Tag Archives: awakening

From Seeking to Awakening

ptg01497158When I started my spiritual quest, I would have never thought that awakening was a simple process. My mind was full of colourful “clichés” but I would not see that what I was seeking was already “with me”, that I was already there.

My mind was just excited and way too busy with its excitement to pay attention to my presence, my permanent nature, it was probably too simple and did not fit to the little story of awakening that my mind had created.

I am not sure that my mind, at that time, would have really wanted to awaken anyway. Especially if it knew it would never “happen to him” but that he would just dissolve in the process.

Before awakening you will think that you are an individual that is going to awaken, but it is an illusion. What awakens is the presence in which the mind activity occurs, this is an important key to awakening.

Before awakening, most of the seeking activity is operated by the mind at the “horizontal” and dualistic level of the world of objects, forms and labels, the realm of the mind. “Which spiritual strategy and techniques am I going to adopt?”, “Should I concentrate on my chakras?”, “How many times a day should I meditate?”, “Will mantras help me to awaken?”, “Should I wear amethyst to attract positive energies?”, those questions reflect an activity essentially polarised at the level of the mind.

566b5b5681716There is no permanent individual “in there” but there is a real tangible triangle of substance-energy-consciousness that we call the personality and that personality is the instrument through which Presence operates, consciously or unconsciously. Transfiguration simply is the process through which that personality is finely tuned and optimized after awakening.

It wouldn’t be wise nor correct to say that the activity of mind has no part to play in awakening, it is a useful tool, but only when it serves the partially awakened presence not when it completely runs the show for its own gain.

In a mysterious way the mind is also a manifestation of Presence but as it manifests as the mind, Presence appears to “disappear to itself”. Hence the necessity to be able to, initially, witness and control the activity of your mind, it is the first step to awakening and, in that regard, meditation can be useful.

It is not easy to say what triggers awakening, it would seem that all experiences are different, intimate and often very abstract. What I can surely say is that an intense desire to stand in the fire of the truth motivated by an open heart and a pure impersonal intent can only accelerate the process.

Calwen

Presence and the Dream Analogy

dreamYou are dreaming that you are chased by a werewolf in a dark forest, you feel fear, you try to find a shelter or a weapon, it is all very real for you, but is it? What are the components of that experience? We have the chased, the chaser, the forest, all the emotions and thoughts that arise and…the dreamer, the witness.

If we dig a little bit in the nature of the dream experience we realise that the substance of the dream is not to be found in its drama and content but in the essence of the witness. Many movies can be projected on a screen but the screen always stays the screen, it is not affected by the movie. The chaser, the chased, the emotions and thoughts present in the situation and the forest are one in essence, they all arise in and from the consciousness of the witness.

If, while dreaming, you realise that you are essentially the witness experiencing a dream then you are having what is called lucid dreaming. You realise that you created the chased, the chaser and the dark forest. You were identified for a time with the chased but now you might, if you want, become the chaser or the bat in the tree or you might even…try another dream 🙂

The analogy of the dream can be used to approach the nature of our daily experience as a defined individual, a mind, in a body, in a world. Are we dreaming? Who is the witness? Could awakening be a form of lucid dreaming ?

The analogy of the dream can be used as a seed of meditation to approach the reality of Presence which is essentially witness and witnessed, the One reality behind appearances.

Calwen

See, Love and Shine

Words are just words, they are just pointers, they are nothing per se, all there is is energy and awareness and even those words are just pointers. The following article must be read as an attempt to convey an informal experience, it is just a painting that will dissolve over time. It is only a projection and must be treated as such. The quintessence of this article must be found in the words See, Love and Shine.

The Opening of The Eye – See

The vision of a “me” separated from the rest of the world is real from a mind perspective. The mind is just a response mechanism, it processes pieces of information and deducts. The mind is not creative, it only deals with what is already there, it manipulates already existing thoughts, it does not generate new seeds. If you let the mind rules You it will define hat you see.Fantasy_Eye_robot_android_096785_

When we realise that the mind is just another object within Presence, the mental activity comes to a peaceful standstill, what is left is pure Awareness, Presence, creative thinking can start now.

There is a lot of speculation about the nature of pure consciousness, pure awareness, what I call Presence. There is no need to speculate as it doesn’t serve any purpose, we can only say that it is made of “pure consciousness”, Presence is made of presence.

Also, I don’t think it is particularly wise to insist Presence is pure nothingness or emptiness. The mind, who has a tendency to function in term of good and bad, will invariably generate negative thoughts around that concept. I would instead say Presence is the source of everything, it is formless but is the seed of all forms. Presence is the boundless and permanent container of all forms, may it be a thought, an emotion or a physical form.

