7 COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT SPIRITUAL AWAKENING ANSWERED
Spiritual awakening is an amazingly common phrase today. When you are searching for awakening it seems too far out there and our ego deeply complicates it and makes it a goal that makes us feel special when we reach it. However you are enlightened, you always have and you always will. You are just not really aware because you are caught up in the material world. You are caught up in thinking, emotions and sensations. However when you are silent you begin to realize the backdrop against which all these things are experienced. Aaah you have touched a glimpse of who you are.
There is nothing special about being awakened, you simply just realize who you are. But it also absolutely humbles us and puts an end to the constant search we seem to be on. There is nothing wrong with the world, or the person next to you and there is nothing wrong with the path that they are on. You are where you should be and everything you need flows out of life, because you are life and life takes care of itself. This is the place of true happiness, true peace and unconditional love. This is not to say that it is the end of pain, no but it is the end of unnecessary suffering and true peace.
What is spiritual awakening
Spiritual awakening is the authentic realization of who you are. It is the clear seeing of the truth of your being. It is as though your eyes open for the first time and you suddenly see this is who I am, it’s what I have always been but it was covered by the content of life and the illusion of a separate self.
It is not just knowing about yourself, no it is knowing yourself. It is experiential in nature and you have a sense of who you are. Awareness becomes aware.
Once you see who you are then the process of embodying what you have realized begins. This is a life-long journey. Where you heal the stuck energy and emotions, where you fall in love with all of your humanness including the deeply broken parts of you.
The other day I was taking a walk and was deeply humbled by the realization of just how broken I felt on that day. For some reason I felt small and insignificant. I had to stop in the middle of my walk to do some self inquiry. Was I really broken? This thought on the matter were they really true? What part of me was broken? It took me a moment to allow the thoughts and emotions to be seen and then pass through. However it also made me realize I had some wounded inner child healing to do.
The embodiment of the absolute into the human life is a lifelong process, a journey we might say.
How do I know I am awake
How do I know I have been through a spiritual awakening. It can be tricky because especially if you are on a conscious path of seeking awakening, the ego has a tendency of taking traits that are associated with awakening like compassion and being present and it tries to embody them. Or gets a glimpse of awakening and thinks to itself aaah yes I am awake. But ego never wakes up, it dissolves and all that is left is the pure shining beauty of awakeness.
So how can you tell you are awake? Here are a few signs of spiritual awakening
1. You are perfectly at peace with this moment despite the content.
You can be going through a horrible or difficult time in your life but you are perfectly at peace with the moment. This doesn’t mean that you won’t do anything about it. Depending on the situation you may feel guided to act or not act at all. But all this action or non action moves from a space of deep silence
2. You just get it!
You have been listening to talks, meditating and doing all these gymnastics but you just don’t get it. Then one day you just do! You just get it. I remember at the beginning of my awakening journey I just could not understand oneness. I would look at a tree or my bed and wonder just how am I one with you? How? The one day seated in the living room listening to Adyshanti I just got it! Something clicked and it was as clear as day.
3. Absolute love and oneness.
A feeling of absolute love for everything, for all beings and each moment. You just feel completely at peace with each moment. You feel at one.
This is not the type of love that is lovey dovey or the type of love that has a quid pro quo clause. No it is an unconditional love meaning it is a love devoid of content. It is love before conditioning, it is love before form. It simply is a complete oneness and it is who you are. It cannot be separated from you because you are it.
There is an underlying silence within you you cannot really explain. Thoughts may show up, emotions as well, your job and family are still here and they need your attention and you give it. You may be deep in a conversation with someone or even at a loud concert if you dare hehe. But all that seems to spring from a space of deep silence and quiet. And the silence becomes louder when you are completely quiet doing nothing. This space of silence is you and it comes to the forefront when you wake up.
