LIVING FULLY IN THE WORLD
We, at The Awakening Network, think it is most important that everyone develop a strong practical orientation in their lives. They need to be thoroughly embedded in and with their families, friends, jobs, hobbies, communities - with all that is there. Our experience is that this, and a combining of a meditative practice and life-style, is the fastest way to Enlightenment and Full Realisation. As well as this, it can make life much more physically comfortable and rewarding. We call this aspect of Mastery "Practical Daily Living". And this kind of practical daily living is part of the path to Spiritual Awakening.
All of us have practical demands made on us, whatever our living arrangements and life-styles. To survive, we need to be able practically to live in the world. To survive well, we need to be able to manage the demands of life well, so that our survival needs are met at more than basic levels. Part of the basic approach taken by people connected with The Awakening Network is to acknowledge this and to learn to master all that is required to live well in the world. To become Fully Realised, we all need to develop the skill to live practically and take care of the day-to-day demands of life on us.
Our capacities to cope with these demands influence the outcome of the efforts we make to meet our needs and desires. Simply surviving requires that we have sufficient air, food, water and shelter, and our bodily processes of respiration, digestion, circulation, and elimination, all work well enough to keep us alive. Surviving with something to spare requires that our needs be met at more than minimum levels. What we have to do to achieve these results varies according to our circumstances.
Communities have characteristic patterns and expectations in how their members meet these needs. In many parts of the world, survival needs are met through cooperative linkages between people. We go to the shops to buy food, for example; we no longer need to go hunting for it, or cultivate it for ourselves. At the same time, so we can purchase what we need, we need to have the necessary money or other currencies in use. This usually means that we have to be able to work and to have a job, for that is the way most people acquire the money they need. So we need the skills and other requirements working demands, we also will need to be able to talk, at least minimally, and to be able to travel from one place to another in the communities in which we live.
WHAT THE NETWORK OFFERS
Within the Network, we respond directly to the importance of these practical life demands. We teach people how to handle many different aspects of life. We both help them meet their survival needs and help them secure the levels of comfort and affluence that are important to them. The range of material is great. It varies all the way from simple things, like bathing regularly, through to more complicated things, like how to live happily with other people. Naturally, for those who need to learn these things, the information and the abilities they develop are of very great help. People can change their lives to extraordinary degrees.
Access to this material is found in several places. You can attend workshops or courses. The descriptions of these are available through the "Training" button in the Main Menu. What is on at the moment and what is coming up in different parts of the world is available through the "Up Coming Events" button in the Main Menu. You can join the Training Program and will find how to do this through the "Training" button in the Main Menu. Finally, you can purchase recorded meditations, printed courses, books and other material through the Network's Public Shop. You will find the button for our Shops in the main menu.
Click here to go to the Public Shop now.
These practical dimensions and the changes people can make in relation to them, have a spiritual significance, too. People who are coping with life well, can respond routinely to most of life's challenges. Because they have mastered much that their day-to-day lives demand of them, they are in a much better position to develop the personal Mastery required for Enlightenment. It is not easy to become Fully Realised while struggling to live in the world. This is not to say that it is impossible, only that it is much more difficult.
PRACTICALITIES AND AWAKENING
Our experience in the Network is that people progress more easily and fully to their own Fulfilment, when they are managing easily the practicalities of their lives. Our experience is also that the "inner" Awakening process, that is part of our spiritual development, accompanies and is accompanied by developing the mastery of the practical, worldly things with which we deal each day. Progress in one, results in progress in the other and, without progress in one, it is not easy to have progress in the other. A person's practical capacities are important and we think of Masterhood including mastery of our life's tasks. People can become Master parents, Master librarians, Master clerks - Masters of whatever practices they use in their day-to-day lives. We see this as most important.
In particular, as we expand or awaken spiritually, our practical lives need to expand too. The flooding of life and grace needs to have somewhere to go. If our lives do not expand, then the energies of the awakening Life within us simply bank up behind the screen created by our bodies and our physically-based living. To expand as needed, we need to open our contacts with others, to cultivate harmony and oneness with them, to look for opportunities to serve with others and be involved in an expanding circle in our "external" lives. Fortunately, the expansion is natural, because our "inner" expansion automatically leads to activities that establish increasingly greater openness in and exchanges with all that surrounds us.
Accordingly, we encourage everyone to become Masters of whatever practices they need to live in the Enlightened field, and to practise Masterhood in everything they do.