Embodied Enlightenment

Living your awakening in every moment, by Amoda Maa (a summary by Pat Evert) 

My Story of Awakening 

When I was born, mom was immediately married off to a man from a very different culture than her own and was sent to England to start a new life. When my dad told me, at the age of 13, that he wasn’t my father, my whole world fell apart. I was subjected to emotional violence, sexual abuse, abrupt and frequent changes in schooling, the sudden onset of a war on the small island we had moved to, an emergency evacuation by the military back to England, and the loss of our home and all our possessions. This was accompanied by my father’s increasing alcoholism, my mother’s increasing unhappiness, and their escalating, violent arguments. All of these events and more contributed to a deep sense of shame and confusion. The denial of what I believed at the time were basic childhood rights in the Western world cut right to my core, and I came to the conclusion that I was flawed and deserved to be punished by never getting what I wanted. As an only child with no friends, I became isolated and introverted, and I retreated into a fantasy world that was my only solace. I had shut myself off from feeling, period. When I left home at seventeen to go to university, instead of feeling happy and free as I’d expected, I became depressed and socially inadequate. My frequent attempts at suicide led me to believe I’d end up in a mental asylum. I was sent to various psychotherapists and psychiatrists, but none of them could help me. The seeking mechanism drove me to work incredibly long hours, almost to the exclusion of anything else. I struggled for twelve years against many odds and then over a period of just a few months, unexpectedly and dramatically, the whole edifice of my life collapsed. Not only had I taken some LSD, but I also started long-distance running and meditation. At the age of twenty-eight, I found myself homeless and penniless. Not only had my academic career come to an abrupt end, but my long-term boyfriend had left me. My home was repossessed, I became financially bankrupt and without any income, and almost all my material possessions were taken from me. The next seven years were spent in deep inner exploration. A series of mystical and visionary experiences came without warning. What I was really looking for was happiness, and paradoxically it was this search that led me to the land of spirituality—India. By facing my deep fear of aloneness, I let go of some of my emotional baggage. I left India feeling reborn and with a new name, Amoda Maa Jeevan, which means “living a joyous life.” Back in England, there was a subtle seeking still going on that had to do with relationship. I still held a deep belief that I needed relationship to give me something I hadn’t yet found in myself. I needed another to make me feel complete, and to confirm my worthiness by giving me love. Unfortunately, the man I’d decided was my soul mate (and my husband) didn’t conform to my ideas of a perfect life, and so we raged, battled, and hurt each other, while passionately loving each other, for ten years. One day, seemingly out of the blue, our relationship exploded and there was no mending it. In the silent space of solitude, a deeper wound revealed itself: the profound existential fear that God had abandoned me. Suffering became my doorway to freedom. Somehow nothing sticks; pain and discomfort don’t last very long. It’s an ongoing demolition project in which everything that is not true is destroyed. 

An Invitation to the Most Precious Discovery 

It ends when we stop searching for something outside ourselves to save us. It ends when we stop looking for a spiritual practice or a guru or enlightenment or God to give us freedom. In this stopping, we wake up to the reality that we are that which we have been seeking. We are already free. something irrevocably new is being birthed from within you in this very moment. What’s important now is that awakening is no longer about abandoning or transcending physical reality in order to live a spiritual life; rather, it’s about the fulfillment of our divine destiny by living the truth of our inner radiance while in earthly bodies. You take a step toward your divine destiny by being willing to unwaveringly embrace the evolutionary process that wants your awakening to happen … because it is also the awakening of humanity. Awakening is always an act of grace and not something we can “do.” Awakening hinges on your genuine desire for it. If awakening is to flower in you, you must truly want liberation from everything that is false in you. You must want to give yourself totally to the inquiry into what is true beyond all inherited concepts, ideas, and beliefs. There’s an urgency to end the insanity, both within and without, and to find peace in our hearts and on earth at last. Words themselves are not the truth; they are simply servants of the truth, and I use them to point to the inexpressible, to that which is beyond words. Look beneath the form of the words to the essence of what is being spoken about. Awakening calls us to the edge of who we think we are and challenges all our habitual responses to life. Out of this yes, a new you will be born, a you that lives an authentically awakened life in which your actions are aligned with your true divine nature. Once the contractions have begun, there is no going back. It’s about being willing to open to the deepest truth of who you are, to live a radically awakened life … even if it means the end of “you” as who you think you are, and the end of “the world” as you believe it to be. Despite the unknown and unforeseen challenges, are you willing to say yes? 

