Though any organism is inherently subject to decay and death, the process of awakening also includes actual physical healing. The agent of the healing is the state of union with totality, or oneness. When we’re in harmony with the universe, with our ecosystem, with everything around us, the organism naturally thrives! Some of the other words we could use to describe this state would be “love” or “compassion.”
How does this state appear in the world? Generally, it manifests as interest. Everything and everyone become interesting, and our habits and addictions seem childish by comparison. We look on those old habits like a parent does on a child, who we’re stewarding to grow into a healthy, mature being in the world.
Usually this maturation entails some kind of contribution: what are we giving to others around us? To the planet? To future generations? This involves the practice of generosity. And like anything, we get better at it with practice. What have I given of myself today?
It sounds so simple, and it is. However, awakening does require a path, one that includes a serious commitment to looking deeper within oneself. The study of dharma, or the Buddhist teachings, is one such path to awakening.
There are other paths— awakening is a universal experience, not exclusively Buddhist. Buddhism offers an astonishing number and variety of effective methodologies or “spiritual technologies” that lead to liberation and spiritual healing.
What are you waiting for? It’s of supreme benefit to know your own answer to this question.
By Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat.