Awakening Defined

Enlightenment is simple. As you watch this video (hit the picture) practice at my prompts as you listen. This is a great video to come back to and follow if you have lost you composure and want to regain your stillness. The simplicity of Presence practice and application of it will transform your life, as described in here (easier than reading!)

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There are many ways that Awakening is defined. In this webpage it is defined as: The capacity to be fully Present in this moment and to be consciously aware of this. Simple.

This is a measurable outcome if you are willing to be honest with yourself. This can simply be experienced as space, stillness, aliveness, emptiness, hugeness and so on. It is via your body so it is grounded. If you are Present as defined by Eckhart Tolle then that is the Awakened state as described in this website. Other spiritual ways of describing Awakening can be the I AM, the I AM Presence.

Here I discuss the two initial cycles of Awakening. The first cycle is individual “me” related, the second is trans-personal “we” related. Firstly you need to awaken yourself, settle in that before you are ready to be a bigger you that includes others and simultaneous levels of conscious awareness. This framework is very similar to that discussed by Adyashanti in his book End of Your World.

Below is a summary of the first six phases of Awakening that cover the first and second cycles of awakening. The first four are described in in this page as they relate to individual awakening. The latter two phases are in the advanced transpersonal awakening cycle.

This below material is based on how easily the person is able to stay conscious as Presence throughout the day regardless of what is happening in that day for them. It is not based on unmeasurable things like levels of bliss, what a person claims with their words, their belief systems nor the attainment of spiritual abilities. This framework is very similar to that discussed by Adyashanti in his book End of Your World.

There are initially four general phases in this journey and the edges between them can be blurred. I the extend this by two to six phases below.

I can mentor you though the first four of these phases so the unseen pitfalls are avoided and greater levels of happiness and peace become real in your life.

Please note that the information below may be confusing in nature if what is discussed has not been your experience. Words can only point, and the mind then makes up the rest based on its experiences.

You can only know what a babaco tastes and smells like if you have actually had one.

Describing the complex flavour and its tropical perfume smell is close to impossible.

Describing the babaco’s physical shape and texture is hard enough!

Individual Awakening Cycle summary: Phases 1-4

Individual Awakening is the first cycle of awakening. To complete this cycle is the aim of any soul incarnate. In my view is anyone can grow into all of these four phases if you truly want to. That is what this website is about, and it offers you guidance so it happens fast and smoothly. Mentoring will accelerate this.

Phase 1: No experiences of Presence, Unity or Stillness

No inner peace, but a desire for it. This is often driven by wanting to make life more enjoyable by avoiding the pain. The search has started.

Phase 2: Awakening and Presence experiences

Experiences of stillness, presence, God, Oneness and Awakening occur. Awakenings do occur here, even one’s that last for months, but eventually they are lost as and people think to themselves and say to others “I once had this amazing experience” yet you cannot experience it now instantly by choice (remembering what it felt like does not count). This phase is common. The vast majority of spiritual aspirants (and people who think they are fully Awakened) fit in this category. 70% will have had at least one Awakening experience, often one that is very profound and powerful.

It is possible to have many Awakening experiences in this phase. I had hundreds, some up to 4 months in duration. I also experienced many but very powerful openings that lasted seconds. Length of an Awakening is no indicator, it is the after effect and change created that counts. How much easier is it for you to easily enter Presence in this moment now in your day is the measure. The hundreds of the shorter more powerful awakenings gave me the base to understand and be OK with the Transpersonal Awakening cycle (phase 5 and up) that started to happen 20 years later. Wanting to experience more of this unity, bliss and oneness are key indicators of this phase.

For those that love psychology and the works of Carl Gustav Jung this phase is where you will enter the beginning of the individuation phase. Individuation will take a few years to complete and it has some correlation to awakening as the Self, as described by Jung, is the awakened state described here. And by state I do mean that moment in which you are consciously Presence, if you are not in Presence then you are not being Jung’s Self.

