Articles by Rita Marie Robinson
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The Feminine Face of Awakening
A detached and kind of blissful state no longer has the appeal it once had back in the 1970s when I was a spiritual seeker looking for what was then considered to be the ultimate goal: enlightenment. I was younger and naively thought that if I could just have that experience of oneness, then all struggle and pain would melt away and be replaced by infinite love and wisdom. While it is true that realization of the formless or the Absolute is an important part of the journey, the real question is what comes next. Westerners in particular want a spirituality grounded in the practical.
This practical approach is what I was looking for when I recently met the first person in my life that I could call enlightened, though I hesitate to use that term because of all the past baggage it carries. For that reason, I often say self-realized or awakened. These terms are interchangeable—they describe a genuine, profound shift in the way a person experiences life. The sense of a separate self dissolves. What I notice about someone who is awakened, is that nothing gets in the way of the full expression of love and wisdom, attributes of our true nature at the core of each and every one of us.
When I initially saw Pamela Wilson, I had a hard time believing that she was the teacher. She wore jeans and a flannel shirt; her long blonde hair hung loose around her shoulders. She looked much younger than her 50-something years. What made the biggest impression on me is the way Pamela was the same whether cooking oatmeal or sitting in front of a group answering questions — there was no change in her warm, loving presence.
After meeting Pamela, I began to wonder—are there other teachers like her, women who haven’t left “real” life but who have awakened to their true nature. I was delighted to find that the answer is “yes”. My search eventually led to writing a book based on interviews with over a dozen women spiritual teachers. Though their backgrounds are diverse, their lives look very much like everyone else’s. They have normal names (with a couple of exceptions). Some have kids, husbands, dogs, bills to pay. In each case, after their awakening, they went back to living life in all its humanness. Instead of resisting the mundane, these women embrace — even celebrate — the ordinariness of daily life. Read Entire Article