Are you awake or not? Here are some questions to find out if you are awake, and if you are, to what extent?
Think You Are Awake?
Awakening is not the only goal. Awakening is part 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. It’s a bit of a loaded question. Do you want to know?
Being aware and awakened is not a matter of intelligence. There are many intelligent people in the world, but sadly not all the smart ones have awakened. So, the misuse of people and the environment. The world needs more people to be awakening.
What Does Awake Mean?
Being awakened is a measure of awareness. People who are aware are not always articulate. Nor are they people with resources or social standing. However, the bandwidth of our “awareness” is a good measure. Our ability to perceive is key to awareness. It is more accurate than assessing intelligence or social skills.
Don’t think you are awake just because you have a degree. Formal education is institutionalized memorization. Your intellectual knowledge has nothing to do with the bandwidth of awareness.
The quality of our awareness is a reflection of our health. Our mental acuity fluctuates depending on several factors. For example, our level of rest affects our alertness. Drugs alter consciousness to diminish, distort, or expand it. Our overall mental and physical health affects all aspects of our thinking. The clarity of awareness shows up in our ability to observe. There are three categories we can look at to measure if someone is aware and thus awakened.
The first way to measure our awareness is by assessing our perception during sleep or dreaming states of consciousness. Evaluating our perception of breath is the second way to measure self-awareness. And the third category we can measure has to do with our curiosity about the unknown. So, we assess our awareness in the three primary states of consciousness, waking, dreaming, and sleeping. Here we go.
From Aware To Awake, Let’s Find Out
If you think you are awake, the following self-assessment will help you find out. It will illuminate your level of awareness.
Curiosity About the Unknown
Many people are afraid of the concept. If you ask, do you want to know? They will tell you no. They would rather not know. So, the fact that you are reading this is a good sign. It means about may be awakened to some extent. Good for you!
Awareness in this context is not about intellectual prowess. It is the perceptual ability to go beyond boundaries and social conventions. There aren’t any questions for this category. Fan your curiosity. Keep reading and researching.
Many people live out their days on auto-pilot. Most people are content to remain plugged into the cultural narrative. The ego is entirely in control, and commercialism’s programming runs their lives.
If you spend most of your time engaging in “entertaining your mind,” chances are you are on auto-pilot. If your existential fear of death does not prompt you to investigate, chances are you have accepted the counterfeit answer of the afterlife provided by organized religion.
Your Dream Experiences
Dreams are one of the barometers that determine the bandwidth of awareness. Do you dream, and if you do, can you remember them?
Are you aware you are dreaming? Do you dream but don’t remember them? If this sounds like your experience, then you haven’t fully awakened. It’s a sure sign you have room to grow. Don’t worry. The dream state is the first and easiest place to expand awareness. Are you awake enough to want more?
Increasing the bandwidth of your awareness while dreaming will increase your ability in other states. An expansion of awareness also enhances your reasoning and perception abilities. It will be important when opening the doors to higher levels of consciousness. Waking, dreaming, and sleeping are the default settings. There are other possibilities available to everyone.
Questions About Breathing
Can you observe your breath without interfering with it?
Learning to observe without interfering is an essential skill in both “inner work” and our perception. There are two simple but powerful exercises to expand your awareness and control of your 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 enhance your observational skills. It’s an essential element when you take the next step toward being aware of thoughts and feelings. Please practice and enjoy these mindfulness exercises:
- Throughout the day, gently remind yourself to stay present.
- 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 your eyes.
- Bring your awareness to your posture and breath.
- When your mind interrupts, gently bring your awareness back to your posture and breath.
- Please don’t force it. Don’t judge yourself.
- If you can’t observe your breath without interfering, 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 gap between the three primary states of consciousness, waking, dreaming, or sleeping? If you have, this is a good sign. If you haven’t, don’t worry. It is something you can gain.
A level of pure awareness is below the three default states of consciousness, and people who are “awake” and “aware” are aware of this transcendence. They notice these gaps, the spaces as they transition from one state of consciousness to another. With the Japa Meditation practice, you will become very familiar with this 4th state of consciousness characterized as 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. So, can you relate to this experience? Do you think you are awake?
Everyone can grow and learn. Using processes we call spiritual technologies will enable you to expand your awareness. What are Spiritual Technologies?
The catalog of methods for developing and exploring consciousness is what we call Spiritual Technologies. They are processes that can alter, change, or expand our awareness. Some of these methods open doorways to higher states of consciousness.
These processes come from eons of research by cultures around the world. We use the term spiritual exploration to describe these powerful methods.
We select the best of these ancient methods for our blended learning process. We offer this curriculum through individually tailored virtual learning sessions and in our face-to-face meetings. These processes are time-tested by generations of use, and they stand up to the rigorous tests of science. Several of these methods produce measurable changes in our physiology. These physiological markers differ from normal waking, sleeping, and dreaming states.
Spiritual exploration is not about faith or belief in a religion. They are processes that anyone can use. All you do is follow a process. We like to think of it just like baking a cake. When you want to bake a delicious cake, you follow a recipe. If you use the right ingredients and follow the directions, you get something delicious. The processes of spiritual exploration are formulas or ingredients for exploring consciousness.
