Spiritual Awakening: 3 REAL Symptoms + How to Start

Welcome Home.

Spiritual awakening is a real experience that happens to real people.

The purpose of this guide is to put you on a direct, easy-to-follow path that will allow you to find the truth through your own spiritual practices.

You will find over the course of this guide that I will not tell you what to think or confuse you with logical information. You must forget everything you once thought you knew and begin “with an empty teacup”. You must become a student of life itself.

I will not talk about decalcifying the pineal gland, crystals, energy healing, or tarot cards. This guide focuses on a clear-cut path to allow awakening to show itself.

Spirituality is SIMPLE. We are avoiding philosophy for a reason. Let’s not complicate it any more than it needs to be.

If you’re ready, let’s get started.

What is a REAL Spiritual Awakening?

Let’s start off with understanding what it means to be “asleep”, or the experience before an awakening.

Being asleep is being identified as a “person”, with your belief systems, thoughts, and memories. This is what compromises the “false self“. When you are in the dream state, you are gripped by attachments and desire. The ego is in full control.

Most people don’t go through life thinking that they are asleep, others have a nagging feeling there is something else to the world.


A person who undergoes a spiritual awakening is becoming aware of wholeness. Wholeness meaning, “God”, “Consciousness”, “Buddha”, “Silence”, “Spirit”, “Enlightenment” whatever name you prefer to call it.

Notice how I didn’t say “transcending the ego”? Awakening is not “rising above” or “going beyond”, it’s becoming aware of your true nature that is already in existence.

No longer is the person seeing life through themselves as a person, belief, or idea. Awareness is realizing itself, without an “I” in the picture.

You aren’t an observer or the witnesser, observation is only occurring.

Spiritual awakening allows you to eliminate almost all suffering. Suffering is a state of attachment. Awakenings naturally begin the process of deconditioning the mind that starts to release inner trauma that has been held on to for years.

What Spiritual Awakening Isn’t

Awakening is become what a real human should be. It does not mean that you suddenly live in a permanent state of bliss and have no suffering or annoyances to live through.

When you are present, you no longer judge feelings on how they feel. “Good” and “bad” become one. You aren’t clinging to fleeting emotions, you welcome the moment as it presents itself.

Awakened people can still suffer. Awakened people can still get annoyed. Awakened people can still get upset. These are human emotions, it is important to realize that awakenings are more about becoming human than transcending humanity itself.

I have gone through years of depression after awakening. Awakening leads you down a journey of destruction. Every thought and idea that you once knew will be tested. You won’t be the same person you were before an awakening, whether you agree or not. You’ll be dragged along.

Spiritual awakening is a disorienting process. It takes time to learn how to “walk” in this new perception of living.

What does a baby do when it first awakens? It cries.

The majority of people who realize awareness are only given a glimpse of what is to come. There is still inner work to be done, your journey only begins after you awaken.

The Spiritual Awakening Process

The spiritual awakening process begins by priming the mind to let awakening present itself. You will not find awareness as hard as you may search for it.

Awakening is already present. How can you find what is already here?

The great unlearning is a process and requires patience, do not worry. You need to see that the “self” is merely a fleeting belief system and that there may be something else holding everything together (Oneness).

What are you when you strip your thoughts, beliefs, and identity away? What is left?

Only proceed if you are fully aware of the possibilities and are ready to embark on your new journey.

1) Meditation

There are various meditation paths that you can go down but we are only going to focus on “just be” meditation.

Meditation allows you to find awareness. Without priming through meditation, you will be left in a logical state attempting to understand spiritual awakening philosophically. The ego will make this process impossible if you don’t unlearn your way of thinking.

If you have never meditated before or have been for practicing for years, this form of meditation is available to all.

Sit in a quiet place, make yourself as comfortable as possible. Close your eyes and begin to feel the present moment as it is.

This means no matter what you feel, you sit and observe. Good, bad, bliss, gloom, you are attempting to sit with the present moment for exactly what it is without any judgment.

When you allow thoughts and emotions to simply breathe, you are beginning to practice the nature of the true self. Do not make any attempts to force this as your attempts will be futile. “Just be” meditation requires some finesse.

As you are sitting there, just observing quietly, see how long you can stay within this state. If you are in a state of confusion, panic or anxiety try to allow it to be as it is. Do not try to run away from these emotions, calmly sit and witness what is happening right this second.

If you are new to this type of practice and it becomes overwhelming, only go on for as long as you can before it gets too uncomfortable. Even if it’s only a few minutes, just add another few minutes to your next session.

I would suggest only practicing this form of meditation for upwards of an hour at a time.

For an amazing example of what type of meditation we are trying to practice, here is Adyashanti with a guided meditation. Adyashanti is one of my favorites, I don’t consider him a “guru” but he cuts to the core and doesn’t fluff.

2) Self-Inquiry (Who am I?)

Self-inquiry is a powerful tool that must be used alongside the “just be” meditative practice.

Self-inquiry is asking “Who am I”.

