The first step to awakening is for us to have the desire or intention to awaken. We may have had experiences of deep connection and wanted to continue that feeling. We may have hit the depths of depression and are finally willing to give up our conceptions about how we think things are.
Once we establish our intention, we can utilize the tools that are readily available to allow us to awaken. We choose the tools that resonate with who we are. We may bring our attention to our breath in meditation, practice loving kindness like the Dalai Lama, or simply consistently return our attention to the present moment. There are many tools available to us. Once we have our intention, the Universe will meet us halfway and present opportunities for us to awaken.
We usually have to be disciplined to constantly keep our attention in the present. The pull of our conditioned thinking is very strong. Our programming started at birth and continues today. We are conditioned from all sides, every time we interact with a person, watch television or play a video game. It takes discipline to remind ourselves to stop our compulsive thinking and bring our attention back to the present.
It takes courage to become aware of the pain and fear which we have repressed for years. It also takes courage to leave behind all our thoughts and beliefs, which establish our identity and connect us to our various tribes.
Let's be present.