Phase 3: Non-abiding Awareness / Presence

Awakening, inner Peace or Presence levels and practice are quite stable in life, even during the tough days. Conscious practice is required for the connection. Many more Awakening experiences can happen, each time you deepen and the connection is easier to have tangibly. You sense “I never quite lose this connection”, yet you do have to consciously choose and practice. This phase is still quite uncommon, many like to think they are here, but are usually in phase 2. Cycles of solid peace and bliss may last for 6 months plus before a crash occurs and connection is difficult and requires conscious effort. This phase will become more common for those that really want inner Peace. Regardless of how evolved your soul is, or how many Awakenings you have had, it does require actual application in your life to be genuine. There are levels of attainment within this phase where you keep your connection easily, but still lose it in others. You will mostly master all emotions in this phase and stay Present and connected even when in full rage, anger, sadness and fear! Although some days you will not and will fall into the emotion and it will require conscious practice to regain your inner peace.

In Jungian psychology terms you will complete what he defines as the individuation process in this phase. You learn how to consciously be the Jungian Self in unity while you are also a separate psychological entity. The dance with archetypes and how that relates to your personal consciousness and thus the use of Inquiry and healing your issues of your Self consciousness will be mostly completed here before entry into phase 4.

Phase 4: Abiding Awareness / Presence

Stillness, inner Peace, Presence NEVER leaves you. Techniques don’t work, nor are they needed. Connection is always there but instant consciously as it is for you to move your left hand, or to notice you are breathing (as you did just now). It takes time to settle in this phase, 5 years minimum. Entry into this phase is truly a shock to your system, a good mentor or guide is very beneficial here (even in this advanced phase). I didn’t truly see myself as in this phase until I was 4 years into it, and it was truly settled and had deepened significantly. I know these things can be lost as I experienced that in phase 2. You will continue to deepen in this phase, it never really ends. Life is good in this phase and you lose preference for nice days over difficult and painful days. Presence and stillness fills you regardless of how horrid life is. You actually become more human in this phase and less spiritually focused as you cannot lose your inner freedom and connection to all. You will still look at yourself and “heal your stuff”, as stuff happens in your abiding Presence.
Most of the people I have met in the past 8 years that imply or say they are in this phase are not. This phase will become more common and is actually attainable by those dedicated and are focused correctly. I also see that being an advanced soul, or not, is irrelevant here. This is all about Presence, not the soul’s past progress on the path. Anyone who is truly and deeply driven can arrive at this place in themSelves. Presence is before your soul, thus you can. It need not take many lifetimes, now is enough!

The long explanations:

Regardless of the level of awareness all phases face a number of challenges and sticking points. Even when full abiding Presence (phase 4.) enters your life you, will realise that the journey has really just begun. In fact entering abidance is usually quite a shock and will take years to integrate. Eckhart Tolle makes this plain when he states clearly in his book The Power of Now , “I went and sat on a park bench for a couple of years”. But most of us do not have this luxury of time to integrate and these things need to be integrated while we are in life.

Phase 1. No experiences of Presence, Unity or Stillness

Many people have a spiritual curiosity or a desire to improve their life. Experiences of Presence, inner stillness, peace and oneness with life or with another person may not necessarily have been experienced. Yet they are seeking to find something deeper, wanting to develop themselves, or to heal their inner turmoil. The search has begun.

Phase 2. Awakening and Presence experience

A person can experience a wide variety of experiences that can last from a few seconds to weeks or months. Often an awakening experience can be a real shock as well as a great experience to have.

Eventually this will end and the normal levels of connection and non-Presence will return. The wanting to be back in that higher consciousness is a sign that you have fallen out of it. If the experience of Presence is not ongoing then typically this is the phase you are in. Some tend to believe that because they had a significant experience, even one that may have lasted for months, they are now fully Present all the time. This is a hindrance to progress at this point because it is the mind’s thinking and the ego has now taken ownership of the experience.

Also, after significant experiences of awakening, you may crash and enter states of depression and withdraw from life. If the crash is big you may want to leave humanity all together, but please note that is just an aspect of you wanting the deeper truth, so dispatching yourself will not solve the problem.

Talk to that part of yourself that wants to leave and find out what it wants. Inquire into it. Seek assistance immediately if you are feeling this way. Use this as motivation to practice Presence with more consistency, and that means to be in the moment fully, not in avoidance of the pain that comes with being a human.

The pain will end as you practice through it. It is important to point out here that in some audio recordings Eckhart Tolle, eg: dissolving the pain-body dvd/cd, states that even people with quite heavy pain-bodies typically dissolve them within two years of consistent practice. After the pain-body is dissolved strong depression and suicidal tendencies will be unlikely, because you will be anchored much more in the moment with no drag from your past pain. Your practice of living in the present moment will also be much stronger.

