The Awakening Network was started in 1984 by Ken and Elizabeth Mellor. They were interested in establishing a network of people to serve as a focal point for people of like interests. The Awakening Network is a non-profit educational and spiritually oriented organisation. As an incorporated association, it has members and no individual can benefit personally from the funds the organisation accrues,except as a reasonable reward for goods provided or services rendered.
Its members come from many different backgrounds, are involved in a wide variety of occupations and have a large number of religious and non-religious affiliations. Those members form an international network of people with overlapping interests in various aspects of personal development, spiritual unfolding and service to others.
The Awakening Network members live in many different countries. Those in which most activity takes place include Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Members live in at least six other countries. In addition to its members, there are several thousand people actively involved in the network who are not formal members of the Network. Membership is not a requirement for involvement, although membership is necessary, if you want to take advantage of some opportunities available through the Network. Click on the "Membership" button if you want to find out about this.
The organisational centre of the Network's activities is located in Australia, in a rural area a little over an hour from Melbourne. This is in the south-eastern corner of the continent. .
Part of the primary purpose of the Network is to link people who are interested in living in ways that enable them to experience directly states described variously as Full Realisation, Enlightenment, Spiritual Completion, Ultimate Awakening. As well as linking them, the Network's primary purpose includes creating opportunities for all interested people to learn what is necessary to realise these states and to experience the fullness and beauty of the life that goes naturally with them. Included in this is the goal of making available as widely as possible effective, useable techniques for promoting these states of consciousness and living.
The methods and life-styles of those who had already mastered the practices and realised these states are seen a both potentially helpful and important. Available through sacred texts and other writings, some information be used directly as it was originally taught or demonstrated. With some, however, modification or adaptation is necessary to ensure that the wisdom and guidance available from these people is most easily understood and utilised by present generations of people living in the world of today. Another of the Network's purposes is the evolution and adaptation of what is available from other times, so it is useable and relevant to the modern world.
Of special interest in the Network is the promotion and development of effective helping, healing and teaching techniques so that people can benefit as fully as possible from the available wisdom of the ages. A significant part of this is the goal of distributing information as widely as possible to as many people as may find it helpful in their lives, whether they are using it directly or are using it with others. Network personnel also concentrate much time and energy on developing effective ways of living and dealing with the challenges of any aspect of life.
The Network's other major purpose is to provide an organisation flexible enough, both to achieve these purposes and to continue to modify its purposes and the organisation itself, so its purposes continue to be pursued with maximum effect. As changes occur - in people, information,technology, situations - this purpose means that the Network can adapt and change in whatever way is necessary to continue as a relevant and effective organisation.
Several special orientations or approaches thread through everything in which people in the Network engage. These give a distinctive character to the Network's programs and teaching materials. They are set out briefly in what follows.
First, spiritual development is available to everyone. It is not the preserve of the few who are"ready" for it in some way. All human beings have in them the potential for Enlightenment or Full Awakening. Along with this is the understanding that whatever "the spiritual" is in our lives, it is in everything, through everything and a fundamental aspect of the being of everything. People tend to refer to things spiritual - spiritual dimensions, spiritual development, spiritual practices -only because they experience separation from these dimensions. They know there is more to life than they observe, although that knowing is through the sense of separation from it, the sense that it is not fully available. Once connected or reconnected, the experience tends to change substantially. The word "spiritual" becomes irrelevant, because we know from experience that"the spiritual" is ever present.
Second, it is very important to keep a balance in life. To do this, we need to take the time to meditate, or in some other way to cultivate our connection to Life, and we need to stay very much involved in the worldly lives we are living. Over emphasising either can create great problems. If we become too involved in meditation or other spiritual practices that take our attention away from daily life, then we can neglect to do what is necessary to secure our livelihoods, to relate well to other people, to fulfil our responsibilities to our families and other people, or to stay balanced and sensible in our worldly lives. Over emphasising worldly activity can create problems too. We need to stop regularly. We need practices that enable us to contemplate being, to stop,to connect to Life and to recharge, rejuvenate, to rest. Without this time, people seem to become increasingly less alive, increasingly less healthy and happy, and increasingly more cut off from what nourishes them. Thinking of yourself as a plant, you need to take the time to nourish the plant that you are.