The correct vision emerges from Presence. The world is finally seen as One. Other human beings are just seen as another expression of the One Life. The essence of the word “fraternity” is finally embraced. The planet is seen as a living entity floating in an infinite universe of possibilities. The true concept of eternity also become a living reality, all that is experienced is Now.

The “Eye” is finally opened, we can call it awakening but it is just the beginning.

The Opening of the Heart – Love

I always insist that awakening does not turn anyone into a Buddha or a Christ, it only unlocks a capacity to see from a new broader angle, “things” are seen from beyond the mind but the old egoic patterns are not transmuted in a blink of an eye.Divinelove-320x315

The opening of the “Eye” is, in essence, a change of vibration of consciousness and as the seeing expands so does the heart. After seeing with our head we start seeing with our heart.

As we witness the activity of the One Life in all and everything, true compassion starts to be deeply felt and it manifest more and more through our words or non-words, actions or non-actions. At that stage, it can be hit-and-miss but the pain is not of the same nature that the one which is felt by the isolated ego, the balm of Love is never far away and the healing is fast.

At that stage the peace of true forgiveness is also experienced, we understand that “Love is the place where everything is already forgiven” and peace keeps settling in. True Love as nothing to do with sensitivity, it is the true feeling that is born from true vision. Love and wisdom are essentially connected as true wisdom can only be born from an opened Eye that sees through an experienced heart.

Many individuals start teaching immediately after the opening of the “Eye”. Their experience is often genuine but they lack the experience of the heart, they are in touch with the destructive aspect of the supramental that sees but out of touch with the universal heart that unite. They are very skilled at destroying the old but their capacity to prepare the ground for the new is limited. Nevertheless, their work is useful to some extent.

Rebirth – Shine

If the opening of the eye and opening of the heart are often felt as a “taking off” from the world of forms, the last stage can be seen as a coming back in. The old “obsolete” ego has now pretty much completely dissolved, life is ready to manifest again concretely through new vehicles in the world of forms.reborn

The term “ego” is often seen as a negative term in spirituality. In essence the ego is neutral, it is only a centralized operating center for the manifestation of forces and energies and an integrating principle. This concept can be immediately verified if we look at stars. Radiance and heat can only manifest through an intense focusing of energy. The same apply to consciousness, the more intense and focused, the more impact it will have in the world of forces and energies.

In that final stage of Rebirth, the infinite is consciously manifesting as finite, the unlimited embraces the unlimited, the born and the unborn are now consciously One. The impermanent “self” can now see his “radiant visage” and walk the earth again fully aware that it is One with the eternal Presence, with Life.

The personality hasn’t changed essentially, it is now a finely tuned instrument essentially manifesting the spontaneity of life, with intelligence, compassion, and wisdom. The light of Presence can now shine through unfiltered by the limitations imposed upon the vision and the heart by the mind. The self is now an agent of beauty and harmony, it is one with life, human and divine, mortal and immortal, nothing and something, it is reborn and complete.

Calwen

Your Ego is a Sleeping Sun

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Much wisdom, care, and humility are needed while trying to convey the essence of a living experience. Concepts and ideas are just containers, temporary objects, they don’t reveal they just “point to”. We can’t project more than what we are experiencing and what we are experiencing is never a final destination when it comes to spiritual awakening. 

Keeping the above in mind let’s explore a subject which is at the essence of spiritual development: The Ego.

Essentially a newborn is free of identification, there is no “sense of I”, it is pure Presence.

The identification process starts with the name. Presence starts identifying itself to the sound of that name, it associates “its presence” to that sound, it is the initial seed of the impermanent self, the ego appears on the stage.

We now have a name. Our family has its own particularities. We are part of a nation that has a history.

Later we have a job status and the layers keep stacking, identification over more identification, more stories being added to our already existing stories.

What has been happening is that unlimited Presence has been limiting itself through identification. All that remains is a crystalized “sense of I”, a drop of self-awareness adapted to a particular specific environment but essentially disconnected from the ocean its coming from, Presence.

Identification per se is not a problem as long there is an awareness that it is an impermanent state of affair. The big drama is that Presence is “lost” in the process of identification but only “lost” from the point of view of the ego. Presence is essentially never lost. That mystery is described by the famous Hindu quote:

Having impregnated the Universe with a portion of myself, yet I remain.

We can say that the ego is a reflection of Presence through the imperfection of the substance. The essential rays of light of What IS travel through the layers of substance from the mental to the physical levels and the manifestation of the ego is the visible manifestation of what remains from Presence. The ego, although unrefined,  is Presence nevertheless. The light of what IS has reached the dark pit of crystallized matter and impregnated it, yet, what IS remains and the process of purification can carry on.

