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Practice of the Imagination

David Whyte


David Whyte is a featured presenter at the Wake Up Festival and author of the Sounds True audio learning program What to Remember When Waking: The Disciplines of an Everyday Life. His latest book of poetry is Pilgrim.

In an Insights at the Edge podcast interview with Sounds True publisher Tami Simon, David speaks about waking up as being present through the “constant and inescapable nature of your own vulnerability.” By turning toward the part of us that is open to the world whether we want to be or not—and not shying away from it—we discover a place inside, initially tender, where we are able to meet a precious, unlooked-for aspect of the exposed heart. In the wake of this contact, we can then cultivate that initial sense of what at first seems like a weakness into what David calls “robust vulnerability.”

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Spiritual Awakening: A Radical Shift in Identity

With Adyashanti

A Free Live Video Stream from the Opening Night of the Wake Up Festival
Wednesday, August 22, 2012, from 9:00pm to 11:00 pm ET (GMT-4)
Broadcast live from the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO

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We're so happy to be offering a FREE live video stream of Adyashanti's keynote from the opening night of the Wake Up Festival and to be able to share with viewers around the world a part of our very special event. To learn more about the live stream—or to register at no cost—please visit [link].

More and more people are "waking up" spiritually—and finding the experience unsettling and disorienting. According to Adyashanti, the provocative author of The End of your World and Falling into Grace, this is because true awakening is nothing short of a radically transformational shift in identity.

As Adyashanti puts it, "The simplest thing one can say about the experiential knowledge of awakening is that it is a shift in one's perception. This is the heart of awakening. There is...

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Don't forget! Evening passes are available.

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Your Original Face

Tami Simon

There is a famous Zen koan that asks, “What is your original face, the face you had before you were born?”

Whenever I have heard this koan, my first response is, “I have no idea how to answer that.” And of course, that is the purpose of a Zen koan, to confound the thinking mind and in so doing, wake us up to a deeper form of knowing.

One thing I have noticed is that the more I am able to sit in that not knowing state, to rest in a sense of “just being”, the more I can relax and feel what, if anything, is needed next. It is not a conceptual process; it is more like a listening. And from that listening, originality emerges (“original” meaning “from the origin” or “from the source”).

Waking up is not about copying anyone or anything. It can’t be. Because as soon as we are mimicking something, we are recycling someone else’s experience. We are one step removed from the source; we are no longer rooted in our own moment-to-moment revelatory experience.

My basic point here is that the more we discover our own Original Face, the face we had before we were born, the more confident we become in expressing ourselves in unique ways. In a sense, great spiritual teachers feel to me like great “artists of the spirit.”  And like an inspired musician, poet, or painter, a spiritual artist knows that he or she must spend time in the space of not knowing and then trust the melodies, visions, words, and guidance that come through.

Sometimes people say to me that they are afraid of spiritual awakening because they are afraid of being erased, afraid that they will turn into a paste of nothingness. What I have found is that the more we drop the sense of being separate and disconnected, the more we tune to the underlying, unifying  “hum” of being, the more we become plugged in to a current that begins to animate our life. And sometimes, the life force expresses through us in pretty outrageous ways. We take chances. We...

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