Part One: A New Consciousness and A New World 

Evolutionary Darkness and the Birth of Light 

Only an internal change will get to the root of the problem. The problem lies deep within the human psyche, which has been hypnotized into viewing the world through the lens of separation. Authentic awakening says yes even to the darkness and has the compassion to meet what is truly here without denial or escapism or the attempt to fix it. This uncompromising acceptance is, in fact, your true nature. To rest here means that something obsolete will die and a radically new way of living will be born. 

It’s when the normal capacity to respond to everyday situations is interrupted by overwhelming emotions. The resultant purging of emotional baggage allows for a more conscious relationship to life. A new response is required, by saying yes to that which is dying and yes to that which is emerging. To be willing to be stripped bare of all that you think you have and all that you think you are, you discover that which can never be lost, that which is immovable and invulnerable to change. 

My body, my thoughts, my feelings – not only do we take ownership of these forms, but we also confuse them with who we are. They become a part of the “me.” This is how we get lost in our personal story. And it is this story that is the source of our sense of separation. The process of disidentification with our story and recognizing that there is a ground of being beneath and beyond all forms is the birth of awakening. Believing yourself to actually be the ego is a hindrance to awakening to the truth of who you are. In the context of liberation from suffering, the ego is nothing more than a conglomeration of habitual thought patterns and subsequent behavior patterns that revolve around the protection of a sense of “me” and “mine.” You don’t like what’s happening because it doesn’t conform to what you think should be happening. Without the attempt to resist, we could say, that the ego would die, but what really dies is the investment in ego. In its place would be an awakened presence that cuts through all stories to an unbounded acceptance. I’m right, you’re wrong is the ego’s mantra, and adherence to this mantra is the cause of both personal and global suffering. The ego abhors change of any kind. Real salvation lies in saving yourself from the tyranny of your own thinking, and this requires rising above ego’s strategies. 

We do not see the world as it is, but as we believe it to be. When we first come into this world we see things as they really are. For a vast majority of people, the story revolves around a sense of being a victim: a belief that someone or something is to blame for your suffering. Anything that can be clutched by the ego is destined to die, all thoughts, feelings, and sensations are temporary. Awakening is the discovery of that which is still here and unchanging even when thoughts and feelings change. It is clearly not the world itself that is an illusion, but rather, it is the story you impose upon the world that is not real. 

The Feminine Face of Awakening 

Awakeness itself is genderless. The upholding of many gender-based behaviors becomes obsolete. This does not mean you become sexless, neutral, or bland. On the contrary, you become more whole and balanced. In humanity, the masculine and feminine have become tainted by egoic identification. This leads to the battle of the sexes. The new spiritual frequency arising today is available to both women and men as a psychological birthing that is happening on a personal and planetary level. We are giving birth to a new consciousness. Each one of us is called to embody an inner steadfastness in the face of the unknown, unconditional acceptance of the movement of life

The miracle of giving birth to something new, the willingness to say yes. A pregnant woman does not have to do anything in order to give birth. This is opposite of the way the ego functions which leads us to subjugate our own intuitive knowing to a voice in our heads. The feminine way is naturally attuned to the way of equality and collaboration. A woman holds the wisdom of interconnectedness. As the new feminine frequency emerges into the consciousness of humanity and expresses itself through individuals, society, and culture, there’s a shift from being blindly willful to being willing to collaborate. 

Historically, enlightenment has been a male arena. Women have had little say in the realm of spirituality up until this point in time. Feminine leadership flows from the unconditional heart. It carries an innate purity that cuts through dogma. Today’s female spiritual teachers aren’t interested in an intellectual debate that upholds an enlightened perspective. 

Part Two: Fully Awake and Fully Human 

The Shedding of Egoic Identification 

It is this addiction that drives most of humanity’s behavior. Shedding it is the discovery of who you really are, and the start of a whole new relationship to life. It’s a tipping point that surfaces in our innermost being when suffering becomes simply too much to bear. You tell yourself you’re not strong enough, you’re not lovable enough, you’re not worthy enough. The universal dimension is the “original sin” of forgetfulness. Forgetting our true nature as inseparable from life and God. It’s the core wound of separation created when consciousness gets lost in the identification with form. The reality is that by sitting inside the brokenness of your personal story and surrendering to the futility of searching for a pain-free life, you can discover the shimmering radiance that remains unbroken and unblemished in it all. When suffering or pain is fully met in the open space of unconditional acceptance, you are offered the possibility of discovering who you are beneath it. It ends the story of wounding once and for all, and heals the “original sin” of forgetfulness.  

