When graced an experience of spiritual awakening many of us ask, “What to do after spiritual awakening?” This is an important question and I hope to give you some guidance with regard to what life after spiritual awakening looks like.
What to do after spiritual awakening happens can be summed up in a phrase. This is “Trust and integrate.” Focus on trusting the process of integration and you will be guided to KNOW what to do and allow Creation to do through you. Doing will become Love in Action
After Spiritual Awakening Menu
- What is Spiritual Awakening?
- Signs of Spiritual Awakening
- What Happens After Spiritual Awakening
- The 4 Stages after Awakening
- What to Do After Spiritual Awakening.
- 5 Essential Things to Learn
- Advice What Not to Do After Awakening
- Resouces for Awakening Support.
What is Spiritual Awakening
Signs of Spiritual Awakening
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To begin with, let me share with you what I understand as the spiritual awakening experience. This is the awakening experience as revelation rather than as a process leading to such a revelation. This sharing comes from direct experience.
When awakening happens, the sense of your personal identity lifts for a moment. You KNOW your SELF beyond the limitation of your personal identity.
On rare occasions this experience of union with the Divine that is spiritual awakening remains. Why this happens for some and not others is a mystery.
In almost every case, as was my own, the conditioning of the personal self reasserts its self. The phrase I used to describe this reassertion at the time was, “I’ve just lost the Universe.” – Manchester – 1976
Signs of Spiritual Awakening
To appreciate this article it is important to recognize that we are exploring the same experience. I wrote a detailed article entitled 10 Common Signs of Spiritual Awakening and I list these signs of awakening here.
- Time Out of Time.
- Knowing that You KNOW.
- Absence of Fear
All or any of the above are pointers toward the experience of spiritual awakening as revelation.
All the above were aspects of the experience of awakening that I was graced. These are the criteria with which I discern whether someone has experienced an awakening or are describing some other experience an example of what might be weekend high at some Mission or retreat.
You can read more about these 10 Common Signs of Spiritual Awakening at this page.
What Happens After Spiritual Awakening?
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I am not a researcher regarding What Happens After Spiritual Awakening. However, I am an avid reader about this topic. I think the best I can do is share with you what happened to me after a spiritual awakening.
I am now in my eighth decade of living on this planet. This awakening happened in my early to middle twenties. Let me share this happening in this way.
- Immediately after.
- Short term experience.
- Mediul term experience.
- Long term experience.
This covers almost 45 years of the journey following awakening.
Immediately Following Awakening.
After the awakening experience, I was certain of one thing. I wanted more of this experience. It would come and go. This coming and going lasted a couple of months.
I became a kind of evangelist. This is very common. You absolutely want everyone to have this experience. It is so joyful. You KNOW that if everyone lived from this place, there would be Heaven on Earth.
I remember that during this period they gave me the name “Silver Tongue.” I got what I was always looking for. I got to be a hit with the ladies. I was in love with life. I was in love with them and they with me.
Leaving the Awakening Experience.
The spiritually awakened state leaves you. It is rare if it stays. To say that this is a letdown is the ultimate understatement. It didn’t make me depressed, but I knew the feeling of Presence had gone.
I remember walking down Deansgate in Manchester where I lived at the time come home from playing darts in a pub. It was a lovely evening. Then there was the recognition that I was back to everyday consciousness. I was walking with a friend and I remember saying inwardly to myself, “So this is what it is like to lose the Universe.”
Following the authentic spiritual wakening experience you KNOW what the word God, Source, Brahman refers too. It isn’t a belief. It is a KNOWING. That KNOWING fades, but it is never forgotten. You return to what I would refer to as the period of integration. You are now at a different stage. This is the stage of integrating the experience of awakening.
Life Afer Awakening – Medium Term
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In the medium term you become the seeker again but you are now a seeker who KNOWS what is being sought.
This seeking is all about you. It is seeking to get back the experience that you know transforms the way you view and live in the world. You want to be enlightened for your own sake.
In my case this was a period of following Gurus and joining various groups including Friends of the Western Buddhist Order where I almost became an order member. It involved going to India for a year and listening at the feet of Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh). I almost became a sannyasin wearing a mala.
They featured Osho in a Netflix documentary called Wild Wild Country.
It later involved a ten-year journey of decline into alcoholism. I have been free of alcohol now for over ten years and it is one thing that I am so graced to have done. The alternative was a kind of slow death into mental and physical decline.
When I was 50 years old, I changed my career from being an accountant. I returned to Ireland after 30 years in England, bought a house and an acre of land, became a writer, storyteller, and apprentice mystic.
This is that part of the spiritual journey referred to as The Road of Trials or the Struggle. Some make it through and a lot do not. While this is a genuine challenge it is not that higher initiation called The Dark Night of the Soul (St. John of the Cross) or the crucifixion initiation.
Life After Awakening – Long Term
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In the long term, I came back to my roots. I stopped seeking this experience, and the focus became, and now remains my longing to share the journey. I came back to the teachings of Christianity (which I resisted like hell) through the reading of books and listening to recording from Sounds true by Richard Rohr, Andrew Harvey, and Matthew Fox.
I am more content than I have ever been. I feel fulfilled in ways I might never have imagined. I continue to have a love relationship of nearly forty years. I feel more blessed and more prosperous than ever.
I have been on this journey a long time. I have come to where what is important is to share the process of spiritual awakening both as a process and as revelation. To do so is my absolute delight. It is how I allow the Inner Light and Inner Knowing to express within time and space. In this way, I get to fulfill a poetic wish.
