I talk about the process of awakening a fair bit here. Layers of Awakening, States of Consciousness, The Cyclic Path, and so forth. I also talk about the spectrum of how this process is seen, such as in This Journey. On the one hand, we may see no apparent process in spontaneous awakening and on the other, great detail of the typical stages. Most teachings fall along this spectrum, somewhere between these perspectives.
There is a couple of points to note about any concept of process:
– everyone’s process is unique
– any concept of the process can be a barrier to becoming
Some teaching thus avoids concepts altogether. But without some sense of what’s going on, the awakening experience can be confusing and frightening. Suzanne Segal’s story attests to that. This is the balance point – to have an idea of it but hold it loosely and understand it will never be what we might expect. Many people early on the path fail at this point as they are seeking concrete things to believe rather than a rough framework for their growth. Yet, like puberty, it’s not something we can know until we’re there. While they may understand the diversity of physical maturation they’ve seen in their friends, they seek more distinct answers for things beyond their experience, like spiritual maturation.
Adyashanti speaks about process but more experientially with less on specifics like “states”. He has helped many with their awakening so deeply understands the great diversity of it.
In a new article called An Inner Revolution published in their 2009 calendar, Adya speaks directly to this.
“…It cannot be grasped or made to fit into any conceptual model. Nor is there any path to this inner revolution, for it is neither predictable nor controllable and has a life all its own.”
“Realization of the ultimate reality is a direct and sudden existential awakening to one’s true nature that opens the door to the possibility of an inner revolution. Such a revolution requires an ongoing emptying out of the old structures of consciousness and the birth of a living and fluid intelligence. This intelligence restructures your entire being—body, mind, and perception.”
“Whether it takes place or not depends on many factors, but none more important and vital than an earnest and unambiguous intention for truth above and beyond all else.”
“So let us understand that reality transcends all of our notions about reality. Reality is neither Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Advaita Vedanta, nor Buddhist. It is neither dualistic nor nondualistic, neither spiritual nor nonspiritual. We should come to know that there is more reality and sacredness in a blade of grass than in all of our thoughts and ideas about reality.”
“One must stand in that dark light, in that groundless embrace, unwavering and true to the reality beyond all self—not just for a moment, but forever without end. For then that which is sacred, undivided, and whole is born within consciousness and begins to express itself.”
The complete article:
Adya brings up another point as well. While the process is punctuated by several distinct realizations or awakenings, most of what happens is between that, in the clearing, the refinement, and the restructuring. We must be active participants in the process of surrender. As Adya observes, not just for a moment but always.