You probably heard that the ego must be destroyed, that it is an illusion, that “there is nothing in there”, that the ego is evil, that you can’t awaken if you still have an ego, that everything is happening and that there is no need to try to control anything, …etc. well, it is only one part of the story.

rebirth_by_virus69-d3g8a2u_smallContemplated from Presence, the ego is just a vortex, it is neither good or bad, it is just a natural principle. It will absorb the forces and energies you throw at it and focus them through a specific personality, it’s all there is to it, it is a neutral process but a powerful one, once you are functioning from Presence.

Presence cannot manifest itself without creating, focusing and concentrating forces and energies through a vortex, a radiant point “inside consciousness”, very much like you can create fire with a magnifying glass by concentrating the light into a tiny point, stars do it, so do we. Manifestation cannot occur without such a focus of energy, those who are claiming the opposite are fooling you and themselves in the process (see my article on pseudo-Advaita).

Before being able to function from Presence through that vortex, your consciousness needs to be established in Presence and a “little death” might be necessary. Feel free to have a look at my article on the dark night of the soul on that particular subject. The dissolution of the ego does not affect the lines of least resistance of the personality that will be used by Presence in the post-awakening stage. The core characteristics of the boat don’t change, just the captain.

So, to simplify things, in stage 1 we have John Doe and the world,  which is Presence functioning in complete identification to John Doe, life is seen from a dual perspective, unity is not yet intuitively perceived behind the diversity.

As life is experienced, joys and sorrows, successes and failure, peace and dramas, John Doe starts aspiring for more. One day, through spiritual practise or not,  John Doe realises that John Doe was just a mental construct and the ego starts to dissolve, this is stage 2, the dark night of the soul.

Stage 2 can last for a long time. Consciousness is left between what is to come and what was. Light and darkness are very close from each other. Presence and unity is perceived, flashes of brilliance are occurring regularly but there is no stable vortex through which Presence can operate yet.

In stage 3, the ego has largely dissolved, the identity is fairly established in Presence, the illusion has faded for the most part. Presence can come back into manifestation again, through the lines of least resistance available in John’s Does personality. There is a big difference this time, compared to stage 1, Presence is not “lost”, Awareness is established at a personal and transpersonal level, John Doe is aware of Presence, Presence is aware of John Doe. It is obviously just a way to say it as they are essentially one.

Humanity is swift to jump from one extreme to the other one. After embracing the destructive aspects of the ego without limit, it is no surprise that, as consciousness starts expanding, it goes to the opposite extreme of dismissing it entirely.

The principle behind the formation of the ego is neither good or bad, it is just a natural principle which can be compared to a vortex, a lens through which Presence can operate. Once it is understood it can be used to create living “Suns”, radiating conscious centres of living power.

Your Ego is a Sleeping Sun.

Calwen

The Dark Night of The Soul

Dark Night Of The Soul - IsolationThe subject of the “dark night of the soul” is not an easy one to approach.

Psychological disorders are the results of mental and/or emotional malfunctions, it can be understood and treated. The dark night of the soul is not a psychological disorder it is a state of consciousness resulting from the collapse of the psychological structures that define the “sense of I” in an individual.

The concept of the dissolution of the ego is not new, it has, and is considered as a sine qua non condition for the spiritual awakening to happen. In that regard, many spiritual traditions consider the dissolution of the ego as a positive indication that the student is walking the path in the right direction.

Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.

The quote above, attributed to the Christ, is interesting to understand the potential causes that lead an individual to experience the dark night of the soul.  The Christ indicates that the “vibration” of our earthly personality must be raised before we can experience a new influx of life and consciousness. The old you must die, for the new You to live.

He also mentions that the wineskins could be ruined. It is said that “god is a devouring fire” and if you foolishly try to approach its radiance too early it might burn your wings. You will find many horror stories of early Kundalini awakening in individuals not ready to deal with the energies unleashed in the process. It is important to understand that beyond words we are dealing with energy, everything is energy and consciousness. The energy can be controlled or untamed, it can participate in harmony or cause destruction.

Our “sense of I”, the way we see ourself,  is a focus point, a contraction of  Presence that came into existence  through what we have been told by our parents, teachers, our close environment and finally through our cultural heritage. We are what we think we are, the key to the great mystery of awakening is in the deep understanding of that key concept.

It comes to a point, in the evolution of a human being, where nothing seems to make sense or attract anymore. The fruits of life have been experienced. The gradients of love and hate have assimilated.  The world is seen as a senseless and agitated arena and the individual intuitively feel that there must be more to life.

