Image by Larisa Koshkina
Your own Self-Realization
is the greatest service
you can render the world.
– Ramana Maharshi
Do you remember that famous scene in the movie Rocky, when he ran up seventy-two steps to the top of the Philadelphia Museum, and once he got there he raised his arms triumphantly? He had met his challenge as a smalltime boxer to become a heavyweight champion, which was something he believed he could be.
That's you on the path of self-realization. You're a champ on this life journey, yet it's no easy road getting to the top step where you can raise your arms victoriously, and declare, "I made it!"
But here's what you should know about yourself. You've walked a lot farther than 72 steps—way farther. And along the way, you've tripped, and fell, and maybe even rolled down them, and hurt yourself pretty badly. And maybe you looked up at the steps of your life journey, and said, "No way, I'm not taking one more step. I'm done, I'm through!" But you picked yourself up, dusted yourself off, and began again, one step at a time.
And that is the path of self-realization. We "begin again" each time we get knocked down along the way, and get up because we are determined to realize our full potential.
We do it because we believe in ourselves, and even when we don't, there is something greater in us that pushes us forward, and tells us to continue on. It's an arduous journey to become self-realized, which is like sailing on the vast, tempestuous ocean to meet our destiny. The sea will rage along the way, and toss our boat around, and we will be tested to see if we have what it takes to keep going. And if we don't give up, we will meet our potential, and can triumphantly raise our arms in the air like Rocky and declare, "I made it!"
Self-Realization Is Like Running A Marathon, Again and Again
So, do you have what it takes to keep going, and make it today, in this moment? Self-realization is like running a marathon, not just once, but again and again, as many times as possible so that each time, you realize more of your potential, and you keep on going.
It's not because you have to get to the finish line, but that you're doing it to realize more of who you are—your higher self, your "spiritual being". You understand that the marathon—the journey of self-realization—is never ending.
That's why the quote, "It's not the destination, but the journey," is so resonant. Because it's true. It is the journey that teaches us who we are, and that means every step of our journey.
We may be hurried or impatient to get to our "destination" but once we're there, what is it that we think we will find? We will find ourselves, and that means whatever "realizations" we've had along the way.
Multiple Mini-Awakenings of Varying Degrees
Each of those realizations are like mini awakenings. On the path of self-realization, there is no one big awakening, but many along the way of varying degrees: some small, some big; and each one of them is like the lotus flower, which grows out of muddy waters.
Our hard work on the path of self-realization is like the journey of the lotus flower. It's the challenges and the difficulties that we face along the way that are similar to the mud the lotus must emerge from, and it is the light that we shine on ourselves that opens us up to our full potential, just like the lotus flower opens to the sun of a new day.
And it is a new day. It is the day of "now," and no other day has come before it that is like this one. You have awakened to this day to become more self-realized, and you will emerge from whatever this day presents to you triumphantly.
Self-Realization Is The Ultimate Inside Job
So be honest with yourself in whatever it is you face, and even if you feel that you can't take one more step on your life journey, take it anyway because you can. Remember, Goethe said, "Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen."
Self-realization is the ultimate inside job. Anyone who has the belief, strength, stamina, and sheer determination to become who they really are -- and be willing to strip away every single peace of false clothing, which is much more than what we wear, but the layers upon layers of the artificial inauthentic self and the illusionary thoughts that fill our minds -- will crack open the egg of illusion. What will be born is who you were when you came into existence; an already enlightened being.
The Rebirth of the True Self
I believe that self-realization is a rebirth of one's true self. So, don't be concerned about "when" you will become self-realized. Just stay on this path of awakening, and be on it because you genuinely want to realize your true self, and not live your life falsely as someone you're not. That, in itself, is a realization.
On the life journey, the more realizations you have, the closer you will get to your full potential. That is what will motivate you to continue on, no matter how many more marathons there are to run, or steps to run up, or how many more times the waters rage as you continue sailing upon the vast sea of your destiny.
Meditation for Self-Realization
- Sit somewhere quiet
- Gently close your eyes.
- Be aware of any sounds, thoughts, feelings or sensations in your body. Simply observe them.
- Put your focus and attention onto your breath.
- Take a few deep breaths in and out.
- Say silently, "Self-realization is my path."
- Say silently, "I am committed to the path of awakening."
- Say silently, "May I fulfill my potential."
- Bring your focus and awareness back to your body.
- Gently open your eyes.
- When you are ready, transition out of your meditation.
©2019 by Ora Nadrich. All Rights Reserved.
Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity
by Ora Nadrich.
Fake news and "alternative facts" permeate our modern culture, causing ever more confusion to what is real and true. Authenticity is more important than ever as a prescription for peace, happiness and fulfillment. Live True fills that prescription. Written in a down-to-earth, supportive voice, Ora's Live True offers the modern approach to Buddhist teachings of awareness and compassion; making them instantly accessible and adaptable to everyday life and everyday people. The book is expertly divided into four sections - Time, Understanding, Living, and ultimately, Realization -- to take the reader through the necessary stages of understanding how to connect to our authentic selves and experience the joy and peace - the ever-present wholeness - that comes from living Mindfully.
About the Author
Ora Nadrich is founder and president of the Institute for Transformational Thinking and author of Live True: A Mindfulness Guide to Authenticity as well as Says Who? How One Simple Question Can Change. A certified life coach and mindfulness teacher, she specializes in transformational thinking, self-discovery, and mentoring new coaches as they develop their careers. Contact her at theiftt.org and OraNadrich.com.