Thursday, October 27, 2011

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Ancient Wisdom. Modern Applications.
Thank you for visiting and for your interest in Awakened Wisdom for Daily Living.
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Patrick J. Ryan
Awakened Wisdom Experiences
Ancient Wisdom. Modern Applications.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Dream of Soul and Life Purpose

Joseph Campbell, the highly regarded teacher of mythology, wisely pointed out that for the first half of a human’s life the ego runs ahead in search of experience and wealth. During this time, the Soul takes a back seat, patiently waiting for the ego to do its thing and to gather in what it needs. The Soul serves the ego by letting it run much like a wild hungry dog in search of adventure and wealth of whatever the ego is collecting. It could be money, other resources, or experiences.

Then there comes a time when the Soul turns its gaze onto the ego and says, “Thank you for forging ahead and for having the experiences you have had. There is a greater meaning to all of this though, and it is time that you, ego, sit back and serve me, the Soul, as I fulfill my bargain with the Universe and express my life purpose.”

The Soul works us from within, and so there comes a time in our human adventure when it gets activated and demands that we follow its yearning. For some, this time occurs at a young age. We recognize these people as “old Souls.” When we are around them we feel a deeper, fuller connection to the Universe. Others may not have this experience until the last few short moments of their physical lives on Earth, when suddenly at the end of it all they awaken and realize something important is being realized.

Still others experience this time at midlife, and it is often manifested in what we call midlife crises. I prefer to call these midlife awakenings. This is a time when, under the pressure of the Soul, many people start to ask questions about what this life is really all about. It is a time when people look at the houses, cars, boats, and shoe collections and realize that as nice as those things are, they aren’t providing much meaning to their human existence.

If we are lucky, we are willing and still able to respond to the call when it comes. If we do, we let go of the attachment to the ego’s treasures, which can often confuse our families and friends, and we allow our Selves to respond to the Soul's call and to seek out some meaning in our otherwise productive lives. The Soul is grateful to the ego for having amassed all the resources and assures the ego that these things will be put to good use. The ego has been creating foundations, which are pools of resources that can now committed to a use that is generally altruistic in its intention.

The yearning of the Soul to be out in front at this stage becomes a major influence on our life’s dreams. Many of the things that used to seem important suddenly fall away from our desires. The Soul has better and more important things in mind for you now. The Soul works on us in mysterious ways that we often experience as a longing, a yearning that arises from deep within. This stirring causes us to be restless. It calls us out of our comfortable life. It beckons us, calls to us in our sleep. It shakes us in the waking sleepwalk of our regular life. It will haunt you, follow you, and pull away the illusions of your life that ego built. It will not allow you to sleep any longer. When it calls for you, you will at least know; whether you answer or not is another question.

Watch for my book coming out this November:
Awakened Wisdom - A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance
Patrick Ryan
Chief Waker-Upper

Check our website, for the next AWE event!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Yearning

The Yearning
We come from a Oneness, the Universe, and our heart holds a wisdom, distinct from the wisdom of our mind, that yearns to keep us connected to this Oneness. As the heart yearns, it speaks to us in the language of the heart, which is beyond words. The heart moves us according to its own wisdom with a pull, moving us towards something. This is the yearning.

As we experience the pull of the heart, we feel drawn toward something while our mind attempts to understand. Our mind gets drawn into the aching, the pulling, and it really wants to understand. The mind is sometimes spun around in its attempt to interpret what it is that will satisfy this yearning of the beating heart. When the mind does not understand, we may think that we are disconnected from the Oneness. This may lead to a sense of separateness or aloneness in life. These are just concepts that the mind creates.

So the heart pounds out its life call like a drum beat in the distance, reminding us that something more, is out there somewhere and we start to yearn. The yearning of the heart could be coming from the Oneness or Universe, calling you towards your life purpose. Or, it could be the voice of your Divine Essence, that is the source of wisdom within you that guides you along your journey. It is important to notice what we are yearning for.
At times it can be tricky as it may seem the yearning is taking you into seemingly perilous waters, and yes it may do so, in order to fulfill some unwritten contract with the Universe that requires you to engage with some healing of your heart. Just as easily, it may lead you to an easy part of the path that is filled with lightness and fun. Each part of the path, difficult or easy is important and guided by heart wisdom.

