Adyashanti writes about this and I agree with him. Unlike Adya my first guiding teachers on the path to awakening were authors of books. They seemed to favour the path that woke them up and viewed alternatives as useless. On later reflection, and internet searching when it became available, these authors did not always practice what they preached and I lost faith in them. It was not until many years later that I met several awakened folk, and found it was interesting, enlightening and disappointing; they were not saints and not enlightened in a rounded embodied sense.
The path to awakening is unique to the individual. There are many similarities and wide paths like the major religions with mystical side paths that lead to more truthful gnosis. Much meandering seems normal for many sincere seekers and for me it was at times a down right minefield of truth with BS bombs a plenty.
No physical teacher can be with you 24/7…..obvious. As the years go by one acclimatizes to one’s own inner radar avoiding the BS, subtle marketing and ‘I’ve made it but you will never in this life, so require my spiel and satsangs regularly to make me feel enlightened’, the glassy eyed adoring fan meme.
For me prayers help to whatever inspires me; taking breaks and just watching tv during times of WTF do I do now; intuition or gut feelings regarding what to read or practice. Above all even though I do not know when the cliff moment will come, that’s the no going back of seeing the truth instead of backsliding into the head and ego, I just have the intention of paradoxically keeping on keeping on whilst surrendering to this with humour, anger, lust, frustration, love etc.
Shakti or the modulation of Shiva/Consciousness is our energetic body that is within us as the chakra and nadi system as well as our aura. Shakti is also the same energy that patterns others and the ‘outside’ world.
Taking this train of thought to a realization there is an equality, a total sameness between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’. In the game the play of Shiva/Consciousness it modulates the Shakti within us via its own/our experience over lifetimes. Some eddies of energy form knots within the chakra/nadi system; a result of the separate self play. So we get ego identification with likes and dislikes.
The journey back to our Self is merely untying the fundamental knot of identification or false separate idea by self inquiry aka contemplation to see if a separate i.d. is the case.
It can appear that this first knot can be re-tied…maybe. Else it’s just a case of having patience as the other knots, after the first, release during a life time and there is more peace, joy and fearlessness displayed as we go about our daily life.
Mountain of Spiritual
A peak unattainable,
Only for giants such as
Your heroines and heroes.
The get out card
Is the seat you
The ground of your
Own Being here and
You already aware
As perfect nature.
To all this.
You as the Base
Camp of Consciousness,
On the pathless recognition
A concern I have is not having a deeper stable realization before I shuffle off. This concern is allayed somewhat with my experience of life after death. Not much is said about the after death state in Western Non duality.
Coming from a family of psychics, my maternal Grandmother was ‘extremely psychic’, my mother is a healing medium teacher trained via the Spiritualists’ National Union and myself having trained as a clairvoyant with Debra Lynne Katz I am fortunate to know there are other relative dimensions where the mind/soul goes after ‘death’.
Having had OBEs as a child and visited astral dimensions as well as having a NDE later on I am confident there will be an opportunity to continue my sadhana in these other places or vibratory frequencies if I don’t make it.
Buddhism mentions the Purelands and I do believe these are real places; as ‘real’ as the Earthplane and so provide excellent environs for liberation; with intention one may go there after ‘death’.
I’m writing this just to say keep on keeping on and do not despair! We get a second bite at the liberation cherry and do not necessarily have to incarnate again in a lower density experience program like the ‘physical universe’.
For the purist you are either awake to your true nature or not. Therefore to assume one is awake and still have suffering points to the fact you are not from this hard line.
I go with the personal experience that there are levels to awakening. I awoke in 1999 to my true/your true nature and have experienced since then a lot of suffering both physical and psychological.
At times I have experienced profound unconditional peace, open hearted love for all and have been witness to the flowing nature of life just as it is with no sense of a self being experienced.
The closing down of these experiences is hard to live with, the spiritual path is the ultimate marathon I assure you; along with assault courses perfectly placed on the route!
I have also experienced Divine Grace enough times to know things are OK and this life and yours is the mystical dance display of an infinite loving intelligence. It is a ride and all we can do is pretend we are the doers when if fact we are not.
The enlightened ‘feeling’ has been a recurring theme during my awakening to true nature. This is a component of awakening that is being highlighted more in recent books and satsangs and talks about the embodiment process after initial awakening to awareness in the Western non duality/Advaita/truth scene.
