You may have just had an incredible experience during your spiritual awakening. Everything felt amazing, you were in total bliss and then suddenly.. nothing. This is a common occurrence, most people who have a spiritual awakening go through this experience. What exactly caused your spiritual awakening to “stop”?
A real, true spiritual awakening will not be able to be stopped. The experience you felt was the honeymoon phase and now you are in between the dream and awakened state. The illusion of self hasn’t been seen through entirely, only partially, this time should be used for inward reflection.
A Little Warning
It is fairly important though that you first do not confuse a spiritual awakening with something else.
A real, true, spiritual awakening is something that is felt throughout the entire body and mind. There is no doubt anywhere, it is not something that thought can confirm for you. It is known, it is an eternal feeling, it feels like a click within the mind.
A big mistake many make is they convince themselves that they have had a spiritual awakening when in fact it may have just been a misunderstanding.
I urge you again to be honest with yourself and see within the deepest part of your soul if there truly was a spiritual awakening occurring.
Moving Passed the Honeymoon Phase
The initial phase of your spiritual awakening can be the most beautiful experience you may ever have. You will likely always cherish that moment when you finally “woke up”.
I still haven’t forgotten mine over 10 years later. I remember it, the exact moment, what I was doing and where I was. Everything leading up to it just felt so perfect, like life was just putting down a path for me to follow.
It all felt so natural and yet after a few weeks, the initial phase had started to wear off.
At times I felt scared, I didn’t want “this to go away”. Fortunately, a spiritual awakening can not be stopped no matter what you try. You can try to run from it but once the door is opened it cannot be closed.
What is really happening in the first stages is that you finally see through the illusion of self, the “I” inside the mind. Once this is seen through the first time, a portion of the ego is almost literally blown out.
For most people who experience spiritual awakening, there is still work to be done after the fact. I am still learning something new everyday. It’s hard to find good post-awakening material out there, but from what I have read it can take more than a decade to truly get the hang of it.
Think of it like a baby just being born, what does a baby do as soon as it is born for the first time?
It cries. It’s a shock to the system. Awakening is shock to everything you thought you knew.
After the shock wears off, it may seem like you are “back to normal”, but you have to realize this is where you start putting in the work.
There are years of conditioning that haven’t been sorted through. It isn’t anyone’s fault that you have all of this conditioning within the mind, everyone has it.
This is where you need to start putting in some real work into your awakening.
What is Conditioning?
Conditioning are thoughts that you still have attachments to.
When you grow up, there are many beliefs and thoughts about yourself and the world that stick even after a spiritual awakening. This is one of the main reasons why you may feel like your spiritual awakening has stopped.
Whenever one of these thoughts appear, you identify with them. This identification is what takes you out of that “awakened” state.
I’m going to steal Adyashanti’s metaphor because I think his is probably the best I’ve heard on this subject, so thank you Adya!
Think of your awakening like a spaceship. The dream state or before you were awakened is Earth. You keep trying to leave Earth’s gravity but every time you identify with a conditioned thought, you are brought back down to Earth again.
This is a seemingly never ending cycle.
How do you deal with this?
It’s not so simple or intuitive. There are going to be a lifetime worth of thoughts to sort through and deal with. I wouldn’t try to jump the gun and force anything, just start where you are. This is going to be the key to getting over this part of the phase.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes, awakening is a life long journey. You will learn for the rest of your life, there is no rush.
The attachments to these thoughts are things that have been circling around the mind for years.
One of mine was that I would constantly tell myself that I wasn’t ever enough. I always had these thoughts from a young child, mainly from getting bullied in my childhood.
Any time I had these thoughts come up, there was this deep attachment that I had to sort through.
It takes time and focus to actively sort through conditioning, don’t worry, you will get the hang of it.
Dealing With Conditioning
Ok, so you have identified that you are stuck in attachment to thought and this is stopping your spiritual awakening.
This is where you have to actually sit down and do some focused work. This takes time and energy, it may bring up old traumas and bad memories. There may be some internal conflicts you haven’t resolved that will have to be looked at.
