Abiding and non-abiding awakening



After the awakening experience on January 8th, I am pretty much back asleep in the dream again.

And yet it’s OK.  It’s better than OK.

It feels like someone has opened a window and the sunlight of grace shines in, illuminating shadowed corners.

It feels really good.

After the first awakening experience maybe four years ago, the aftermath felt like hell.  A vicious grasping attempting to return to the wide-open clarity of wakefulness ensued.  A roller-coaster of pushing and pulling, wanting and fearing, controlling and chaos spun the ride faster and faster toward an unknown abyss.

The first awakening opened doors but the strength of the Ego slammed them shut. The Ego then nailed the doors, just to be sure.  But sunlight can not help but stream through the cracks of our powerful resistance…

This time It felt awake for twelve days.  I cannot say “I was awake” because that doesn’t really describe it.  What happened is that the personality fell away like a distant shadow.  What remained was just wakefulness.   (Although I remember thinking that the word “awake” doesn’t describe it at all.  Such a silly term.  There was no term to describe it, because one must re-enter the world of the dream to attempt description.)

Adyashanti wrote a wonderful book called “The End of Your World“.  It is very helpful to read when one’s frantically-spinning mind is attempting to make sense of perceptual shifts.  He speaks of “abiding” and “non-abiding” awakening.

A small minority of people who awaken to a true sense of their innate existence actually wake up and stay up.  It’s like they’re hit by lightening.  Their circuits re-route and they know, truly know, and can act, truly act, from the depth of their world-altering perception.

The rest of us wake up in bits and pieces.  Life itself is always moving toward waking up, but the human dream-world contains the pull of gravity so strong to keep us here on two solid feet, walking in the woods, wearing our coats of many stories.

This time, when I fell back to the sleep of this dream-world, I actually felt such a sense of grace.  Of relief almost.  I could see how kind the Universe is, how the Universe knew exactly that this was the best, to re-experience attachment to the dream.  Everything inside shook off like a dog after a nap and a lightness pervaded, a release.  It’s hard to explain.

Something has shifted since this second awakening experience.  Everything is held much lighter.  There are not (thus far) any huge emotional disturbances.  A peace has descended.  A quiet happiness.

Thoughts are seen through much easier.  (Although not always.  I can spin in a story about being a personality longer than Miss Muppet.)

An inner guidance/barometer has come to the forefront.  I can see much more clearly the next appropriate action.  (Although not always.  Flubbing is as easy as pie.)

The story of the personality contains holes, irreparable holes.  It looks like a fish net now.  It’s not going to hold fish for long without breaking.

The cycle of desire/grasping/wanting has eased.  For the first time often experience deeply in the bones an understanding of “enough”.  (But not always…)

There is a sense of divine trust in the Divine.  An abandonment to that which is beyond…a deep abiding love…

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall…All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.  (When we fall from the throne of personality, we’ll try to put ourselves back together again.  We’ll use the glue of opinions and thoughts and beliefs.  We’ll tie ropes around our fears and desires attempting to hold them in place.  We won’t succeed though, I’m confident this time.)

I see now that awakening is not superior or inferior to choosing a personality.  In fact, until the personality is well established it’s probably too painful and futile to discover what lies beyond (or before).  What makes more sense right now is deeply loving this sacred moment for what it is–personality or no personality.

Yet there is a tug, a pulling, a prompting to remember and to bring the memory forward into this moment.  We’re only ever awake in this moment.  Not the next one, not the previous one.

It’s so precious.  Right now.  Even the story is precious, as Mama understood when she read us fairy tales and we wished Hansel and Gretel wouldn’t get lost.


16 thoughts on “Abiding and non-abiding awakening

  1. I believe I experienced my own version of an awakening about five years ago Kathy, when I realised that I needed to be me to survive, to live my own life and make my own choices based on heart. It’s still there and if I ever tipple off course (which thankfully rarely happens) it feels so “off”, so I return to me.

    Your experience sounds so much deeper than mine, on a completely different level, but it did remind me of what happened to me. Love to you, dear Kathy. 🙂

    • Your awakening to that deep truth sounds very lovely, Joanne. It sounds like your inner compass is guiding you where you need to go. Love to you as well, my friend.

  2. Oh Kathy, how beautiful this is for me right now. For about 3 weeks I have been immersed in Adya’s current course and two new-to-me CD sets and his book Emptiness Dancing; the CD’s and book borrowed from the local satsang group. This immersion is both energetic and mental, and there are radical changes going on all over the place, LOL!

    For understanding what is going on when Realization seems to come and go, I actually found Emptiness Dancing even more relevant and profoundly insightful as guidance, than The End of Your World!!! It answered SO MANY of my current questions, not really questions, but I was better able to map what he said against my own experiences.