At some point, the willingness to stop running away from what hurts and to face whatever is appearing in life becomes of the utmost priority. Truth doesn’t destroy. It does something far more powerful: it transmutes. They are given the opportunity to return to their original state as love—innocent and free. By acknowledging that your mind does not actually know the truth of who you are, who you are can be revealed. Who you really are has no definition: it is an indescribable, unspeakable depth of being. It’s a free fall into the abyss of being that literally stops the mind. 

But enlightenment doesn’t look the way we think it does—or the way we want it to. Jesus had to meet his demons in the desert before he could abide permanently in the light of true spiritual awakening. Awakening is not about self-improvement; it’s about the intelligent investigation of hidden inner dynamics that may otherwise remain inaccessible. The willingness to meet all that continues to reveal itself with tenderness is what matters. 

The stark reality is that awakening is not a death of the ego. As long as you’re alive as form, the ego cannot die. Ego, as a primary sense of “I-ness,” must exist, otherwise you’d be unable to discern inside from outside. A sense of self as a separate entity is absolutely necessary for both physical and psychological survival as form. The self experiences itself as inseparable from the totality of existence. The ego stops being the master and bows down to awakeness. Awakeness embraces the paradox of self and no-self. 

Deepening Into Being 

Become aware of what is still unconscious in you. Meditation dissolves identification with thinking. True meditation is waking up out of the nightmare of thought-generated reality and entering the kingdom of heaven. If you are always willing to devote yourself to this moment, you will discover the peace that is always here.

Living the truth of awakening can be summed up as the full recognition and acceptance of the fact that this moment is totally here and devoted to you whether you like this moment or not

Beyond Awakening, Embracing the World

The fear of loss is at the root of Buddha’s declaration that “life is suffering.” Naked suffering is an unadulterated meeting with the raw reality of life. There is no sense of self in this, just an honest and wholehearted present-moment experience. The story of suffering is the manipulation of reality to conform with a preconceived idea of who you think you are. 

There’s still a subtle refusal to let go of the victim story. To open wider than the suffering is to be willing for the victim to die. A story that says, “This shouldn’t be happening.” It begins with taking responsibility for your inner experience rather than continuing to avoid the pain by throwing it outward through blame and retaliation. An open heart allows the forgiveness of others. This love loves everything. This love loves this moment exactly as it is. it is all an experience of the one beingness that is at the core of everything. Love is unafraid to go there

Your Role In the Birth of a New Humanity 

Manifest reality, the outer visible world, is a never-ending expression of consciousness. Another way of saying it is: earth is a reflection of heaven. As our minds developed in complexity, so did our capacity to create ever more wondrous and ever more horrendous forms. It is only love that can erase the hate, and only peace that can stop the war. Salvation comes when you see the love and the peace that are already here beyond and beneath form. It’s not a denial of the relative reality of form, but rather it is a deeper seeing. Only the God in you can see God in everything. You’re either transmitting oneness or separation. You can’t help it; your state of consciousness sends out a signal whether or not you are aware of it. Mother Teresa said, “It’s not hard, because in each one of them I see Jesus in one of his more distressing disguises.”

As long as you deny any movement of energy within yourself that you deem wrong, bad, or unacceptable, such as rage, despair, or lust, you deny the movement of life: this is not oneness. The world cannot right itself unless you right yourself. This is why you are so important: not you as the separate self, but you as the awakened consciousness that dissolves all separation. Anything you have banished into the shadows will come running toward you to be fully met within the light of awakened awareness and welcomed into the radiant openness of your true nature. You choose to meet suffering consciously, and then choose to open wider than this suffering. A love that is uncompromising in its inclusion of the totality of life. This love is in the heart of you, every saint and sinner, and in every speck of gold dust and piece of dirt. It will dig out everything that remains unloved in you and reflect this back to you through the mirror of relationship. 

Part Three: Living the Truth Of Awakening In Everyday Life 

Looking For Wholeness Through Another

“I’ve realized the absolute truth of oneness, so why do I still feel so alone and disconnected from my husband/my wife/my friends/my family?” Every relationship demands a radical self-exposure, seeing yourself as you really are in the mirror of relationship – every buried feeling of rejection, doubt, frustration, and sadness, every unexpressed longing for intimacy and fulfillment, and every previously unexamined belief that attempts to cover up the black hole of aloneness. Are you willing to stop looking for wholeness through another and instead discover what is already whole, here and now? 

