Awakin Readings Archive (2020)

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Nov 30: John Yates, Parliament Of Subconscious Minds (4663 reads)
You may object to the idea that your sense of being a self is a mere construct. After all, it feels very real. How can we reconcile this powerful sense of self with the idea that we're just a...

Nov 23: Ashley Whillans, Time Confetti And The Broken Promise Of Leisure (5136 reads)
It’s true: we have more time for leisure than we did fifty years ago. But leisure has never been less relaxing, mostly because of the disintermediating effects of our screens. Technology...

Nov 16: Brian Conroy, Half A Pomegranate (6370 reads)
Early one morning, the Buddha and his disciples set off on an alms round. He announced that on that day all of the offerings they received would be given to the poor.  The community sat...

Nov 09: Joanna Macy, The Three Narratives (5960 reads)
When we come together for this work, at the outset we discern three stories or versions of reality that are shaping our world so that we can see them more clearly and choose which one we want to...

Nov 02: Norie Huddle, How Caterpillar Turns Into A Butterfly (6092 reads)
If you kneel down on the ground and look at a caterpillar very carefully,  you'd probably think he's a pretty nice furry fellow with a rather boring life. And you would be right....

Oct 26: Ram Dass, The Game Is To Be Where You Are (8832 reads)
When I was born I donned a spacesuit for living on this plane, it was this body, my spacesuit, and it had a steering mechanism which is my pre-frontal lobe and all the brain that helps with...

Oct 19: May Sarton, Now I Become Myself (6259 reads)
Now I become myself. It's taken Time, many years and places; I have been dissolved and shaken, Worn other people's faces, Run madly, as if Time were there, Terribly old, crying a...

Oct 12: Leah Pearlman, We're Voting With Our Attention (6985 reads)
At the base of the brainstem there is a bundle of neurons called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). The RAS acts as a kind of bouncer for the brain. Our senses take in waaaaay too information...

Oct 05: Anthony de Mello, Substituting One Cruelty For Another (6643 reads)
Many people swing into action only to make things worse. They're not coming from love, they're coming from negative feelings. They're coming from guilt, anger, hate; from a sense of...

Sep 28: Fabiana Fondevila, A Route Back To Wonder (5789 reads)
“What is a sunset without clouds? A circle that crosses a straight line,” says Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society, creator of an original form of activism...

Sep 21: William Deresiewicz, Learning How To Think (18458 reads)
Let’s start with how you don’t learn to think. A study by a team of researchers at Stanford came out a couple of months ago. The investigators wanted to figure out how today’s...

Sep 14: Krishna Das, Movie Of Me, Now Playing 24 Hours A Day (9322 reads)
What keeps us away from the gentle rain of grace? It's our endless obsession, all day long, with I, me, mine. We wake up in the morning and start writing "the movie of Me": What am I...

Sep 07: Marti Leimbach, The Broken Piano In 1975 (6301 reads)
My favourite piece of music is Keith Jarrett’s Köln Concert, an hour-long piece improvised, as all of Jarrett’s concerts are, on a solo piano in front of a live audience. You know...

Aug 31: Irina Tweedie, Glory And Terror Of It (6158 reads)
The realization that every act, every word, every thought of ours not only influences our environment but mysteriously forms an integral part of the Universe, fits into it as if by necessity, in...

Aug 24: Jack Kornfield, The Wisdom Of Uncertainty (10275 reads)
One day Ajahn Chah held up a beautiful Chinese tea cup, “To me this cup is already broken. Because I know its fate, I can enjoy it fully here and now. And when it’s gone, it’s...

Aug 17: Mary Oliver, The Central Commitment Of The Creative Life (9804 reads)
Intellectual work sometimes, spiritual work certainly, artistic work always -- these are forces that fall within its grasp, forces that must travel beyond the realm of the hour and the restraint of...

Aug 10: Annamalai Swami, Does The Mind Exist During Our Sleep? (7567 reads)
Every time you go to sleep you have the experience of being without a mind. You cannot deny that you exist while you are asleep and you cannot deny that your mind is not functioning while you are...

Aug 03: Chris Lombard, Mistakes: Results That Show The Truth Of Things (7011 reads)
The biggest fears are actually the biggest opportunities. I have seen falls. I have seen blood. I have seen gashes and swelled joints and broken bones and I have seen death along with them. I...

Jul 27: Pema Chodron, To Be Continually Thrown Out Of The Nest (10057 reads)
We think that if we just meditated enough or jogged enough or ate perfect food, everything would be perfect. But from the point of view of someone who is awake, that's death. Seeking security...

Jul 20: D. T. Suzuki, Discipline Of Tao (13736 reads)
A master called Yuan came to Tai-chu Hui-hai and asked: 'When disciplining oneself in the Tao, is there any special way of doing it?" Hui-hai: 'Yes, there is." Yuan:...

Jul 13: Anonymous, We Were Made For These Times (7628 reads)
The world is made up of stories. A secret web of agreements about what is “right” and “wrong”, what is “normal” and “weird”, and what is...

Jul 06: Barbara Fredrickson, The Positivity Ratio (12447 reads)
Imagine you’re a water lily. It’s early dawn and your petals are closed in around your face. If you can see anything at all, it’s just a little spot of sunlight. But as the sun...

Jun 29: Viktor Frankl, It Is Life That Asks The Questions Of Us (9951 reads)
The question can no longer be “What can I expect from life?” but can now only be “What does life expect of me?” What task in life is waiting for me? Now we also...

Jun 22: J. Krishnamurti, Mass Movement (12592 reads)
We see throughout the world extremes of poverty and riches, abundance and at the same time starvation; we have class distinction and racial hatred, the stupidity of nationalism and the appalling...