The heart wisdom demands that you engage with all parts of the path so that you may fully appreciate the beauty of full and open connection to your Self and the world around you. It may be that our ability to know joy is directly proportional to our willingness and ability to dive deep into the yearning for love and connection - even when the waters seem murky. And, of course, we must also be aware of the tendency of Distorted Self, that is the one in us that messes with our mind and heart, to distract us from our soul’s path. Distorted Self would have us believe that to feel such a deep longing is ultimately not survivable, so you are better off disconnecting from the pain of the unrealized longing, whether that’s through keeping yourself overly busy, using drugs, or engaging in some other form of avoidance. After all, according to Distorted, any form of pain is to be avoided and cannot possibly be good for you. Or on the other side, Distorted might tell you that it is only through your attachment to pain that life can have meaning. Neither of these ideas comes from the wisdom of your Divine Essence.

Again, it is the heart that yearns and lets us know that something more is possible. The mind responds to that yearning, seeking out an answer, and the heart and the mind pull at the fabric of our body creating the tension of restlessness. Perhaps every situation we encounter can be placed between two possibilities: One is to move towards the ecstatic joy of connection — fully open, heart connection to Oneness, the Universe; the second possibility is to know the pain of separation. And in between those two absolute extremes is where most of us live our lives.

Our Divine Essence is that aspect of ourselves that is the portal and connection to the Universe. It is the doorway between our life in this body and being the Light of the Divine. We came from a Oneness. That experience of being fully connected to it preceded this embodied life. We have this life in which to remember the Oneness and get reconnected to it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Letting Go and Homeostasis

Imagine that you have your hands full, literally. There you are in your very busy life moving fast to keep it together and your hands are full holding tight on to everything that you have created. For the most part you like your life. And maybe you’d like to see just a few things be different, or perhaps you even wish something really big and important in your life was different than it is. Either way, you are so busy holding all of this together. Then sometimes in a stolen moment you might allow yourself to cast a wish out to the Universe - I wish that…And yet your life quickly jerks you back to its persistent reality that demands your attention to keep it all together.

Wow, what busy work, this keeping it all together! Consider this possibility - that all the while as you are running through each day, the very things that you don’t have yet and are wishing for deep down may very well be trying to come through for you. But guess what, they can’t get in, because you are too busy grasping at the old things and you are stuck, merely wishing that things could be different than they are now.

Homeostasis at work.
We humans are funny creatures. We get attached to things and conditions in our lives like sap to a tree. This is homeostasis at work - a property of the universe that supports a system to seek and maintain a stable condition and keep things the same. Nature experiences homeostasis of course, in order for systems and species to survive, and we humans rely on it to maintain the world we inhabit. It is a force we must be aware of if we desire to create a change in our life.

I hear from people all the time who have been trying to create something new in their life and feel discouraged when it doesn’t happen quickly enough. All discouragement is in these situations is homeostasis using your emotional system to keep you in line, to keep things they way they are. Imagine that all these elements of the life you are currently in are organized in a particular way and they are content to watch you there in the middle of it all wishing, wanting, working to make it change, frustrated that it seems that everything is resisting what you want. The resistance is not your imagination. Rather it’s the world around you simply doing its job. The world is not against you. It is not trying to create an adversarial situation to make things more challenging just for it's fun and amusement. It is just the energetic fields of "reality" holding the orbits of the people and the circumstances together in the established and familiar way.

It’s a powerful force, homeostasis, and therefore in order to create a meaningful change in your life you must influence the world around you and challenge it. You must be willing, even daring to change the ways things are. You may have to be persistent, creative, and courageous to be successful. You might be inspired by vision or perhaps frustrated by a situation. Either way you are called when creating change is what is needed. Consider the possibility that the world you are in is wanting to change and it is knocking on the door of your consciousness asking you to be the one to carry out this work.

