"Houston, We Have a Problem"

(thanks to the genius of Diane Arbus)

Why doesn’t awakening happen just like that? [visualize a finger snap.]

Because then you would never know the pain and the joy of it.


“Houston, we have a problem. What’s that? you say. I listen to these advaita newbies who have suddenly awakened and think, “What part am I missing here?” I know my teacher would fall down laughing if it weren’t so serious. Just because these people are personable doesn’t mean jack. Just because they are telegenic and well-spoken, we fall right into the trap of duality. “They say they woke up, who am I to doubt them. I don’t even know them. And I seem to still suffer the slings and arrows of my errant karma.”

You’re not alone. Awakening cannot be judged that easily. As Vernon Howard said, “Only an enlightened being recognizes another enlightened being.” He would have put the blame squarely on us for believing that awakening happens that often or that easily.

Good teachers make people squirm. They do not sit with a mic in someone’s living room decanting statements from their mouth into your consciousness. Satsang is a silly excuse to get out of doing your laundry if you ask me.

A lifetime commitment to truth is required and you will be broken before you awaken. Sleep tight if you don’t want to know the truth. Pull a Rip Van Winkle and put up a Do Not Disturb sign. The Work requires one to remember the Self that you are while witnessing the self that you are not. It isn’t easy nor is it without arduous engagement of body, mind and spirit.

Do yourself a favor and sit alone. You don’t have to fly around attending satsang with the best and the brightest, the ones with the most YouTube videos and the most influential friends. Get some books and dig in. Pray, purify yourself. Wait and wait and wait. Watch yourself become hysterical and useless. See the demons marching around your mind and try to stop them.

It may all be a play but it’s an hypnotic one. We were never promised a rose garden. Don’t believe it when you see it. Only believe what your inner guide tells you. And if you don’t know who your inner guide is, wait until that is revealed. It’s about revelation, repentance and all of the old biblical truths. We must approach them psychologically instead of literally.

Nothing is what it appears to be, including the truth of who you are. Lotsa luck in those satsangs.”

Vicki Woodyard, Author, LIFE WITH A HOLE IN IT

One thought on “"Houston, We Have a Problem"

  1. “Good teachers make people squirm.” I like that. Events and people that are transformational for you are not a cushy ride in first-class.


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