Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What Is a Spiritual Awakening?

A spiritual awakening is a realization of what is real. Wow. That's not very helpful at all, is it? It's just this side of circular logic: "realization of what is real." But that's about as close to truth as you can get for explaining it. I'll go on for awhile longer, but ultimately, an awakening is felt throughout your body, heart, mind, and soul. It's a sudden, penetrating energy-filled ripple that fires through you, and then you get it.

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Reality Versus Illusion
From the perspective of the mind, you have a clearer understanding of what is real versus what is illusory. You can perceive all the things that are made up, and when you get right down to it, just about everything is made up. This little piece of an awakening is earth-shattering for most people because they start to see how they bought into a certain way of living, decided some things were important and others were not, and so on. The basics of life also become very simple as the focus moves towards things like unconditional love, truth, and integrity to others. But in awakening, it means giving up and letting go of tons of illusions about who you are to get to that point.

I Get It!
This is an amazing moment, and it comes in all shades and shapes for everyone. I had one friend who says that she went around for a couple of weeks, just saying, "I get it." And there's nothing more to be said really. This is very frustrating for all of us in the West where we quantify and explain the importance of everything. This blog is in itself a bit of an oxymoron because I can't really explain a spiritual awakening. It's more like what Eckhart Tolle says in that I'm creating sign posts that point to something. These signs are pointing to something--to the awakening, but these words and descriptions won't be like your awakening. They probably won't be anything like it at all.

Spiritual Awakening Signs
I am very cautious to label things as signs of awakening, and in truth, a spiritual awakening is just the beginning. It is the light coming on in the house so that you can see everything for what it is. Now comes the immense urge to clean-up, heal, and expand your space, and all of this comes naturally like a rush of its own intelligent energy. Some times it can feel so strong that the unconscious ego that may be clinging on will feel like this is all "happening to you." But be sure, you have chosen it, and if you don't feel that way, then now is an especially important to time to consciously choose what is already unfolding in your life.

In general, some real spiritual awakening signs are these:

  • Unconditional love
  • Being able to clearly see what is real
  • Loss of desire/need for anything external to complete you
  • A profound sense of calm, peace, or serenity
  • An abiding sense of one or all of these

This last part is key. Many people have profound spiritual openings, which is wonderful. But in an opening, the window opens, and then it shuts. When it shuts, a person can go back to the way they were acting before. This happens all the time after people have gone to spiritual retreats or spent time with spiritual teachers. But in awakening, it is always with you, and things move and align on their own. It is, as I said, the lights in the house are all on. Sure you can close your eyes, but you know the truth. There truly is a feeling that there is no going back.

All other spiritual awakening signs that you hear about can arise from awakening if the above ones are present. Otherwise, there's all kinds of reasons people can feel fatigue, energy shifts, and what not. But with the above mentioned signs, you truly are moving towards alignment to spirit and aren't just lost in some other passing experience.

Awakening in Eugene, Oregon
I had several different types of awakenings and realizations, but the one where I really was suddenly "there" was in a motel in Eugene, Oregon. I love saying this because so many spiritual seekers are running all over the place to India and ashrams and sacred sites to find themselves, but really, we're always right here. You're always with you. You can't get away from you--even if that's sometimes what you want to do.

No, no, my awakening wasn't in any sort of spiritual place. It was lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling of a motel room. It wasn't a comfortable bed. I remember it being stiff/hard and far too small for me. There was no aromatic incense in the room, and I'm not sure that I'd even meditated that day. But then, there it was. It was like all the noise shut off in my head. It was like coming out from a really noisy concert into a quiet inner room. And I didn't need to do anything or go anywhere. All desire dropped away except possibly the desire to share the experience, which came later.

But I was there, which has always been here, now.

The Purpose of this Blog
As I mentioned, there is this desire to share this experience that I have, so I feel called to write and to share how I've opened up spiritually and how you can too. This is not necessarily an easy path. You don't come to it if you're happy with your life unless you've found that all the things you've won and achieved haven't given you the fulfillment you truly desire. You may also be one of those people who've failed at everything, and in failing, you're willing to open up to something greater because you feel like you've got nothing to lose. Or perhaps, this type of spiritual awareness is simply who you are and what you've always wanted. Regardless of who you are, I am here to help and to share thoughts.

Ultimately, the point of an awakening is to be able to live your life as freely and without fear as possible. It's about touching the deepest levels of love and connection, and if you are ready, I invite you to read on.

Today's picture is a gift from my regular blog reader, Ricci.

Next blog: Why do You Want a Spiritual Awakening?

You can also enjoy my video on the topic here:

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