Layers of Awakening

Layers of Awakening

In a recent post, More Eckhart, Tom commented about the sequence of ego loss and Adyashanti observing awakening as a two-step process. I thought it would be good to comment further on this.

Awakening is basically a process of opening. Of the release of resistances. As commented elsewhere, everything is either fullness, or resistance to fullness. So the process of being fullness is a process of letting go of resistances. Part of that process is making a connection to or experiencing the experienceless silence of being. Getting to know who we really are. The other part is opening up to what is expressed. Releasing the ideas, emotions, and near-physical blockages we have to the flow. Many talk of the chakras or energy centers in the body and count them different ways. But as the nadis of India and the meridians of China observe, our body is a network of energy pathways, some hampered by stored “stress”, essentially resistance made manifest. Gradually, with a practice, we clear those blockages and the energy starts to flow more smoothly. We begin to open more and more to all of what is.

Often, we hear about this opening described as a series of stages, opening the root chakra, then the 2nd, third, and so forth. But there is a lot more opening than just this – you may have experienced very physical releases in your practice in shoulders, legs or whatever. And rarely from what I’ve seen does it all unfold in a tidy sort of way. I found myself quite clear in the upper ones, but blocked up lower down. And thats not uncommon in seekers as they often pay less attention to more manifest values. Thus the joke that while the wealthy are unhappy, the spiritual are weak, broke, and sick. (laughs) Its also notable that nothing is ever fully blocked, just hampered by resistance.

Once enough of that is clear, then the divine starts to descend. This is what the previous post talked about. We awaken the mind and the ego is released, then the divine heart opens with the release of the pain body, and finally the core identity/ fear structure is as Adyashanti refers to it, BBQed in the light of awareness. So there is these 3 stages, what I jokingly called the “3 Am-egos“, but they are as always experienced back and forth, out of sequence, and so forth. Nonetheless, at a certain point, each value is clear enough for a fuller value of flow and we move up the apprent ladder of opening.

As Tom also observed, Adyashanti talks about awakening as in 2 stages – the loss of the ego, first awakening. Then the loss of the illusion of the world, the second waking. What is more accurately called Enlightenment. But once there, we see that Enlightenment is a concept, so really does not describe the stateless state of being.

We can also note that he describes the process of the 2 stages in 3 steps. Loss of ego happens around the first waking. Loss of core identity with the second. But what of the heart? What of that most magnificent experience of divine love flowing through us? Maharishi Mahesh Yogi described the “higher states of consciousness” as 3: Cosmic, God, and Unity consciousness. Cosmic describes the first waking, Unity the second. In between is this other thing. Its not a waking or distinct shift in the same way as CC and UC. The middle one is of a different process. One that begins usually long before waking and continues long after the second waking. It is a process of refinement of perception and nervous system, and of ever expanding growth of the heart. It is the process that leads to what many call “God Realization”.

This cannot properly be reached until we have awoken. How can we know God if we do not know who we are? In a typical orderly process, we would awaken, realize God, then the Unity of all things. This is the 3 parts of the well known Upanishadic saying “I am That, Thou art That, All this is That.” But of course each of us has a unique path, a unique perspective and a unique contribution to the whole. So how that plays out for us will vary. As I have recently seen observed, some divine heart is required to build the bridge to Unity or complete Oneness. But some are making the second realization before full God Realization, catching up with the refinement later.

Some people reach first awakening, find themselves Being, separate from the world, the witness to the unfolding expression. They experience an underlying peace and bliss through all life. And they conclude they have “arrived”. They have reached the goal. However, CC or first awakening is not remotely the limit of human potential. In fact, it is nothing compared to the awakened heart. And that in turn is nothing on Unity. First awakening is NOT the goal.

In Unity, there is no “inside” and “outside”. Everything is inside of us. Everything is of us, is us. We don’t experience bliss and silence, we ARE the bliss and silence. The very expression itself is us. All of the illusions of the world collapse and we then find the world again real, but a very different real. An intimate real as it is us. The screen you are looking at this on is you, looking back at yourself. Everything is the ebb and flow of Self within Itself. All of this takes place in a world that opened with the heart, a world were all of it is alive, an expression of love.

This may sound like some woo-woo or magical thinking. Or like some drug trip. But its not. It is perfectly ordinary and natural. That is the experience – nothing special. It is just being who you already are. And it is just the beginning. It is where we should be when we reach adulthood in normal human development. And that is the ground we are opening for those who are to come.


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  1. poetreearborist

    I can relate to the feeling of being open higher up, but being blocked lower down – in terms of the physical and spiritual senses.

    When I was in massage school about 5 years ago, I came to realize that I had no sense of my body from the waist down. This came about as we studied leg and pelvic massage. While I knew of all the aches and pains in my back and neck, I had never even sensed what was going on in my lower half. I was uncomfortable with anyone even touching me in this area. However, by trying it and pushing through my fear I learned and grew a great deal.

    Through massage school, the practice of bodywork and the evolution of spiritual practices, I now feel heavy and grounded in my legs and hips, and light through my breath and head.

    I generally know when I have stepped out of sync because my body tells me first by “tightening” in a specific area. Through focused intuition I can listen to what the part of my body is telling me about how my choices cause me to deviate from living honorably, in accordance with divinity.

  2. Davidya

    Body awareness is very good for clearing and grounding. Eckhart touches on it in his online course with Oprah.

    We should balance body awareness with self awareness to ensure balance. Some have an affinity with body work, others a more mental practice, others through heart work. But each are parts of the one path we follow for completion.

    The tightening you describe is of course resistance. Stress is another word people use. Each is a symptom of resistance to what is, to the flow flowing through us, to as you say the divinity.

    Your experience touches on how hidden the identity tries to be, even pulling us away from awareness of the physical overlay.

    Thanks for the feedback.

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