Going through a spiritual awakening can be one of the most beautiful or confusing experiences in life.
The funny thing is that spiritual awakenings happen at the least expected times. It's impossible to predict them, let alone to plan having one.
And when that happens, it often turns upside down your life, leaving much more than a wonderful, but transitory mystical experience, which can be of non-duality, ecstasy, union, peace...
Why does a spiritual awakening take place?
Let's start with an assumption proven by Science: we are energy and awareness that flows through a molecular structure made up of billions of atoms that are 99% empty, pure space. Only less than 1% of an atom is "full", that is composed of neutrons, protons and electrons.
If you are wondering why then everything seems solid, the answer is precisely: energy!
To make it practical, without loosing ourself in details, think of an electric fan with rotating blades. When the fan is not moving, you can say that what is inside that fan is mostly empty space. You can easily stick your hand in the space between the paddles and move your fingers into nothingness. But when the fan is turned on, the story is quite different.
In the same way the movement of energy manifests itself as matter through innumerable forms. And in fact, for thousands of years, mystics of various traditions taught us that matter is energy, and finally even science has succeeded in demonstrating it, more than half a century ago thanks to Einstein.
We are not physical beings who have spiritual experiences, but spiritual beings, made of spirit or, in other words, energy, who have physical experiences and we are alive in this moment, we are part of this manifestation for one reason only: TO EVOLVE!
Any single thing that happens to us, whether it's good or bad, serves this purpose.
Spiritual awakenings, as well as many other things such as readings, meetings of certain people, meditation, practices of some kind, trips to "spiritual places", etc. they are meant exactly for this and they actually accelerate our evolution, our journey.
How does it feel during an awakening experience
When a "simple" awakening experience occurs, we experience something like a more intense vision of the world, something that children or some indigenous peoples feel, as if now you were seeing a colour world and no longer monochrome.
Everything seems brighter, more alive, more profound. We notice things, even the most trivial ones like the smile of a person or a falling leaf, that had always been there, but which we had never really seen.
At that moment everything seems profoundly simple and right, and every problem fades away.
All this can get intensified even more, up to the point of perceiving with all our cells and our soul, the presence of an energy, of a "spiritual" force that pervades everything, from a speck of dust, to the sun, to the space in between.
We become aware that it is thanks to this energy, this Consciousness that gives life to the objects we perceived as inanimate, that we are allowed to experience the bliss, beauty, perfection that we now see everywhere.
In Sanskrit it is called Brahman, the spirit of the universe that pervades everything and therefore makes any single thing divine and interconnected.
So we realize that you and I, that a cat and a poppy, that a river and a blade of grass, are like the waves of the ocean, which seem different and apparently separated, but in reality they are all part of the same ocean of Consciousness.
There are even more intense awakening experiences that lead to boundless ecstasy, even going beyond the world of forms where everything disappears, and make it crystal clear that this spirit is divine, is God himself. There is an evident perception and knowledge that all this is something authentic, incredibly right and simple, and that has always been HERE.
But the important thing to emphasize is that mystical or spiritual experiences are like thoughts: they come and go.
They have their importance and are of great help if they happen, but we must not look for them. What matters is to discover what is present before, during and after those experiences, what is eternal and immutable, the only thing that is worthy of being known, which is You, your true nature!
The great luck is that these awakenings change us from within.
In fact a spiritual awakening can change our habits, our thoughts (quality and quantity), our behaviors, our tastes, our way of breathing, of walking...
Is the feeling you get during awakening the same for everyone?
The feeling you get during awakening is not the same for everyone.
It clearly depends on various factors such as: the type of awakening, karma, your own path and above all let us remember that each of us is unique and unrepeatable!
However, during the awakening, the common factor is that the emptiness, the sadness that we had been dragging for who knows how long, disappears. We are filled with a feeling of utter well-being, peace, serenity, freedom, lightness, in India they call it Ananda.
The ego-mind that generated all those beliefs, worries, anxieties, problems, etc. is drowned into a sea of deep and unlimited peace, a peace that has always been present, which is called Parashanti in sanskrit.
Plus there can be feelings of love and compassion towards people, towards every living being, towards the whole world. The boundaries of the ego weaken, they can be even wiped out (the so-called ego death) and at that point we literally dissolve into Unity.
In a single instant all the certainties we firmly thought to be true have melted like snow in the sun, to make room for the truth, for the joy of being everything.
We recognize something that we have always known within ourselves and we see that the atman, our spiritual self, is one with Brahman, the universal Self.
We perceive this sense of unity because "our" energy, the energy that composes our being (essence, vital energy, spirit, qi, prana, whatever is the way you want to call it) is the same energy that pervades the whole universe, and now that we have opened our eyes we can finally see it.
The bliss we feel during the awakening experience (and which we can always feel, if after these experiences we continue to work on ourselves to evolve) is not a joy caused by something or someone, but it is simply here, now, always.
It is a natural condition that comes from our essence, from the very essence of which everything is made: the Vedas describe the nature of Brahman, our natural state, as Sat-Cit-Ananda that is existence-consciousness-bliss because bliss is our true nature.
Now that the huge amount of energy of the awakening experience has calmed the whirlwind of thoughts, the mind has calmed down, or even disappeared, and therefore being no longer identified with the ego, with the false image of ourselves that usually absorbs all our attention, the joy that is in us can finally surface, can be revealed.
It is for this reason that it is vital to meditate, to calm the mind, to clear it, thus letting emerge our natural state of peace and bliss, momentarily clouded, making it shine more and more.
