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.

Read Latest (Jan 17, 2022)

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The River Cannot Go Back

Kahlil Gibran

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 village...

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71K reads, 49 comments

An Unusual Gift From My Grandfather

Rachel Naomi Remen

Often, when he came to visit, my grandfather would bring me a present. These were never the sorts of things that other people brought, dolls and books and stuffed animals. My dolls and stuffed animals...

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33K reads, 22 comments


Lynn Ungar

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 dif...

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26K reads, 25 comments


Joy Harjo

Remember the sky that you were born under, know each of the star’s stories. Remember the moon, know who she...

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25K reads, 10 comments

Everything Human Is Natural

Alan Watts

Man is as much attached to nature as a tree, and though he walks freely on two legs and is not rooted in the soil, he is by no means a self-sufficient, self-moving, and self-directing entity. For his ...

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24K reads, 11 comments

Learning How To Think

William Deresiewicz

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 colleg...

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21K reads, 17 comments

Do You Remember Your Song?

Alan Cohen

When a woman in a certain African tribe knows she is pregnant, she goes out into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and meditate until they hear the song of the child. They recog...

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19K reads, 15 comments

When Someone Deeply Listens To You

John Fox

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 are...

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19K reads, 11 comments

Life May Itself Be A Koan

Rachel Naomi Remen

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 solve. T...

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19K reads, 26 comments

What Is Wealth?

Ryan Holiday

What is wealth? It’s having plenty, right? The variables in the equation are pretty simple. What you have, what you’ve got coming in, and what’s going out. If those are in proper pro...

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17K reads, 17 comments

Discipline Of Tao

D. T. Suzuki

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: 'What ...

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16K reads, 15 comments

A Higher Level Of Conscious Engagement

James O'dea

We live in an age of spiritual smorgasbord: People are mixing concepts, aphorisms, and insights from a broad variety of mystical and faith traditions. A blend of notions culled from many spiritual pat...

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16K reads, 8 comments

Meaning And The Song Of The Soul

Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee

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 sac...

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15K reads, 11 comments


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