If you would like to entertain your deepest questions such as “Who is God?”, “What is life itself?” then feel free to do so. These are known as “pointers” that point to the “I”. Point to yourself enough and you’ll see that you weren’t pointing at anything at all.

When you normally ask a question, you are looking for a response. That’s not the purpose of self-inquiry. Think of it as more of a rhetorical question, the questions you’re asking are left for the mind to digest.

You’re not looking for answers, you’re looking for insights. If something of value comes up, great! If not, then the further inquiry is necessary.

The hard part about this practice is that you’ve been conditioned to think logically from a young age. Unlearning this type of thinking is vital when beginning the awakening process.

Inquiring is a way of getting right to the core of your true nature. This is how you let spiritual awakening show itself. By continuously asking “Who am I”, you are letting awareness “point” to the I.

While you are practicing self-inquiry, try and feel the essence of not knowing these answers.

If you would like to learn more about self-inquiry, please watch this video below with one of my favorite teachers, Ram Dass.

3) Meditation + Self-Inquiry

While meditation is used for priming the mind to get you out of a philosophical state, it’s necessary that you combine both self-inquiry and meditation.

When you’re no longer thinking logically and allow awareness to flow freely, self-inquiry becomes magnitudes times more powerful.

They work in tandem, do not fast forward the process, and jump to self-inquiry or think you can do with just meditation. It takes practicing both meditation and self-inquiry to get a feeling for what is to come.

Remember, awareness is already here. To think you “need to do something” is a mistake and will lead you down a path of frustration. These aren’t forceful acts, these are graceful acts.

It can be extremely difficult at first to start the great unlearning. You have functioned in one pattern your entire life and now you are attempting to unlearn everything you thought you once knew. Take this process gently and allow for patience. Wholeness will show itself when you are ready and willing.

These methods on the surface seem simple, and truthfully they are. Spiritual awakening is not a secret nor does it take a lifetime worth of practice to wake up. Your awakening can happen in a split second, as did mine. Preparing yourself through these methods is going to be the best method for recognizing what is already here.

Avoid philosophizing, avoid logical thinking, just let it be. We aren’t trying to contemplate any of this, just throw these questions in the open and observe what occurs.

That’s all it takes. One moment and your life can change forever.

Finding YOUR Truth

Forget what you read on the internet about spiritual awakening, forget what you think about it currently, and find out what it means for YOU.

The main issue with conveying this material is that it isn’t able to be conveyed well through language. Spiritual awakening is a full-body feeling, an embodiment of your true nature. It isn’t anyone else’s idea of it, it isn’t a thought about it, it’s finding the truth within the deepest parts of your soul.

All of your deepest answers are already within your soul. I urge you to find them for yourself as no one else in the world can do it for you.

Relying solely on yourself to find the purest wisdom may seem counter-intuitive. If there is the oneness that is within everyone and embodies everything from the core of the earth to the farthest star in the universe, then it is able to be recognized by any human on this planet.

The real key to this whole process is being honest and having an open heart. There may be difficulty ahead but you will get through them. An awakening at times may feel brutal, the biggest oversight you can make is only chasing after awakening to “feel good”. Awakening does not care about “feeling good”, it only cares about finding the truth no matter the circumstance.

Spiritual awakening is just the beginning. You only have one life to live, why not put time into finding your true essence of being?

Drop your gurus, you are your own guru.

Spiritual Awakening Symptoms

1) Shift in perception

You won’t need to read a list of symptoms to know you’ve had a true awakening. I’m not entirely fond of the term “spiritual awakening signs” as I believe that you’ll know it within the deepest part of your soul when it happens.

However, the biggest sign to watch out for is to see if there is a “shift” in perception. This is when you go from living through the lens of the “I” or “Me” inside the mind to simply an observational perspective.

For some, the signs of spiritual awakening will be like a light switch switching on with a massive flood of emotions and bliss. Others may encounter a slow, gradual climb, and one day look around and realize that their perception has shifted.

2) Understanding beyond the logical mind

You aren’t looking for a logical understanding of spiritual awakening, it is a deep, full-body feeling.

The key here is to understand that the mind cannot conventionally understand an awakening, it is something much deeper than the mind. Awakening is a realization that the “I” inside the mind is not you. While it is simple to “get” on paper, it takes some practice to get to a state where awakening can come forth.

3) Calm sense of assurance

You’ll have questions, but the overwhelming feeling will be that of assurance. The “quietness” of the mind, the thing that is you (and everyone), is infinite wisdom.

It has a deep sense of peace that doesn’t require any thing or any one to maintain its state. This assurance can come and go in the beginning stages, but it’s something to keep an eye out for. No matter how bad the material situation around your experience gets, the assurance never leaves.

“Dark Night of the Soul”

You may encounter what is known as the “dark night of the soul” along your spiritual awakening journey.

When I woke up, initially I was in an utter state of bliss. I couldn’t ask to feel more at peace, I didn’t want anything to be different. My senses felt alive, I had never felt the world in such a way.

All things come to an end, including this stage of awakening.

