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 in being. It is a change in the experiencer. We’re shifting from being identified with a local me or ego to recognizing ourself as Self, hence Self Realization.
However, for lifetimes we’ve run our life from the mind and emotions. It’s a deeply ingrained habit that can take time to wind down. Thus, soon after the shift the mind comes in and tries to make sense of it.
Because there is no experience to grab hold of and the shift never meets concepts of it, it’s very easy to doubt – even if it’s been flashy. It often won’t make sense to the mind.
It’s the Self beyond the mind that awakens to itself. The mind does not know or experience this. And it can be fearful of loss of control. So the mind may discount and doubt.
Adyashanti talks about a honeymoon after the shift, then a period of unpacking where the mind reasserts. In that case, the mind is now being wound down but it may seem business as it was for a time. Each shift varies though.
It’s very much like certain stages of growing up. We so much want to be older but can also be timid about owning what has matured.
It can be very useful to have the support of a teacher in this period. Otherwise, there is the tendency to fall back into the mind and its old stories, especially if the shift was more delicate. If there has been a deep enough shift, clarity will return but it can take longer and be more difficult if we don’t support it.
To be clear, I’m not suggesting doubt will happen but there is often some value of this. Just keep in mind it’s the me that doubts. It’s the Self that awakens. Self is vastly larger than any mind, even cosmic mind. At some point, the clarity will overshadow the mind completely. Then the mind will return to its proper role as the servant of being.