You must first start identifying exactly what is the thought that is causing this attachment.
Initially, I would brush them off as I know this is a repetitive thought that has plagued my mind for years. Now, I understand that these thoughts are deep internal conflicts that must be resolved to further my spiritual awakening.
Remember the thought that I had before? “I am not worth anything”?
These thoughts will come up over and over again unless you inquire into them.
This requires meditative inquiry. You can use a journal or you can simply meditate on it.
Investigate these thoughts. Sit with them. See what is truly behind them and what they really are.
Do not think that anything is wrong, this is just the next phase of your spiritual development.
It takes practice and effort to fully come into acceptance of these thoughts and release your attachment to them. It must be taken seriously, otherwise these thoughts will continue to plague your life and no progress will be made.
It may take days, weeks or even months for some of these patterns to resolve. There is no rush. Sit with them as long as it takes until they start to disappear on their own.
Sometimes these thoughts are there JUST so we start inquiring. If they weren’t there, we wouldn’t feel the need to look inward and to do any furthering of our awakening.
They are a gift. They are trying to guide you in the right direction. Take as long as you need.
Learning The Dance
Through your process of dealing with your left over conditioning, you will learn how to dance with the universe.
This is a process for you to learn how the mind interacts with thoughts and attachment.
This conditioning that you see on the surface is only the beginning. However old you are, there is going to almost certainly be more. There are some lucky few however who have full awakenings but I would go ahead and say that more than 90 percent of awakened people have to go through this process.
Once you learn how to sit with your conditioning, investigate it and see it for what it is. This is your chance to learn.
After a long time on this journey myself, I have cleaned up most of everything that has arisen throughout the years. It wasn’t an automatic process and even some thoughts stuck around for years, I also even had new thought patterns appear!
Don’t worry if these things happen to you too, ego wants to stay around. It will do anything to get your attention, it’s all apart of the process.
This is your ultimate letting go. Letting go of everything you once thought about yourself, the world and everyone around you. There should be nothing left when the job is finished.
To paint a picture, I would describe an enlightened master as someone who perceives life almost like a camera. Thoughts may come up, but these thoughts aren’t thought of as attachments. They come and go. Observation is happening but life itself is living.
There is no need for the “I” inside the mind to live. It’s all just an illusion at the end of the day.
As your spiritual awakening goes on, you may be left wondering what’s next for you.
I would tell you, just let it unfold naturally.
Your awakening is here to show that there is only one the present moment. This is all there really is. Thoughts, this, that, you aren’t any of that. At the same time, you are also everything.
It’s a bit confusing at first, but there are many paradoxes within an awakening. I would advise not to “think” too much about these thoughts and just try to accept whatever may occur for you in the present moment.
There are four stages of awakening, right now you are likely in the second stage. Everyone will experience their own unique unfolding, it may happen in a different manner for you.
Along my 10 years, for the longest time I wanted someone to hold my hand along the way. Someone to tell me what to do, where to go and what to think. I was lost and confused for a big portion of my awakening, I felt really isolated.
I learned eventually, that all the information you need is already inside you. The only thing I or anyone else can tell you to do is look for that information within yourself.
This is what this process is all about. Don’t worry right now if you feel like your spiritual awakening has stopped, this is just a different phase for you to experience.
Everything will unfold in a natural way, trust that the universe will guide you to wherever you need to go.
Wrapping it Up
While it may feel like your spiritual awakening has stopped, it hasn’t. This is just another phase in a long journey.
The conditioning that arises within the mind must be dealt with otherwise it will keep coming back until it is seen through completely. It takes meditative inquiry and focus to see through conditioning. It’s not an automatic process.
All of this is just a learning experience for the next steps in your journey. The universe is teaching you how to live in this new world one day at a time. Everything will eventually become intuitive for you, until then you must ingrain these skills so you are better prepared for the next time around.
There is no rush in your journey. Take it easy, one day at a time. Do not think anything is wrong, this is all just in line with your journey.