The "dark night of the soul"
A component that may happen in conjunction with a spiritual awakening is what christian mystics have called "the dark night of the soul", a period of suffering that can precede an awakening (it can continue even after the awakening, to dig deeper) ), and there is a precise reason why this occurs: the divine, which is perfect intelligence, pushes us through pain to seek an answer, a meaning, a way out of our condition, to "be born again". It is a necessary process, just as the snake has to get rid of its old skin to make room for the new one.
Suffering is a very powerful engine because it forces us to change the present condition we can no longer bear: beliefs, habits, identity, everything is questioned to allow change to happen, together with a shift in perspective and perception of life, of things, of yourself, values, priorities, etc .; it is a real "energetic leap".
During this period we feel distant, disconnected, absent, forgotten by God, confused, backed into a corner and in over our head. There is deep sadness, an inner emptiness that you cannot fill, and you are looking for something even though you don't know what that is. There is pain, darkness, suffering, everything is turned upside down and you can really go down deeper.
In these moments, even if it is not easy, it is useful and important to remember that it is only a phase, a stage, and that even this, like everything else in life, will pass.
You can choose whether to let all this overwhelm you and remain helpless, or you could develop a more active approach, that is start working on you right now.
There are plenty of tools!
And indeed, it is better to start as soon as possible, so as to avoid falling into the spiral of pain and touch the bottom of this dark night of the soul.
In addition, you begin to notice and recognize that what you were told and taught about life in general was not true or anyway you sense that it may be different.
This can cause even more suffering because it seems that society and the world are the actual Hell and you don't find a shred of hope in anything.
You are then driven to find answers, to understand what is the meaning of all this: you question yourself about the meaning of life, about your destiny, about the world.
Let us remember that each of us is unique, just as the path of each of us is unique.
This means that not everyone will necessarily go through the dark night of the soul nor that everyone will experience it the same way, with the same intensity and duration.
The light at the end of the tunnel and the need for an authentic spirituality
At this point you meet a guide, a practice, a method, a philosophy that you feel resonating within you, with which you are in harmony, and which shows you how things are different from what you thought, and mostly that it is possible to live in peace and bliss because this is what you are made of.
Then you can start for example to have insights, mystical experiences, moments of great peace or pleasure without something or someone being the cause, the responsable.
This is a phase of joy, rebirth, hope, wonder, gratitude...
However, whether we like it or not, life is change, and every honeymoon comes to an end: there is a time when you become tired, exhausted, fed up, frustrated by the practices and spiritual teachers who got you here.
You realize the myths that you had created or that others made you believe about spirituality and you are tired, almost disgusted by the words you hear or read about spirituality.
Maybe you even had wonderful insights, revelations, mystical experiences, periods of deep connection with the Divine or with yourself, but now you want something more, you want to get to the point, you want to put an end to everything, you want to end the research.
And you feel with all yourself, viscerally, that it is possible, that it must be concretely possible.
Again dissatisfaction, incompleteness, unhappiness, force you to search more deeply, they are pushing you closer to the truth. You crave for an authentic and concrete spirituality, which permeates and invades yourself and your life ALWAYS, not only part-time, not only during spiritual retreats, or for short periods.
Indeed, now you truly want to live, to live at 200%, not simply lead a spiritual life.
In other words, you really want to be happy, ALWAYS!
So you no longer have the desire nor time for books, practices, teachers or superficial teachings that could not get you at destination after all this time of seeking, but rather to a dead end where you feel stuck, unable to proceed further.
This is the most prolific period where you integrate the lessons you have learned by applying them in your daily life, you experience deeper and long lasting changes, which can also be subtle or "ordinary", but have a great impact in your approach and in your life.
Life after awakening
In summary, to simplify extremely, we could say that when a "definitive awakening" occurs, personal identifications move from the foreground to the background, and there is the clear and permanent realization that you are Consciousness.
Or, in other words, you notice that the background of your being is now actually in the foreground, and that it has always been here all the time!
Some features of "life after awakening" are contentment, simplicity, peace, acceptance, presence, stability.
A spiritual awakening does not change your life, but it does change the way you interact and respond to life. In fact it is not a question of transcending life or the material world, but rather bringing the Divine into your daily life.
Please know that these are not precise, linear stages.
The path is strange, confused, colorful, chaotic, bizarre and both painful and wonderful.
But mostly it is UNIQUE!
YOUR path and spiritual awakening are unique. There is not one better than the other.
You chose it, and you, Consciousness, among other things are infinitely intelligent, so even if sometimes it may seem to you that you can't do it, that this is a torture, madness, that the pain or frustration or despair are absurd, unsustainable, endless, know that it is perfect, it is a dress that you have tailored for yourself, and therefore YOU can do it, if you really want it!
The "next phase" after a spiritual experience is, or rather should be (because we often get lost), stabilizing this type of experiences and, above all, not falling into the trap of searching, of trying to feel them again and again - the syndrome of "I had it, but now I lost it" - or to extend them, chasing the illusion that by doing this you will achieve the so-called Enlightenment.
It is a natural mechanism for every living being to seek pleasure and escape pain, but if we cling to these transitory experiences (even if they are "healthy" pleasures), we risk losing sight of the most important thing, that is recognizing our natural state, which is not an experience because, unlike any other experience of spiritual awakening, it is always present.
And I will never stress enough that today it is really easy to recognize it because finally there are appropriate means to accelerate your path and cease the seeking in less time than you can ever imagine!
From then on life, while still presenting its challenges, is every day more and more wonderful!
I hope I have helped to clarify this topic, which is as controversial as it is misunderstood.
Here you can find all the VIDEOS: https://www.youtube.com/c/Parashanti
If you wish to accelerate your progress and if you truly want to make a real change in your life, visit our website www.parashanti.com and book a free consultation so that together we decide the best strategy.
The only thing that matters, as always, is your direct experience!