A Clean Mind

Blogging about a less stressful way to live…

Ordinary Awakening

This is from the May newsletter of Breathe Yoga & Wellness in downtown Pensacola:

Ordinary awakening… Ordinary awakening? Ordinary awakening?? How do those two words go together?! Let’s find out, because they totally do. And it’s short notice (I’m still working on my marketing skills), but I’ll be giving a talk by that name at Breathe Yoga & Wellness on Friday, April 24 from 7-8:30. It’ll cost $10 and will include a very cool guided meditation at the beginning and end. The one at the end will be the deeper one, because we don’t want everyone to be too zoned out for the talk. And the one at the beginning will really be about just “making our home in the breathing” for a bit, so that we can see how little time it takes to put our world aside and do that. And how quickly we feel a shift into a totally different space, a space where awakening happens. Even when we’re in traffic or at work. What??

Let’s talk more about this space. It’s a space that’s more peaceful. A space that’s inside of you all the time (including now, and you don’t even have to do anything). A space where wisdom and common sense live. A space that doesn’t judge so much, but knows how to forgive. A space that can handle guilt, shame, and regret about the past. A space that can handle worries about the future. A space that can handle the loss of loved ones. We might not experience this space all the time, but it’s built-in and it’s always there. It can only be covered up. By what? You guessed it! By our thinking. By how we’re seeing things in that moment. [For some essential background info, feel free to read my first two Breathe articles: Hello, Breathe!Do I Have To Change My Thinking?]

So how does all of this talk about some peaceful space that’s always inside of me relate to ordinary awakening? Because it means that you don’t have to meditate for ten hours a day to start to wake up to the fact that you’re more than a body. And you don’t have to be ruled by emotion. You don’t have to argue. You don’t have to feel small. You don’t have to defend yourself all the time. You don’t have to… The list goes on. When we live more and more from that space inside of us, we just start to wake up. And we’re not trying to “figure it out.” The thinking mind actually cannot figure out peace. Let that one sink in for a bit… This is because peace is way beyond it. Trust me, I tried to figure out peace for over ten years. It. Doesn’t. Work.

This way is much easier, anyway. I mean, if peace is already inside of me, then I just have to practice getting out of the way in each moment! And your life starts to flow. Synchronicities happen. Things in the outer world shift if they need to shift. People might drop out of your life, and others might enter. You might move. And it all happens because we’ve fired ourselves from being in charge of our peace, of our awakening. We’re riding instead of driving. We’re not paying as much attention to that thinking mind, even when it’s loud. And we’re slowing down. And you know what? We end up finding peace much, much faster. Because we let peace find us.

You have all you need right now, built-in, to thrive in this life. That includes living your life’s purpose, whatever it may be. It includes feeling pretty awesome at least most of the time. I mean, most of us still have our moments… But when you learn how to spend more of your time living from your wisdom/common sense, moods are not as big a deal and they don’t last as long. When you make your home in the breathing, especially, low moods find it very hard to survive. We just don’t get that low to begin with. And when we do, no big deal. We know what to do. We dive a bit deeper inside of ourselves by making our home in the breathing, and then we can see what this is all about. And we deal with it if any dealing needs to happen, and the feeling passes. This is the fast way.

My goal in life is to spell this out so clearly, so let’s give it some time to develop as we talk here in this space. I want this to be incredibly practical for everyone that reads it. That’s where the “ordinary” part comes from. If it doesn’t help when I get frustrated in traffic or at work or wherever, then it’s not that great to me. And let me say that I’ve done some things that would be considered advanced spiritual practices involving complex energetic meditations and lots of work with the energy bodies. Having been on both sides, I think you have to get this stuff down first. This is the fast way. And then get into that stuff if it’s a natural fit. But with a totally different attitude. And with the bonus of knowing what to do when things go down in traffic or at work. And you can deal with it right there and then. You don’t have to wait until later when you’re elsewhere. This is the 24/7 approach, and it’s so, so ordinary. Life knows how to push your buttons just at the right time, because Life knows that each of those buttons is the doorway way to inner peace. And now you know how to open that door: go to the breath and out of the head, put space around the feeling, and ask what this is about, what this is telling you, out of pure innocence and curiosity. And let the answer come.

So say “Yes!” and come with me on this journey of ordinary awakening. There will be more of these talks to come, and they’ll deepen and deepen as my own path continues. And we’ll spell it all out on this blog anyway. There’s a difference quality of experience, though, when we’re all gathered together, and that feeling or experience is what we’re really looking for. It models what you have available to you all the time. I love this stuff. And I love you. Thanks for joining with me here.


All anybody really wants is peace. The good news is that peace can be learned. I’m serious. This should be taught in middle school, but it’s not. So I’m teaching it now.

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