Jun 15: Otto Scharmer, Four Types Of Listening (10309 reads)
In my years of working with groups and organizations, I have identified four basic types of listening. “Ya, I know that already.” The first type of listening is downloading:...

Jun 08: Larry Yang, Inclining Toward Freedom, Even Through Imperfections (8317 reads)
If we focus only on awakening, we miss most of the spiritual practice. I’m much more interested in how we practice with not awakening, with not being enlightened, because, frankly, those...

Jun 01: Mark Manson, From Transaction To Trust (9232 reads)
The most precious and important things in life are, by definition, nontransactional. And to try to bargain for them is to immediately destroy them. You cannot conspire for happiness; it is...

May 25: Kahlil Gibran, The River Cannot Go Back (16179 reads)
It is said that before entering the sea a river trembles with fear. She looks back at the path she has traveled, from the peaks of the mountains, the long winding road crossing forests and...

May 18: Robin Wall Kimmerer, To Find Something, Don't Look For It (8303 reads)
Between takeoff and landing, we are each in suspended animation, a pause between chapters of our lives. When we stare out the window into the sun’s glare, the landscape is only a flat...

May 11: Doug Powers, What Can You Trust? (9497 reads)
In young people’s minds right now, the main issue is what they can trust in their own experience. In the 50s and 60s, we trusted ideologies, religions, universities, and economists. There...

May 04: Lynne Twist, Harder I Work, The More I Love (11445 reads)
Burnout is being disconnected from Source. I don’t think it’s as related as we'd like to think, to working too long or too hard or eating pizza and Coke instead of veggies and...

Apr 27: Richard Rohr, Opposite Of Meditation Is Not Action, It's Reaction (10113 reads)
It seems like our society is at a low point in terms of how we talk about challenging, controversial topics within our political discourse and even our spiritual reflections. I believe the only way...

Apr 21: Kate Murphy, Why We Listen Better To Strangers Than Family (10971 reads)
Once you know people well enough to feel close, there’s an unconscious tendency to tune them out because you think you already know what they are going to say. It’s kind of like when...

Apr 13: David Mckee, Turning Ourselves Toward Stability And Hospitality (10346 reads)
The Benedictine-Camaldolese monk, Bruno Barnhart says it very well:  “We humans prefer a manageable complexity to an unmanageable simplicity.” A complex instability is our...

Apr 06: Chris Corrigan, Into The Chrysalis (11322 reads)
Chrysalises both inspire and baffle me. The thought that a caterpillar can crawl into a sac made of its own body and dissolve its form and come out as a butterfly is a cliched image of...

Mar 30: Martin Shaw, Keeping The Smoke Hole Open (9269 reads)
In Siberian myth, when you want to hurt someone, you crawl into their tent and close the smoke hole. That way God can’t see them. Close the smoke hole and you break connection to the...

Mar 23: Rachel Naomi Remen, Life May Itself Be A Koan (15943 reads)
Consider the Zen practice of the koan, the question or problem proposed by Zen masters to each other or by masters to students. The koan is a dilemma, a mystery which the rational mind cannot...

Mar 16: Lynn Ungar , Pandemic (22261 reads)
What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath -- the most sacred of times? Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling. Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world...

Mar 09: Troy Chapman, I Have No Need For An Enemy (11918 reads)
In passing my sentence, the judge said, “There’s no hope that you can ever be rehabilitated.” My sentence of 60-90 years was a tragic and too predictable end of the road I’d...

Mar 02: Gert van Leeuwen, Releasing Willpower From Movement (9283 reads)
Initially, I used to move from willpower; I was concerned only with results. In retrospect, I realize that this created a sort of tunnel vision; my consciousness was debilitatingly limited. I...

Feb 24: Barbara Brown Taylor, In Eyes Of God, We're All Minorities (8799 reads)
Krister Stendahl, former dean of Harvard Divinity school, told a reporter shortly before his death in 2008, "In the eyes of God, we are all minorities. That’s a rude awakening for many,...

Feb 17: Heather Platt, The Liminal Space (11829 reads)
What do you do when a friend has lost a child and you can’t ease their grief? Or when your partner loses her job and you can’t resolve it for her? Or a client has to make a big decision...

Feb 10: Climbing PoeTree, Being Human (12153 reads)
I wonder if the Sun debates dawn some mornings not wanting to rise out of bed from under the down-feather horizon if the sky grows tired of being everywhere at once adapting to the mood...

Feb 03: John Fox , When Someone Deeply Listens To You (13556 reads)
When someone deeply listens to you it is like holding out a dented cup you've had since childhood and watching it fill up with cold, fresh water. When it balances on top of the brim, you...

Jan 27: Tenzin Palmo, A Heart Of Warmth Is Not Something Impossible (12036 reads)
What does love mean? In the West, we mistake the meaning of love; we bandy the word around all the time, from “I love ice-cream” to “I love God”. But we mistake love for...

Jan 20: Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee, Meaning And The Song Of The Soul (12443 reads)
Meaning is what calls from the depths of the soul. It is the song that sings us into life. Whether we have a meaningful life depends upon whether we can hear this song, this primal music of the...

Jan 13: Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Spiritual Materialism (8590 reads)
What first comes to mind to speak about is my own spiritual materialism. I find that as I'm reading or reflecting upon the teachings and something becomes clear to me, I immediately want to...

Jan 06: Jean Klein, Silence (10955 reads)
Silence is our real nature. What we are fundamentally is only silence. Silence is free from beginning and end. It was before the beginning of all things. It is causeless. Its greatness lies in...

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