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Here we have an interview with the incredible Daniel Schmidt, Time To Wake Up…
With spiritual awakenings becoming more commonplace around the globe in retreats, spiritual courses and private meditations, what is going on in people’s consciousnesses? Are we waking up to a new human experience, and what will that mean in everyday life?
Daniel Schmidt, founder of the Awaken the World Initiative, believes that the current state of the world is accelerating our spiritual ascension. “There’s sort of this pervasive feeling that the answers are not out there, and it seems like the world is priming people for awakening the way it is now. At this point, there is almost no choice but to go through the “dark night of the soul” due to a growing “disillusionment with the matrix”_-the institutions and systems we once exalted. In our conversation with Daniel, who created the Samadhi Center in Ontario, Canada, we explored what is on the other side of that disillusionment.
STEPPING OUT OF CHARACTER
For him, the most “direct path” requires recognising our “choiceless awareness” that is ever-present and has no preference. “The more my sense of “” rests as awareness, the awareness that doesn’t come and go, the more free energy is to oscillate on this continuum.” Once we no longer identify with our “character,” our preferences, we can be open to all that life offers. Daniel believes that “our natural state that isn’t mediated by this character is just an openness to everything so there’s not a judging of good or bad or positive or negative.”
Though it is human nature to avoid pain and seek pleasure, when we try to hang onto only the good experiences, our energy contracts, and we actually get less. Having started on his spiritual path 25 years ago, Daniel can confirm that there is much less suffering in his life now, one of the many fruits of this path.
THE GREAT UNKNOWN
He explained that our human experience becomes richer and more awesome as we realise how little we really know. When the character has been humbled over and over by life, there comes a point when it stops seeking “truth” from an analytical perspective. “I think a point for me on the path was that little conditioned self really came to know its own limitations and the giving up of that seeking.” When we let go of that seeking, a more profound recognition of the present moment and all the direct wisdom it holds is possible.
For example, some shifts are happening at the Samadhi Center, and Daniel doesn’t know how things will unfold, but he is more than okay with that. “For me, there is an aliveness in that,” he said, acknowledging the excitement of not knowing. He believes having a “beginner’s mind” is the most intelligent way to approach life because even the greatest masters, like Socrates, would acknowledge how little they know.
LETTING GO OF LABELS
While we, living as our characters, feel a need to label everything, there is a value in staying in unfiltered awareness. Having gone through diverse experiences of “death” or letting go, Daniel got to understand this first-hand. “From the perspective of that character, fighting for life, this experience didn’t feel benevolent; it felt hellish, it felt like death.” When a blissful rapture followed this uncomfortable experience, his character naturally tried to hold onto that. However. in his most recent “death”, there was no charge attached to either end of the experience. “It was fully experienced, but it was just the body going through it,” Daniel shared.
“I AM” CONSCIOUSNESS
“If we can create conditions for awakening to happen, what are those conditions?” This question has been top of mind for Daniel in his work at the Samadhi Centre over the past 15 years. For him, “conditions of no escape,” as he was meditating in an extreme container, worked best, so, in his intensives, he creates those conditions for participants. Moving away from the idea of techniques, Daniel said that coming into beingness through mediation and self-inquiry practices with a partner are the best tools he knows of to precipitate awakening.
In particular, looking into a partner’s eyes is an effective way to become completely present and aware of what’s happening within the self-structure. It is also an opportunity to recognise the other as self. “So to me, there’s a deeper sense of love that is what the mystics talk about: love, divine love, that is connected to the truth of who I am. The realisation of the one consciousness that we all are sharing Most of us have encountered the concept of oneness before, but it is another thing to realise it directly and live from that state. In a beautiful summary of our human experience, Daniel explained, “There’s this continuum of possibility, and when our sense of “I” is not wrapped up in any preference or any experience, then it’s all a show, it’s all just a magic show.”
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