AWAKENING to FREEEDOM
Had an awakening experience?
Are you feeling the freedom?
The experience of the spiritual essence of who we are is unique to each person, yet the personal ‘I’ is nothing more than a localising of consciousness that is in all humans, all beings and all things. At the essence level, we are all made of the same stuff.
The idea of awakening to freedom can easily be misinterpreted that it is the person (the individual ‘I’) that finds freedom. It’s a compelling invitation to embark on the spiritual quest to find the freedom OF the individual. But as is often the case with spirituality there is a contrary reality, that freedom is found when it is seen that the personal ‘I’ has no substance in and of itself. To awaken to freedom is to find freedom FROM the personal ‘I’.
What does it mean to awaken?
I prefer to describe awakening as a moment of realising that we are not our minds or bodies, that who you are is a vast, eternal and infinite being. This experience can happen to anyone at any time without any effort. It is an ordinary experience. In my view it is not some mystical experience that only a few enlightened masters can attain after a lifetime of dedicated practice.
How to live in freedom as an awakened Being?
Living with awakened awareness, for 99% of people, takes some effort.
Because the gravitational pull of our conditioning can close down the clear seeing of the moment of awakening. The pull of conditioning doesn’t only happen at the level of mind. The pull is as much, in my view, sourced in the body. As children we embody unconscious defensive strategies to help us get through life as best we can. We develop a series of protective parts to our character. The protective parts are protecting other parts of us that we have exiled; wounded, hurt parts. We create adaptive strategies that are taken into our cellular memory. Most often they need to be felt, seen, acknowledged and healed to allow the awakening to be more abiding.
The clear seeing of awakening can happen at the level of mind and, in my experience, it is relatively easy for the personal ‘I’ to adopt the awakening and use it to ‘bypass’ the body and nervous system's learned survival strategies. The danger is that we can use our awakening to become even more disembodied than we were before. This can result in using our awakening to do one or more of the following: to act righteously, and piously, to see ourselves as special, to separate ourselves from the world, to dominate those around us, to use the knowledge of Truth like a brick, and by so doing, resist the generous invitations of life to more deeply awaken.
How can we embody the freedom that is our birthright after the moment of awakening?
I share more about this on the page I have devoted to Embodiment. In essence, I see a four-fold strategy:
Bring an earnestness to commitment to present moment noticing that we are a divine essence that is so much more than the small personal ‘I’ we take ourselves to be.
Bring kindness and compassion to our inner experience, and linked to this is,
Develop awareness of our autonomic nervous system and find ways to embody relational healing – to allow our nervous systems to be nourished by relational connection and support.
Bring awareness to our parts. As Dick Schwartz explains in his book No Bad Parts, "When your parts start to trust your Self, they open more space for you to be in the body".
The “path” I outline on this page is an ongoing journey for me. Twenty-five years of active seeking that included a lot of meditation and chanting has given way in the last five or so years to a relaxed noticing and, when my nervous system allows it, bringing intentionality to investigating everything that gets in the way of abiding in the Truth of who I am.
If it matters to you the reader, I have explored:
I have also immersed myself for a number of years in the Christ Consciousness as channelled through “The Way of Mastery”; the descending path of love.
In pursuing the path of self-knowledge for the first fifteen years I managed to substantially bypass the body. I found out who I am as experienced through the crown chakra, but it resulted in confusion when the body and mind's conditioning would not allow the spiritual awareness to transform my experience of daily life. Even though I felt incredibly supported by life, there was a big gap between who I knew myself to be and how I lived life. The gap showed up in unstable relationships and working life.
The latter fifteen years have been exploring how to embody the self-knowledge I had found. This led me to Nonviolent Communication, Focusing, Hakomi Psychotherapy, Chi for Two, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy and Internal Family Systems (IFS) to support the process. I am not suggesting these are everybody's cup of tea in recovering from a spiritual bypass but I am happy to say that as a result of holding an intention to embody, and the flow of Grace itself, there is now emerging a more grounded embodiment of who I am.
I love Rupert Spira’s take on meditation. It is something we are. It’s not what we do. It is not an activity.
If you’d like to have a chat with me about awakening to freedom, click here to make a 30-minute free appointment.