Snap and its all different
Imagine one day it all breaks free, sometimes in a shocking way. It might even feel violent in the apparent suddenness of how it all happens. Perhaps your job is yanked out from under your feet. When you look back at it, after the initial shock has worn off you realize that you saw it coming and yet you’d gotten yourself attached and resisted responding to the early signs. Oh, those early signs. All those times that the world you are currently in whispered in your ear - hey, look around, see what else is out there, and try something different. Or all those times you tolerated some part of your life that was not working well but you were too busy or scared to address it. Instead you kept looking the other way hoping that it would work itself out somehow. And all those times you told yourself, I am too busy today but I will take care of that tomorrow…until one day it took care of you by jolting you out of an old reality that could hold no longer. When this kind of change happens it is like being caught in an earthquake. All the stored energy is released in one big jolt and everything around you that was not well secured is thrown around and broken free.

The world around us is beyond our control so any energy put towards controlling is not the best use of you. Imagine instead that at all times you are fully supported by the Universe. Imagine that there are new things that are constantly trying to come towards you and pay attention to the messages that you get. Notice the wishes and wants that occur to you. Notice the comments that are spoken to you and pay attention to what is trying to come in and to what is trying to be released.

The serenity prayer says it best:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
--Reinhold Niebuhr

What can you do?
• Look for what needs attention and tend to it like an important garden in
your life. Keep it vibrant by loving and nurturing it.
• Notice where the struggles are and ask yourself, what is going on here?
• Ask if a struggle is something that is a good use of your energy. If so then keep working it, if not then let it go cleanly and responsibly.
• When you want to create a change look at the entire system of
people and things around you and address the system as a whole.
• Be persistent with what you truly want. It is coming to you and it takes the time it takes. Not everything will move according to your schedule and many things will.
• Get help, get lots of help. Let people in, let the people around you know what it is you are trying to create and allow them to help you. They will love you for that.
• Stay flexible and open about how what you want will look and how it will happen.
• Understand that interruptions and surprises are normal and not personal, nor are they signs from the Universe - except when they are. Sometimes an interrupted or delayed idea is just the Universe saying it needs a bit more time to germinate.
• Trust your heart, appreciate your mind, and nurture your body. You will need them all.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Returned from Laos and Cambodia

I have just returned from a trip to Cambodia and Laos. I went there along with a colleague, Kyoko, to offer training to some local people. The recipients of the training were people that work with youth. It is our hope that the training supports the development of the next generation of leaders in the region.
I had fun meeting everybody and also experiencing a variety of great food. One particular dish was ants, which I would describe as crunchy and spicy.
I was last in Cambodia almost 14 years ago and it was remarkable to see the explosion of growth and development that has taken place there.
In Laos the last day of the training coincided with the beginning of their New Years festival also known as the Water Festival. During this time it seems that the only rule that applies is that everyone must get soaked and stay soaked for at least three days. The energy of the past is washed away to allow a fresh and “clean” start to the coming year.
It became a game of stealth to attempt to move around Vientiane knowing that I would be getting drenched by buckets of water thrown on by well meaning partiers while trying to save my camera from the same fate.
Even my final ride to the airport in an open tuk tuk was riding through a gauntlet of well wishers throwing water using every conceivable container they could find. There is nothing like arriving at the check in counter at the airport soaking wet from head to toe.

Many thanks to the engaged Buddhist movement and SEM (Spirit in Education Movement) and Jar, our friend and South East Asia contact who organized the trip, SRPD in Cambodia and PADETC in Laos for sponsoring us.

Sawaidee Bee Mai (Happy New Year) Everybody
Patrick Ryan

A Life Well Lived

Imagine a life in which you managed to rise above the fears and concerns that tend to linger faithfully in the background, haunting us with their song of intended safety and urgings to keep the status quo. What if you could shut out the voices that tell you all about what you CAN'T do, the ones that work to diminish the fullness of who you are?

