Tom has posted a great Adyashanti quote from earlier this year on Spiritual Awakening. I raised a point there I would like to repeat here – the importance of understanding the 2 aspects of the awakening process – intergation and deepening.
Throughout our growth cycles we see these 2 aspects taking place. After any step of growth there is integration, then a new place of balance. Then along comes something to disrupt and prepare us for the next step of growth. Typically an opening, an expansion or a deepening in this context. But it may arrive in just about any form. Whatever is needed to initiate change, perhaps even get us unstuck.
If we look closely at the Adyashanti quote on Tom’s blog or at our own experience, we can see the process of change has these 2 aspects. In this context, after the first awakening.
1) There is overcoming the ego shrapnel/ deliverance and integrating the deep silence and bliss so they are unshakable in the vagaries of life. Then it is fully established. Many fall back into the mind for a bit but this is an opportunity to see what is there and clear all the old habit forms that no longer serve.
2) There is the moving forward of Being, clearing and integrating the heart, then lower ‘me’ and identity values. This is the forward step.
How people step through these stages of awakening varies widely. Satyam Nadeen talks about the rough deliverance he had, awakening in prison. Byron Katie in a half way house. On the flip side, Lorne had no deliverance and no BBQ. The experience largely depends on what has come before, the support network we have, and our own unique senario. Life has a way of simply working it out. Whatever the situation, it is not a barrier.
But it is very important to understand there is more and see the growth process, as distinct from the integration. Some traditions do not recognize there is more. Awakening is the end, the goal. But there is no end. Human potential has NO upper limit. Others, like Advaita, Zen and Tantra recognize a Unity beyond simple awakening. It’s not like you have to do anything to get there. But you do have to allow the process to unfold. This is much easier if you know it’s there.
Understand that each teachers awakening experience will be reflected in their teaching. Everyone’s process will be a little different but if they understand the broad pattern, it will be more supportive of your own path. Adyashanti had a very big first awakening with lots of Unity, even with the toilet (laughs). He then fell back a bit and integrated the experience. Eckhart Tolle suffered, then awoke. He comes without tradition so lacks some of the context but also some of the baggage. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi followed a traditional devotional path in India but brought considerable context to the table. Others see thier awakeness through inquiry, observing presence, or simply through the natural process of human development.
Whatever value you find in whichever teachers, if we know there is more, we will allow for the deeper values to emerge. When fully established, the silence, freedom and bliss of first awakening is mighty fine. But it pales in comparison to Realization and Unity.
That process of allowing continues as the growth brings the inner Oneness out into the world. That prepares the ground for the second waking, from the illusion of creation. This is full Oneness. And this process repeats the above, with the integration aspect and the deepening.
The process to second waking has taken a long time until now. Often longer than there was time for. But many things point to it taking less time. The fastest I’d heard of before was 3 months and that was someone with a long and deep history. This week, I saw 3 days. Certainly an exception, but it points to what is now. For most of us, some integration time and some deepening time is nessesary and that’s a very good thing. If we see the process, we can support others through it.
In any case, do your housework. All of it is much easier if you are not still carrying the trash around.