The awakened heart is a broken heart

by Martyn Webber

There’s grief in awakening. Grief at the loss of autonomy, grief at the loss of purpose and meaning. Grief at the loss of knowing and certainty, however deluded they were. There’s grief over losing one’s power, and one’s familiar identity.

There’s so much loss in awakening. When it dawns that there’s nothing we can keep, nothing can be retained beyond its prescribed time, and all that we know and love must pass, then a natural grief for all of it can come. And since this knowledge of loss is for all of it, for all time, then that ache of grief is an ever-present refrain, a broken heart, amidst the delight at the miracle and mystery of life.

We know this poignancy, this pathos, because it’s familiar, it’s part of us, and it’s not wrong. It’s not something to be avoided or excised. We must comfort ourselves and each other tenderly, as we struggle to find the inevitable ground of acceptance.

More on GRIEF on this website — this is a favorite collection What if grief is the natural order of things, a way of loving life anyway?


martynMartyn Webber is a spiritual teacher, philosopher, mystic and writer who helps people discover and embody their true nature and essential freedom as boundless, ever-present awareness. To read more from Martyn or learn about his work go to

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