There are many ways to list these methods. We divide these tools into four major categories:
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Modalities for Healing
The study of spiritual things seems like an odd place to find analytical tools, but these analytical processes are vital to our spiritual quest. Their use enhances our ability to use common sense and logic. These tools improve observational skills and help us identify the roadblocks that get in the way.
We recommend you incorporate emotional checks in all of these processes. Keeping your feeling in check helps us think more clearly.
These tools help us think more clearly and make better decisions, which helps us avoid many of our path’s everyday obstacles. This group’s primary tools are Logical Reasoning, Comparative Analysis, and The Enneagram of Personality.
The study of logic is the first tool we use in our group practice, but these methods help anyone seeking the truth. We encourage our participants to create a reminder on their smartphones to review these tools every month. It’s essential to keep them fresh in our minds, and that’s when they become helpful in spotting ploys and deception.
We use a set of three related tools. The first tool is Logical reasoning, which summarizes the essential use of logic in language. It shows how people misuse language to sell us ideas and beliefs. Next is spotting logical fallacies. This module provides practical examples of the most common logical fallacies. The last module, the truth-seekers axioms, ties everything together by contrasting how science and mythology differ in their approaches to presenting the truth.
Comparative Analysis is a systematic approach to comparative religious study based on the scientific model. It is a method of comparing ideas and beliefs from different worldviews, and it is another tool we recommend for the new spiritual explorer.
Above all, the use of logical reasoning and comparative analysis will sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction. So, these aren’t just for research. You’ll find a use for these tools every day. Besides their use in religion, politics, they are also helpful with TV and Radio newscasts.
The Enneagram of Personality
The Enneagram of Personality is a cognitive science tool that helps us understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct. The best authors and researchers write in easily understandable language so the layperson can understand it, while it is deep enough for any clinician. It makes the Enneagram a powerful system available to almost everyone.
You will find modern psychology and the Enneagram share many of the same concepts and authors. Borrowing and then building on the work of others is a common practice. For instance, Jungian psychology parallels the structure of the Enneagram. It has nine processes of consciousness.
The core of the Enneagram Personality Profile is a series of questionnaires. If you provide honest answers, you will get an accurate personality profile. The scientific method of testing verifies the accuracy of this tool. The system goes beyond identification into deeper thought processes and beliefs. It integrates spiritual and psychological understanding. It will help you understand the source of our “personal power.”
When you say spiritual practice, many people think of meditation. Seated and moving forms of meditation are the centerpiece of spiritual exploration.
Meditation is a mind hack that often uses mantras, sutras, and affirmations as tools. These mental devices open doorways of consciousness. You could easily categorize them as awareness expansion tools, like Yoga, since it contains a range of meditative processes.
Seated meditation is the heart of the spiritual practice for many people. Meditation is an essential tool for exploring consciousness. Seated meditation includes everything from a primary two-step method, Mindfulness Meditation and Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM). This modality also has advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali.
Moving meditation is an action with a heightened level of awareness. To perform an activity while simultaneously holding a meditative state involves a high level of mind-body coordination and skill. This modality improves mind and body connection. In turn, this has a positive effect on our health and wellness. This progression includes energy collection modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi. Grounding exercises focus on our connection with nature, such as Sun Gazing, Forest Bathing, and Tree Grounding.
Awareness Expansion Tools
This category has a diverse mix of tools dealing with awareness and perception. This group includes the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation, lucid dreaming, third-eye awakening exercises, and techniques to improve memory (learning how to learn).
Another essential tool is the spiritual journal or book of shadows; it’s your personal life coach. This modality also includes exercises like automatic writing and exploring memories. You could list these tools among some groups. However, we like to list them separately because of their importance to awareness.
The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first technology for exploring consciousness. This traditional method is at the core of many indigenous cultures, and it serves as evidence of the historical importance of the inner quest.
There are many variations on this theme, but essentially the same formula. Rhythm is a crucial element that regulates heart rate and breathing. Then the mind projects an inner world providing the lucid journey.
A Shaman is a person who guides people through this journey in the spirit world. However, you can take this inward journey by yourself. This tool for changing awareness uses a range of seated and moving forms.
The Shamanic Journey has been renamed or rebranded in Western cultures. They do this to make it more marketable. You will see it marketed as “guided meditation” or “creative visualization.”
Modalities for Healing
The last group is healing practices. This group includes a diverse set of tools such as Pe Jet, which comes from Indonesia, and Reiki and Shiatsu come from Japan. We teach Vedic medicine, along with other traditional healing forms. Self-care is a vital part of this group. Because to help others, we must be in optimal health. Our overall health and wellness affect every aspect of life.
Using any healing method is a natural outlet for our positive energy. Many people come to the healing arts as a secondary interest. They find it an enjoyable way of giving back and helping others.
Many people are happy to remain immersed in commercialism and hypnotized by capitalism. They want to stay asleep. So, do you think you are awake? Do you want to know?
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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia