“How do we wake up?” My friend asked me this very open ended question. And I gave them a comprehensive answer eventually.
(This is a first draft and subsequent versions will have relevant links to books and videos on each subject.)
First, a bit of advice. I never listen to anyone who thinks they know what everyone should be doing, if they say “this is the only way” I tend to switch off. We are all unique with unique paths so I’m not telling anyone what to do, these are recommendations not demands. Do you.
I don’t want to be a guru. I have issues! Don’t we all? I was obsessed with enlightenment and thought about the subject extremely deeply for years but as I said I have issues, one of them is obsession and another is thinking too deeply! And my friend who asked me the following question certainly doesn’t want me to be their guru. But they asked me “how do we wake up?”
A simple question. But my answer was never going to be simple. It could have been, I could have answered “there is no you and there is no me, so there is no we to wake up”. It could have been “we are all already awake, there is nothing to do and nowhere to go.” But that’s not my style and a bit of a cop out. We can ignore the illusion of reality to give short answers that sound wise but meanwhile you’re still gonna wake up with the illusion of you, me, time and space and we all have to decide how to fill the illusion of time and space (if that’s what they are.)
So I answered as honestly as I could. First I bailed, cos I think too deep and immediately thought of several conflicting answers. Then I decided that was where to begin – there are different types of waking up and there are different ways to to achieve each. Here are a few I’ve discovered and obsessed over, to varying degrees. I obsessed so you don’t have to…
So different types of waking up – kundalini awakening. Political awareness awakening. Health food awakening. Energy awareness awakening. Fractal multidimensional nature of reality awakening.
All of these types of awakening affect each other, and assist each other.
(Although political awareness can temporarily slow down other types of awakening if it results in depression but I think it’s a necessary step in overall spiritual growth.)
I should add “Shadow work, emotional / psychological awakening” to the list too, it might be the most important one.
Kundalini awakening can be inspired by tantric sex, kundalini yoga and pranayama yoga. I can recommend a good book on the subject of kundalini tantra, a great video showing a kundalini pranayama technique and/or recommend making love with someone with tantric experiences. <Dry orgasms are relatively frequent for me, but I don’t attend tantra workshops and I’m not in ‘the scene’, find it all a bit creepy to be honest. But I know I shouldn’t judge, just prefer to read books, watch Mantak Chia lectures and practice in private. Growth for me in the non judgment area needed.>
[Best book on Kundalini Tabtra I’ve read – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bihar-School-of-Yoga-Kundalini/dp/8185787158/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1537125059&sr=8-3&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=kundalini+yoga+swami ]
Political awareness awakening. This one’s hard cos there’s so much misinformation out there but eventually one should probably realise that most politicians are there for personal gain, most political decisions help the rich get richer and most wars are fought for profit and the reasons they give us are lies. It’s hard for me to view someone as a fully functioning human if they can’t see past the basic matrix of hypocrisy the politicians and mainstream media presents. I know reality is subjective, and it’s all perception (more on that later) and I know we shouldn’t judge. But one of my own areas to grow in is not judging people for believing politicians and newspapers. The lies have seemed so obvious for so long now it’s hard for me not to judge and get angry. I’m getting off the point.
<To what extent political awareness has anything to do with enlightenment in a broader sense is a debate you could have, but I’m inclined to agree with Michael Tsarion and Mark Passio, you cannot be compassionate and aware without sometimes experiencing righteous anger and all forms of government is a form of tyranny with an implied threat of violence>
[Tsarion on politics
Health food awakening. Pretty simple, you are what you eat. So natural and organic is ideal. But life is all about balance so I don’t judge processed food or meat eating, meat is natural and life is suffering but slaughterhouse’s cause unnecessary suffering.
Energy awareness awakening. This is on two levels, knowledge and experience. You can read about quantum physics and I have some good stuff to recommend on the subject. But I would honestly recommend playing with crystals in the bath <with or without shamanic assistance> and chi gung (also spelt Qi Gong which makes it difficult to search for sometimes). Chi gung is like a cross between Tai Chi and yoga and allows you to feel chi in and around your body. It’s basically circular movements and spiral movements with synchronized breathing. I live it and should do it every day but I am undisciplined. I’m working on that tho!
[Best chi gung vid I found online, starts with an explanation and then gives you a beautiful exercise to follow
Fractal multidimensional nature of reality awakening. Basically meditation on the nature of reality over time will deal with this one. And a good dose of Terrence Mckenna will deal with this one. I suspect a near death experience would too. I’ve had various glimpses of this breakdown of reality in various ways from Ayahuasca ceremonies to tantric sex dry orgasms. My clearest experience was via plant medicine but it might not have happened if I hadn’t had experiences of awakening in other ways before.
And finally – “Shadow work, emotional / psychological awakening”, as I say, it might be the most important one. This is a complex subject and although it relates to psychology it is in my opinion the most important spiritual work, and maybe the hardest and scariest. Someone can be a tantric master and an a-hole. Someone can be a vegan a-hole. Someone can be a yoga teaching a-hole. We can all be a-holes, I know I can. Shadow work and emotional growth is how to stop being an a-hole! 😂
It’s basically looking at your dark-side, your weaknesses, your fears which are generally rooted in self esteem issues and insecurities we’ve had since childhood. We usually hide these things behind a wall of either anxiety or bravado, either overtly express it with low self esteem and/or hide it behind a front of arrogance. Because when we see our insecurities and self esteem issues we find it hard to love ourselves. And when we hide from these things we defend it, defend the sadness with anger and have arguments with people we love so we don’t have to admit to ourselves how scared we are, scared that we might be lonely, scared that we might not be enough, scared that we might be judged negatively for our weaknesses and scared that those who are being judgmental might be right.
We stop being a-holes to ourselves and to others when we see these shadows, accept these shadows and LOVE OURSELVES ANYWAY. It’s like the EFT tapping techniques, “even though I am insert negative perception here I truly love and accept myself.”
For this work I would recommend Ayahuasca but at the risk of sounding like a normie or a Muggle conventional therapy helped alot, particularly hypnotherapy. And the work of Jamie Catto and Byron Katie. Again, each of these subjects I can recommend videos or books on. This last one I can recommend a Jamie Catto workshop or my hypnotherapist in Bristol, she’s awesome 😊
I have to add the Balanced View teaching, workshops and community to the list of positive influences on my awakening but the way it works cultivates a reliance on the community and the organisation that I am personally uncomfortable with and uncomfortable recommending. I say dip your toe in and use what works for you but some of my best friends are swimming in the deep end of it and seem fine ☺️
[Jamie Catto does workshops all over England, overseas and online in facing creative blocks, shadow work and relationships.
Just check out his website
[Byron Katie and The Work (get to the root causes of your suffering and stop believing the stories you may have told yourself, powerful stuff
One last thing! Perception and the fractal nature of reality. The paradox of all of this is that if the nature of reality is fractal there will always be more ways to awaken, there will always be another door to go through, each answer leads to more questions. So there is “nowhere to go and nothing to do” as Balanced View might say, we’re all already awake and all is already enlightened and illuminated by our awareness.
Okay, now I’m done.
With minor edits that’s almost exactly what I sent to my friend. I add for the sake of humility – I don’t meditate every day, I don’t do pranyama every day, I don’t eat strictly organic, and I don’t do Chi Gung every day. If I had as much discipline as I had obsession I would probably be happier, healthier and richer. But I don’t know if I’d be having as much fun.
Bliss plus joy equals now, be love x