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 (May 20, 2024)

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Effort Does Not Change The Person

Anthony De Mello

Effort may change the behavior but it does not change the person. Just think what kind of a mentality it betrays when you ask, 'What must I do to get holiness?' Isn't it like asking, How m...

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16K reads, 19 comments

Limitation Becomes Space

Eckhart Tolle

Allowing this moment to be as it is, just this moment, no more. Just this moment. Suddenly there’s an inner space around it which frees you from the limitation of the form. The greatest im...

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15K reads, 9 comments

An Awe Walk

Dacher Keltner

What gives you a sense of awe? That word, awe—the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your understanding of the world—is often associated with the ...

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13K reads, 16 comments

May Your Cup Always Overflow

John Paul Moore

I've never made a fortune, And I'll never make one now But it really doesn't matter 'Cause I'm happy anyhow. As I go along my journey I'm reaping better than I've so...

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11K reads, 15 comments

Starlings In Winter

Mary Oliver

Chunky and noisy, but with stars in their black feathers, they spring from the telephone wire and instantly they are acrobats in the freezing wind. And now, in the theater of air, they swing ...

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10K reads, 15 comments

Sympathy, Empathy And Compassion

Jay Litvin

Pity, sympathy, empathy, compassion. Each is received at various times by one in distress. They are the responses engendered by our misfortunes from those we encounter. And each feels different when r...

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10K reads, 15 comments

Three Mystical Powers

Fred LaMotte

I have attained three supreme mystical powers. I am going to teach them to you, if you are ready. These siddhis overcome all obstacles, stun all enemies, and open all the portals to the Infinite. N...

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9K reads, 16 comments

The Empty Boat

Chuang Tzu

He who rules men lives in confusion; He who is ruled by men lives in sorrow. Tao therefore desired Neither to influence others Nor to be influenced by them. The way to get clear of confusion And...

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9K reads, 18 comments

The Difference Between Knowledge And Understanding

Aldous Huxley

Knowledge is acquired when we succeed in fitting a new experience into the system of concepts based upon our old experiences. Understanding comes when we liberate ourselves from the old and so make po...

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9K reads, 8 comments

Voluntary Simplicity

Jon Kabat-Zinn

The impulse frequently arises in me to squeeze another this or another that into this moment.  Just this phone call, just stopping off here on my way there.  Never mind that it might be in t...

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8K reads, 8 comments

Mistaking The World We’ve Made For The Real World

George Saunders

The instant we wake the story begins: “Here I am. In my bed. Hard worker, good dad, decent husband, a guy who always tries his best. Jeez, my back hurts. Probably from the stupid gym.” ...

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7K reads, 8 comments



A good turn done is a heaven-born gift you cherish Ask 'Will (they) repay it?' and it'll perish A helpful act howsoever slight When timely, acquires true height To help without think...

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7K reads, 12 comments

When My Father Faced An Emergency

Nora Bateson

Someone asked me once if I had ever seen my father in an emergency situation, and if I might describe how he dealt with it. At the time I replied that I had never witnessed him in any danger, or in an...

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7K reads, 10 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