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 30, 2023)

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Lessons On My 70th Birthday

Kevin Kelly

Today is my birthday. I turn 70. I’ve learned a few things so far that might be helpful to others. For the past few years, I’ve jotted down bits of unsolicited advice each year and much to...

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29K reads, 23 comments

Fishing Before You Know How To Fish

Courtney Martin

Through the pines and the one maple I hear her. I shouldn’t have gone fishing if I didn’t know how to fish. I shouldn’t have gone fishing if I didn’t know how to fish. ...

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17K reads, 16 comments

Wonder Increases As Speed Decreases

David Haskell

Indulge me for a moment: let’s do a short thought experiment. We’ll compare two different mornings. On one, you’ll fly coast-to-coast, a five hour journey. Imagine yourself in the hi...

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14K reads, 16 comments

Three States Of Water

Natureza Gabriel Kram

Imagine that you’ve never been to Earth. You visit first in winter, where someone introduces you to water. From a glass, they pour it out over your hand. You drink. Remarkable. Imagine that y...

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11K reads, 15 comments

On Love

Justin Faerman

I see so many people talking about the world's problems but so few talking about the solution to them: Love. It really is that simple despite how complicated we often try to make it. Pretty ...

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8K reads, 20 comments

Slavery To The Senses

Swami Vivekananda

We are all slaves to our senses, slaves to our own minds, conscious and subconscious. The reason why a criminal is a criminal is not because he desires to be one, but because he has not his mind under...

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8K reads, 19 comments

Why I Stopped Fighting

Indigo Ocean

When I was a teenage girl, I had a fight with an older boy who had at least fifty pounds on me. It was a pre-announced fight, so many other students had gathered around to watch. I recall having the u...

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8K reads, 9 comments

The Opponent Relationship Is Not A Contest

Shannon Lee

What is combat, after all, but an intense relationship? Your opponent attempts to block and counter every strike you throw as well as land strikes of his own, which he will do in direct response to th...

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8K reads, 15 comments

A Flower's Job Is To Bloom

Srikumar Rao

A powerful moment in My Fair Lady is when Henry Higgins's mother commiserates with a sobbing Eliza Dolittle. Eliza is distraught because Higgins did not congratulate her after an exemplary perform...

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7K reads, 20 comments

Faith Is Different Than Beliefs

Reb Zalman

Where there is faith, there are fewer beliefs. We use beliefs to shore up opinions, rather than a relationship with the cosmos. Faith is what we call the relationship with the cosmos. It's differe...

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7K reads, 21 comments

Mental Immunity

Dalai Lama

Everyone knows that physical pain is bad and tries to avoid it. We do this not only by curing diseases, but also by trying to prevent them and by trying to keep our physical immunity strong. Mental pa...

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7K reads, 15 comments

Reality Of Actual Contact With Oneself

Judith Blackstone

The reality of actual contact with oneself is, at the same time, actual contact with our environment. It is a very interesting aspect of our nature that to heal the split between body and mi...

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6K reads, 12 comments

Error Of Perception

Ramana Maharshi

Q: Are names and forms real? Ramana Maharshi: You won’t find them separate from [reality]. When you try to get at name and form, you will find reality only. Therefore attain the kno...

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6K reads, 15 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