The idea of a special relationship, the search for fulfillment through relationship is an utter misdirection of attention. Could it be that the enduring and alluring myth of special relationship, is precisely what stands in the way of true fulfillment? This cyclical system hijacks the deeper spiritual longing for the remembrance of wholeness. Even though the search for the special relationship seems so real and your whole life seems to depend on it, it actually takes you farther away from real completeness. Awakening is not the end of relationship, but it is the end of the dream of relationship.

If what you really want is real love, not the dream (or the drama) of falling in love (and falling out of love), then not only does the fallacy of the seeking mechanism need to be exposed, but so does a more deeply rooted error: the belief that you exist as a separate entity. As soon as that something stops giving you what you want, or it is taken away from you, you feel rejected, abandoned, deprived, punished, empty, alone, unfulfilled, and incomplete. There are always two people in relationship with two different stories of love, and so there’s a mutual power struggle. It is impossible to be at peace if your emotional well-being is dependent on someone else. Love is your essential nature: it is in you, and it really has nothing to do with anyone or anything else. When you stop loving another in order to feel loved and instead simply open to love as love—then you are free from the bondage of looking for love

Here is the key to transformation, because in the agony and tragedy of loss, the heart is invited to break. The other path invites us to dive beneath the waves and surrender to the shoreless ocean, where the depth of suffering becomes a doorway to the discovery of that which cannot ever be lost or gained. “Can your purpose or your life actually be lost? Can love actually be lost? Who are you really, without these things? While sitting inside the raw experience of heartbreak— you will recognize that this obliteration of the separate self is what you long for — liberation. To the ego, the end of something is a calamity. But if your devotion is to waking up out of the dream of ego, the end of something is a great blessing. As long as you believe yourself to be a victim of circumstance, the mental and emotional contractions are too tightly packed to allow the light of truth to penetrate your heart. Are you willing, in this moment, to welcome grief as a purifying force? So that you can discover what is truly indestructible? Are you ready to discover what remains when everything false in you dies? When you completely open to grief, without the story of victimhood, the grief passes through you much more quickly. In order to go beyond loneliness, you must go through it. It feels like the real you will die, and the horror of this imagined possibility must be faced. Deeply relax, in doing so you fall in love with yourself

It is the experience of all-one-ness, which is another way of saying aloneness. We are each born absolutely alone, and we each die absolutely alone. The fictitious “self” as a separate entity dies and the real self is realized as love. While the dream of finding wholeness through another now finally comes to an end, the emanation of love through you and as you is unstoppable

Love and Enlightened Relationship 

Every time you deeply accept or open to what is here, you set the world alight because you are radiant with an inner oneness. We either implement the age-old strategy of defense and attack, or we rise into a new way of being by recognizing that we are all intimately connected and that each of us is an expression of one beingness. Allow relationship to be your spiritual practice, to serve its true purpose of transforming the world

Trigger points are not a sign that something is terribly wrong, but a sign of love’s intelligence calling everything back home to itself. It’s a return to healing and wholeness. What matters now is your willingness to open to the raw energy that is here. Just stop right here and be wholehearted, and loving with what is. The root of judgment lies in your lack of acceptance of all that is unenlightened in you.

The attempt to mend, or even spiritualize relationship, when rooted in need, has no possibility of real transformation. “Need” is the same as saying “codependency.” I invite you to consider that as long as there is even a whisper of need, there is an inevitable fear of loss and an accompanying strategy to prevent this loss. Do you need your spiritual teacher to be kind to you, to be gentle, to always listen, to never show disapproval or irritation with you, to treat you as “special”? The deeper we go into the tender truth of our heart, the closer we get to the core wound of separation. The true gift of relationship is its capacity to correct the erroneous belief that you need anyone or anything to fulfill you. Intimacy means you stand together at the edge of the unknown, willing to explore and delve into the difficult feelings and moments even though it is incredibly scary and it hurts. Here, at this unendingly new edge, there is no manipulation, exploitation, or coercion.

It’s also about being willing to listen to the truth without protecting yourself, rejecting the other, blaming, judging, or defending. Whether you like what you are experiencing or not, there is only the deepest acceptance. When your true self is realized and embodied as love, the need to find wholeness through another totally falls away.