Eventually, the individual embarks on a spiritual path and adhere (or not) to an existing spiritual strategy. It can take a long time for an individual to come to the realization that the “sense of I” is just a made up blob of energy floating in Presence and that his physical, emotional and mental substance are an impermanent manifestation of Presence. When it happens, a sudden collapse of the psychological structure might precipitate the now dying ego in the dark night of the soul.

Dark Night Of The Soul - Rebirth

Notice that I said that the dying ego “might” experience “the dark night of the soul”. I do think that individuals with personal spiritual strategies who are walking the path alone (not guided by an already awakened being) are more prone to find the experience of the dissolution of their identity difficult and frightening.

How does it feel like in the dark night of the soul? That is a very subjective question because every individual will describe that state of consciousness using different terms and as I said it is a very intimate and subjective experience which is not easy to put into words. We don’t realize that our sense of identity is a protective energetic shield, when that shield breaks what it was protecting is exposed and in direct contact with the forces that emanates from all directions in a daily basis. In the dark night of the soul, you can become the witness of your own life for some time, in that regard, it is a form of derealization or depersonalization. It can also take the form of a total lack of drive or desire to accomplish anything and a desire to be alone. Many will need to spend a lot of time in Nature in a contemplative state. Some will even end up on the sofa of a psychiatrist, which is, as you can imagine, far from an inspired solution.

Above all the dark night of the soul is an initiation, a test of strength for the heart and the will. Will you be able to stand in total emptiness and darkness, surrounded by your doubts. Will you be able to face the monsters you created and embrace them through the power of Love and acceptance of What IS.

If you are reading me and think you are going through the dark night of the soul, remember that you are essentially an eternal flame of Presence and that you have the power to bring light to any corner of the known and unknown, visible and invisible universe. You are a powerful light carrier, walk the darker parts of the path with confidence. You hold a scepter of power in your right hand and a lantern in your left hand, you open the path for the rest of humanity.

Finally, from the bottom of the pit, laugh triumphantly because you are an eternal and indestructible flame of Presence.

Calwen

Presence and the Hidden Object Analogy

Presence

If approached correctly from an intuitive level, as an analogy,  the little experiment I am describing here can act as a powerful doorway to PRESENCE.

Ask a friend or your partner to hide a little object under a box in front of you without telling you what it is.

In order to label an object, the mind needs to be able to frame a couple of attributes for that particular object, for example, its colour, its weight, its size, its shape. Because it is hidden under the box all the attributes of the object are unavailable and obviously the mind can’t label it. But does it really prevent you to acknowledge the reality of the presence of the object? if you pause for a little while and look at the box it will become very obvious to you that the presence of the object cannot be hidden from you, only its attributes. Although the mind cannot label the object, you can feel that the object is present. It does not need to be perceived by the senses to be present, its presence is just self-evident.

This analogy can be applied to Presence. It does not need to be labelled or “found” to be present.

WHAT IS does not need to be acknowledged, found, recognized or approved to BE THAT WHICH IS.

Calwen

Into Presence

Searching for TruthI started my spiritual quest when I was a teenager. I remember devouring mountains of books on religions and spiritualities, I was very enthusiastic about it all. I could intuitively feel that there was more to life than what I had been told or shown. I had to find what it was.

I quickly realized that most sincere spiritual approaches were pointing to the same direction, the words were different but I could feel that there could only be one thing behind the multiple appearances, and I would find what it was.

Nature has always been the source of my inspirations, the subject of my meditations and contemplations. The sky, the trees, the rain, everything was a symbol pointing to a living reality, Nature was a gateway.  I eventually came to realize that there was nothing like “me and Nature” but there was just Nature, there was just Nature contemplating itself, it was my first glimpse into Oneness.

One day, as I was watching myself meditating, it suddenly became very clear that there was no need to make any effort to find reality. That reality was directly accessible to me through the realization that there was only What IS and it was just about surrendering to that obvious IS-ness, The Presence of What IS

Another major way point was reached when I realized that it wasn’t me who was experiencing the world, it was Presence experiencing it all, my mind, my body and the world.

That awakening was nevertheless a temporary illusion, a consciousness switch from the form to the formless, from being something to being nothing/everything. A necessary awakening from the ego had happened but it was just a temporary station, there was more to it.

The path to realization goes through the complete integration of the form with the formless, of the born with the unborn, of your human impermanence with What IS, with Presence… and it is an embrace of Love.

This blog offers insights into a spiritual experience, there is no final destination and we all are eternal students, I have nothing to teach, I am only projecting my experience. It might resonate with you, it might not, I am just singing my song in the universal choir 🙂

Calwen