Why Does Spiritual Awakening Happen?
The Personal Dimension
The question, “Why does spiritual awakening happen?” might have as its focus the reason why such an awakening happens in the lives of different people. You might be asking because such an experience has happened to you.
Writing in When Spirit Leaps—Navigating the Process of Spiritual Awakening Bonnie Greenwell, PhD refers to the many different ways of awakening as portals. The word ‘portal’ is the same word used by the modern mystic Eckhart Tolle in his international best-selling book The Power of NOW.
I share with you those that I can personally speak about and which I think played some part in the grace experience of awakening gifted to me.
The portals that allowed the awakening experience to manifest through me were a combination of:-
- Therapy and
Other portals into the process of spiritual awakening explored briefly in When Spirit Leaps which I have not explored in depth as a portal to spiritual awakening include:-
- Breathing Practices
- Body Therapies
- Substances and Entheogens
- Spontaneous Movement
- Internet Awakenings
- Spontaneously Not Knowing
- Anomalous Experiences
My Personal Portals of Awakening
While I cannot declare why the grace experience of spiritual awakening happened it happened during a period when I was:-
- Processing grief
- Engaged in counseling
- Practicing Hatha Yoga.
All the above resulted in the experience of transmission. This is the transmission of KNOWING beyond belief. It is the transmission of the KNOWING of eternity.
Let me say this. I was prepared for the grace of spiritual awakening. When it arrived, I KNEW what it was. However, I could never have imagined its magnificence. This is not the experience of everyone.
The awakening can feel like anything but a grace experience. This is especially if you enter the portal using drugs and without guidance into the realm of transcendence. The experience will often be fearful and filled with terror. This is because you FEEL that you are dying.
Those who are prepared for this experience KNOW at least in an intellectual sense that what is happening is the death into life. It is the experience that all mystics invite.
Die before you die so you KNOW there is no death—Eckhart Tolle.
Prelude to Spiritual Awakening
There was a combination of factors I think lead to the grace of spiritual awakening. The major contributor was the aspect of grief.
This was grief around the breakup of an intimate relationship. It had been my first real venture into love and had lasted on and off for around three years. I had finally broken off this relationship and did not understand why. It left me feeling deeply at a loss.
What kept me grounded after this breakup and allowed me to manage a sense of despair was daily practice of Hatha Yoga. I would practice for hours each evening. More at the weekend and at any time I needed to escape the sense of deep loneliness.
I checked myself into an outpatient program of counselling at a local hospital in Prestwich Manchester. I met once a week with a lovely man called John Blackton.
One time the in-house psychiatrist persuaded me to start a program of medication. It was a disaster. The drugs made me feel drunk but not in a pleasant way. Words seemed to come out of my mouth half a second after I spoke them.
Next time I met I told her in no uncertain terms that if there was any insistence that I continue this program of medication I was out of there. As someone who was voluntarily attending this hospital, I could do that.
The Transmission and Return
It was during this period of counselling with John Blackton that the awakening happened on the train travelling into London to Kings Cross.
My counsellor John Blackton said he did not understand what I was talking about when I shared my experience with him. It was, however, clear to him that whatever had happened had changed me. I was living a blissful life.
I was in love with Life.
I discharged myself and for many months lived in a state of deep happiness and bliss. That was until the evening on Deansgate in Manchester when I felt the grace connection go.
I was walking home from a pub with a friend. I remember looking up to the sky and thinking, “So this is what it feels like to lose the universe.”
So began a different journey. This was the journey of learning the process of awakening that became a lifelong journey and continues to unfold.
The Mystery of Awakening
Would the awakening have happened without the breakup, without yoga or without counselling. The answer is, “I do not know.” Studies suggest that these are all portals into the awakened state.
What I know is that this awakening has perfumed and continues to perfume my life.
Notice that the awakening did not come out of an experience of happiness. It came out of the process of working through intense grief. This was not a process I started intending to awaken in a spiritual sense.
It came out of a willingness to do shadow work.
It happened. I could never in my wildest imagination have imagined the power and the beauty of this awakening experience. It is beyond belief. It is beyond time and space. It is so out there beyond the ability of words to explain.
After Spiritual Awakening
After the experience of spiritual awakening, the real journey begins. This is a journey of a lifetime and beyond. It is the journey of integration of what has been given you to KNOW.
This is challenging, but there is really no going back.
You are graced the KNOWING of what it is to be FREE. I cannot imagine anyone ever chooses to forget what they have been given to KNOW through authentic spiritual awakening.
You are shown what it means to KNOW THYSELF. As you navigate the process of integrating the spiritual awakened experience, your life becomes integrated, authentic, peaceful, loving and compassionate.
However, you have to be willing to stay within the fires of transformation. You become an alchemist and you engage with shadow work. You turn the lead of the personal self into the gold of the TRUE SELF.
Your joy is to become the transmission of Grace for the highest good of all. How that will be manifested will be revealed to you over time or possibly in an instant.
Spiritual Awakening Resources
If spiritual awakening and the process of spiritual awakening interests you, then I share with you the following resources that I personally use in my daily life.
What supports my journey in the process of spiritual wakening are songs, poems, and practices of prayer and meditation. This may or may not be how you are drawn to explore the magnificence of your own being.
What is most important is that you learn HOW TO trust your inner KNOWING or intuition rather than the overthinking personal mind?
- When Spirit Leaps—Navigating the Process of Spiritual Awakening—Bonnie Greenwell PhD.
- Waking from Sleep: Why Awakening Experiences Occur and How to Make them Permanent—Steve Taylor
- The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment– Eckhart Tolle
- Love After Love
- The Bright Field—R. S. Thomas
- The Swing—Hafiz of Shiraz
Prayers for Awakening
- Francis of Assisi prayer
- The Elixir—George Herbert
Remember that you are here to unfold the Divine Purpose of Creation. This is your primary purpose. How you manifest that purpose is secondary. In FEELING in alignment you will find true fulfilment.
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