Awakin Readings

Remembering the Sacred

Every week, we post a short reading from various wisdom traditions that points to the sacred. Each excerpt is also accompanied by an audio recording, an illustration and translations. Subscribe Here.

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Agent Of Illumination

Elizabeth Gilbert

Some years ago, I was stuck on a crosstown bus in New York City during rush hour. Traffic was barely moving. The bus was filled with cold, tired people who were deeply irritated with one another, with...

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14K reads, 16 comments

Groundlessness

Meg Wheatley

Hope is what propels us into action. We’ve been taught to dream of a better world as the necessary first step in creating one. We create a clear vision for the future we want, then we set a stra...

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8K reads, 19 comments

Two Types Of Heartbreaks

Parker Palmer

A disciple asks the rebbe: “Why does Torah tell us to ‘place these words upon your hearts’? Why does it not tell us to place these holy words in our hearts?” The rebbe answer...

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8K reads, 19 comments

Three Levels Of Happiness

Anushka Fernandopulle

The Buddha talked about three different levels of happiness. The first is happiness that can come from pleasant sense experiences: delicious food, nice weather, pleasant music, or any kind of positive...

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8K reads, 5 comments

Say Wow

Chelan Harkin

Each day before our surroundings become flat with familiarity and the shapes of our lives click into place, dimensionless and average as Tetris cubes, before hunger knocks from our bellies like...

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8K reads, 15 comments

The Exquisite Risk

Mark Nepo

At any moment, if quiet enough and open enough, we can drop into the fabric of existence in which everything, even pain, has its vivid signature of energy that we call, at different times, truth or be...

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7K reads, 5 comments

The Salt Doll

Ramakrishna Paramhansa

A salt doll journeyed for thousands of miles over land, until it finally came to the sea. It was fascinated by this strange moving mass, quite unlike anything it had ever seen before. “Who...

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6K reads, 15 comments

Pay Attention To A Sense Of Space

Rob Burbea

Whenever there is any grasping or aversion towards something, indeed whenever any hindrances are present, the mind is, to some degree or other, in a contracted state. It has, so to speak, been sucked ...

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6K reads, 10 comments

Do What You Please, But I'm Watching

Hubert Benoit

Alone, in a quiet place, muscularly relaxed (lying down or comfortably seated), I watch the emergence within myself of mental images, permitting my imagination to produce whatever it likes. It is...

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6K reads, 7 comments

Turning Survival Inside Out

Kerri Lake

You know how people will lament when they say, “Time to get back to reality,” or “…yeah, but that’s not how the real world works”? What is the real world? Who sugg...

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6K reads, 12 comments

Opening To Greater Life

Thomas Berry

Tell the [future generations] that something new is happening, a new vision, a new energy, a new sacred story is coming into being in the transition from one era to another. Tell them in the darkne...

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6K reads, 12 comments

You Can't Get There From Here

Pema Chodron

When you sit down to meditate, you can bring to your practice the notion of the threefold purity: not being caught up with ideas about yourself, not being caught up with ideas about the practice, and ...

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6K reads, 4 comments

Memnoon: Blessing The One Who Is Asked

Heather Schlessman

One of the keys to a happier life is doing only what you want to do. We have been taught that is being selfish. That teaching comes from thousands of years of developing a domination over society. We ...

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6K reads, 7 comments

ABOUT AWAKIN READINGS

Awakin Readings started in 1996 as a way to remind ourselves of universal truths. Soon after, it began to be utilized as a discussion topic in weekly Awakin Circles in living rooms around the globe. Different artists and photographers offer a unique image for every reading; an audio recording is offered each week; and many volunteers collaborate to translate it into various languages. Our repository has over a thousand readings.

What is perhaps noteworthy about this effort is that it is entirely volunteer-run, and non-commercial, and has stayed that way for the last 25 years. For the many dozens of volunteer who contribute every week, this website is a labor of love.

We are grateful to Somik Raha, Liz Helgesen, and Rupali Bhuva for their consistent service for more than a decade. This website wouldn't be possible without the pioneering example Dinesh and Harshida Mehta's Awakin Circle of 25 years, and the larger field of ServiceSpace. Thank you.

To get engaged, join our newsletter or join the ServiceSpace community to explore volunteering.

"Compassion is a spontaneous movement of wholeness. It is not a studied decision to help the poor, to be kind to the unfortunate. Compassion has a tremendous momentum that naturally, choicelessly moves us to worthy action. It has the force of intelligence, creativity, and the strength of love. This vast intelligence that orders the cosmos is available to all. The beauty of life, the wonder of living, is that we share creativity, intelligence, and unlimited potential with the rest of the cosmos. To realize that we are not simply physical beings on a material planet, but that we are whole beings, each a miniature cosmos, each related to all of life in intimate, profound ways, should radically transform how we perceive ourselves, our environments, our social problems. Nothing can ever be isolated from wholeness." --Vimala Thakar