You know the voices I mean. Imagine for a moment, that you integrated those voices in a good way, so that they no longer gripped you but rather just informed you about interesting and relevant conditions to which you should pay attention. And now, as you are no longer held in false constraints you are free - free to listen and respond to the wisdom of the moment, free to wonder what is possible in creating more beauty and dreams, and free to respond to the yearning of your heart that knows more is always possible.

Your wisdom informs you through every beat of your heart and through every thought of inspiration. Your wisdom informs you through your body which responds to the world around you as a drum responds to the vibration of the room at rest; it is waiting for the drummer to pick it up and bring its beat to life. You must of course be willing to respond to this wisdom. You must be willing to risk shaking up your world and the world of those around you and ask, What is needed? You must also be willing to risk losing that which seems precious to you. Holding on to anything is futile. If something is still right for you it will stay, and if it is no longer serving you, your holding onto it will only delay the inevitable. Worry not, because you were never in control of those things anyway.

Allowing good things to pass along through your life keeps the spaces open for other good things to come in, and come in they will if there is space - an opening. You must be willing to engage in the dance of life with flexibility and compassion and as you move you may dance in-joy. Stay in the game and turn it over at the same time. Turn it over to this great universe in which we live. Invite the universe in and listen to the call. Like the call and response of a great drum circle. It’s the call that informs you that NOW is the time to move. Now, is the time for you to commit to take one more step towards that dream that is relentlessly calling you into it.

And why not? Did you think it could wait for another day?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Awakened Wisdom Goes to Egypt

Hi folks,
I am happy to be able to tell you about the first offering Awakened Wisdom presented in Egypt this spring. In cooperation with BLDNA, an Egyptian NGO, our mission was to design a training that would support the BLDNA members in developing and integrating their respective leadership styles with each person’s own idea of a community project they will implement in order to raise the Egyptian society to a higher level.

I was thrilled to present the Ennea Leader Styles to these generous and courageous participants. Based on the Enneagram, the Ennea Leader Styles required each person to be willing to look not only at his or her own brilliance but also at where their styles break down and begin to work against their best intentions as community leaders.

Every person that attended took to the work whole-heartedly and the result was a brilliant experience of personal and professional development. The range of projects that is being initiated now is inspiring. These include ideas such as orphanages for children, a center for mothers, and housing for low income families to name a few.

For me it was gratifying to be able to offer the Ennea Leader Styles workshop in Egypt because this workshop is based on the Enneagram through a leadership context. It is believed that the Enneagram originated from this part of the world and so it was a particular privilege to bring it back full circle to the land of its origin.

I found everyone in attendance to be amazingly generous in energy and I was moved by the willingness of all to get real about identifying their personal work that must be taken on in order to be successful with their project. In particular I want to thank Wael Borhan who extended the invitation to Awakened Wisdom to come to Egypt for such an important assignment. Wael and his family, friends and colleagues personally took responsibility for the success of this event. Everyone was gracious towards me as I learned first hand about the high standards of generosity and hospitality of the beautiful Egyptian people.

I also want to thank Lina Nahaas from Dubai, and Mike Roberts from Germany, who came along and offered their uncompromising support to the event. Their partnership was most helpful as we managed the moment-by-moment unfolding of this three-day event. I am looking forward to returning to Egypt again and continuing the deepening of the Ennea Leader styles.

What is the Ennea Leader Styles workshop?
In short, this three-day workshop is an introduction to the nine fundamental styles of leadership as experienced through the context of the Enneagram and integrated with the Awakened Wisdom philosophy. It is a training that unlocks the mystery of how to be a great leader, by supporting everyone in identifying his or her own particular, individual leadership style. When we understand how to express our authentic leadership fully, the results we can achieve are limited only by our willingness and our imagination. And the more we understand about our styles the more our willingness and imagination is opened up to greater and greater possibilities.

If you would like to bring this powerful training to your organization or community, please contact us to discuss.

Now I am off to Cambodia and Laos to offer training there.
Journey well everyone,
I hope to see you soon,

Patrick Ryan