Here are some important questions to help determine if you are awake or not. And, if you are awake, to what extent.
Awakening is not really the goal. Awakening is the starting point of your spiritual journey. To awaken is to embark on a life-long journey of discovery. It’s a step by step increase in awareness. Asking if you are awake is, therefore, a bit of a loaded question?
The fact that you are reading about it indicates you are awake to some extent. Awareness in this context is not about intellectual prowess. What we are referring to is the ability to be “consciously aware” in the basic states of waking, dreaming and sleeping states. Many people live out their days on auto-pilot. Most people are content to remain plugged into the cultural narrative.
Questions About Dreaming
Do you dream, and if you do, can you remember them?
Are you aware you are dreaming? Do you dream but don’t remember much about them? If this sounds like your experience, then you really aren’t fully awake yet. Don’t be discouraged. The dream state is the first and easiest place to expand awareness. Increasing the bandwidth of your awareness while dreaming will increase your ability to expand awareness in other windows of consciousness. An expansion of awareness also enhances your reasoning and perception abilities. This will be important when opening the doors to higher levels of consciousness. Waking, dreaming, and sleeping is the default settings. There are other possibilities available to everyone.
Questions About Breath
Can you observe your breath without interfering with it?
Learning to observe without interfering is an important skill in both “inner work”, as well as, in our perception. There are two simple but powerful exercises to expand your awareness and control of breath. These are the following processes on active and seated mindfulness meditation. It will not take your mind long to learn to observe your breath. As you learn to observe your breath you are building the skill of observation. This is an important element when you take the next step toward observing thoughts and feelings. Please practice and enjoy these mindfulness exercises:
- Throughout the day gently remind yourself to…
- Observe your body, your breath in the present moment
- Eventually, the goal is to observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment
- Take time to think before speaking or acting
Seated Mindful Meditation
- Sit comfortably upright with the head floating above the shoulders, hands resting in the lap
- The spine should be straight but not strained
- Close the eyes
- Bring your awareness to your posture and breath
- When your mind interrupts, gently bring your awareness back to your posture and breath
- Don’t force it. Don’t judge yourself.
- If you can’t observe your breath without interfering then just focus on your posture
- Ignore external distractions. When they occur, gently bring your awareness back to your posture and breathing
- Write down your experience. We tend to miss the incremental growth if we don’t see the subtle changes when we go from a hyperactive mind to calmer states of simple awareness
Questions About The Transcendent
Have you ever “experienced” being aware of the space, or gap between the three basic states of consciousness (waking, dreaming or sleeping)?
In case you didn’t know, the three default states of consciousness listed above are upheld by a deeper level of pure awareness. Some people who are “awake” and “aware” will notice these gaps, the spaces as they transition from one state of consciousness to another. Eventually, with the use of the Japa Meditation technique, you can become very familiar with this 4th state of consciousness, the transcendent state characterized as being restful-alertness.
Remember, the degree to which you are aware has NOTHING to do with your belief in any particular set of religious beliefs. Mythology has nothing to do with awareness, or consciousness or spiritual exploration.
Spiritual exploration or whatever you call it involves the use of a number of different techniques (we call them spiritual technologies) that were pioneered and passed down to us through many ancient cultures. What are Spiritual Technologies?
What are Spiritual Technologies?
In essence, spiritual technologies are methods of developing your potential. In short, these mental tools focus on expanding awareness and consciousness. And, these processes stand up to the test of science – repeatable and measurable. Anyone can use them. It’s like baking a cake. If you follow the directions, you get something delicious. We call the practice of these processes Spiritual Exploration.
Of course, there are several ways to list these processes. It’s important to note some of these tools could easily be in more than one category:
- Logical reasoning is one of the first tools we study. This includes the companion tools, spotting logical fallacies and logical axioms. Above all, these are essential tools for any spiritual explorer. They are able to sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction.
- Another important basic toolset is the “inner work” methods like The Enneagram Personality Profile. These help us to understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instincts. They also provide a doorway to understanding the virtues and gifts of the spirit.
- Progressions of seated meditation are the heart of the practice. This includes a range from Basic Mindfulness Meditation through Japa Meditation and the Siddhis of Patanjali.
- Next, progressions of moving meditation. For instance, several methods of energy collection, like Forest Bathing, Qigong, and Tai Chi.
- Awareness and consciousness expansion pathways such as Lucid Dreaming and the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation.
- And last but not least, several healing modalities, such as Reiki, and Shiatsu.
If this article resonates, there are more on our blog. Also, you may be interested in learning about our blended learning process. This is our curriculum which we use to teach several mind-expanding tools. It also aligns the Hero’s Journey. This is the term Joseph Campbell gave the pattern of consciousness development. Our learning process is available in two forms. You can take part in the virtual learning module or in our workshops.
Image by Google