Bhaktas well know the love of the Divine as do Buddhists practicing loving kindness. I call this the ‘juice’ of awakening and is innate and unconditional, yet it can be illusive and frustrating to come back ‘online’.
From my experience bliss is the feeling, especially from the heart center, and or right side of the chest aka hridayam that is the cherry on the cake. Some say it is not always with them and is not such an important component to enlightenment….I disagree.
Because it is innate it is part and parcel of the sahaja realization whilst in nirvikalpa samadhi it is felt, but that realization is not the end and so is impermanent. Ramana Maharshi, Robert Adams, Deepa Ma, Anandamayi ma, Papa Ramdas and others all experienced this continual blissful realization. To me they are the way bearers.
Do we practice to re-feel the bliss of the awakened heart? Or do we allow grace to operate? Paradoxically many teachers recommend both pathways.
Note the spiritual heart is not in a place in the body nor has it a center….another paradox.
So what do I do or not do? F*ck knows! And I know there is no personal doer….not seen through until seen through. Maybe…..keep refocusing whilst mindful of the ever present possibility of grace to descend and hope for some future resolution to my spiritual quest. Mean while putting up with such things as obnoxious noisy neighbors living their conditioned bliss at the expense of my desire for quiet. And a million other irritating situations the unfinished awakened life can offer; providing ironically fuel to the fire to keep on keeping on ‘spiritually’.
Else I can re-enter begrudgingly satsang (see my ‘About’, last few paragraphs to save you the life story) not so much for the spiel but to receive the infinite supply of the stabilized teacher’s presence. Which historically has sent students over the precipice to stabilized presence joy. It happened to Jon Bernie, to Robert Adams, to Papa Ramdas et al.
We shall see or rather feel.
Dzogchen or the Natural Great Perfection is our true nature. It’s the realization of pure awareness prior to mentation yet from it comes mentation. It is the non dual state.
Your very nature is awareness with the qualities of joy, equanimity and a wisdom that surfaces at the appropriate time. There is a bodily relaxation component as the mind chatter is significantly reduced from the realization of felt oneness, a oneness full yet empty.
Also there is the realization that the personal relative inside space of pure consciousness is the very same as the apparent outside space, again all is as it is relatively full, absolutely empty.
‘Happiness is the way’. Keep going back to that uncaused inner bliss fire, and its naked awareness.
Life after awakening varies due to the depth of settling into the awakened state and what life (and past lives) has been like before the events of the conscious shift. If one has had a difficult childhood there may be unresolved issues in the mental and more so emotional body to be seen and thus naturally dissolved as they are reviewed.
In the past I don’t think many awakened folk have talked about this openly; though I now see increasingly, thankfully, more mature and realistic discussions on forums as well as recently published books on the after awakening process and its mental/emotional integrative elements.
The first mentor I had did not lay on the table of our first meeting his continuing life struggles after illumination. Only through subsequent visits did I realize this person still had problems. This was upsetting to me as there is a ‘super’ person image portrayed in the non dual scene that once there ‘you’ are sorted.
A false ‘sorted’ image is seen to be often maintained to keep up appearances after awakening especially amongst peers.
This can lead to difficult unresolved incursions from the shadow self that can take an awakened person by surprise. In some cases this can cause them to unfortunately fall back into depressive compulsive states and even worse provoke them to suicide.
I still have remaining issues to sit with and give my attention to. Mary O’Malley’s books have helped me see that giving space or a curiosity for compulsive habits causes them to dissolve. Before I read her work I was more a fixer and did many self help programs to ‘improve’ myself.
I continue to read self help books, as I like to see what’s out there and compare and contrast ideas…..maybe another compulsion! The difference now is from earlier years is I have now had realization shifts that show me there is no ‘me’ except in a relative sense. Absolutely…. I am. There is a deep confidence that this is the case that needs no affirming from another.
Again to reiterate earlier old patterns still need ‘integrating’ for many of us. A term I use after Michael Brown creator of ‘The Presence Process’. Thankfully I will never be a super man just a person from a an ordinary Midlands town who has by happen stance seen through the false identity of the relative persona. In that insight there increasing joy and peace.
Misty skin, a chameleon.
Creating plates of armor.
That later create
That ground field
The truth unbound
Is witnessed seen.
Days of judgment
But the gavel is
Is wide open.