Awakening Together is a universal assembly of peers dedicated to recognizing and embracing universal wisdom regardless of the form in which it appears. We believe that all religions, all scripture and all spiritual masters ultimately point to one truth, for there can only be one absolute truth … not many … and since we are all inherently a part of the truth as living beings, we can each realize truth as a direct intuition regardless of our religion, culture or spiritual tendencies. Therefore, our spiritual practices come from all of the great spiritual traditions and the exact practice or form of worship may vary from one individual member to the next. Our basic spiritual practices include:
Prayer – In addition to private prayer, as recommended by Jesus in the New Testament at Matthew 6:6, Awakening Together participates in group prayer. Our form of prayer is best described in The Holy Spirit’s Interpretation of the New Testament, NTI Philippians 1. We participate in group prayer at our weekly prayer circle.
Contemplation – Plato taught that through contemplation the soul may ascend to knowledge of the divine. Contemplation is one of our primary forms of worship. Awakening Together members may contemplate any scripture or the words of any spiritual master, as guided by their own inner spiritual intuition. In addition to individual contemplation, Awakening Together participates in daily group contemplation. Each morning a new quote for contemplation is posted on our website; each evening we gather together to share from our contemplation of the quote.
Teaching/Sharing – A Course in Miracles teaches that we strengthen the Voice of the Holy Spirit by sharing it. We interpret this to mean that as we share from our current level of spiritual awareness, greater spiritual awareness is realized from within. Therefore, teaching/sharing is an important form of worship for us. It is important to note that we do not teach/share in order to convert others; we teach/share in order to strengthen our own individual connection to inner spiritual wisdom. Everyone who teaches for this purpose is invited to teach in our online Sanctuary.
Meditation – Buddha said, “Meditation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.”
Silent mantra – According to The Teachings of Inner Ramana, saying a mantra quietly and with devotion helps quiet the mind, which opens one up to spiritual wisdom.
Surrender – According to The Teachings of Inner Ramana, the purpose of surrender is to let go of listening to one’s thinking (personal will) while simultaneously learning to follow inner spiritual intuition. Surrender is a private form of worship between the individual and his/her inner spiritual guidance.
Self-inquiry – According to Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, the purpose of self-inquiry is to question a thought in order to notice the difference between the phantom-“I” that exists in thought and the true Self, which is the awareness that is aware of thought. By continually focusing awareness on awareness, one realizes the true Self.
Practicing Forgiveness – A Course in Miracles teaches that forgiveness is the practice of overlooking appearance and seeing the true Self (divine presence) in every person. It also teaches that as we see the divine presence in others, we realize it in our self.
Focusing on the ‘I Am’ Presence (Life Force) – Jesus told us, “Seek and you will find.” Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj said, “Go deep into the sense of ‘I am’ and you will find.” Awakening Together members trust that the sense of ‘I am’ comes from God; therefore focusing on it is a direct path to God.
Musical Worship – Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists all use music in worship, and Awakening Together is no different. Music invokes the devotional heart, and deep devotion meges into the Heart of God. Music is an important part of our weekly gathering.
Satsang – “Satsang” is a sanskirt word that means “being with the truth.” The way Satsang is practiced in the Hindu culture is that people gather together to be with a spiritual teacher or guru who is considered spiritually awake. It is believed that one can reach a higher level of spiritual realization by being in the presence of an enlightened master. Awakening Together holds Satsang on the third Sunday of every month. Each month we invite a different spiritual master as our guest Satsang leader.
Deep Acceptance and Allowance – The Holy Sprit’s Interpretation of the New Testament defines judgment as the building block of illusion and recommends acceptance of what is as it is as the way to awaken from illusion to truth. It is the ego that controls and manipulates, so one way to transcend ego is to let go of controlling and manipulating by allowing all things to be as they are while deeply honoring the true essence of all things.
Observing or Noticing – A common spiritual practice is observing or noticing one’s inner environment without judging it or trying to ‘fix’ it. Repression of thoughts and emotions creates an inner filter that colors everything we see in a purely individualistic way. By allowing the inner environment to be as it is by simply watching it with non-judgmental awareness, the inner environment naturally changes…energies move on…and the practitioner is free to notice himself or herself as the awareness in which all thoughts, energies and appearances arise instead of misperceiving one’s self as the emotional and intellectual psyche.
Journaling – Journaling as a way of looking deeply at what is disturbing the mind and seeing it with clarity so it can be released or transcended. It is also a way to ask spiritual questions and receive answers by writing with spontaneous wisdom that arises from beyond the personal intellect.
Increasing the Desire to Awaken – The desire to awaken is a powerful force that can draw supportive circumstances into one’s life, provide the ability to see what one could not see before and supply the drive to be earnest in spiritual practice. Therefore, increasing the desire to awaken is itself a very important form of worship.