Abide some More

Back on Abide with Me, I discussed Adyashanti’s concept of abiding and non-abiding awakening. I thought it would be worth exploring this a little more.

As people have a need to verify and understand their experiences, we often seek a way to classify them. This is the value of models of stages of awakening. But equally, we can get mislead or confused. Experiences can be misinterpreted, the model may not seem to work well for us, or we simply don’t have a clear handle on the nature of the process.

The most important thing to differentiate is a “spiritual” experience vs. an awakening.

There are many openings and experiences on a typical journey. These contribute to awakenings and in some ways can be like small awakenings in themselves. But a true awakening, abiding or not, is a change in consciousness. A change in reality. We perceive the world differently. We gain a new perspective. In a true waking, the change is enough that we can’t even remember what it was like before. We now see the past from the new perspective. Who we are has changed and secondarily how we experience.

An experience on the other hand is one of a wide range of perceptual events. It may change how or what we perceive but it doesn’t change who we are. Some people have perceptual events with their waking. Some people have quiet shifts, with little perceptual change.

For example, people often have experiences of massive expansion, freedom or happiness with awakening. Or they may not. Or they may have them separately. These are experiences, not waking itself. Symptoms, we could say. But symptoms of the preparation and shifting going on.

For awakening, we want it to be abiding. For experiences, we don’t. Experiences are transitory. If we try to hold on to them as our “awakening” or a “sign of our spiritual development” we’re actually impeding it. I’ve seen people with major experiences have trouble letting them go so they can progress. Same with spiritual knowledge. If we hold onto the wisdom of one state, it can prevent an even higher wisdom from unfolding.

We could say awakening is a surrender itself. Experiences are things to surrender. And we need to surrender all of it to have surrender itself.

Remember, there is no one truth, one perfect state, one highest reality. Spiritual growth is an organic process from being a point to being more and more infinite. Infinite means never ending. There is such a vast difference between egoic reality and God, that stepping towards God in an infinite process. It’s the journey that’s important, not the goal.

Another experience I’ve seen associated with awakening is a flash of white light that absorbs everything. This is evidently the upper 2 chakras joining. It typically opens up a whole new range of perception. I know a few people who’ve had it with awakening. (many more who haven’t) And some that had it separately. And a couple who thought that was an awakening.

Cognitions are another category of experience. Where we gain complete knowledge of something. Cognitions are not an awakening and are entirely dependent on the state of the observer. Something else to surrender as even they are part of the dream.

The key point is that if it’s flashy and perceptual, that’s not the awakening. That’s experiences. They may have some value. It may signal access to new levels of reality. But it’s a transitory blip on the road. A signpost at best. The key is to experience it, then let it go. If you make the mistake of holding it as “reality”, it will get in the way. No matter how incredible or astonishing, it’s just another experience, another aspect of the dream.

But don’t be surprised if you make the mistake anyway. I sure have. (laughs)

Funnily enough, people that don’t have much perceptual stuff may think they are somehow “behind”, yet they often have a smoother time because they have less to shed. They simply step into abiding awakening without the flash. Ordinary enlightenment. The highest form.
Davidya

PS – I don’t normally go on and on about a specific book or teaching, but this particular one was an honest view of the awakening journey, which is the core subject of this blog. Lots of great points were raised.

Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Abide some More

  1. Ariel Bravy says:

    You said,

    “For awakening, we want it to be abiding. For experiences, we don’t. Experiences are transitory. If we try to hold on to them as our “awakening” or a “sign of our spiritual development” we’re actually impeding it. I’ve seen people with major experiences have trouble letting them go so they can progress. Same with spiritual knowledge. If we hold onto the wisdom of one state, it can prevent an even higher wisdom from unfolding.”

    This is SOOO huge. Separating awakening from experiences in such a black and white way is fantastic. Thank you for your clarity, Davidya. 🙂

  2. Ariel Bravy says:

    Also this,

    “Funnily enough, people that don’t have much perceptual stuff may think they are somehow “behind”, yet they often have a smoother time because they have less to shed. They simply step into abiding awakening without the flash. Ordinary enlightenment.”

    In my own experience, it seems that there’s coming to be less and less of the flashiness. Experiences certainly arise, but the isness of the awareness is just everpresent. It’s so… nothing. Nothing special. Nothing magical. Ordinary, as you say.

    The bliss, love, light, joy.. that all comes and goes. And during all of this, just beingness.

    This is what I mentioned in a previous comment about the lack of profoundness. Not so many of the flashy experiences.

    Just simple, ordinary, everyday, completely and totally obvious being. 🙂

  3. Pingback: The End of Your World Overview « In 2 Deep

  4. Davidya says:

    Hi Ariel
    Thanks for the feedback. You don’t want to hold onto your awakening either but that’s another story. (laughs)
    I’m a bit of a space cowboy so I had to sort out what was flash and what was more useful. Then sort out all the knowledge. Then dump it all. That was the biggest surprise – transcending “ultimate knowledge”.

    The beingness is the important part. The bliss and stuff will always come and go but less and less. Eventually, they will form a background too.

    In the end, it’s the deepening that’s important. What was most subtle becomes most important. What was empty becomes the most solid reality you can imagine. Nothing flashy but deeply profound.

  5. Ben says:

    Again real helpful especially this part…

    “The beingness is the important part. The bliss and stuff will always come and go but less and less. Eventually, they will form a background too.

    In the end, it’s the deepening that’s important. What was most subtle becomes most important. What was empty becomes the most solid reality you can imagine. Nothing flashy but deeply profound.”

    I can see that I am trying to hold onto my experiences and my descriptions of them. This really helps give that up. It is my penchant to absorb and own.

    Great Help!
    Ben

  6. Davidya says:

    Hi Ben
    Yes. The key word there is “my”. The me wants to hold it and make a story. Create a world around it. But the real you does not. It is beyond that and contains all of it. When you contain everything, what is the point of holding it?

    Curiously, you already are that. It is simply the holding that prevents one from seeing this.

  7. Pingback: Awakening is not Experienced « In 2 Deep

  8. Pingback: Astonishing Luck « In 2 Deep

  9. Pingback: The Three Parts of Awakening | In 2 Deep

  10. David says:

    …”When you contain everything, what is the point of holding it?”
    This really stabs holding on to anything right in the heart. Thanks!

  11. Davidya says:

    😉 Right – thanks, David. It is only the sense of separation that leads to the grasping and sense something can be lost. If we identify with the contents of experience, they always come and go and as a result are always lost. But if we are that which contains all experiences, the experiences can come and go but we are never lost.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv - have your latest blog post linked here.