Imagine for a moment that you are walking on a busy street in a small town you are visiting. You pass the travel agency, and see posters in the window for Corfu, or Hawaii, or the Grand Canyon. You hardly notice, and you walk on by.
Then you pass the flower shop. Bright yellow tulips, flown in from Holland. Orchids. A dozen red roses, going for a deal. But it does not move you, you walk on by.
Then you pass the clothing store. “50% off – latest colors and fashions.” Sweaters, pants, hats, shoes. Yes, shoes! All kinds and colors and sizes of beautiful, sexy, sophisticated and on-sale shoes. But again, you walk on by, hardly noticing.
And then you come to the restaurant. You can smell the aroma of the food wafting out onto the street. You hardly notice what kind of restaurant it is, you hardly glance at the menu once you get seated, and you eagerly order the first thing you see.
Why were the flower store and the travel agent and the clothing store all uninteresting, but the restaurant drew you right in, with only a minimal glance at the menu? You know the answer. It is because you were hungry, right? If you are hungry enough, you don’t even care about the decor, or the customer reviews on Yelp!, or whether the salad was locally grown. If you are hungry enough, you just want to eat, and as quickly as possible.
There is another kind of hunger as well. It is not a hunger for food, or a thirst for liquid, or even a desire for anything tangible at all. I like to call it by a different word, to make the distinction clear, I call it “longing.” Desire is for something that you have already defined in your mind. “I want more money.” That is clear. Take some action, and maybe eventually you’ll get the money. But there is still desire, for even more, or for something different.
“I want to be in a relationship. I’m so lonely, I want to find the Right One.” And again, either you keep on desiring, from one dating site to another, or you find someone to be in relationship with. But almost always, after a few months, the desire changes. “I want my partner to be different, to be more caring, more available, more like I wanted in the first place.” And then a little later another desire appears, “I want to be alone.”
I want to be powerful.
I want a BMW.
I want to be famous.
I want to be a rock star.
I want to rule the whole world.
All of these desires lead to more desires. Longing is different. It can be very, very strong, it can eclipse the interest for anything else in your life, but we don’t necessarily know, clearly and logically, what the longing is for.
There have always been a few people, in every culture, in every age, who followed this longing down into themselves with enough passion that they found their way home. They found the One Thing beyond the mind, beyond the endless procession of thoughts and feelings, beyond the automatic machinery of desire. These people became the peak of what we see as possible for a human being. They are Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu, Thomas Jefferson, William Blake, Michaelangelo. Today there are millions of people who have tapped into the One Thing that makes everything sparkle. They may have found it only in snapshots, or they may have found it also in more sustained ways. I have interviewed hundreds of people who have shifted their consciousness in this way, and who are now leading creative lives, overflowing with contribution, making a huge difference to the world. I have surveyed thousands more. Here is the single most important thing I can tell you about these people:
Many of them had a teacher, or even many teachers, at one time or another. Many did not. Some were sometimes part of a group, read books and went on retreats. Many did not. Some were vegetarian, or did yoga or meditation. Many did not. What every single one had in common, without any exception, was that they found a way to follow their natural longing. Getting in touch with this longing, and following it home, is the single key that works every time. It may lead you through valleys of grief or despair, it may lead you to peaks of feeling good, but it will always bring you all the way to the One Thing that is your true home.
When you walk straight past the flower shop, and the travel agent, and the clothing store, and straight into the restaurant, did the restaurant give you the hunger? Of course not. The hunger was already there. It was there in you before the restaurant appeared, and it was the hunger that made the restaurant interesting.
The hunger is yours, it comes from you. It is not learned, or imitated, or conditioned.
It is very, very important to see this. The feeling of, “I want to go home,” was not given to you by any teacher or teaching. You did not get it from any book or CD, and you did not learn it from any seminar. It is yours. It was this longing, already alive within you, which made all of these things attractive. It is because of this longing, whether it is a flicker or a firework display, that you are reading this post on this blog, and not finding out how the Law of Attraction can give you more of what you want.
Now, truthfully, not everyone on the planet has this sense of longing for the One Thing. Many human beings are not really interested in this longing at all. It has been too deeply buried. Then the primary interest becomes money, the best car, a more powerful position, and more sex with more people in more unusual positions. There is nothing wrong with any of those things. We can all live this life however we want to. But once the longing takes hold, it becomes important to attend to it carefully.
I have been guiding people into the discovery of the One Thing since 1991. I have worked with hundreds of people individually, and tens of thousands of people in seminars and groups. I have trained many hundreds more in how to become facilitators of the One Thing themselves. In every case, for any of this to have any real impact, we have to wake up that longing, and give it expression. If we approach it in this way, then reading these words is serving you, and you do not need to serve or follow anything outside yourself.
I am not a teacher, or a guru, or a philosopher. My role is not to teach you anything, or give you anything, or tell you what you should do with your life. I do not represent any group or tradition. I am here in service to the hunger, the longing, that is already in you. You have the longing. You have the hunger. I have a small restaurant. Nothing fancy. Just some rice, some vegetables, maybe a little chicken, some fish. A very simple restaurant. If you come with your hunger, I can honor your hunger. That is my job. I’m an Awakening Coach.
You have already heard about coaching. Everybody says, “I’m a coach,” these days. What kind of coach are you? “I’m a wellness coach. I’m a shopping coach. I’m a brush-your-hair-coach. I’m a find-your-mate coach, and a relationship coach, and a divorce coach, and a find-another-mate coach.”
Well, I am an Awakening Coach, and I train other people to become Awakening Coaches too.
Last Thursday we had a very fine live tele-seminar about awakening coaching. If you missed it, you can catch the replay here.
This Thursday, May 31st at 6pm Pacific, I will talk about the seven qualities which anyone can develop to become an excellent Awakening Coach to anyone else.
Be there. Just do it.