In this phase you may not have significant experiences of consciousness. If you are practising the practice of Presence, as described here or by Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti (etc.), you may experience it as something simple and still. The indicators are stillness, spaciousness and calmness that can be felt concurrently with what is happening in the moment as you do your best to practice Presence in your life.

Ironically this ordinariness of stillness, spaciousness and calmness is what becomes normal once you have been in the Abiding Presence (phase 4.) for at least a few years. Everybody is different. Experiences of profound states can be just as much of a hindrance to progress as the desire to have them is by those who have not had them.

Addiction to metaphysical experiences and chasing bliss can be quite a problem. The experiences and feelings such as bliss, ecstasy and samadhi that occur are not Presence per se but a by product that may occur. You will probably find when in this phase that if you hold Presence consistently in sitting meditations and you drop deeper into Presence. If you hold this for long enough it may result in fear (of death, terror!) being triggered.

This is the ego needing to re-identify with itself as the unity you feel is a threat to the ego’s existence. You will then pop out of this deep state and back into identification as a separate non-Present ego. In this phase you will be actively disassembling your emotional baggage (or pain-body as Tolle terms it) either through doing introspective work, Inquiry, or by dealing with reactions as they happen in your daily life. This is the most challenging aspect of this journey. Sweeping your unconscious behaviours and reactions under the carpets will no longer be possible.

Practice of Presence is by trial and error, and your experience of what it is to be Present will change and deepen on an ongoing basis. The trick of practice and the discovery that it is a non-doing doing will be a learning curve for you.

Mental concepts and theories will be knocked down as you further experience this simple, yet profound state of consciousness. Just be open to experiencing more and know that whatever concept you have about now it should be and will be proved wrong.

The golden rule of the stillness is always right is the key to swift progress. And by stillness I do mean just that: it has no words.

Phase 3. Non-abiding Awareness / Presence

Non-abiding is the phase where your conscious practice of being Present is becoming consistent throughout your day. You will notice that if you stop actively being vigilant regarding your awareness of Presence, it will drop away and you will re-identify with your thinking and egoic patterns. Consistent practice will return you easily back to a maintainable sense and connection to Presence. Life will certainly be more pleasant in this phase of the journey.

Your resilience to being emotionally upset by life’s events is good and if something big happens, you will recover quite quickly. Emotional events will be met with an active increase in practising Presence to match the emotion as it arises. The emotions themselves will reflect the situation and not be over-reactions, as they were when your past (pain-body) played heavily on your consciousness.

Mindful practice can create problems in this phase (as with the previous phase). The mind in this phase is becoming well integrated, and by its own power can create similar sensations to actual Presence. Even states of bliss and samadhi can be mind generated. Care needs to be taken with this, especially by those who are quite intelligent or have a strong mind.

You will notice cycles in your life, like that of waves in the ocean. The top part of the wave has the easy times with good levels of Presence, peace and joy. In these good times your conscious practice may slip, as it seems so easy cruise in the moment. You may experience months of deep peace, even bliss. Some who experience these phases of protracted bliss may get lost in the nothingness of it and fall into the trap of “I have reached the end”.

Then you will dive into the down cycle where life puts difficult things your way and practice of Presence is hard and certainly required. In these hard days, it may take persistent practice and hours of effort to feel a sense of relief from what you are experiencing.

It is still possible to have quite a number of further deepenings or awakenings in this phase. Each time a little more identification with mind and ego drops away and you become more comfortable with the stillness. You will notice that your practice is becoming more consistent and tangible in more and more situations.

You will start to experience that you can concurrently have a tangible awareness of Presence when various emotions run. Initially, Presence may be there in some situations and not in others. You will find some emotions become easier to be Present with like sadness and mild fear.

The stronger emotions of terror and anger will be much more difficult to remain in Presence with. One day you will experience strong anger and yet remain fully Present as it moves through you. That will be an ah-ha moment you will certainly remember. This is an indicator that your Presence practice is becoming strong.

An unexpected by-product that happens in this phase is that your capacity to numb out and not feel things will decrease, possibly dramatically. All of a sudden small things are felt as fully as the big things. Previously, you may have been able to shrug them off, but now you feel them as if all your skin has been peeled off.