5. The quality of your life.
A story is told of a monk who lived on a hill. He was revered and respected. Until one day an accusation was levied against him, he had impregnated one of the village girls. His response was “is that so?” The family brought him the child and the community shunned him and stopped visiting him. His response once more was “is that so”. Years passed and one day the girl confessed, the monk was not the father of the child, the community was ashamed, they went to see him and apologise. They asked for the child to be returned to the family. Once again his response was “is that so?”
What’s the point of this tale? Awakening breaks our attachment to the results of life. God or bad is accepted as the constant push and pull of want and do not want dies away. This is a gradual falling away. You wake up one day and things that would send you into an emotional overload no longer have a hold on you. You are less and less triggered by life.
How can I stop my thoughts
Aaah the question that everyone wants to know. “You know I can be a lot more peaceful, if I could just STOP these thoughts!” How do I do that? Hahaha I’m sorry it’s funny because most of us have been there, myself included.
However have you noticed the more you try to control and stop your thoughts the more they get really strong! You sit down for your meditation and the entire time you are at war with your thoughts. So you wake up from your meditation cushion more frustrated than you were when you sat down!
You cannot stop your thoughts but you can stop energizing them. When you shift attention from thought to awareness, whatever is not necessary will wither from a lack of energy. However the more you fight, the stronger it grows. Meditation is a great practice because it is the universal yes to life. You simply sit or stand or lie down and be here. Fully aware as awareness. Let the thoughts rise and fall but do not touch them. Take that practice and bring it to everyday life. End the war against your thoughts, they have committed no crime.
Does awakening really end suffering?
Yes awakening really does end suffering. Before we run off searching for that which will end suffering let be clear what suffering means here.
Pain is a part of life so even when awakened you will feel pain. You will feel loss, you will get sick, you will grow old and so many other things that will bring pain. So awakening is not running away from pain. It is freedom from suffering.
So what is suffering? When you fall sick, you feel pain, but when you start to complain about being sick, wonder why it is always you who is sick now you have created suffering. So you have added to the physical pain, mental suffering. This is what leaves in awakening, the self inflicted suffering is no longer here because whatever is here is accepted as what is here. It is complete and perfect as it is.
How long does it take me to be awakened?
Your awakening will take as long as it needs to.We are perfectly enlightened as we are because we have always been pure untainted awareness. However we seem to be asleep because we have given our attention to form and forgotten that which everything is made of. Pure awareness, now the process of remembering cannot be given a timeline. For some people it is a sudden catapult into awakening while for others it is a lifelong endeavor. Why? I really have no clue, it is just how it goes.
Why am I not awakened yet?
You are fully and beautifully awake completely and absolutely pure in what you are and have always been untainted. However you are caught up in the stories of your ego and life. When your ego let’s go, with no effort of your own, then you will see clearly. In fact the main aim of spiritual teaching is to exhaust your ego enough for it to give up. When ego gives up and realizes I can’t do this! Bam, the light of awakening shines through for you. The truth is you are already awake, your mind just makes it seem out there and very mystical and esoteric. Today with the internet spiritual awakening experiences that are mystical and out of this world are being talked about everywhere. You may think that you need an experience to be awake. However in truth you can be fully awake having never had any experience. But you are fully grounded and completely at peace with what is here. Nope you are that which you have been seeking and you have been here all along.
Will I be able to continue living my life after awakening?
Yes you can, it only becomes more beautiful, simple, unburdened and free. What flows from your heart will flow and manifest and you can have what we like to call a “normal life” Job, family, hobbies, friends, movies name it. But everything will begin to flow from a deeper space, a space of love, intuition and wisdom. A space beyond all things that we can conceptualize. Life becomes a flow, spontaneous and beautiful.
One last thing
Spiritual awakening is a concept, it is an idea like everything else we experience and do. What you are is beyond concept and ideology, it is beyond practices. It simply is, do not be fooled into believing it is something far out there that needs gymnastics and acrobatics to see or discover. You awaken in an instant in the moment when you realize who you are. It is here always and forever and it is free.If you know that you are beyond your mind and body, you are a spiritual being then you are awake.
May you be free, may you be peaceful, may you be happy and may you awaken!
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