Moments of Awakening

sunrise

photo by N ! ( K

“Moments of Awakening” is a phrase in the following that refers to transcending, moments of pure consciousness when we briefly experience simply being, Amness, without content. Radical Brilliance is the title of Arjuna Ardagh’s upcoming book, apparently referring to the benefits of this. The below is quoted from an excerpt which also talks about burnout.

Dr. Fred Travis, the director of the Center for Brain Consciousness and Cognition at the Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, emphasizes, ‘I hope you can bring out in your book the importance of what moments of awakening do to rewire the brain. It’s not just that these glimpses of limitless consciousness happen and then disappear, they are continuously happening. The more frequently we visit awakening states of consciousness, [the more] our actions cease to be determined by the individual level of learning and experience and desires, and become driven by the needs of the whole world. So the phases of the [Radical Brilliance] cycle unfold in sequence, but everything is also there simultaneously supporting the next step.’

“Schmachtenberger explains that one of the unique things about human genetics compared to other primates is our radical neural plasticity: the capacity to be soft-wired based on our environment rather than genetically hard-wired. ‘This means we are highly adaptive to changing environmental stimuli. We are also able to rewire the way that our brain works according to changing circumstances. This relates not only to how we process nutrients, how we process pathogens and toxins, but also how we process information.’

“Consequently, the more we move through the Radical Brilliance cycle on a regular basis, we are not only cycling through a repeating set of conditions in the brain, we are also rewiring the brain. This kind of evolutionary neural plasticity turns the cycle into a spiral of evolutionary brilliance.”

While moments of awakening are not the same as an actual awakening or Self Realization, they are a movement in that direction.
Davidya

Update:
“they are continuously happening”
To be clear, transcending is a normal 4th state of consciousness along with waking, dreaming, and sleeping. However, because it is consciousness itself, it is the ground state or neutral gear of our experiencing. Each time we change states, such as in falling asleep, we briefly step into neutral gear, into consciousness itself, then the next state arises from that. We all step into pure consciousness every day. The advantage of a practice that brings samadhi is it makes this experience more common and more conscious, preparing the ground for actual awakening. 

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16 Responses to Moments of Awakening

  1. Jim says:

    Thank you, David. It depends on what we want. Whether we are getting peanuts or gold ingots or powers, love and Divine cooperation, and Oneness in real life that defies description, is our choice.

    Stamina and faith are a big part of the process initially, as it appears to build up a backlog of good karma, through good works, prayer, meditation, transcending, and trying as much as possible not to be an asshole (speaking from personal experience, of course).:-)

    Then it gets easier, and we sort of pull even with our efforts. Culminating in Oneness, Unity Consciousness, where oneness predominates over diversity.

    Then onto Brahman (or Para Brahman or Divinity as you have referred to it) and it is off the charts. Waaay beyond even imagination.

    So it really does depend where we set our target, eh? 🙂

    • Davidya says:

      (laughs) Hadn’t framed it quite like that but yes, the balance of effort shifts at some point and progress becomes much more rapid.

      It’s hard to set a target more than a couple of stages past where we are as it’s good to be able to relate to a goal. But it’s also good to know there is more. 🙂

  2. Lewis Oakwood says:

    Hello, David,

    I am a newcomer to your blog site and ‘Moments of Awakening’ is the first of your posts that I have read.

    You wrote: “The advantage of a practice that brings samadhi is it makes this experience more common and more conscious, preparing the ground for actual awakening.”

    What do you mean by ‘a practice’?

    Thank you, Lewis

    • Davidya says:

      Hi Lewis
      Welcome! Ah, I often link to articles that describe what I mean by terms but not always.

      What I mean by a practice is centrally an effortless meditation. Everything builds on samadhi, so that’s the core. Things like asana (yoga) and pranayama can be added to support the meditation.

      Here’s an article on what I recommend:
      https://davidya.ca/2009/07/17/effortless-meditation/

      • Lewis Oakwood says:

        I feel that this is such a massive subject (all new to me) and there are so many questions that seem to act as catalysts to yet more questions.

        In your post-Effortless Meditation, you wrote: How do we learn to be? It is just innocent attention, noticing what is.

        Are you saying that simply paying attention to whatever happens to be going on is a practice? If so, that sounds good to me. Or have I misinterpreted what you are saying?

        Listed below is taken from what you wrote in 10 Steps to Enlightenment and for whatever reason, these passages seem to strike a chord—

        7) Gratitude…We begin to be able to release or forgive our burdens, let it all go. In the end, we discover there is nothing to forgive.

        10) Forget…Nothing you’ve known to this point has any use or validity beyond mind. Let it go. You won’t lose anything that has value. The mind will remain.

        Also from 10 Steps to Enlightenment is—

        “It may seem that you are seeking Enlightenment, but really, it is Consciousness that is seeking an opening through you. When you step through the door, you will open the One to Itself and everything will celebrate.”

        I don’t understand what is meant by the use of the term ‘you’. Who or what is it that steps through the door?

        David, thank you for the link(s) this is much appreciated.

        • Davidya says:

          Hi Lewis
          It is a large subject but the basics are pretty straightforward. It does often invite a different worldview though.

          Learning to be is something we learn by becoming more conscious. That is an effect of effortless meditation as it develops presence aka reflective awareness. Then we’re more conscious throughout the day and tend to make wiser, less reactive choices and so forth.

          Some people do practice techniques generally called Mindfulness that culture paying attention in itself. But if there isn’t enough presence developed, then it can be mind that is noticing itself and not consciousness. This does not increase presence.