While it was a blissful experience, I was left in a deep depression that lasted for many years. You most likely won’t experience exactly what I went through as everyone experiences their awakening differently. It all depends on your previous life and how much trauma or internal conflict you are holding within yourself.

My childhood materialistically was great, my main issue was dealing with self-loathing and depression for the majority of my life. Once spiritual awakening happens, it forces you to face what you have been hiding from your entire life.

There were days where I didn’t want to get out of bed, it felt like the world was just utterly pointless. I was working at a terrible job, I had no friends and no money. I knew deep down in my soul that there was still this connection to “Oneness” and yet it didn’t matter.

My experience was fairly bleak. After running away from such a big part of my life, I had to make the decision to finally face myself. It didn’t happen instantaneously, but this process is an ultimate letting go.

Dark Night of the Soul is letting go of everything you once thought you knew about yourself and the story you have about yourself. It’s ripping you apart until there is nothing left. It can hurt, sometimes the pain can be unbearable.

This is the price we pay to see our true nature. It’s your biggest moment of growth.

Spiritual Awakening Q/A

When you wake up, it can be hard going at it alone figuring it out for yourself. Below are the most common questions you’ll face before and after a spiritual awakening.

Is spiritual awakening real?

Very much so. Not only I, but hundreds of thousands of people have experienced the same thing that I have.

It’s actually quite beautiful to know that humans can share such a deep sense of peace and that all is required from us to realize its existence. Considering how powerful this experience can be, it’s a shock to know that it isn’t spoken about more often.

In-depth Explanation

What are the stages of spiritual awakening?

Spiritual awakening is not a linear path. While some may have an easier time along with theirs, you may feel “stuck” in some part of your journey.

In my experience, I have lived through four distinct stages of spiritual awakening. Most won’t experience a full-blown enlightenment, but there are always exceptions.

In-depth Explanation

Why is spiritual awakening so hard?

Spiritual awakening is a process of letting go. Having to let go of everything you once knew can be extremely difficult to cope with.

While the initial stages may be filled with bliss and love, the coming stages may feel disorienting and confusing. No matter which stage you are in of awakening, this is a process you must go through in order to grow through your spiritual journey.

In-depth Explanation

What happens after spiritual awakening?

Everyone will experience their own journey a bit differently. There really isn’t an “after”, awakening is the coming together of totality. Your life pursuits and friendships may change but this is the natural order of awakening.

You will still be a living human that requires love, food, etc. Spiritual awakening is not a bypassing of the human experience. The longer you stay on this path, the greater the connection with yourself, your intuition, and “Oneness”.

In-depth Explanation

What should I do if I’m experiencing a loss of motivation?

When you wake up, you may no longer be interested in the egocentric chase you were once caught up in during the dream state. After awakening occurs there is a period of time where you need to do some introspection to gain further insight.

Your previous pursuits may not be in your best interest any longer. I would take this time as a period to look deep within yourself and ask yourself what were you REALLY doing before you woke up.

In-depth Explanation

Is it normal to be scared during a spiritual awakening?

Whatever you are feeling during your own experience is going to be perfect as it is. This fear that you may be experiencing is the fear of letting go of it all.

Instead of running away from it, feel it for exactly what it is. Ask it what it wants from you. Don’t be afraid, your fear is going to be your guiding light here. Fear is love.

What causes awakenings?

Some say spiritual awakening happens when you are perfectly open and ready. For some, that means it requires a near-death experience or a tragedy to lose all hope and realize their true nature.

No matter what “caused” the awakening, the real true trigger of awakening is realizing that you are not the “I” inside the mind. You aren’t the false self that is compromised of ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. This is not just a logical understanding of the concept, it is a full-body realization. I describe it as an “aha” moment, a “click” within the mind.

When does spiritual awakening end?

A real, true spiritual awakening does not end. Once you see behind the veil, that is all that is needed.

What will happen is that you begin maturing spiritually, letting go of everything in the way either by force or willingly. Eventually, life begins to live itself, and no further inquiry is needed.

Think of awakenings as a wave, they’re constantly moving in and out of the ocean, and yet they never separate.

Why has my awakening stopped?

Real awakenings don’t stop. The best thing to do when it feels like “Oneness” may have left us is to start doing shadow work that involves understanding what conditioning is left and how you’re are supposed to deal with these feelings.

This is fairly normal after the “honeymoon” phase.

In-depth Explanation

Live Your Own Life

I urge you to try to find your own answers. While at times it may feel like you get stuck, a pointer here and there isn’t the worst thing in the world.

When looking for someone to listen to, I advise listening to them if they emphasize finding your own truth rather than believing theirs.

My two favorite guides I have found along the way are Adyashanti and Eckhart Tolle.

Both have an endless amount of literature about spirituality as well as an endless amount of Youtube videos if you ever find yourself in need of some guidance.

Be careful who you listen to, it is very easy to get caught trying to believe in someone else’s ideas.

This is your journey, not anyone else’s.

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Who am I?

About Roy Cohen

Hi there! I'm the founder of Claiming Clarity. My passion in life is helping people live better. If you'd like to learn more, check out the about page.

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