The Buddha, his two awakenings, and how it relates to us (you)

In an audio course about Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad, Professor Mark W. Muesse opened my eyes by recasting the terminology regarding two pivotal events in the Buddha’s life. 

The night Siddhartha Gautama fled his life of luxury as a young prince to become a spiritual seeker is commonly referred to as the Great Renunciation. 

Six years later Siddhartha famously attained enlightenment underneath a bodhi tree. This event is commonly referred to as the Great Awakening; hence the name that became associated with him for all time, the Buddha, the Awakened.

Muesse reframes these two events as the Two Awakenings, the Great Awakening being the second one that shook history. 

Without the first awakening, which caused Siddhartha to abandon his family, his riches and his life to seek an answer to life’s anguish he could not conceivably have had the second (Great) Awakening.

How is this relevant to us?

This way: Substitute awareness for awakening. 

When I think of these events as the Two Awarenesses, then it becomes relevant to everything we experience.

Every time we become aware of a problem, we are initiating a great awareness to come, that moment when the solution — an insight presents itself.

The epiphany is set in motion by the dilemma. Every issue generates its own resolution. 

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