A Journey Home To Self, A Story of Awakening
Awakening is available to all because it’s a mere RETURN to our essence. And that is why it is called “awakening” or “realization.” It’s not something so grand, it is in fact very ordinary. But we can’t see it because we are too busy in our delusion that is self-created through ignorance. We have been lied to by and lost in the dream and we forgot we were sleeping. When you have awakened, you will never go back to that dream. And if you do, you know you are dreaming. You will no longer be lost in the content of the dream and you will remember you are just playing a role that isn’t really you.
The past month I have been floating on Cloud 9 (hence updating this blog hasn’t been a priority). There has been a profound shift of consciousness in me which I would call awakening.
I have been teaching my inner work program Journey Inward for a year now and I didn’t know what it would lead me to when I first launched it. I just saw the repeated patterns of unconscious behaviors in my clients and the women who were in my community which kept them from being their most alluring self and in the process attracting and keeping a man attracted in a functional relationship.
I used to be that woman: anxiety, negative-mental-chatter ridden.
And I knew I could help them release their hidden inner/feminine power. So the first cycle of Journey Inward consisting of 4 weeks (now 6 weeks, and very likely 7 or 8 weeks in the future as new insights keep popping up) of inner work subjects was born. Not long after, the ladies in the class one after another began to share their most profound transformation resulting in inner peace and their success with their men (some of whom were EUM at first).
As they love themselves more, men love them more as well.
In the class I taught the principle that I hold sacred that I saw myself evolving toward: softening of boundaries. I became a grounded, non-reactive, leaned back person after my experience with my EUM which gave birth to my ebook He’s Really That Into You, He’s Not Ready which has helped thousands of women garner a new perspective on men, love, relationship….and life in general.
The fifth cycle was starting soon on June 14 and meditation had been a way of life for me and that’s how I gained so much insight which I in turn taught all my clients/students. On Thursday night June 12 as I was browsing Facebook, it suggested a page that a few of my mutual FB friends liked. It was Ken Wilber page. He’s the Einstein of Consciousness.
I had dabbled in Wilberism about 15 years ago. I read perhaps 2 or 3 of his books. I found him very fascinating and everything he said resonated with me. I saw my own reflection in him in fact.
Then I moved on with life, forgot about him for perhaps a decade.
I liked the page and began to watch one of the videos on his page and what I had learnt about his work came back flooding my consciousness. Yes it sounded familiar so I didn’t have to start from scratch.
But I thought nothing of it. There was nothing so inspiring about the video that could lead to awakening, in my opinion.
On Friday, June 13 (Friday the 13th!), as I usually did, I went into my meditation/self-hypnosis. I was preparing myself for our first class the next day. I loved to just lie down and listened to self-hypnosis stuff on youtube. I have found inner strength throughout the years just by going inside myself which I teach my clients to do in all my programs.
Then something really profound, unexpectedly, revealed to me….something I’d been dying to understand all my life.
I grew up a Buddhist. My parents were Buddhists (my dad is a self-taught respected Buddhist scholar in my country). I had learnt about meditation and Buddhist doctrines since I was very young. And I deeply admired the genius of the Buddha Gautama even when I wasn’t old enough to understand the profundity of his teaching.
The highest doctrine that he taught was Anatta or Anatman in Sanskrit or “no self/no soul/no core” as loosely translated into English. The later school of Buddhism (Mahayana) calls it Emptiness. It is practically the most elusive of the Buddhist teaching that it is said only those who are enlightened (like the Buddha himself) can penetrate it.
Being intellectually stimulated, naturally I always tried to really understand what it meant. I approached it, of course, like everyone else, from the mind level which is an oxymoron because this doctrine is beyond mind. It can’t be accessed from the dualistic lower level of consciousness which is so disrupted with concepts, mental projections and images.
This is the stuff only cosmic consciousness can have access to. And cosmic consciousness is when the mind is so grounded, clear, vast and spacious and isn’t constricted nor tainted by static (thoughts). Only in the complete stillness of the mind can you penetrate this highest Truth.
The closest understanding I got was with the analogy of an atom. Atom is the smallest particle of matter, yet even atom is divisible and ever divisible (atomic bomb, anyone?). There is no fixed core even in an atom.
Everything, even an atom, is always an aggregate. It doesn’t stand alone and carries a permanent essence that makes it whatever it is we are referring to. Try mention something and I can show you that it is an aggregate, not a stand-alone thing.
A spoon: it’s a collection of atoms that makes aluminum or plastic that is later then shaped into the way it is shaped and we call it a spoon which is a symbol of a function that it serves (to shove food into our mouth). If that spoon is broken into two, we no longer call the pieces spoons, at least not fully functional ones.
So a spoon is a mere convention. We agree to the concept of spoon as a society. Some other societies don’t need/have spoons because they use their hands to eat. It’s a relative concept.
In short, there is no lasting inherent essence that we can call a spoon. When the components are disintegrated, it’s no longer a spoon.
It’s the same for everything under the sun, including ourselves. What we call “self” from outer to inner -on the level of consciousness that most of us are- is a mere aggregate in which mental constructs play an important role.
