In several of the awakening interviews on Buddha at the Gas Pump, they mention the role of Waking Down to Mutuality. Where their long practice of meditation brought them close to waking, but their process seemed to have stalled. Then they did the emotional clearing of Waking Down and within a couple of years had “switched.”
My own process was much like this. At a certain point, it became apparent that I was being held back by what I was holding on to. While meditation had helped clear much of it, the stuff that was active needed more conscious attention.
Waking Down is a reference to Embodied awakening, full in-body awakening rather than early Self awareness. Where Self descends into the body, a later stage of Adyashanti’s description of head, heart, gut.
I reviewed their web site and read some of the articles. All of their teachers are apparently awake – it’s a required qualification. They use “gazing“, a “transmission” technique for visual connection to enliven Self within the student. (this is different but related to Shaktipat) And “Sittings”, what are typically called satsangs.
One article suggested they were more Tantric than the more impersonal Advaita. The approach also seems to be more organic. Rather than using traditional models of awakening, they are building their own, based on direct experience.
They have a section on the site where some of the teachers describe their own awakening.
Their approach appears to help tackle the residual active issues long meditators are carrying, thus enabling them to awaken. Looking and allowing can be very potent techniques for purifying the path. And the last barriers are much easier to see with the help of someone who has passed them. Without that, it’s easy to go in circles, the ego trying to see through itself.
They also have a general model of the awakening process.
CC Leigh’s description of “loss of Being” in early life is what I describe as the gaining of the shadow story. “Illuminations” are non-abiding experiences. The “core wound” seems to be what I call the core fear or identity. The “Deconstruction” and “rot” are part of the process of purification. This peaks with what Loch Kelly calls the BBQ.
Realization Part 1 is typically what is described as Self Realization or Cosmic consciousness. Part 2 or embodied, as early Unity. Not using these terms does avoid the burden of concepts that can come with them from long study. I had to shake out a lot of the old chaff myself. Like Rick’s comments on BatGap, long meditators can become jaded to the idea someone has actually switched as there are so many unmet concepts.
I agree that people will initially experience several primary ways (“Awareness, Being, and Heart“). These are all aspects of the greater wholeness that follows, sat chit ananda. I talk about them here as the Gyan, Hatha and Bhakti yoga paths.
She goes on to touch on aspects of more advanced stages like God Realization but I would not say there is a full picture here. But I love the organic, experiential approach. It is clearly not based on some conceptual or theoretical position.
Some of the teachers have very strong presence, even in the photos, so they’re doing something right. I’ll be interested to see how they evolve.
[UPDATE – see new Caveat in comments]
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