All of us know what it is like to awaken from a dream when sleeping, into our everyday life. We move, perhaps stretch, open our eyes and realize we have been dreaming. Suddenly what we took as being real, with all its associated emotions, sensations and intensity, is seen as a figment of our imagination. Spiritual awakening is something like this. It is a profound and radical shift in consciousness from seeing through our ego and small self with all its fears, limitations and defenses to knowing ourselves as infinitely vaster than anything that can show up in our lives. The difference in perspective is the change that changes everything.
Viewing life through the filters of the ego is like being a boat, alone on a huge ocean with a tsunami heading towards one, trying frantically to stay afloat and survive. An awakened view is like waking up from the dream of being the boat and knowing oneself to be the ocean. The tsunami may come and pass, and the ocean is not destroyed by it. In fact it may well be deepened by it.
The truth of who we are is, like the ocean, vast, powerful, and able to withstand crashing waves and tsunamis. And still we are capable of fathomless depths and stillness regardless of what is occurring on the surface of things. It is only through past conditioning from our families and culture, that we have been programmed to have the tenacious habit of viewing ourselves as the battered boat.