In a discussion over on Rose Rosetree’s blog, the distinction between level of skill and level of consciousness came up.
This is an important distinction. It’s one thing for spiritual awakening to unfold. It’s another for us to make skilled use of that. Partly this is in integration and allowing presence to express through us rather than being driven by old habits and resistance. Many are still learning how to be in the world in this new context.
In her recent second interview on BATGAP, Neelam describes a single shift into presence, but many shifts in embodiment of that*.
There’s a phrase in book 3 (3v5) of the Yoga Sutra that comes to mind.
“Through mastery of samyama, the splendour [world] of complete wakefulness dawns.”
We can observe two things here. The first: there is wakefulness, then skill in wakefulness leading to splendour. The second describes the skill – samyama.
Samyama is a blend of 3 things: presence (Samadhi), flowing awareness (Dhyana), and focused attention (Dharana) – together. The average person only experiences one at a time. We’re focused on a task or we’re expansive. Plus, many understand these terms incorrectly, like using effort for focus. But that breaks flow.
With some practice of effortless meditation, presence becomes established as an ongoing backdrop. As identification with the content of mind and the concept of a me softens, awareness easily flows. Within that context, introducing a focused thought or intention is very potent.
After spiritual awakening, samyama can develop as an ongoing experience. If someone is not conscious of how they’re using their attention, a practice of mindfulness or presence can be useful. Not as a mood or concept but just becoming more attentive to what is happening right now within. Otherwise our life can still be driven by unintended consequences of unresolved drama.
Finally, this highlights another aspect of how an awakening unfolds: into Splendour. 😉
*she also mentions Ramana’s description of later stages that may arise based on the destiny of the individual, something that does not come by desire or wanting. This is distinct from how I describe the stages as a normal progression. But Kundalini Vidya does note that the form of the embodiment does vary, after the descent aka “advanced process”.