Being awake is being aligned with our natural Self, which has no self-images or a face and is not trying to be anything or get anywhere. Being awake is just being—without all of the ideas about who you are or are not, without a story about where you or your life is going, and without dreams or a desire for anything other than what is here right now and experiencing whatever is being experienced.
Being awake is too simple to be of interest to the ego. Being awake just isn’t special enough for the ego. When you are awake—when you are just being—there is no sense of a me who can feel special. There’s neither feeling special nor not feeling special, but just being as it is being experienced now. That’s a bad deal for the ego, which would rather be a spiritual me who is trying to awaken than be awake and not exist!
So, do you want to be awake more than you want to be a me? Do you want freedom more than you want your stories, desires, and your fantasies? Not everyone does—yet. And pretending that you want to awaken more than you want to be a me doesn’t work. You also can’t make yourself want awakening more than you want to be a me. You will experience being a me until you are done experiencing that. You will love your thoughts and desires (i.e. give them your attention) until you no longer love them so much and are ready to see what else is here besides the virtual reality created by your thoughts, beliefs, desires, memories, and dreams.
The point is, each of us is where we are at in our spiritual growth and evolution, and where we are at is exactly right. How can it be any different? It is all good and unfolding as it needs to. Wishing you were more awake than you are is just one more desire the ego suffers over. The basic teaching around awakening (and the secret to happiness) is letting whatever is be as it is. This includes wherever you are at in your spiritual growth. This doesn’t mean indulging your egoic tendencies (unless that’s where you are at!), but recognizing that to whatever degree you are already free and seeing the truth is very wonderful, and that will continue to unfold as it is meant to.
Awakening is only a goal from the standpoint of the ego, because in reality, in this moment, you are already awake, although you might not be aware of the awakeness that is already here. In any moment, you are either not noticing the awakeness that is here or noticing the awakeness that is here. Awakening is simply a matter of how established you are in noticing the awakeness that is already here. If you notice it most of the time, you are awake; if you don’t notice it or hardly ever notice it, then you are not awake. Most people are awake some of the time and asleep the rest.
Once you are noticing the awakeness that is already here, you have the opportunity to also notice how this awakeness may or may not be moving you. If you aren’t noticing this, then you are probably noticing your thoughts and possibly doing what your thoughts suggest. That would be living according to your conditioning, from the egoic state of consciousness, which is the state most people live from. If you are reading this, you are probably ready to live from a deeper place more of the time. So just notice what is here right now. Is awakeness here? Is aliveness here? What is existing and experiencing this moment? That’s it. That’s all. Awakeness isn’t any fancier than that. Is that enough?
From this simplicity, actions arise. What someone who is awake does depends on what is arising in the moment to do. There is no formula for how someone who is awake moves in life, but you know when you are acting from a place of awakeness because that action feels so right, so good, so easy, so in the flow. Noticing what is here right now, instead of being lost in your thoughts and feelings, naturally brings you into alignment with this flow, which is actually who you really are. Imagine that! You aren’t a body-mind after all, but an experiencing Presence that moves through life with the help of a body-mind. And all the ego ever was, were the stories you told yourself about who you thought you were.