Our outer part that makes our “self” is a mere form that changes by the second. Our inner part that some people like to call “soul” is also an aggregate. It is created through a lot of factors like perception, feelings, mental images, culture, wounding, conditioning, etc…
I could understand till that point but still I didn’t get it with all my being what it all meant. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it and how the complete understanding of this doctrine is the essence of liberation. This is why mysticism is so mind-bogglingly fascinating. You could parrot it intellectually what certain doctrines mean but you may never grasp it with your whole being when you are not there yet. You can’t really explain quantum physics with the mind that is still dabbling in Newtonian physics, just to give you an analogy.
And nothing can really bring or prepare you to get there, as some sages say. Awakening -the first one- is always by grace. But I think in my case the process has already started with the softening of boundaries and my whole year meditation with Journey Inward accelerated the process.
Softening of boundaries lead to no boundary which is the essence of all mystical traditions be it Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Jewish or Islamic.
As I was doing my usual stuff, all of a sudden out of the blue I felt myself like this formless awareness flowing, engulfing, swaying and be totally merged with my surrounding. I saw the pliable and vastness of this self that is free of any resistance of any kind. It delved into experience and became one with the experience. Was it storm and thunder? Then I was storm and thunder. Was it a wave? Then I was a wave. Was it a blow…here when it dawned on me….then I received the blow and it went through me because I had no center and I didn’t resist anything. I was one with the blow. I couldn’t be hurt. At that point I knew what Anatman meant.
I was shocked, I remember saying to myself “Oh my God…Oh my God I know what it means! There is no center. Everything is a mere experience with no one behind it. And everything around me is the reflection of me. Life is only a dream. Now I get it.”
Then from then on I saw one by one my concept and attachment of who I was dissolved and literally, they collapsed, one after another till I was totally shed of any conceptualization and I broke down in extreme humility of having come home to my Self -the pure, unadorned, unborn and undying awareness- that has always been and will alway be. The Self that is luminous and part of everything else in the universe and is the universe itself.
I saw why Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and you can’t come to Father except through me” because I wanted to scream the same thing myself.
You can’t come to Father (Truth) except through me (through realizing the fundamental Oneness of everything).
And it wasn’t a proclamation of ego or pride but it was the highest joy of realizing what each one of us at the very core (which is no core, paradoxically) is. I have awakened from the dream.
But then like everyone who has been through similar situation getting their ego (which is thoughts) creep in, I went through the same thing. They kept coming and going and by then I had known to not identify with any of them (my mindfulness practice has been strong and incidentally this is the path the Buddha outlined to “reach enlightenment” which again is a misnomer cause you have always been enlightened, you just have to be awakened to that fact -enlightenment is our true essence). Right at that moment I fathomed what the Hindu’s “netti…netti” meant because I found myself quite literally saying it.
I rejected every idea my mind came up with about the experience or when it tried to instill doubt/pride in me. It’s not this…it’s not that (which is the meaning of netti…netti). I kept pushing and pushing till I once again came to the witnessing Presence which is my true Self.
Ken Wilber might not be the reason of my awakening but he might be the catalyst. Who knows?
This video of his which I watched after the experience confirmed what I have seen.
I thought personal growth was about adding more stuff to your concept of self. It is actually about shedding that conception one after another and coming to the undefined you. It’s like shedding layer upon layer of an onion to come to the coreless “center.”
I was so taken by the experience for the whole week. I began to start searching for resources now that I felt the highest barrier to enlightenment had been broken into. All of a sudden material that I found so difficult to understand before was very easy to read. I no longer had to bend over backward like a pretzel trying to make sense what they said. I read with my heart, not my head anymore. The blinders have been taken off…permanently.
I was blind, now I see.
Now I understand why the mind is maya (illusion).
I no longer see the world quite the same way anymore. Awakening is available to all because it’s a mere RETURN to our essence. And that is why it is called “awakening” or “realization.” It’s not something so grand, it is in fact very ordinary. But we can’t see it because we are too busy in our delusion that is self-created through ignorance. We have been lied to by and lost in the dream and we forgot we were sleeping. When you have awakened, you will never go back to that dream. And if you do, you know you are dreaming. You will no longer be lost in the content of the dream and you will remember you are just playing a role that isn’t really you.
This is the end of suffering as the Buddha prescribes.
I share my second awakening two weeks later that was inspired by Eckhart Tolle‘s The Power of Now on the next blog post here. I see what this realization means in terms of love and relationship. And the experience has been so positive as far as my own relationship is concerned and I can see myself teaching a new program called “Salvation Through Relationship” (stay tuned).
Everyday I die to my small self and I am so humbled by the experience.
You can sign up for my ongoing Journey Inward and learn more about my experience and how you can transform your own life with your untapped inner power to become a fully realized being.
Have you read my book yet? If not grab it here because you will learn so much about a lot of things that haven’t worked for you in your love life and how to fix them. And I have just recently updated it with additional 20 new pages so there is more meat in it now. If you sign up to my newsletter, you will receive the first three chapters. This book is a primer on dating and gaining a man’s love and adoration for any woman.
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