This is a good sign. Your defenses to being conscious have dropped, and that is because you are able to feel properly. Your ability to transmute and hold the unconscious is growing strong. Denial is a capacity you are now losing. Just when you thought life was going to be full of bliss, you start feeling more stuff! This journey is never what we think it will be, unfortunately!

A key indicator of this phase is that you will still need to actively practice to enter Presence. Sometimes it will be almost instant, while at other times, in the down cycle, it may take considerable effort. Vigilance and consistency are the hallmarks of this phase – never give up regardless of how good (and you become lazy with practice) or difficult it may seem.

Phase 4. Abiding Awareness / Presence

This is the final main phase of Presence. Presence never leaves. There is no practice but Vigilance is required. Stillness is there in all daily life situations regardless of how tough life makes things for you.

You may enter this phase through some big awakening or through a metaphorical death-type experience. This death-type experience is where you surrender, even if the surrender occurs because you are forced to do so and have no choice in the matter. Alternatively, you may suddenly realise that it has been days and weeks and your deep sense of connected stillness has not left you and no big experience happened. It can be all of these. There is no fixed way.

Initially you will start to notice that the practices you used to enter Presence no longer work. This is because as soon as you wanted to notice your Presence, it was there in an instant. At some stage you will wonder: is this just an extended good phase like you had in the non-abiding phase? Yet something will seem different.

The old practices will not deepen your connection and you will eventually give up trying as what is, is. When this realisation hits your personality structure (probably in the first 1 to 3 months), it may panic as the thing you have been seeking and working towards for so long is now a fact. This will require a massive internal re-structure as prior to this all your effort and life goals may have revolved around this ‘attainment’.

So what is next will be the big question. This can also be unsettling, even in the stillness, as you are now like a rudderless boat in the still pond of existence.

This can be a time of shedding the old spiritual teachings you used in your search. You will now know through direct experience that most, if not all, teachings only point to what you now experience. You will also see in glaring obvious fashion the falseness found in aspects of the different teachings.

In the initial months or first year of this phase, at times the stillness may seem a little weaker in trying circumstances – but you will know that is OK because you don’t lose the now unbreakable connection. It bounces back very quickly.

Once it has dawned on you that the stillness cannot be lost everything seems anew. If the description of this phase describes you, please be vigilant because you will now know that the stillness is the truth of your being, not what your mind (or others) try to say. It can be easy in this phase to fall into I got it mentality.

This then opens you to falling down pot holes of the ego. If you can make contact with someone who is also in this phase then all these unsettling issues can be assured. I suggest you listen to Adyashanti’s audio or contact me as you will personally know few (at best) who can relate to what you are experiencing.

You may even contemplate for months whether any spiritual practice was of any use at all. To assure you, the answer is yes, it did help. The pre-abiding practice developed the discipline to now take your Presence out into the world and maintain it. It also accustomed you to life with Presence. If this abiding entry was not enough of a shock, imagine how incredibly shocking it would have been if you had not pre-integrated! Some people’s mind could easily become unhinged without prior acclimatisation through Presence practices.

Eckhart Tolle for example sat on a park bench, didn’t work and ran out of money. It took him years to integrate and get his life back on track (per society’s definition of on track which is: being a functional contributing member of society).

He jumped straight into the deep end with no prior practice or experience. I have heard that some academic studies indicate that up to 20% of mental hospital patients were admitted due to significant spiritual experiences that they were unable to integrate thus becoming mentally dysfunctional.

As noted above in the non-abiding awareness phase (phase 3), your feeling capacity in abidance increases yet again as more internal structure and defence mechanisms have been disassembled. The practice in the previous phases prepared you to be stripped of the unconscious mechanisms that the normal unconscious populace have and need in order to function. So again you will feel more of everything.

The difference this time is that all of this is now concurrent with your unbreakable stillness. So when the sensations become uncomfortable, your direction of attention goes into the stillness and nothing is denied. In this place the uncomfortable emotions or situation are being imbibed with your still Presence. Hence you no longer avoid life’s nitty gritty.

