What is Awakening?
According to spiritual teacher Saeed Khan:
Awakening is simply the moment we understand our true nature.
This isn't just intellectual understanding but a deep and embodied comprehension of the truth of who we are.
The truth, as Alan Watts liked to say, is that we are IT.
We are the universe—the cosmos itself. We are the Big Bang, unfurling itself. We are the ground of being—God, Allah, YHWH, the Tao, the Infinite. We are also the fundamental Nothingness from which All springs.
You may have already experienced this kind of non-dual state—the state of awakening—through peak experiences, near-death experiences, mystical states, or psychedelic medicines.
But often, it doesn't last.
After a glimpse of awakening, we may find ourselves—frustratingly—falling back asleep.
What is Stable Awakening?
The Sufi tradition distinguishes between "states" and "stations."
States, writes John Welwood, are things like "peace, joy, trust, confidence, which emerge spontaneously for a short time."
Stations are "these same qualities when they have become permanently integrated into our lives."
Once a state—inner peace, for example—has passed, we can't easily call it back.
But a station is "a quality we have access to whenever it's needed."
The state of awakening may arise spontaneously, then fall away.
Stable awakening is when the awakened state becomes a station that is always available to us and which we can call back with ease.
How can you tell if someone is awakened?
The truth is, it's often hard to tell.
A person who has reached this state often looks like a regular person.
They may live a normal life, acting in subtle ways for the betterment of those sentient beings around them.
On the other hand, they may do strange, outlandish things to—violating social norms and customs to demonstrate their illusory nature and jolt people awake.
There is no one way an awakened person "must" act, because the basis of awakening is fundamental freedom.
This freedom is not the freedom to "do whatever you want." Rather, it's the freedom to do what you must.
Awakening is not about gaining strange powers. It is not about seeing the future or knowing the past.
Awakening is simply about understanding of the truth. And from that understanding comes freedom.
We become free from the protective personas we've crafted all our lives and can show up spontaneously, as the situation demands.
We are free to experience any emotion and capable of accessing the entirety of the human soul—the capital-s Self.
In short, we are free to live, and we are free to die — because we know the truth:
You are All. And the All can't die.
How do you Awaken?
There are many paths up the mountain.
There are many schools, traditions, teachers, gurus, and manuals of awakening.
Any of the world religious can serve as doorways that open onto eternity. Though not every tradition is suited for everyone.
Some people may awaken spontaneously or with the help of plant medicines. Others use tantric practice, koans, intellectual study, meditation on Nothingness, love and kindness meditation, or slow, disciplined practice.
Someone may come to it while chopping wood. Or sitting under a tree.
All paths lead to the same mountaintop.
What is your Path?
In short, my path one of love and shunyata.
When I work with people, I may use multiple methods:
- Jungian psychology and parts work, to begin to purify the vessel.
- Tantric practices such as deity yoga
- Metta meditation
- Nature rituals, fasts, and vision quests
The fundamental pillars of my work are what I call the 5 doorways:
The Five Doorways
Each of these doors are equally important. Each of these doors leads to all the others. Each of these doors open onto the same underlying reality.
I guide people to these five doorways of awakening and prepare you to walk through.
To wake up to the truth of who you are.
To gain deep-rooted strength. Unbreakable peace. A steady connection with the universe. Constant contact with your soul.