There are several factors that influence how we move forward through the stages of development.

– Preparation of the vehicle so it’s able to sustain new depth
– Purification and refinement to allow higher clarity of more abstract values
– Integration of what has opened so far
– Cooperation with the process due to right understanding and OKness

All of these are closely interrelated

But a big one I’m seeing is the embodiment of the current stage.

For example, if there has been a long spiritual practice and depth of presence but we’re averse to being in the body, around other people, or with our emotions it may be difficult for a sustained awakening to unfold. The platform still has major shadows.

Awakening doesn’t require perfection but it needs sufficient clarity and stability.

If there has been an awakening but we’re still mostly in the mind and stories or emotional drama, there is still purification and unwinding to take place before it can be more embodied.

Even with good progress it’s not unusual for there to be periods with some spaciness and impracticality. But that doesn’t lead to embodiment so we need to ground more.

While embodiment has become a popular term in recent years, there are many awake that don’t embody it very fully yet. You hear little talk of bliss, for example. Yet this is a quality of embodied awakening. This is why it’s called sat chit ananda or nirvana. How common is an embodied awakening then?

There can be other factors too. If we’re in a time where life’s responsibilities are prominent, there may not be the time for purification. Yet if that is what is arising then that is what is needed. It can be very grounding. I witnessed for 30 years before waking up, spending a lot of that time in challenging work. Only in retrospect did it become apparent how beneficial this was and how much had been developing quietly in the background. I’m grateful for the clear unfolding this made possible.

Life isn’t a race and enlightenment isn’t a goal. It’s just a signpost on our journey. Go with what life is supporting and it will unfold in its time and in the best way for everyone.

 Update: To be clear, by embodiment I mean bringing our inner spiritual progress forward into the world. Not just living it within but living it bodily and in life. As I discuss here, this also relates to the sattva side of the equation with refined perception, the awakening heart, and bliss. Here’s an Adyashanti quote from the article:
Embodiment is not something that you do; it is something that is a result of how far you take enlightenment and how much of yourself you give to it. The entire cosmos is your body. Let your humanness reflect and manifest the whole.

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  1. Geoffrey Toane

    Great article! What I found very helpful in my embodiment was the development of a new habit. I was still working in sales with my first awakening. What I would do was whenever I was aware I was in the mind I would drop back into the infinite silence. It was an easy habit for me as a TM meditator, our instruction was whenever I was aware I was not thinking the mantra, experiencing a thought or emotion, to innocently go back to the mantra. So after awakening, I used the same principal, whenever I was aware that I was not the silence I just fell back into it. Then one day the the silence exploded and I was always the silent witness.

    1. Thanks Geoff.
      You make a great point. However, embodiment is deeper than this. What you’re describing is more establishing the awakening in the first place. If we’re still needing to come back to it, it’s not yet quite established. For many people, the mind comes back in, even after a clear shift. Identity wants to reclaim it’s throne. But through this noticing you describe, we gradually shift the habit of being. Combine that with clearing what’s needed and we get the permanent shift.

      After that, it can take some time for it to move forward into the layers of our expression. The closer to the physical, the slower the process. This is what I mean by embodiment. When it’s lived not just within but right out into our life.

      Thanks for raising the point. The post wasn’t clear on that. I added an update on this point.

  2. Hi David, thanks for this post and for your book, which I started reading again last night. Your words give expression to what’s happening here and help me to relax into trusting that it is all unfolding exactly as it should. My sense is to live the life that is presenting and don’t get hooked into mind stories. Grounding for me comes especially through being in nature and moving this body in thoughtful happy ways, eating well, hydrating and getting plenty of sleep.

    Grateful for your help always!

    1. Thanks, Sohlea. It is people like yourself that were my primary focus for the book. As the article mentions, it makes it much easier to cooperate & trust the process if we understand what is taking place and can support it appropriately.

      The process you describe does take time. We have lifetimes of habit of listening to the mind. And the new inner space presents a wonderful opportunity for what is unresolved to come forward to be seen.

      Happily you have some better habits than I. 🙂

  3. K

    I just started reading your book and am at the point where you talk about Rishi, Chandas and Devata. This is really wonderful because I used to say formal prayers where they cite the rishi, devata and chandas and I used to just say it thinking literally about the meaning. I.e. the sage who conceived this (rishi) is Vyasa, Devata (deity worshipped) is Bhagwan Krishna, and Chandas (meter) is anushtup. I thought the prayer was supposed to be said in that particular meter. Now with your explanation of observer, process and the objects of observation, it adds more meaning. I can see Rishi and Devata and the dual meaning but cannot see the correspondence between meter of the stotra and the object of observation. Anyway, just a few pages in and I am better informed already. To think I was invoking Rishi and Devata literally without realizing the additional import.

    1. Hi K
      Yes, that relationship dawned on me when reading the Rig Veda a little after studying this.

      Keep in mind that the meter is the pattern or rhythmic structure of the verses. The world appearance arises from structured vibration ie: a rhythmic structure.

      Chhandas refers to covering. This pattern creates the appearance of the world which covers the screen behind it. Part of the process of Unity is being able to see through the covering quality. The appearance remains but we also can recognize the screen. Then we recognize the screen is the same Self we are.

      And in that, we can recognize those verses in a very different way. Not as recordings of an old sages cognitions but as the cognitions themselves. They can be played on the screen itself, revealing them to the perceiver.

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