A Global Awakening

The clean slate of a child’s mind is so wonderful to watch grow. We become excited with each new growth from discovering how to walk to learning algebra. When a child struggles, we don’t get mad or frustrated that they are slow learners. We simply know that child development takes many years based on basic human biology.

I’ve often found myself frustrated, scared, excited, and overwhelmed as I’ve witnessed the growth of Vipassana in our world. Many individuals are suffering, and the world has an abundance of challenges that could be cured by Vipassana. Sometimes I feel like Vipassana must act now or we’re doomed. Recently, I’ve been wondering if this is simply my own issue. Maybe I’ve be reacting to a sankara that is simply distant from our actual reality.

The truth entering my mind is that Vipassana is spreading exponentially at just the right rate. Every year more people are discovering dhamma, and there is a growing population of established meditators diving deeper into their practice. There is an awakening occurring on our planet on a schedule of its own. If I can step back and observe the process with some detachment, it looks so beautiful and inevitable. Just like an infant who is bound to someday have an entire life of its own regardless of my actions, Vipassana seems bound to spread throughout our human society. From my detached seat, I can truly embrace the beauty dhamma.

Suffering already exists on our planet, and suffering will continue for many centuries to come. The problems we face are bound to bring struggle and pain. The global awakening of dhamma allows me to see light through this tunnel of darkness. This wisdom makes it slightly easier to embrace the ongoing suffering I see all around me. Maybe this awareness will also bring peace to your mind. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

One thought on “A Global Awakening

  1. I used to get so angry & depressed that I’d find myself in envy of mass shooters who killed a bunch of people & then took their own lives. Having taken a 10 day course & now continuing on the path, I feel so much compassion for others’ suffering, where before it was all me, me, me. I have to resist the urge to proselytize, & instead look to the Dhamma to see how to actually help others. Proselytizing won’t help spread Dhamma. Compassion will!

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