Third, service with and for other people is most important. It is a natural part of the Awakening process and necessary for the continuing unfolding of consciousness. As people evolve, they increasingly channel into the world intense vital force - Life energy. The increasing intensity of this flow is significantly related to the experience of Awakening that they have. As we expand"internally", we need to expand our contacts with the world, so the greater intensity available to us can flow into our lives. If our lives are too confined in some way, then this flow is inhibited and we will not generally find that the "inner" expansion yields much change in consciousness. For the flow to continue and consolidate, people need to ground it into the physical world around them. They do this through social involvement with others and through doing physical things with the physical things in the world. Service of all sorts is an ideal way of promoting the external expansion in our lives that the internal expansion requires if we are to promote the flowing of vital force.
Fourth, the programs and techniques taught by Network personnel emphasise practical approaches. They are usually simple, useable and designed to fit in easily with modern life-styles. Many of the approaches, while initially developed to promote Awakening, have ready applications in the lives of people for whom "spiritual purposes" are not currently important. What works practically to help people live more fully, works for all who want this, not just those who want it for "spiritual reasons".
Fifth, the people towards whom the Network's services are geared primarily are today's world, to people living in the new millennium. The way things are presented, the practices themselves, and the suggestions about both how to learn them and how to continue using them, are all aligned as much as possible to people such as these. This makes Network programs both appealing and quickly helpful to many everyday people living busy lives.
Sixth, at the same time, everyone is welcome to the Network's programs. Participation is encouraged by as many people from as many different backgrounds as possible. The more variety in the backgrounds of the people involved in the network, the richer the experience is for everyone.
Seventh, everything taught is offered in the spirit of mutual enquiry. Everyone is encouraged to test every assertion, to try out every technique, to take nothing for granted or on faith. Everyone is seen as being primarily responsible for their own lives. Part of this is the understanding that each of us needs to try out what is offered by anyone or any organisation - and not take it on faith, as if it is automatically true. Once we have tested things for ourselves, we will know from our own experience whether or not it has something to offer us in our lives. Accompanying this emphasis on personal responsibility is a concern and caring for everyone involved. Care is taken to ensure as much as possible that people are respected, supported and encouraged as they live through the events of their Awakening.
Eighth, everything offered is offered "without strings". You are encouraged to use any aspect of what the Network makes available. In doing so, you are making no commitment to ongoing involvement, nor are there any hidden agendas. People are free to come and go, to use or not use what is available, without pressure being applied one way or another. Ongoing contact with others in the network is seen as arising best from people experiencing the value of what they are learning and doing freely with each other, not from commitments that bind them beyond the immediacy of what they are doing.
Ninth, most of the work done in the network is done voluntarily. This is fundamental to the service aspect of the Network's work. The organisation exists to support and make possible programs that would otherwise not be possible. It is run in a businesslike manner, but it is not a business. It relies on hundreds of people in the various areas in which it is active, people who donate time, energy, money, services and involvement. The money accrued from various sources goes straight back into making the programs possible. Under its charter, no individual can benefit financially from the Network's finances, unless he or she has performed some service for which it is appropriate for the Network to pay.
All the Network's services are available whether people donate money and other resources or not and, of course, money is needed to keep the organisation functioning. So, if you are interested in helping by donating time or other resources, we would be delighted to have contact with you. (See below for contact details.) Monetary donations can be made by mail, email, fax, telephone or in person. Any amount is welcome. Donations can be made singly or on a regular basis. You can also make donations through the Shop in this Website. When in the Shop, click on "DONATIONS" to see the various easily used options available.
Everyone is welcome to join in the Network's activities. Membership is only a prerequisite of some of them, such as the Training Program. So if you are at all interested in any aspect of the programs, we would be delighted for you to make contact through emailing the Network or in other ways.