What Is Awakening?
Awakening has many definitions in mystical and modern therapeutic traditions, and refers to both short glimpses or extended experiences of your true nature.
“Awakening implies an opening of the inner being that allows us a deeper access to ourselves and a broader knowledge and understanding of what we might call universal consciousness”.
Anna Wise, Awakening the Mind
What is common to all is a sense of ‘waking up’, becoming aware of a field of consciousness or energy which is both part of you, and moving you, at the same time. People commonly describe this field as intelligent, balanced, neutral, as encompassing all, expansive, ungraspable and alive.
When accessing this field people describe themselves as feeling connected to their true nature, or Christ consciousness, Buddha nature, God, Goddess, Allah, the Sufi’s Beloved, the Tao, or Mother Earth / Father Sky, or the many names humans have given this awareness. It is common to experience yourself in this state as both connected to your essence and connected to the essence of all things, and perceive that all sense of separation has fallen away.
While we can attempt to give this essence a name, it is agreed amongst all mystical traditions that it is essentially beyond description. As the famous Taoist phrase suggests: “The Tao which can be expressed in words is not the Tao”. Instead we can subtly sense, feel and know this essence, and sense that it simultaneously knows us.
In this state of waking up, we are able to access deep wisdom, solutions to problems, and inspiration, and are simultaneously transformed as we come into contact with this deep, wise, all-encompassing essence. Once we know the truth of this deep level of awareness, such knowing can never be taken from us, even if we dip in and out of conscious contact with it.
We all know Awakening
We all have moments in our lives when we sense this field, this aliveness. We have big and little moments when we ‘wake up’ out of everyday mind, suddenly noticing both our bigger, vaster essence, and simultaneously the bubbling of our everyday mind, or expanding out into the vastness of the field of life. Young children often seem immensely and spontaneously aware of it and speak of it as a normal part of their lives.
We often ‘wake up’ to ourselves, suddenly seeing the underlying patterns of our actions from a momentary, vast space of awareness. In such moments we are literally ‘switched on’ to ourselves and transformed by the insight.
Awakening can occur when immersed in nature or seeing the sun set, when watching children play, or relaxing for a moment and suddenly dropping into a big, deep openness to all things. We can feel a shift when in the presence (even on television) of wise elders such Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, and indigenous leaders. Many creative people describe it as the big, wise ‘aha’ moment from which their next artistic inspiration arises. Einstein often let himself drift off in reverie, into this expansive inner/outer space, to become available for visions and knowings about the nature of reality. Einstein’s insights are now the basis of quantum physics and our understanding of the universe.
“I did not discover relativity by rational thinking alone.”
Awakening is not exclusive, it is both the essence of who we are, and also of the world within which we exist.
The yearning to Awaken
The short, momentary glimpses of awakening begin to alert us to our true nature and, in Japanese Zen Buddhism, are called Zensho. These glimpses, as we become more sensitive and available to them, can become longer and increasingly more expansive and frequent. Sometimes, they can seem to take over our life, or intrude in ordinary, everyday experiences.
In a sense, awakening is energetically infectious. The more we open and surrender into such momentary states and glimpses, the more we tend to become available to deeper awakenings. Awakening, once initiated in our system, continues, at some level, to expand and build upon itself.
Awakening allows us to access states of deep peace, contentment, oneness, bliss, knowing, grace, inspiration, and a feeling of coming home.
Zensho can thus awaken within us a profound hunger, a deep longing to have a more ongoing access to our awakened essence. Some people describe themselves as on fire with such longing, yearning wildly and heartbreakingly for the Beloved, and for total immersion in this sea of awareness and love.
The painful irony is that we cannot simply generate such moments of awakening. Instead, we learn to relax and become available to expanding into them, to being infected with the field, becoming sensitive, open and aware of your essence, and the greater essence of Life. We can learn to notice the subtle impressions and signs of falling into awakening, and glimpsing our true nature.
As inspirational modern Zen teacher, Adyashanti, humorously advises that awakening is like having an accident, you cannot make it happen, you can only make yourself more accident prone.
Awakening as a source of Healing
Accessing our deeper awareness, our essence, can support us to connect with profound states of consciousness which can assist in healing body, mind and spirit. Through connecting with our essence, we can all receive valuable insights, feelings, images and knowings which guide us and provide solutions, inspirations and promptings on the next step in our lives.
Accessing healing and guidance, and transforming through connecting with essence, is core to all ancient mystical and healing traditions.
Connecting to essence, to our vast self, can also provide a sense of wellness amidst the stress, suffering or illness we may face in our lives.
In my healing work, I hold a space and track the movement of your subtle self, your dreaming, your essence, to support you falling into the beauty, expansiveness and intelligence of who you are. Together, we identify and map the subtle signals, feelings and awareness of essence, unfolding the messages, and resting in the resulting grace. This grace, and its silent, spacious and loving nature, holds simultaneously and compassionately, any life problem as well as its solution.
I am constantly inspired and humbled by my clients, and the wisdom and profound knowing they discover from their own essence. This inspiration rests at the heart of my healing and counselling practice.
A guide to the process of Awakening
Awakening is mysterious and unique to each individual. Yet, there is a universality of knowledge drawn from many traditions, from ancient Egyptian to indigenous communities to mystical paths, about some of the tendencies, somatic and subtle experiences, and challenges awakening can invoke in each of us.
From the wisdom of my own journey, my wild Kundalini process, many years of study, and shamanic gifts, I support you in developing an understanding of the nature of your awakening journey. I help you to know and align with your own wisdom, find a personal or shared language for your experiences, and a map for your unfolding. We track how you may be unconsciously ‘getting in your own way’ and contracting against your opening up to essence, and where and how you may benefit from simply relaxing and allowing.
Awakening can produce strange and confronting states, challenge our bodies, and make us fearful of “being crazy”. I have found, in my own journey and through supporting others over the years, that having a guide on your path can enable you to trust yourself, and your unfolding process, and to feel held and safe and empowered.
For me, it is an honour to be such a guide, and is part of my life calling.
Lodro Thaye describes this radiant luminosity of being awakened awareness thus:
“It is space, ungraspable as a thing.
It is a flawless precious clear crystal.
It is the lamp-like radiance of your own luminous mind.
It is inexpressible, like the experience of a mute.
It is the unobscured, transparent wisdom.”
Towards a Psychology of Awakening, John Wellwood.
It has been my pleasure to journey with Myree’s guidance since mid 2008. In that time she has helped me explore some of my deepest, darkest places in a safe and gentle way. The unfolding and integration that has happened during this period of time has been nothing short of remarkable. Being someone who enjoys exploring consciousness, Myree provides a wonderful space to journey in. I will continue to work with her as I find new avenues open up each time we meet. From working with Myree, I find myself to be clearer and more open for when I work with my own clients and students. If you are someone who wants to explore the many mysteries of ourselves, then Myree can guide you in a gentle way that will help these aspects reveal themselves to you, change and integrate into your life.
Reference Point Therapy Practitioner