More on Stages of Witnessing

There are many nuances in the approach to awakening and in awakening itself. Self Realization is a watershed moment in the history of our soul. A new birth into a new way of being.

I’ve written many articles on the approach including Gradations of Awakening, What is Witnessing?, and The Stages of Witnessing.

In the later article, I talked about non-abiding witnessing, abiding witnessing and actual Self Realization as 3 possible stages in the approach to awakening. Recently, Lorne Hoff spoke of the steps in another way. I realized this added a fourth possibility.

1) The … Continue Reading…

Atman and Sattva

One of the curious things about the spiritual journey is that the reality of one stage is not the reality of another. As each stage is a shift in being, it brings its own sense of self and the world. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to say, “Knowledge is different in different states of consciousness.” For example, we can easily compare waking and dreaming states. The reality in each is quite distinct.

This also means that terminology that well-suits one stage doesn’t work as well for another. My book editor, for example, steered me away from a few phrasings … Continue Reading…

Drive into Flow

We have long lived under the ego-self and its claims of doership. Thoughts and emotions arise naturally from various stimuli and ego calls them mine. “I feel sad,” we say. Or “I’ve been thinking.” In fact, these are simply happening and we’re noticing.

Some people like artists culture a deeper sense of being to connect to creativity and intuition. They may speak of the muse or inspiration moving through them.

Similarly, spiritual seekers try to culture a deeper sense of being. As their perception refines, they notice that thoughts and emotions simply arise, mostly without their … Continue Reading…

Witnessing Sleep

As consciousness awakens within, we can have periods of time when we experience being a detached observer or witness of our life. Our life continues but we are no longer seen as the doer. We observe while life continues.

What I describe is not a disassociative state or escape from life’s problems. We don’t get there through avoidance or hanging out in the dreamy astral. This is a shift into consciousness itself, beyond all that. We find it through acceptance of what is here.

If we’re well-rested, this witness may continue throughout waking, dreaming and deep sleep. Alertness … Continue Reading…

Clarity vs Doubt

On a recent retreat, an important point came up about awakening. But first, a little background.

I’ve written before about the 3 parts of awakening – the actual shift, the experiences that may come with it, and the purification that may also take place. It’s not unusual for there to be a big release with the shift.

To help avoid confusion for the mind, it’s important to understand that the experiences of opening and purification are not it. They are effects and they are experiences. Awakening itself is not an experience. It is a shift … Continue Reading…

Cosmic Consciousness

I thought it would be interesting to take the qualities mentioned in the song Cosmic Consciousness and relate them to the process.

– shining within
– awake during sleep
– witness the mind from “behind”
– unbounded
– beyond pain
– pleasure arises within
– unshaken by change
– silent being
– eternal
– life like a song or play
– immortal
– beyond the sky

– beginning to see the hand of divinity

Key to understand this list – it is subjective descriptions of being consciousness … Continue Reading…

Perspectives on Awakening

From the perspective of a person waking up, there is a falling away of a sense of individuality and a “waking” to our cosmic or universal Self. Hence it is called Self Realization or Cosmic Consciousness. This is not just a recognition or an experience but a shift in being, a shift in where we experience the world from.

But for a person, there is nothing they can do to create this event. They can do practices to help smooth the process and prepare the ground. But awakening is a surrender, a letting go, a non-doing. Sometimes it happens with … Continue Reading…

Permanent Awakening

I’ve spoken before about some of the variations around the initial spiritual awakening of Self Realization. For some, there can be experiences as if a shift has happened but no actual shift. A taste as it were. There can be the actual shift that then gets over-shadowed for a time – what Adyashanti called non-abiding. And there can be a true, clear, abiding shift.

But that isn’t the end of the story of liberation, in spite of how some speak of it. Until our energetic (karma) baggage is resolved, there can still be unresolved drives that have the potential … Continue Reading…

Styles of Enlightenment

As readers of this blog know, I explore various ways of looking at how enlightenment or spiritual awakening is lived. Here, I don’t mean how the changes are experienced but rather the styles of embodying it. The container we experience those changes through.

In the past, I’ve discussed the distinction between an emphasis on consciousness as I do or an emphasis on energetic embodiment as Rose Rosetree does. But it soon becomes clear there’s several layers to the varieties of lived enlightenment.

Here is a brief list of some of the distinctions that come to mind:

1) Orientation – … Continue Reading…

The Void

One of the ways people describe spiritual experiences sometimes, even as a quality of awakening, is with  words like the void, the emptiness or boundless space or cosmos.

They may associate this with “source” but this is somewhat mistaken. This open space is just that – space. It is the subtle space created by self-aware consciousness. We could say consciousness is the container of this space or void. Thus the void is not the source.

In other words, the person has come to the space in which the world we experience arises. But they have not … Continue Reading…

On Bliss

I’ve spoken here before about how Life is literally Bliss – the very flow of life itself is profoundly blissful if we’re open to that. The Upanishads tell us we’re born of bliss. I’ve also indicated that the 5th kosha or sheath that surrounds our body is pure bliss, always present.

And yet if you read much current spiritual literature, you’ll hear about a lot of other features of awakening. Often bliss is missing. No talk of nirvana or ananda, except perhaps as a passing experience.

Some of … Continue Reading…

The Gunas in Awakening

Firstly, it’s useful to note what the gunas are. In Indian philosophy, all of the created world is said to arise from the interplay of 3 primary “forces” or qualities of Prakriti, nature. Elementally, these are creation, maintenance, and destruction. One of these three qualities tends to dominate everything we experience but nature as a whole seeks continual balance between them. Without that balancing force, known as dharma, the universe would cease – as it sometimes does.

The three forces of creation, maintenance, and destruction express as the three gunas … Continue Reading…