I wish that when you are alone and in darkness that I could show you the magnificence of the Light of your own Being—Hafiz of Shiraz.
What to Do After Spiritual Awakening
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Having lived life now for around 45 years after a spiritual awakening, here are 5 key things to do after awakening that will assist you to integrate this experience. This is not an exclusive list.
- Be Discerning.
- Become the Witness (Stop your mind using you)
- Inhabit the Body.
- Learning the Language
- Morning Ritual.
This would be the advice that I would give my younger self, given that there was no one to mentor me at the time. At the time of this awakening, I was visiting a counsellor to get over a long-term relationship breakup.
While he was a wonderful man, but he admitted that he did not understand what I was talking about when I spoke about my awakening experience. However, he admitted that whatever had occurred was obviously something quite wonderful.
How you learn to discern is through learning to trust. I cannot say this enough. The whole of the journey is about deepening trust in your connection to the Divine.
There are more than enough people out in the world who will abort the flowering of the revelation you have been graced. Their interest is in maintaining the worldview that is the view of the sense of the separate self that they think themselves to be. This is the interest of most organized religion in all its various forms.
In the days ahead, you will either be a mystic (one who has experienced God for real) or nothing at all. ― Karl Rahner
If you belong to a religious tradition, my advice is this. Trust only the teachings of the mystics of that tradition. These are the KNOWERS. They are not believers. Usually, the religious tradition they belong to has persecuted them.
Keep this spiritual revelation to yourself unless you have someone who will allow you to process it and who will not box you in with their interpretation and their need for you to fit with established views. Read this advice from the mystic poet Goethe. Best to share your experience with someone who has been graced such an experience. The difficulty is in finding such a person.
When I was graced the awakening experience, I told everyone who would listen. I was fortunate that no one shut me down. My sister Mary was not so fortunate. She gave her authority to those whose authority was only at an intellectual level which in matters of the spirit is no authority at all.
Become the Witness
Here is another foundational pointer that I would give my younger self for how to live life after a spiritual awakening. This is information that every spiritually awakened individual should be aware of.
To live from Presence rather than personality, you have to open to that dimension. This means you learn to become available to that Presence. In Christian terminology, we refer to this as “Putting on the Mind of Christ.” Do not confuse Christ with the personage of Jesus of Nazareth.
I like to refer to this as learning to be thought through. This really is magical.
To be aware of the mind is being a witness of the mind. As the witnessing grows stronger, you already start feeling yourself beyond the mind. Slowly, slowly the distance grows. Your witness reaches to a sunlit peak and the mind is left in the dark valleys, far away. – Osho
In order for you to allow this, you need to develop witness consciousness. I have written more about this practice of witness consciousness and why it matters in this related article.
It is so important to commit to embodied spirituality. Far to often the invitation is to transcendence and all about your transcendence. In many spiritual groups on Facebook, the focus is on Ascension. This is understandable in the early stages of the spiritual journey. However, you are here to embody Spirit in matter.
Thy will be done on Earth – Matthew 6:10
You are not here to escape into some etheric dimension. I have seen far too many etheric spiritual seekers who are not grounded in their bodies. They have softly spoken voices, are usually over thin, and would assure you that being angry is no part of the spirituality.
I have met too many disembodied spiritual teachers. Be aware that if you are emotionally detached in any way that disembodied spirituality will be attractive to you. Such was the case with my first meditation teacher. This was also the case when I studied Buddhism and learned the teachings of detachment which most Westerners do not really understand.
This can be a danger allied to the practice of witness consciousness. There is a lot of material on this site about spiritual embodiment. I recommend you explore this material so that you do not become one who in the name of spiritual development learns to “Llive some distance from their body.” (James Joyce)
Learn the Language of Awakening
One way in which I recognize if someone has experienced a genuine awakening is the language they use. I have met with many who preach the gospel in their distinct ways. They use the language of religiosity. Often they are sent out into the world to teach what they do not KNOW and have had no direct experience of.
They are the blind leading the blind even if the intention is well-meaning.
So many times I have longed to have an experience of communion, and all that happens is that they quote their Bible or what their guru says. Please note that I have done this myself. The number of times I have said, “But Osho says this,” or “Krishnamurti says this.” It is part of the group psyche.
The language of awakening comes from KNOWING. You might quote the Bible or the guru, but you are using this for demonstration purposes. However, the demonstration comes from your understanding through your direct experience of what is being shared.
The language of awakening is the language of myth, parable, koan, riddle, paradox, and magic. It is not the language of literalism or logic. It is not the language of belief but the language of KNOWING. It is the language that has the energy of transmission.
Trade logic for bewilderment – Rumi
Empowered Morning Ritual
The last direction I would give to my younger self would be to establish a morning ritual. This is a ritual of your own making that you design around your life circumstances.
This is foundational to living life after spiritual awakening if it is your intention to integrate the experience. Otherwise, you will be distracted by distraction. Let yourself have fun designing this morning ritual. Ally it with the traits of your spiritual personality.
If you want to live your dreams, you first have to wake up – J. M. Power
If you say you do not have time then you are in effect choosing to serve the interests of your personality. Your passion for the Timeless is not yet central to your life. I can understand this for those who have not yet been graced with an awakening. I do not understand it in those who have been so graced.
As part of the development of this website (from June 2020) I will be adding material related to establishing a morning ritual based upon your spiritual personality and temperament and the spiritual path that best suits you.