I heard an audio recording of Adyashanti some time ago and transcribed parts of his message that really resonated with me. Alas, I didn’t make a note of the actual source of the recording. But I hope you enjoy these notes and insights.
When I first heard these words, it was a real AHA moment. It opened up a whole new way of looking at awakening. Reading them again, after some time, I notice that my attitude is one of curiosity and appreciation for the wisdom that others share in their own journey.
“There are different qualities to awakening, and not everyone awakens to the same thing.
Its rare that someone wakens to the whole of reality all at once. We usually get a piece of it.
Of course, any piece of the whole feels like the whole. Every aspect feels complete. That sense that “this is it” what ever it is. It can lead to certain misunderstandings.
The deception is that each aspect feels like the whole. So you might get attached to the part of the whole.
Like getting a hold of the foot of an elephant. You think its the elephant, but its just the foot.
There are 3 qualities of awakening:
1. Mind awakening. Realization of space and sense that I am a conscious space of awareness or spirit. Moving from a little human being running into my body and then bump into the experience is being conscious space. “I am” is space and open awareness. There is no becoming or beginning or end, better or worse to it. It can feel like a weight falling away. If you go deep enough you lose the ability to find reality in the mind. reality is beyond the mind. We lose our intellectual world.
This requires intellectual vulnerability – being able to let go of your beliefs and how you see yourself.
2. Heart awakening. Waking on the level of heart is more difficult to explain than the mind. Its an experience of extraordinary intimacy with all of existence. A feeling of beauty, closeness and love within the heart of existence. The oneness of it all through the veil of things. The deepest intimately is oneness. Where we intuitively see sameness. Seeing the face of god in everything.
Waking in the level of heart is here and now rather than intellectually “there”. Meeting yourself here. The mind can’t make a rational argument for it.
It requires emotional vulnerability to become intimate. We have to give up a part of ourselves that is terrified that anybody will see it. To be tender and soft. Being able to let go of the emotional being that we think we are. To be able to open our heart we have to see through what’s closing our heart. The deepest intimacy is oneness.
3. Gut awakening. Waking the existential sense of self. Its a clench or grasping of self, terrified to let go. When it lets go there is no self. Its not the intellectual or emotional stuff, its the initial reaction of grasping. Its the thing in you that says no to death and no to life. There might be very good reason to say no to life.
These qualities of awakening don’t follow in any logical progression. Over time we tend to become more oriented to one of these realities.
You can also awaken in any of these ways and go to sleep again. You can wake up in one and be asleep in the others. You might even want to go back to asleep to be with everyone you knew and the world you knew.
Spiritual awakening is based on a shift in our deepest identity. You thought it was one thing, and the reality is different. This is different from a spiritual experience which comes and then goes and your identity remains the same.
The danger is that each one of them feels absolutely complete.
But if there isn’t completeness without all the other aspects, you can become a spiritual shipwreck.
If you are connected to deeper mind and space, there is clarity and freedom. Your ego can use your space mind to hide from your emotions. The ego will use their intellectual ability to outthink any different thoughts about reality. The wakening of mind brings intellectual freedom and clarity but after a while is like a desert without feeling. The world is a manageable duality. They are spaciousness and dismiss having to deal with the otherness of life. But the disconnect will become more acute.
Awakening of the heart brings a sense of Oneness and love, yet may be still asleep at the level of the mind. Everything is light and love, but you may do some stupid things. The ego attaches itself to the image of being pure love and light.
This feeling of total completion and awakening is like a spiritual honeymoon.
Like in marriage the spiritual honeymoon doesn’t tell you much about love and what it means to be together. There is a transition that can be easy or difficult. The agreement of how things are,has shifted and we don’t have a manual on how to live this way.
Something finds its way in our experience to find a new balance in life.”