Our mission is to offer mindfulness practices, wisdom teachings, and facilitated conversation for the purposes of transforming ourselves, our communities, and our world. Underneath our chattering minds, habitual mental patterns, and unconscious biases is what really matters to us, our inner truth, and we aim to more fully manifest this individual and collective inner truth in our lives and society.
Our own truth matters
Revered Tibetan Buddhist and meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche taught, first and foremost, that all human beings are basically good. But this goodness is sometimes difficult to see in ourselves and others because as we go through life, we’re bombarded by external values and beliefs systems that tell us how we’re supposed to act, think, and be. Through it all, it’s easy to lose our way, to forget who we are, and what we believe. Maybe we end up in a profession or a relationship or even an entire life that we know is not for us.
This is surprisingly common, and when we look deeply at what’s going on, not unexpected. The toxic elements of our culture, education, and economic and political systems influence all of us, in ways that are sometimes too subtle to notice (and often in ways that are quite evident). Choosing a job or a partner or anything else because it seems everyone around us values that choice is very different from choosing it because we value it, but given that we’re such social creatures, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
But if we can bring mindfulness to the entirety of our lives, we can connect with ourselves, who we really are, and what we really want. Our goal is to offer practices that weave mindfulness into the entire fabric of our lives, leaving no stone unturned as we come home to ourselves.
We'd be remiss if we didn't include one important note here: Mindfulness. Is. Uncomfortable. And that's kinda the point. One aspect of practice is to stabilize our minds to make it safe enough to get in touch with all the stuff we've been avoiding. Our team has been practicing meditation for decades, and this fact still rings as true for us as the day we started. Yet, there is profound learning, growth, and joy in persistent practice. Whether it’s your first day or 10,000th day, meditation offers the potential to transform our lives - all we need to do is practice.
Changing hearts and minds
Given our political situation, it’s hard for us not to conclude things are deeply out of balance - in fact, the election of the current President was the main reason we decided to dedicate so much time and energy to this project.
There has been an outpouring of positive activity and response to 2016’s events, and it’s our hope that our app supports those engaged in the much-needed changemaking work.
We believe that in addition to those efforts, there is also inner work to be done. Change requires us to look deeply at ourselves and, by doing so, to invite others into the same process. No major social change movement has succeeded without, at some level, drawing people into self-inquiry - one that results in us changing our collective belief about some issue. Self-inquiry is crucial regardless of who we are, as we are all doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past and perpetuate the very ideologies we want to upend if we do not know ourselves.
Our Founding Teachers have made the intersection of changemaking and mindfulness the core of their teachings, and they will be our guides as we create Awaken.
Interdependence & Community
Meditation is not just a solo activity - in every sense of the phrase, we're in this together. We are co-creating everything about our world, and meditation is a way to consciously partake in this co-creation. The practice brings more inner peace into our own lives, and as we practice together, it brings more equanimity into our society - and therefore lays the foundation for taking the most equanimous route to building the society we want.
Thus, our meditation app is social. After completing each practice, you’re welcome encouraged to journal and share your wisdom with the community - and read about what other people have to say. We’re hoping to facilitate meaningful conversations, the kind that triggers those “a-ha!” moments of learning and growth. Finally, community and interdependence won't stop there - we want it to permeate everything we do. Head over to our Organizational Philosophy page to see more about how you will be helping us govern and grow our organization.