this moment.
And this moment.
And this one.
When we simply BE, we allow our mind, which is our greatest tool, to rest. We put it back in the toolbox to whip out again, nice and fresh, when we need it.
When we simply BE HERE NOW, we are free from thinking.
Freedom from thinking
Above, we discovered that there is a deeper level of consciousness that is observing our thoughts. How fascinating! What if we get curious about that?
The EYE behind the "I"
Exercise: Observe your thoughts for 60 seconds, and observe the spaces between your thoughts. Now, patiently, allow those spaced to become greater.
What was that like for you?
Exercise: Now repeat, remain alert and fully present with anything you might observe in your environment, in your body, and in your mind.
Congratulations, you're awake! You have successfully accessed the EYE (the consciousness) behind the I (the ego mind).
Now observe the EYE behind the "I" for a moment...that's a real trip!
What has this got to do with Sacred Acacia?
Here's a personal story to bring it together. This is Aria by the way...
I knew all of these concepts before I started working with sacred plants. I'd studied Buddhism for a decade, meditated at monasteries around the world, read ancient texts, and listened to the Simply Being app on my phone each night to fall asleep.
However, it was during my first Sacred Acacia ceremony that it all came together. In an instant, my ego mind just turned off. I stopped thinking. Ego was dead. I mean quiet. This was nothing like I'd ever experienced before.
In that liminal space, I got to experience true consciousness and crystal clear connection with my Higher Self. Id been there before in visualizations and coaching sessions, but this was like the fog had lifted and I could see the VERY BEST part of myself with clarity, effortlessly shedding all worldly fears and doubts about myself.
Right after this ceremony, my 15-year long eating disorder evaporated and I became confident to talk to strangers at parties and networking events, when previously I used to awkwardly stand in the corner and cringe on the drive home, replaying all the moments that made me feel shame about myself.
Why? because I was able to stop a large percentage of the negative thoughts and beliefs I held about myself by refocusing my mind on my strengths, my talents and my dharma.
If you are curious about learning more about Sacred Acacia, a form of Ayahuasca that Sacred Waters prays with monthly, join our Monday info session where we talk about what the experience is like, and answer all of your questions.