Accelerated awakening?

 

If we seek awakening, we can take the traditional slow and steady approach, or we can try to accelerate it or take shortcuts. The slow approach may be “safer” than the apparent shortcuts although one is not inherently better than the other. And in either case, it’s good to look at our motivation.

Ways to accelerate awakening

We can have glimpses of what we are. Sometimes, this happens spontaneously without any apparent preparation, intention, or wish. We can also invite in these glimpses as a way to give us a taste of what awakening is. Some forms of inquiry, like the Big Mind process and the Headless Experiments, can give us a glimpse in a relatively short time and usually in a grounded way without the bells and whistles, and this can also give us more time to explore the different facets and dynamics around it.

Some also use psychoactive drugs, ideally under supervision of someone familiar with how to do it. Since this can come with side-effects, depending on the drug, I can’t recommend it and haven’t been drawn to try it for myself.

These glimpses can give us a taste of awakening and what we are, they can serve as a temporary guide (although can also be a bit misleading, especially as we add ideas to it), and they can – in that sense – accelerate awakening. As we dip into tastes of awakening through inquiry, we also get more familiar with what we are and it’s easier to notice it in daily life. And some forms of inquiry, like Living Inquiries, can help remove identifications and beliefs that typically prevent us from noticing what we are.

There is also the classic slow and steady approach to awakening. Here, we spend time with spiritual practices, with others on the path, and under guidance of someone familiar with the process. We spend time in prayer, meditation, body-centered practiced, and whatever other practices are available to us, and this provides a steady and gentle nurturing to the awakening process.

This more traditional approach is often seen as safer as it provides a lot of support and preparation work for the awakening which, in theory, makes it easier to function within the awakening if or when it happens. If done right, it also gives us a lot of benefits on the way in terms of grounding, healing, support, community, and so on. Of course, this all depends on the tradition, the community, the guide, and our fit with it and the fit with where we are in the process.

There is also the transmission or shaktipat approach. This may give a temporary spiritual opening or glimpse of awakening. Adyashanti describes this happening with retreat participants when he first started holding retreats (he stopped doing it since he found it less useful). This approach may also force the process and come with serious side-effects and challenges – sometimes because it happened a little too fast, and sometimes as the energy bangs up against blocks in our system. In some cases, energy transmissions may accelerate the process in a more balanced and integrated way.

And there is personal energy work, for instance through different forms of yoga. This can be a good way to nurture awakening, especially if combined with meditation and inquiry. As with the other approaches, it’s important to have good and experienced guidance.

These are all traditional approaches to awakening. Some cultures use psychoactive plants to offer glimpses or reality or shifts into it. Some traditions – especially in Asia but also other places – use shaktipat, inquiry, and/or personal energy work. And just about all traditions emphasize the more slow and steady approach, either on its own or in combination with the other approaches.

Personally, I have experience with all of these approaches with the exception of drugs. I have been mostly drawn to inquiry and the slow and steady classic approach. When it comes to energy transmissions, I have so far found only one that seems to be effective, predictable, and balanced, and that’s the awakening path built into being a Vortex Healing student.

Accelerated awakening and spiritual crises

An awakening process comes with different forms of challenges and sometimes spiritual crises. It’s tempting to say that the more accelerated paths come with more risk although I don’t really know. Challenges and spiritual crises seem to happen no matter which approach we take and whether our approach is slow and steady or more accelerated.

What I can say is that an accelerated path may also accelerate the crises (they may happen sooner rather than later). And a more slow and steady approach may allow us to prepare – in our mind, body, and energy system – for the different phases of the awakening process, which may make it a slightly smoother ride.

Mainly, there are no guarantees and we do what we are drawn to anyway.

Our motivation in wanting to accelerate awakening

Whether we seek awakening in the more traditional, slow, and steady way, or we seek a more accelerated path or shortcuts, it’s good to look at our motivation.

Typically, some of our motivations come from a sense of neediness, lack, and wanting to avoid suffering. There is nothing inherently wrong in this type of motivation. It can give us a drive that can be helpful for a while. At the same time, this type of motivation is inherently stressful and can drive us to make compulsive choices we otherwise wouldn’t have made.

Addressing the issues behind this slightly compulsive surface motivation – often some variation of neediness or lack – can reveal a deeper layer of motivation.

It may reveal a deeper, quiet and steady motivation that comes from – somewhere – knowing what we are.

Assumptions and context

I should mention that this view on awakening and ways to accelerate the process is based on an assumption that awakening is a natural, organic, and built-in process in all of us and – in the bigger picture – all beings. Everyone is on this path. For some, it may be far in the future and for others, it may happen now.

When it happens, there is a gradual preparation and build-up to it. It follows a similar process to a seed growing into a sapling, maturing into a tree, growing flowers, the flowers turn into a fruit, the fruit matures and eventually ripes and falls off the tree. In this analogy, the flowers may be early spiritual interests and perhaps practices, and the fruit is the awakening that ripes and matures over time.

We can support the ripening through practices and embodying it as best we can. As mentioned above, there are also other ways to accelerate this process. If we wish to accelerate this natural and organic process, it may be good to ask ourselves where that wish comes from and examine it. And it’s good to be aware that trying to accelerate, or even force, the process comes with some risks.

