Hooked on a feeling: a byproduct of awakening

I am listening to Arvo Pärt’s Miserere and inevitably had memories of the time after the initial awakening in my teens and early twenties.

An initial awakening often comes with a certain feeling, and the mind then associates the feeling with the awakening. For me, this feeling would be enhanced by certain music which I listened to at the time: Arvo Pärt (Miserere, Tabula Rasa, Passio), Philip Glass (Akhenaten), Palestrina, Victoria, Rachmaninov’s Vesper and more.

The downside of this is that we may focus more on the feeling than the essence of awakening. We may end up chasing a feeling instead of noticing that which allows and is any experience – including any feelings and moods – and that we and everything are.

The upside is that it may hook us into continuing our exploration of spirituality and the awakening, and it comes with an invitation to differentiate any content of experience from the essence of awakening.

After a while, the feeling may subside. If we have learned to differentiate feelings from what the awakening is really about, this is no problem. It may even be a relief. If we haven’t, we may think and feel that we have lost something important. The mind may even tell itself it has lost the awakening…! This can lead to a type of dark night, and this too comes with an invitation to learn to differentiate any experience from what the essence of awakening.

I went through the sense of loss and then the noticing came back independent of any feeling. When I listen to this music now, I still appreciate it but it doesn’t evoke the feeling it used to, and that’s a relief and nice freedom. There is no need or wish for it to evoke the same or any particular mood.


Initial notes….

  • Hooked on a feeling
    • initial wakening, sometimes comes with side-effects
      • including a feeling that the mind associates with awakening
      • so also for me, would listen to music that enhanced it / connected with it, e.g. Arvo Part (miserere, tabula rasa etc.), some Philip Glass (Akhenaten), Palestrina, Victoria, Rachmaninov’s Vesper etc.
    • after a while, when calms down, stabilizes, matures
      • then disconnects from that feeling
      • notices more the essence of it, free from associations with feelings
      • also, now, then listen to this music, appreciate it but doesn’t evoke those feelings (free from)
    • has a function
      • helps us stay interested, continue to explore
      • helps us differentiate content of experience from the essence of awakening
    • ….

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