    I am finally “getting” what you are so beautifully describing, that “falling back asleep” can be seen as not different or separate from “staying awake” once one realizes there is only what I call the Creating going on, only the One, etc. He talks about this a LOT in Emptiness Dancing.

    And yet there is a difference….

    And I glimpse it ever more clearly, the more you take the trouble to try to articulate your experiences. So thank you with all my heart!

    • Dear OM, I am so glad you paused to read. Almost thought to send you the last two blog posts via email as you always seem so interested and appreciative of this sharing. So glad you popped around and commented.

      Just did a search for Emptiness Dancing on the bookshelves, but apparently gave it away. That figures! I remember reading it but none of the particulars. This time reading “The End of Your World” it feels like a brand new book, like am able to get certain subtle nuances on a deeper level.

      It’s funny–when one is awake in a moment one can see that Onenesss of it not mattering. When one is “caught” in a thought-story or ancient belief of self it seems much more challenging.

      And, yet, as you said, it does “matter” if simply because Life is opening like a flower to itself all the time. So it takes tremendous energy to stay as a bud in a transient self.

      When Life feels the most “awake” in this being (or, rather, when the thoughts and personality have subsided to a dull roar, ha ha) I have thus far felt very little urge to share. It seems like the sharing itself often pulls “me” back to the level of story and identification. But lately have been experiencing Life’s delight with this process. Life is dancing with the emptiness and fullness, is it not?

      With love and appreciation for your continued Presence. OM….

  3. You gotta still function in the world in a useful way. I think our personality tries to Humpty-Dumpty itself back into something like it’s former self. Enlightenment/awakening makes that impossible. The uncomfortable part comes from the fact that the old personality no longer fits, no longer works, when you try it on. The true self that is emerging knows this and is just fine with it. I keep coming across this quote and I don’t remember who to attribute it to but it goes something like “when things fall apart it could be that it is something new assembling itself.”

    • Yes, Barbara, that is so true. Something new is assembling itself. It’s good. The old self just sometimes has trouble with it, doesn’t it? Thank you for stopping by. It feels like you are just as passionate about this as I am.

  4. I am coming back to this, I followed Barbara’s blog here and responded to what she wrote. It is all very close to home to me right now. I am being to emerge once again from my self imposed slumber, so to speak.

    For some reason this blog Simply Here does not show up in my emails so catching it was a gift…

    • Thank you for alerting me to Barbara’s blog, Jeff. I followed you over to her thoughtful post–thank you. It sounds like it is close to home to a few of us who want to embrace our highest spirit, our deepest Presence. *hugs, my friend.* (Maybe you should check your subscription setting? Maybe you didn’t check to receive emails? I often think about you and a few others when writing the posts over here.)

      • Kathy, I did check my subscription settings and now I am connected once again. Oy Vey !

        I am still planning to come back to this ! Sweet to know that you are conscious of us in some way when writing here!

        • I am conscious of several of you. Sometimes even the ego gets disappointed if those I’m thinking about don’t comment. But tut tut on that ego. The Universe is in charge and determines who reads!

  5. My story is somewhat similar to yours. I think most people in this path will experience this got it, lost it, phenomenon, and it can be very frustrating. Once you experience such freedom from your insecurities and anxieties and start living best version of yourself it is a bit saddening when you start to feel the pull of gravity again.

    • Eduardo, I see that you understand how frustrating it can be. You’re right–it feels like we’re living the “best version” of ourselves and then it’s back to grasping and pushing away. This journey seems to take some courage. Just now I am thinking of it like waves washing over rocks millions of times. Each wave takes away a little more of the rock. And then, one fine day, perhaps we notice that the rock isn’t there any more. We don’t know who we are anymore…except we know the rock is gone. And what seems to come through is something amazingly wonderful, even though we can’t call it a best or worst part of ourselves anymore. That is gone…and it’s good. Thank you so much for sharing. What a journey some of us are called upon!

  6. Thank you for your beautiful and transcendent post. I have been “struck by lightning” in this October of 2017. Everything has changed. Blessings to all.

    • It can be so amazing when this happens. When we begin to awaken out of identification with limited form and perspective it can literally be mind-blowing. If you would like to share about your experience, let me know. Blessings back…

  7. Thank you for sharing this ~ it helps me understand the dismay I have been feeling on-and-off since I had a similar experience (mixed with the dismay has been an equally frequent sense of trust that we are all going through the process of awakening). As you say, for some it happens spontaneously and totally, while for others it happens gradually. It is a process of becoming, nonetheless.

    • Bodhi, thank you for reading. That dismay can be so challenging after seeing the unity and connection. Even yesterday I found myself caught in a web of thought and identity, completely forgetting any sense of One. It took a while to sit still in the chair, noticing what is really true, and then everything relaxed again. I appreciate that you stopped here and shared a bit of what has happened with you.

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