This can take years to become accustomed as being normal for you. Nobody else will understand that this is possible. People seem resistant to this notion, with them preferring the idea that awakening means that emotions will never be experienced again while abiding in Presence. Yet by definition Presence is all that is, and that includes emotions and all of life’s occurrences, whether they are nice or not.

It will never be what one had expected it to be like. Even after years in the abidance integration process you will know that you cannot predict what the next deepening will bring. Surprises are ongoing for years. As the years pass, you will notice is that it just becomes an ordinary state while still profound. While one piece of chocolate is rather nice, if you have 30 pieces a day for years it soon becomes ordinary as a way of life.

In this phase Presence never leaves and is contactable deeply in an instant. I use the metaphor of your Presence being like your right hand. It is always there and you use it without thinking or contemplating if your right hand is still attached to your arm. It requires no effort to use your right hand. You do not sit to meditate or practice certain techniques in order to move your hand. This is the key indicator of this phase, along with the application of vigilance.

As a result, the search for spirituality dies. You know that you are what you were looking for. Presence will continue to deepen, and become ordinary in more and more areas and aspects of your life. There will be a movement towards being a normal human being, rather than the pursuit of what is perceived as spiritual.

Avoidance of the nitty gritty aspects of being a human being stops and you literally enter and be in the world. Normal things like paid employment, regardless of how droll, take on a new edge as you steep it in your Presence. Ego filled environments will not deter you and if it tests you, you grow in Presence through it. If a change of profession happens, it will do so when the time is right.

Adyashanti says in his book End of Your World that this phase takes a minimum of five years to integrate if you are a quick study and do not get caught in distraction while stabilising in this phase. Vigilance is still required, as the mind can never be underestimated. Yet the vigilance in abidance is easy and not the hard slog it was in the earlier phases. Personality and unconscious aspects to be addressed will remain for most people in differing degrees. Thus Inquiry will continue as you integrate more of your psyche into your Presence.

In this phase you will eventually notice the deepening of no avoidance of the bad days and no driven preference of what the days bring. Presence will greet all of life as it happens and you will go through the tough days and good days in the same way, with Presence and peace. You may not enjoy the bad days, but peace will be your main undercurrent. You will not fight the bad days.

As part of this phase you may also experience that desire and wanting drop back. This can be incremental or in large drops. While you may want an outcome you will find you are not in the slightest bit disappointed if it does not occur. This is because you internal Presence, your stillness, feeds you and you know that this is the only thing that is truly true.

This may team up with changes in your motivation. Your motivation may drop dramatically without warning. The personal motivation of the “me” dies. This can also be a shock, as things no longer seem important as your personal relationship to outcomes has weakened or gone. The old methods of goal setting and such like now seem inherently false and don’t work.

It may take considerable time for the new impersonal form of motivation and drive to show up. It is important that you keep your life on track if this occurs until the new motivation stabilises. You may go in cycles of having drive and motivation to being unmotivated and enjoying your inner connection to everything. Be sure you keep your life on track (maintaining your obligations, income, career, relationships etc.) during this process until the new impersonal form of motivation settles and stabilises.

Entering the world and integrating is a rich and rewarding process as you will experience how Presence keeps deepening in your life, while also becoming more ‘normal’ and ordinary. As Presence becomes ordinary, after a number of years, you may find yourself not being able to remember what it was like to be ‘lost’ and disconnected from Presence. Quite a contradiction, as are most spiritual truths.

Two important questions to ask yourself

Firstly, where are you in the 4 phases above? Secondly, where would you like to live from? Seriously! If regular mentoring is undertaken (at 3 weekly intervals) and if you follow through with practice and Inquiry most people could easily achieve the mid point of non-Abiding Awareness in 2 to 4 years.

It all comes down to you and your drive to develop your spiritual fitness. That is what I am seeing with people I mentor.

That’s a pretty sweet place to live from. Then it is just a matter of time with the assistance of Grace for entry into the full Abiding phase 4. As I stated above I have seen enough to know “soul age” and other limitations don’t really matter – it is you application and listening to someone who knows the pot holes you must traverse that makes it a smooth journey to a life with real inner Peace.

Arrange a free chat to see what is required to bring you home

Everyone is unique, so lets discover what it will take. Make contact and we’ll arrange a free 30min chat on phone or Skype to see where you’re at and if I can give you any pointers to deepen yourSelf into the Awakened joy that you are.

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