The intention of this guide is first and foremost to be pragmatic and meaningful for practitioners.
1. Seeking support for formal meditation and contemplative practices;
2. Intending to integrate the ongoing fruits of practice with life;
3. Holding the goal of practice to be engaged, embodied, and responsive to life and the world;
3. Attentively embracing the immediacy and needs of life and the world as the prime source to inform why we practice and what we choose to practice as our response.
This guide favors skillful means (upaya) over technical, philosophical precision and accuracy, while neither avoiding this precision altogether. The reason for this is that, to fully and elegantly address all of the philosophical assumptions and assertions, this guide would unnecessarily bog down the usability of it for practitioners looking for support.
That being said, you will find flexible, orienting assertions about reality and the human experience in this guide.
‘Assertions’ here means: orienting stakes put in the ground to provide both a foundation and guiding waypoints for practice and life.
‘Flexible’ here means: while these assertions are expressed as relatively stable and persistent truths in our experience, they are not all-encompassing, absolutely unchanging, and utterly definitive. This intentionally and necessarily avoids falling into traps of the narrow, exclusive, rigidity of absolutism, and the flailing, deconstructionism of relativism. Said again, positively: flexible and orientating.
You may take this guide in whole or in pieces, as suits you. Make good use of this guide whether you are a student of mine or other teachers (or both). Use this guide in conjunction with other practice guides to provide yourself with a more robust, informed practical foundation.
More than anything, read and reference this guide by working with what is most intuitively, and immediately relevant to you in any given moment or phase or your life and practice.
Use this guide to help both orient yourself in the immediacy of your experience, and as a catalyst to inquire and experience life with more nuance and intimacy, and let whatever arises in this process help you to find the best response for what is needed right now.
Stylistically, this guide is perhaps intentionally a bit more cut-and-dry in form and flavor, and more so than I typically am in person or in other mediums. My hope and creative bias here is to provide crisp, clear, and important orienting points for a path of Awakening in Life so students can quickly and easily understand this approach and to make immediate use of in practice.
In turn, by being more cut-and-dry, this guide hopefully provides a useful foundation for a more free, nuanced, responsive, and lively conversation in other forms of teaching for Awakening in Life (particularly group trainings, private sessions, and more long form commentary in audio and video).
Last, again you need not take this guide as a whole to make use of it. Awakening in Life does not seek to be a closed loop with all of the answers one might have about awakening (that goal is actually seen as ultimately prohibitive for this kind of path of awakening).
However, for serious students looking for a path, this guide is offered as wholistic, integral, thorough, and robust enough to serve as a path of practice (including in conjunction with other teachings and paths, which is highly encouraged).