Reading the book about Waking Down awakenings, I was reminded of how awakenings share many characteristics, but are also unique in each case, and also differ among traditions.
I cannot say much about it for sure, but here are some things that seem true for my own experience.
In Buddhism and other – older – traditions, there is a sense of (a) formless awareness and (b) the world of form arising within this awareness. There is a sense of spaciousness, of “distance” between awareness and its content, although there is also a clear experience of no separation and intimacy. This seems also true for Douglas Harding’s experiments and many other approaches out there.
In the initial awakening in the Waking Down community (the “second birth”), it is very similar to this but also quite different. For me, the difference was/is in that it feels more “local”, with a deeper and richer sense of intimacy, vibrancy and aliveness. It is as if my body and local physical surroundings are consciousness, alive, vibrant, sensual and deeply intimate. And there is also little or none of the sense of spaciousness. It is all here, right now, as one. It is if it all has collapsed into one sensual, flowing, vibrant whole. And along with this is a sense of a very detailed reworking on a bodily and cellular level, unique to each cell.
It is a flowing whole of awareness/content, richly sensual and vibrant. I am whatever happens, all of it right now – intimately, richly, sensually.
When something is triggered, I don’t “allow it to unfold within space” as I do when in the Buddhist mode, but I am fully what is triggered, and I am also the sensual/fluid/intimate/aware something it is held by and melting into. There is no need for distance – everything is right there, fully in it, with no need for any change.
It seems to be a deep intertwining of the absolute and relative, of the unborn and born, at a detailed cellular level.
It is of course difficult to put into words, but the experience is quite distinct.
Of course, who am I to say that this does not happen for people in other traditions – or out of the blue for others. I am sure it does. But it does seem to be a particular characteristic of the waking down process as well.
And as much as I am triggered by Saniel’s mannerisms, I am very grateful for having connected with it. For me, the second birth happened in the weeks following my initial – and only – workshop with Saniel. And I am sure it is unfolding, although it is difficult to tease out what comes from where. It all becomes part of one process.
Still, reading this book of second birth stories, I again experienced deeply the second birth qualities – which have been in the background lately because of my focus on Buddhism and other traditions. It is a reminder of the role of intention and focus, and how we both interpret and guide our experiences and process through our conscious view.