What if Your Awakening is Not Just for You?

Have you noticed there’s a not-so-subtle narcissistic weather pattern that prevails in today’s awakening and non-duality climate? It’s a kind of low pressure system of “how can waking up make MY life better” and unfortunately a whole lot of contemporary teachers—me included—have at times accidentally or even purposefully catered to that self-serving impulse.

I’ve watched people in satsangs with teachers like Ganga-ji and Adyashanti repeatedly ask the same question dressed in the clothing of different details. The ever-present questions of “How can I wake up, get enlightened, get the to the next level of my journey, get my samadhi deeper and my bliss higher” all have one underlying commonality.

It’s all about what you can GET and nothing about what you are here to GIVE.

It’s laughable, really, the small self and its misguided ambition to wake up in order to get an upgrade to a better quality of life. Because the circumstances of your life don’t necessarily change post awakening. Rather, it’s the perception of who you are that dramatically shifts, and with it, the perception of everything else—from how you see your mate and children to how you view the coffee mug in your hand.

Suddenly, you are all these. And you are nothing. And wonderment, spontaneity, flow and acceptance become your favorite flavors of reality. But that does NOT guarantee that the surface details look like your affirmations, vision board, hopes and dreams.

And it does not mean your life is without feelings. To the contrary. Unless you are stuck in a detached witness stage (which is a transition, not a destination), you are inclined to feel your feelings with more depth and sparkling clarity than ever before, including the so-called negative emotions of sadness, grief and anger. The difference is these feelings do not belong to “me” but instead move fluidly through me, as does everything else….

You see, in awakened reality there is a natural state of effortless surrender but this surrender is one in which personal agency also resides. Think of it as a graceful pairs dance in which your individual genius is being danced in the arms of the infinite.

And in this dance, you are not thinking about “getting my better and less troubled life.” Rather you are asking “how can I serve?” Or as I wrote early on in my own awakening, “What is this form for?”

I’ll leave you with a short four minute video I filmed yesterday after at day at the Science and Non-Duality Conference in San Jose California. This article and video were sparked by questions raised by speaker Craig Holliday, juicy questions like: “What if you asked God to help you? What if your enlightenment is not just for you? What if you entered into a less selfish and more generous spiritual quest?”

Oh, featured angel image by Jon Hamm. 



7 thoughts on “What if Your Awakening is Not Just for You?

  1. M.

    Love your posts…like your point of view a lot.

    I think that’s what waking up is about….you realize it’s really NOT about “Me” anymore….

    ..instead we end up eavesdropping on the whole of creation. after that “me” doesn’t seem so exciting anymore !


  2. craig holliday

    Thanks again Lori for sharing this much needed message.
    True Awakening is a movement of love and selflessness. It is an ultimate act of continual surrender.
    And when we truly wake up, we realize we are not free for our own sake and enjoyment, but that we have surrendered ourselves into being God’s eternal slave. We are a slave to Truth, to Love, to Service, to Grace.
    True Awakening is not about the personal me. It is a movement of a greater Divinity in us as Us.
    Thank you again,
    with love,


  3. Heather

    I absolutely love your open and childlike energy Lori!!! Thank you for being such a bright light & for sharing your wonder filled outlook on things…may magic and mystery continue to unfold for all!!!


  4. Pingback: Me or We? – Davidya.ca

  5. Song Traveler

    But you have to admit life is better when waiting at the bus stop for an overdue bus you can almost always let yourself be enraptured with the sparrows flitting about a beautiful old oak tree and the town banners gently flapping in the breeze and the people walking by with every manner of human expression. And all the while you give little concern for your life and what you should or shouldn’t be doing. All the concern was all pointless before anyway. And yet still you do what you need to do as you did before. Out of that alone will come “less selfish” responses to the world around you. Or at least you will be one being with less suffering. You can have your cake and eat it too.


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