Dear Wise Women,
Today we explored the concept of Awakened Doing, as explained by Eckhart Tolle. By far, the ability to find peace and presence in my everyday living has been the most significant aspect of my spiritual path. It has taken many years of practice and dedication, and I certainly don’t have it mastered, but I can honestly say that my experience of daily life is now infused with enjoyment and peaceful acceptance. As referenced in the image above, I used to spend the majority of my waking hours running towards or away from something instead of just being right where I am.
I hope that these short excerpts from Eckhart Tolle’s book, “A New Earth” as well as the words that were shared in class during our qigong practice inspire you to deepen into your true life purpose.
"Your relationship with the present moment IS your purpose.
It is all that matters."
- spoken by Eckhart Tolle in Calgary May 15, 2018
“Your life has an inner purpose and an outer purpose. Inner purpose concerns Being and is primary. Outer purpose concerns doing and is secondary.
The true or primary purpose of your life cannot be found on the outer level. It does not concern what you do but what you are - that is to say, your state of consciousness.
Action, although necessary, is only a secondary factor in manifesting our external reality. The primary factor in creation is consciousness. No matter how active we are, how much effort we make, our state of consciousness creates our world, and if there is no change on that inner level, no amount of action will make any difference. We would only re-create modified versions of the same world again and again, a world that is an external reflection of the ego.
Awakened doing is the alignment of your outer purpose - what you do - with your inner purpose - awakening and staying awake. Through awakened doing, you become one with the outgoing purpose of the universe. Consciousness flows through you into this world. It flows in your thoughts and inspires them. It flows into what you do and guides and empowers it.
The modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm. Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all - from the most simple task to the most complex. If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely, and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.
Whatever you cannot enjoy doing, you can at least accept that this is what you have to do. Acceptance means: For now, this is what this situation, this moment requires me to do, and so I do it willingly. If you can neither enjoy nor bring acceptance to what you do - stop. Otherwise, you are not taking responsibility for the only thing you can really take responsibility for, which also happens to be the one thing that really matters: your state of consciousness. And if you are not taking responsibility for your state of consciousness, you are not taking responsibility for your life.
You will enjoy any activity in which you are fully present, any activity that is not just a means to an end. It isn't the action you perform that you really enjoy, but the deep sense of aliveness that flows into it. That aliveness is one with who you are. This means that when you enjoy doing something, you are really experiencing the joy of Being in its dynamic aspect. That's why anything you enjoy doing connects you with the power behind all creation.
Here is a spiritual practice that will bring empowerment and creative expansion into your life. Make a list of a number of everyday routine activities that you perform frequently. Include activities that you may consider uninteresting, boring, tedious, irritating, or stressful. But don't include anything that you hate or detest doing. That's a case either for acceptance or for stopping what you do. The list may include traveling to and from work, buying groceries, doing your laundry, or anything that you find tedious or stressful in your daily work. Then, whenever you are engaged in those activities, let them be a vehicle for alertness. Be absolutely present in what you do and sense the alert, alive stillness within you in the background of the activity. You will soon find that what you do in such a state of heightened awareness, instead of being stressful, tedious or irritating, is actually becoming enjoyable. To be more precise, what you are enjoying is not really outward action, but the inner dimension of consciousness that flows into the action. This is finding the joy of Being in what you are doing. If you feel your life lacks significance or is too stressful or tedious, it is because you haven't brought that dimension into your life yet. Being conscious in what you do has not yet become your main aim.
Enthusiasm means there is a deep enjoyment in what you do plus the added element of a goal or vision that you work toward. When you add a goal to the enjoyment of what you do, the energy-field or vibrational frequency changes. A certain degree of what we might call structural tension is now added to the enjoyment, and so it turns into enthusiasm. At the height of creative activity fuelled by enthusiasm, there will be enormous intensity and energy behind what you do. You will feel like an arrow that is moving toward the target - and enjoying the journey.
To an onlooker, it may appear that you are under stress, but the intensity of enthusiasm has nothing to do with stress. When you want to arrive at your goal more than you want to be doing what you are doing, you become stressed. The balance between enjoyment and structural tension is lost, and the latter has won.
Stress always diminishes both the quality and effectiveness of what you do under its influence. There is also a strong link between stress and negative emotions, such as anxiety and anger. Stress is also toxic to the body. Unlike stress, enthusiasm has a high energy frequency and so resonates with the creative power of the universe. This is why Ralph Waldo Emerson said that, "Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.” Enthusiasm knows where it is going, but at the same time, it is deeply at one with the present moment, the source of aliveness, its joy, and its power. Enthusiasm "wants" nothing because it lacks nothing. It is at one with life and no matter how dynamic the enthusiasm-inspired activities are, you don't lose yourself in them. And there remains always a still but intensely alive space at the centre of the wheel, a core of peace in the midst of activity that is both the source of all and untouched by it all.”
- "Oneness With All Life - Inspirational Selections from A New Earth" , by Eckhart Tolle