A Culture of Contribution
I’m in the middle of a whirlwind European tour here, and so this post will be shorter than others have been.
We had a wonderful evening event in Oslo last week, hosted by Peter Svenning, one of our certified Awakening Coaches. Great people, mostly from professional backgrounds, quickly “got” what this approach is about. Many will now be coming to the Awakening Coaching Training in Stockholm, February 20-24th. Next day I saw some very inspiring people in Oslo for private sessions. I’m constantly amazed by how regular people with relatively little background in “spirituality” can easily drop out of the mind and into the mystery of presence.
I took the train from Oslo to Stockholm, which took most of the day, and was a great treat. When was the last time you took a really long train ride? It’s great. The carriage sways back and forth like the rocking of a cradle, massaging you into letting go. You pass through small villages, larger towns, and then endless forest and fields put to rest for the winter. I could spend my life on European trains! The buffet car serves great food, the internet connection allows you to get things done, and the rest of your life seems far away.
We had another great evening in Stockholm, where I have been teaching regularly for more than ten years. We covered the six core competencies of Awakening Coaching, both in understanding them and experiencing them.
This last weekend we had an Awakening Coaching intensive in a beautiful location overlooking a huge lake which extends from the coast all the way into Sweden. Many of the participants have been coming to courses with me since the late 90’s. So as well as witnessing individual evolution and maturing, I could also experience collective evolution. This is the rare gift offered by traveling and teaching again and again to the same place with the same people, it offers proof of our collective awakening.
Ten years ago when I first came to Sweden, everything was about the taste of awakening: to sink into the gap between thoughts, and to know yourself to be that stillness, that emptiness, that shimmering mystery. At that time, I could spend a whole weekend bringing a group of people into that realization, however fleeting, and it was a blast. This last weekend, the whole group fell into doubt free recognition of that true nature in a few minutes. “Ok, so I am infinite and empty space. I look into the eyes of the other, and I see my own self looking back at me. Nothing and everything. Great, well that’s clear. Now… “ And I am not speaking just about an intellectual recognition. It is real, and free of doubt, and absolutely still. And… there is the awareness that there is more than this: there is the pregnant unfolding of the gift that is waiting to be given.
As I travel anywhere and everywhere these days, this is the same urgent inquiry. The people I meet are not clamoring for the “big E” any more, nor for money and fame and toys and all the other glittering prizes of the Law of Attraction. Instead the burning inquiry in everyone’s hearts is “what is the gift that is wanting to give itself through me?”
We are shifting from a global culture of consumers, whether for material wealth or power or spiritual states, to a culture of contribution.
So this became the focus of our weekend together, as it is becoming in many other locations also. What is the gift that wants to be given? It is in the sitting with this question, and letting it do its work, that life comes alive and finds its mystery and its purpose.
So, do you want to know the central insight I share with people who have this question? After the recognition of emptiness, after the realization that there is no “me” here at all, after the recognition that the other before me is the same awareness as the presence I have called “me,” after the seeking has found its resting, this question still remains,
“What is this gift that wants to give itself?”
Many, many gifted smart and brilliant people have the gnawing fear that they have nothing to give, that in some tragic way their life has been in vain. They hope that somehow I can guide them to know their purpose. And here is the answer that I guide people to discover: You will never know your gifts! As long as you live, if you are honest and give honor to this awakening, it will always seem to you that you have no gift! And the more you feel this, that there is nothing here worth anything, the more other people will swoon in awe at the brilliance flowing through you.
The gift that wants to be given is not for “you” to experience at all, it flows through you, despite you, it trickles through the holes and chinks and crevices where you have ceased to be solid, and it is felt by other people in a way that you will never know directly, only in the reflection of their eyes.
We passed through many deep processes together, discovering these gifts as qualities known only through the reflective quality of other’s appreciation.
Now there is a whole bunch of Swedes out there pouring blessings into the grey Swedish winter, lighting it up with warmth and sparkle, and not knowing where it is all coming from.
Just like me!