          (laughs) That article was written over 10 years ago, a bit tongue in cheek. But it was taken seriously, so I edited it a bit. Techniques themselves don’t lead to enlightenment per se. They do prepare the ground though so when openings happen, we’re more likely to be able to embody them. My language has evolved some since then.

          It varies what people carry but here, gratitude was a key practice shortly before i woke up. Not in making a fake mood but just in favouring the positive here and there in the day. The item links to a longer article on the technique I used.

          On #10, often the last barrier to awakening is our concepts about what it is. This is more true of people long-steeped in spiritual study. Understanding has great value but not if we hold it too tightly or mistake our ideas for reality.

          (laughs) English as a language doesn’t have clear terms for some of this. This is partly why i use some Sanskrit. You in this case refers to the “small self” or sense of me. Most people think this body-mind is who i am.

          In Self Realization, the universal Self wakes up to itself through this body-mind. In that sense, the you doesn’t wake up. It’s the larger Self that wakes up when you get out of the way. But don’t worry about trying to figure this out with the mind. This is a description of the experience of the shift, considered after the fact. Like trying to describe the taste of Dragon fruit before it’s been our experience.

          And here’s another issue with the language – awakening isn’t actually an experience. It’s a shift in the experiencer, what is doing the experiencing. This doesn’t change the content of experience, it changes what we see is doing the experiencing. A you or a cosmic Self?

          The shift is very, very simple and yet not within our usual reference points.

          It’s useful to have an idea of it but don’t get too caught up in figuring it out. Some of the other content here is quite advanced. It’s designed mainly for people who are having that experience.

          • Lewis Oakwood says:

            Your reply has simplified many of the questions thank you for taking the time to explain…I appreciate the care taken to do so.

            So, the goal is the ‘cosmic Self’ —

            “In Self Realization, the universal Self wakes up to itself through this body-mind.”

            ~ ~ ~

            And possibly, through some sort of ‘effortless meditation’—

            “A shift in the experiencer, what is doing the experiencing. This doesn’t change the content of experience, it changes what we see is doing the experiencing. A you or a cosmic Self?”

            ~ ~ ~

            “The shift is very, very simple and yet not within our usual reference points.” —

            There are throughout the day brief moments of joy-filled silence— the knowing-presence, maybe what you called ‘reflective awareness’— (I like that term, it seems to sum it up quite nicely.) This morning after one of those moments a thought appeared: The track supports the train and the train enlivens the track. I’m not entirely sure what, if anything, it means.

            ~ ~ ~

            David, wishing you and your readers a Happy New Year.

            • Davidya says:

              Hi Lewis
              Well – the cosmic Self isn’t so much a goal as a recognition. 🙂 But yes, thats the direction for the attention.

              The point of effortless meditation is samadhi – reflective awareness. Touching into pure awareness which is the cosmic Self helps to enliven it and prepare the ground for awakening. And deepening that also, so it remains useful after the first shift.

              Yes, that’s exactly it. Beautiful.

              (laughs) Yes – there is a body-mind here through which we experience and there is what is experiencing. Together, we have our life. But there is a number of ways we could take that thought. 🙂

              Happy New Year!

  3. Tim Owens says:

    “Each time we change states, such as in falling asleep, we briefly step into neutral gear…”
    For the last six months or so I have been experiencing this consistently and more clearly. There is often a very distinct shift of gears between wakefulness and sleep that is just a clear transcendent state – a kind of neutral state just before I fall into dreams. It is most enjoyable.

  4. Jim says:

    “It’s hard to set a target more than a couple of stages past where we are as it’s good to be able to relate to a goal. But it’s also good to know there is more. ”

    Just continue to give it all up or transcend continuously, no matter what amount of riches you acquire in whatever form. Although these earlier achievements may seem like the fulfillment of every dream, they are like tasteless dust compared to the peak of development. You’ll know you have reached it because instead of being several steps behind any desire, they are ALL available, no matter how big or small. Human life in all its fullness and glory. Why settle for less?

  5. Jim says:

    Yes, then all the others follow.

    However, if there is a wall of steel between me and ‘highest first’, there is no denying it and must be got through, somehow. Sometimes it is like trying to sandpaper one’s way through, takes years and endless new approaches. 🙂

    So the intermediate goals and desires are not ignored or rationalized away. They must be dealt with, with the understanding that if it doesn’t feel like infinite strength and infinite peace, infinitely, there is further to go.

    All ‘Highest First’ does is eliminate some confusion, though the work remains. Without conscious effort we wouldn’t learn to be who we are when we are asked to take the mantle of full development.

    • Davidya says:

      Yes – knowledge and inspiration are helpful in that sense. But meantime, we do have a life to live, bills to pay, and so on. But if life is lived in the context of the goal, it has room to flower.

  6. Was Once says:

    Hi, and thanks for the breakdown with Rick Archer at Batgap. I had more like a tiny taste of a shift of focus(the me dropped away, leaving pure awareness) back in 2001 after a monks blessing, not really knowing what it was… I went on with my life, but in hindsight it started my path. For me, my path has had moments of being lighter, and would never describe it as awakening or enlightenment. Slow and steady, I continue to sit 2 hours a day, and do one month sit (mostly in a cell) once a year. I really want nothing more than wisdom, and anything beyond this… is welcome but not expected.

    • Davidya says:

      You’re welcome. Yes, that is not uncommon. Some sort of opening renews our conscious spiritual journey from prior lives.

      Just ensure your practice is bringing you more of those tastes. They may not be as fancy as the opening, but it’s in that touching of source that it opens up within.

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