Finally, I want to mention that the awakening process tends to spontaneously accelerate at different parts of the process. It seems to have natural cycles of apparently slow phases and accelerated phases.

The bigger picture

Awakening is a natural and organic process. It’s what we are seeking itself, finding itself, noticing itself as all there is, and learning to live from and as it through this human being in the world.

What this looks like is a process of exploration or even a play, and many have called it the play of life, existence, or the divine – Lila.

Initial notes…

  • induced awakening?
    • glimpse
      • BM process, drugs, etc.
      • can be helpful, give an orientation
    • classic – be with someone who lives/expresses awakening
    • intentional transmission
      • sometimes a state, a glimpse (like drugs)
      • can go a bit haywire, forced, unintended side-effects
      • rare cases, more balanced, real (VH it seems)
    • can be seductive
      • want it fast, perhaps bc want to escape something, want to achieve something (usually an idea, idealized conception)
      • good to see where this wish is coming from, address
    • …..

And there is the transmission or shaktipat approach. There are good reasons to be a bit wary of this approach.

When I talked about the traditional or classic approach to awakening, I didn’t mean to say that there isn’t a tradition for the other approaches. They are all traditional

In some cases, energy transmissions may accelerate the process in a more balanced and integrated way. (Vortex Healing courses seem to invite in a deeper genuine awakening in a relatively balanced way, although I am still relatively new and don’t know how I’ll see it in the future.)

….

Trauma can be triggered through any approach to awakening. At some point in the awakening process, the parts of us still stuck in separation consciousness (including wounded and traumatized parts of us) surface so they can join in with the awakening. They surface to be seen, felt, befriended, loved, and eventually find healing.

It’s tempting to say that the approaches promising an especially accelerated path

….

If we assume we live many lifetimes, awakening may be a natural and organic process that happens at some point during these lifetimes. As part of this process, we may be drawn to approaches to nurture and perhaps accelerate the process.

If we assume there is just this one lifetime, we may still be drawn to explore awakening. (And, really, all we have is this life that’s here now, everything else is an idea in our mind.)

….

Addressing the first type of motivations can help us resolve issues that gives us a slightly compulsive surface motivation.

It can help us resolve some issues that gives us a slightly compulsive surface motivation and find a deeper and more peaceful motivation or movement.

….

There is nothing inherently wrong in the first type of motivations. They can be helpful for a while, but they are also inherently stressful and can drive us to make slightly compulsive choices we wouldn’t have made if we were not driven by something unresolved in us.

….

Typically, some of our motivations come from a sense of neediness, lack, and wanting to avoid suffering. And some may be deeper, quiet, steady, and come from a knowing of what we are.

There is nothing inherently wrong in the first type of motivations. They can give us a drive that can be helpful for a while. At the same time, they are inherently stressful and they can drive us to make slightly compulsive choices we otherwise wouldn’t have made.

….

Draft….

Is it possible to induce awakening?

We can certainly have glimpses of what we are. Some forms of inquiry, like the Big Mind process and the Headless Experiments, can give us a glimpse relatively easily. Some like to use psychoactive drugs (which I can’t recommend and haven’t tried). Sometimes, it also happens spontaneously without any apparent preparation, intention, or wish.

There is the classic approach of spending time and meditating with someone awakening is alive in.

And there is the transmission or shaktipat approach. Sometimes, this may give a temporary opening or glimpse of awakening, as Adyashanti describes happening when he first started offering retreats. Sometimes, it may force the process and come with serious side-effects and challenges. And sometimes, in rare cases, it may happen in a more balanced and integrated way.

I have experienced all of the above at different times and in different varieties (with the exception of the drugs). I prefer inquiry and the classic approach of spending time with someone awakening is alive in. (I don’t do the latter much these days, apart from with friends.) And when it comes to the transmission approach, I have only found one I trust and that seems to be both effective, predictable, and balanced, and that’s the awakening path built into being a Vortex Healing student.

There is another side to this: our motivation. If I seek out an accelerated awakening path, what compels me? Do I want to escape something? Do I try to achieve something? Do I try to get to (an imagined) place? It’s good to be honest with ourselves about this, see what we find, and examine it. Through this, we may find that what we sought is already here. That what we tried to escape is also, in its own way, exactly what we sought.

And if we try any of the potentially accelerating approaches, we’ll hopefully do it in a more grounded and gentle way.

Note: I should mention that this view on awakening and ways to accelerate the process is based on an assumption that awakening is a natural, organic, and built-in process in all of us and – in the bigger picture – all beings. Everyone is on this path. For some, it may be far in the future and for others, it may happen now.

When it happens, there is a gradual preparation and build-up to it. It follows a similar process to a seed growing into a sapling, maturing into a tree, growing flowers, the flowers turn into a fruit, the fruit matures and eventually ripes and falls off the tree. In this analogy, the flowers may be early spiritual interests and perhaps practices, and the fruit is the awakening that ripes and matures over time.

We can support the ripening through practices and embodying it as best we can. As mentioned above, there are also other ways to accelerate this process. If we wish to accelerate this natural and organic process, it may be good to ask ourselves where that wish comes from and examine it. And it’s good to be aware that trying to accelerate, or even force, the process comes with some risks.

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