There are several paths for awareness to soften its exclusive identification with small self.
Sudden & Gradual
One is a sudden revelation of the Big Mind view, which makes it obvious that awareness is more than and different from the small self. This could come out of the blue, maybe through a personal crisis where awareness is no longer able or willing to hold onto an exclusive attachment to small self. It could also come as a consequence of long term practices preparing the ground for such a shift.
The other broad category is the gradual transitions, aided by practices such as the Big Mind process, Breema, yoga, meditation. Of course, also here – there are often breakthroughs and sudden shifts and revelations.
Of the gradual transitions, it seems that many have a few things in common.
One is the recognition of the true nature of awareness (the Absolute), and an opening into a Big Mind view.
Another is trust. A general softening into a trust in Existence and the nature of mind. And more specifically a trust in the process and possibly a teacher.
When awareness trusts Existence more, it can allow itself to let go of exclusive attachment to the small self, and open up for something else. It can allow itself to experience the Ground – the groundless ground from which all phenomena arise, and is the nature of all phenomena.
In Breema, this trust comes through a deepening sense of well being, from connection with the body, and allowing body/emotions/attention join. It is also aided by Breema’s nine principles, such as Body Comfortable.
In the Big Mind process, this trust comes from seeing that nothing needs to be dropped, except the exclusive identification with small self. And a deepening comfort comes through seeing that all the ways awareness/mind functions, is the manifestations of Big Mind, Buddha Mind, Spirit, God, Existence.
All the ways mind manifests on a personal level – all the voices – have one aim and that is to serve the self. When the voices are undifferentiated and their role is not clear to themselves or awareness, it can look mixed up. But when they are brought into awareness and differentiated, they can heal and effortlessly function in a way that more clearly supports the small self.
In this way, awareness becomes more comfortable in its relationship with the voices and the small self. And through this, it can soften its attachment to the small self.