Awakening is Contagious
Nov 26, 2013 01:34PM
● By Alana McGuire
People everywhere are talking about awakening and oneness. They may not be talking about exactly the same thing. But like any idea whose time has come, it appears to be contagious.
After announcing her candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives, famed author and teacher Marianne Williamson wrote: “We need a sustained movement in the direction of a fundamental awakening—in politics as well as in everything else.”
In October, many leading spiritual teachers came together online to celebrate Global Oneness Day. Keynote speaker, Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith, Agape minister in the movie The Secret, said, “Lasting peace requires that we awaken humanity to our underlying oneness.”
In a September interview in America, Pope Francis said, “We must walk together with our differences. There is no other way to become one.”
But what exactly is awakening into oneness?
The answers vary. Oneness University founder, Sri Bhagavan, says, “If there are seven billion people on the planet, there will be seven billion different kinds of awakening.”
In his bestseller A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle writes that most ancient religions and spiritual teachings speak of a radical transformation of human consciousness. “In Hindu teachings this transformation is called enlightenment. In the teachings of Jesus, it is salvation, and in Buddhism, it is the end of suffering. Liberation and awakening are other terms.
Santa Barbara psychologist, author and spiritual teacher, Stuart Mooney, conducted one of the landmark clinical studies on meditation and its effects on the brain. In his book American Buddha, he writes, “Awakening is being awake to the sum total of all your experiences in a given moment.”
Bhagavan distinguishes between awakening and enlightenment. He defines awakening as a neurobiological change in the brain resulting in the ability to effortlessly experience the present moment without mental commentary. When this ability eventually becomes natural 24 hours a day, Bhagavan calls it enlightenment.
What does awakening feel like?
Oceanside author of Awakened Leadership, Alan Shelton, writes of his experience, “In an instant, the world turned itself on its head…I could clearly see that the moment itself was bigger than I was; my attempts to control it had always been futile.”
Brenda Pareja is a mother, businesswoman, and Oneness Meditator from Orange County. She says, “After awakening there is such a love present. Everyone wants to be loved and after awakening you are love.”
How does awakening happen to people?
Most stories of awakening involve years of spiritual study followed by “a moment of grace” in which the spiritual teachings are suddenly realized in actual experience. But for some, awakening appears to be a “spontaneous” event. Shelton writes that his moment of awakening occurred while he was driving on the 405 freeway to a business meeting in LA.
There are many prescriptions for awakening. Tolle recommends becoming aware of the sensation of the “inner body”. Many recommend “witnessing” the stream of thoughts. But there seems to be universal agreement that effort can only get you so far. At some point, grace has to kick in.
Mooney writes that the “universal technique for awakening is the Oneness Blessing. Oneness Blessing provides the missing component, Divine Grace. When there is enough Grace, you awaken.”
Oneness University monk, Doug Bentley says, “The Oneness phenomenon will simply flow through each person, starting an irreversible chain reaction. That person will turn around and help the next person.” Contagious!
Alana McGuire is a writer/composer living in Southern California. She writes about the spiritual side of life as seen from an ordinary person’s point of view. Contact: [email protected].