Experiences & Teachings
What is Spiritual Awakening?
Spiritual awakening could be said to be realizing what you are beyond the body and mind. And in that realization, there is freedom from the sole identification with the body and mind. You exist in this moment beyond your idea of yourself, beyond conflict and stress, beyond separation. And the experience of that is unconditional peace and bliss.
It is easy to realize this to a certain degree. Simply close your eyes and feel the sensation or sensations that you exist. The mind wants to define it. To say "I am the body. I am John, I am a musician." But for now, let go of all thinking and directly feel what is here, without trying to define it or describe it with words.
Notice the feeling that "you are." Not that you are a something or a someone, but actually feel yourself existing in this moment, without trying to change it in any way. Beyond all thinking, there is the sensation that you exist.
If this is difficult, try this exercise: with your eyes closed, notice the sensation of your right hand. Without moving your hand, bring your attention to the area of your right hand and feel the sensations that are there.
If you do this, you will notice that your hand does not feel like a solid object. You do not feel the border of where your hand stops and space begins. Rather, the sensation of your hand is more like a cloud of energy, without borders, without heaviness.
Now do this same exercise with your whole body. With your eyes closed, notice the sensation of your entire body. It feels like a vibration and it feels peaceful, blissful even. This is the beginning of spiritual awakening.
Try keeping your attention on this feeling of being for as long as you can.
You will notice that it is easy to get caught up in thinking again; in the experience that you are your thoughts. And when this happens, the experience is that you contract back into a dense, physical body that feels very separate from everything else and there is stress.
There are many techniques and paths to move you out of being identified with your thinking and into resting into your natural state of consciousness. What I just mentioned is one of them: to allow your attention to rest on the feeling of existing in this moment beyond your thinking. And when thoughts arise, allow them to arise and let them go, keeping your attention resting in the sensation of being.
And if you keep practicing, you will come to the point where you see thoughts arising by themselves. You will experience everything arising and disappearing back into consciousness. You will experience yourself completely free of the confines of the mind and body, as consciousness itself. You will realize at the very depth of your being that consciousness is what you are. This is spiritual awakening.
How to Have a Spiritual Awakening
If you are interested in really having a spiritual awakening, there are certain things that are really helpful:
First and foremost is immersion in Shakti. If you are really interested in becoming spiritually awakened, then Shakti is most important.
For thousands of years in the East, if you were interested in attaining enlightenment, you would visit a fully enlightened Guru and sit with them for as much as time allowed you.
The reason for this is not only for their teaching, but for the grace that they radiate. Just by being close to such an enlightened master, you feel their bliss. You feel their palpable enlightened presence, also called Kundalini Shakti or Deeksha. And being in this enlightened presence transforms you, awakening you into deeper and deeper states of meditation and self realization.
So sitting with fully enlightened teachers, ones that can radiate Shakti is most important. You can also receive this same enlightened presence through sound.
After a profound spiritual awakening that changed my life, I found a way to turn Shakti into sound. So that by listening to some unique meditation music, this same bliss that enlightened teachers radiate is awakened in you. And simply by resting your attention on this bliss, your awareness expands and spiritual awakening happens naturally, without force.
Listening to these Shakti CDs makes the process of spiritual awakening much faster and more efficient than trying to do it on your own. Trying to do it on your own can be incredibly frustrating.
If you are new to meditation, I usually suggest you start with Ocean Euphoric as it comes with a book that teaches you very clearly and simply how to meditate correctly. You can read more about it and listen to samples by clicking here.
I put a lot of emphasis on Shakti in my teachings because Shakti is what awakens you into that which is beyond your mind. Shakti meditates you.
The idea that you can do meditation on your own, that you can make spiritual awakening happen is false. Certainly spiritual practice is most important. But spiritual practice simply opens you up to meditation, it gets you ready for meditation. Because true meditation happens. Spiritual awakening is not something you attain or achieve on your own, spiritual awakening happens through grace.
And Shakti, enlightened presence whether it comes from a Guru or the CDs naturally awakens you into bliss. Shakti is the essence of meditation, the energy of meditation. It is extremely intelligent and knows exactly how to awaken you into enlightenment. It goes completely beyond all understanding, beyond all intellectual concepts and awakens your at the very core of your being.
You could really look at spiritual awakening as the path of Shakti. Because you want to build up Shakti, and the build up of that shakti or bliss will purify and push everything out of you that is toxic, leaving only bliss.
Keeping your body subtle and pure is also very important. Eating a light and healthy diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables, staying away from sugar, processed foods and fast foods. Most people on the spiritual path become vegetarian or vegan but this is something you need to consider for yourself what is right for you.
Giving up all recreational drugs and alcohol also makes a big difference. You want to keep your body pure and balanced. Taking alcohol or drugs means your body is always struggling to get rid of these toxins in your body which drains your energy.
You also want to stay away from those things that make you escape yourself. You don't want to escape, you want to grow in awareness, become more aware of yourself, more aware of what is really here. And the more you stimulate your senses with alcohol or drugs, the more you lose awareness.
If being aware of what is here in this moment becomes intense, the normal tendency is to get rid of that intensity, get rid of that energy, escape that feeling. But by surrendering to that intensity, by allowing that intensity, you are transformed into bliss, you awaken to your true nature.
Purifying through prana/breathing exercises, chanting, chakra meditation, Japa and physical exercise. A lot of westerners tend to disregard these things as eastern religious nonsense. You will hear many western neo-advaita teachers say things like "you don't have to do anything to get enlightened."
But the truth is all of these things may help. What works for you will be unique to you so explore everything, see what helps and add it to your daily practice. To just simply practice self inquiry or another form of meditation without doing any purification will often mean progress will be slower, more uncomfortable, more frustrating and even painful.
Without Shakti and purification, your spiritual experience may not go beyond the intellect, beyond knowledge and beliefs. And true spiritual experience begins where knowledge and beliefs end. Spirituality is exploring what cannot be known.
So my recommendation is to do anything that helps purify your body, your emotional and mental state and your energetic bodies. Keep an open mind. You may find that chanting the Gayatri Mantra for 10-30 minutes before meditation does wonders. Or that silently repeating the name of a Guru, Saint or God throughout your day keeps you immersed in bliss. Or that doing a simple breathing exercise makes you very blissful.
You probably know that meditation is one of the main practices for spiritual awakening. No matter what spiritual practices or path you follow, meditation is one of the best practices to reach spiritual awakening. You may repeat a mantra, do self inquiry, witness your thoughts, watch your breathing, hold on to the sense of "I am." All of these things are excellent. Again, find what works for you and do that. Trust your experience.
But beyond all of these things it is also good just to be aware of yourself in this moment, to really become aware of your experience. That awareness itself transforms you and leads you to spiritual awakening.
Below are some articles and teachings on meditation and spiritual awakening for your to enjoy.
Spiritual Awakening Experiences:
Teachings on Meditation, Spiritual Awakening and Self Realization
Spiritual Practice & Transformation (New 01-2012)
While most meditation brainwave entrainment CDs use binaural beats to induce states of meditation, Kip found a miraculous way to turn the actual energetic experience of peace into sound.