When each individual has totally fallen in love with aloneness and fully embodies their own wholeness, it’s no longer about mutual satisfaction, pleasure, comfort, or security, nor about feeling loved and wanted. Without dependency, there is no longer an attempt to change or please the other. It means you are not dependent on anything outside of you to give you love or to make you feel loved

The purpose of sex (beyond reproduction) is to heal the division between masculine and feminine. It’s what happens at the point of orgasm when, for a moment, the separate self dissolves and you experience a glimpse of freedom, a sense of harmony. But there’s a whole new dimension of love that becomes available when the dynamic of sexual polarity no longer is the primary engine of relationship. When presence is your natural state and oneness is realized as your true nature, it is very likely that there’s nothing more to gain by seeking oneness through sex. You simply grow out of it. What remains is a great tenderness that neither refuses physical intimacy nor involves sexual tension or compulsion. There is no personal investment, agenda, or ownership, just an honest response to the way life wants to move through you as you. 

The Body as A Gateway To Liberation 

Are you willing to examine the fear what has been locked into your body for a lifetime?Liberation from the suffering of pain and loss comes not by escaping the body, but by being fully present in the body. It’s the willingness to turn within, that allows the body to become a gateway to liberation and the source of true wholeness. The invitation is for you to stop labeling, to profoundly relax into the core of what is present here and now

The continuous movement—from perceived lack to perceived fulfillment, supports the repetitive behavior we call addiction. Addiction is the forgetting of your true nature as wholeness, and the misguided attempt to return to it by looking for wholeness in something outside of yourself. The solution is the clear-seeing, when you stop running away from agonizing discomfort and instead choose to stay present with it, and when you feel the horror of your sense of lack and sit inside it without trying to change it. After all the support has been taken and all the unraveling has been done, it is only presence that can dissolve addiction. This is an authentic awakening to your true nature, a falling away of all desires that arise out of a sense of lack. 

If you are willing to fully feel, the heart breaks open wider than the pain, into an acceptance of what is. Perhaps you can now see how suffering is simply the doorway to surrender. What really matters is the possibility of resting within the truth of who you really are. It is absolutely perfect, because in conscious surrender to death, it is the soul that is healed and not the physical shell. The willingness to die in every moment allows you to live lightly on the earth. Living lightly has an immense impact on personal and global peace. Your responsibility is to know the truth of who you are, as consciousness, and to live this truth in every cell of your being. Your awakening out of the dream of separation is the end of warfare. It’s the end of overreactivity. 

Work, Money, and Living Your True Purpose 

Surrender is confused with being passive, not doing anything. Make decisions and take action (or nonaction) from a gut feeling. You can tell if your doing arises out of being, because there is peace in the yes and peace in the no. Feeling impatient, frustrated, or anxious is an indicator that you have slipped back into a self-centered or egoic mode of function. While this may occasionally happen, eventually you will learn to surf on the edge of surrender until every ounce of you finally stops trying to manifest what you want. 

When you feel frustration, irritation, resentment, don’t recoil, stay in tender openness. The power of acceptance is likely to transform even the most mundane, or seemingly unspiritual of jobs. 

Feeling abundant gives us a sense of contentment, safety, and goodness—a sense of fullness. Wanting means lack. It means you are asking life to give you something to make you feel complete. Unless the core belief in lack is exposed as a false construct, no matter how much you accumulate it will be empty of true abundance. The attempt to have something in order to feel abundant is a byproduct of the unilluminated mind, a lack of self-worth, feeling not good enough. The ping-pong of feeling worthy and feeling unworthy is prolonged. It’s a perpetuation of the seeking mechanism, and there is no fulfillment in this. What would happen if I lost everything? Do you feel worthless? Allow yourself to taste the flavor of worthlessness, to touch the texture of failure. You may see that abundance doesn’t come from what you have; it is what you are. You do not need to feel abundant, because abundance is here as the fullness of this moment. In discovering your true nature as abundance, it does not matter what material things you have or don’t have or whether you have everything you want or none of it at all.

Are you willing, whether your experience is tranquil, turbulent, ecstatic, or tragic, to give yourself wholeheartedly to what is truly alive in you? To be so intimate with this earthly experience that you find the sacred in the mundane and the beauty in the horror and the glory in the brokenness? Whether you live a life of fortune, fame, or failure, the invitation is for you to live fully and to die empty: to be fully here as “you” in the movie called “your life.” 

A Final Invitation

What does it mean to live a fully human yet fully awakened life? It means the willingness to stop your journey of seeking, right here, in this moment. That which is already awake in you (awakeness itself) seeks you as much as you seek awakeness. You as the “I” you think you are doesn’t matter one iota. But you as the awakeness revealed through form absolutely matters! If you are finally willing to say an unequivocal yes to this invitation to awaken, a new consciousness and a new humanity is born in this very moment—even now, as you read these words.