What is a Spiritual Awakening?
It seems like a simple enough question, really, and it can be. However, it has also been proven time and time again to be the cause of a great deal of conversation and debate.
Spiritual Awakening has been defined as a realization of what is real, reconnecting to yourself and to the divine, becoming conscious of reality, and the recognition of oneself with existence.
Dictionary.com defines spiritual as ‘of, relating to, or consisting of spirit’ and awakening as ‘the act of waking from sleep’.
Regardless of the definition each authority provides, they all agree on one point. A spiritual awakening is a shift in consciousness and is felt in all aspects of one’s being. It gives you a very real sense of how limited you have been- and how limitless you can be.
The many alternate definitions can be explained this way, each individual is essentially describing their own awakening, and that description of course varies. When talking about something so personal, you are essentially the master of your own definition.
What is the difference between Spiritual Awakening and Spiritual Enlightenment?
Yes, this can be the juice of another lengthy conversation or a point for a great debate. The main difference here is found in the tense of the word itself. Spiritual Enlightenment leans toward a finished product, while awakening is an active verb implying a shift or journey. Spiritual awakening is an experience, not a goal or a destination.
Awakening is a sense of more, a sense that there is more. More to life than just the mundane, the regular, the ordinary. It is a sense of moving beyond one’s self to truly discover one’s self.
Enlightenment is the feeling of the ultimate state of awakening, even though it is agreed that there never is a defined ultimate or a defined journey’s end.
For most people, awakening seems like a series of small and profound growth, an aha! moment if you will, while enlightenment feels like arriving, even though there is no real destination. It is a sense that you are no longer searching, only growing.
Sounds great, so how do I awaken?
This is a great point of confusion for people who have decided to embark on this journey. Of course it can, and does, happen spontaneously. But, can you make it happen? While some will offer a guide, and others will offer you activities, many are still unsure if you can force it. However, they all agree that you can absolutely create the ideal situations and circumstances!
Meditation is the most commonly suggested route to take down this path. But, meditate on what? On the realization that our human mind and thought processes are not definite. On the fact that everything you see in your environment is the product of that limited human mind. If you can push the thoughts, and therefore the mind away, you are free to feel in a much deeper manner than perhaps you ever have before!
There are many forms of meditation and prayer, and it is an entirely personal preference on which works for you and which you feel is helping you to achieve your awakening.
Yoga and Martial Arts are also common choices for those on this journey. The repetition, physical strain, and mental focus of these activities create the perfect environment for enlightenment to occur, many experts say.
Another commonly suggested method is journaling. The idea here is not to script yourself, but to let your thoughts and feelings flow freely, allowing you to see how your consciousness and unconsciousness work and play out.
Of course, these are just the most commonly used methods, there are dozens available or you may even find yourself stumbling upon one that just works for you. The key here is not the method which you choose. The key is discipline, dedication, and perseverance. You must push away all fear, and accept that fear is simply a product of your conscious mind.
Through practice and discipline you will be allowed to reach a place of deepened, heightened consciousness, and the more that you practice the longer you will be able to stay in that state, allowing you to move through and expand.
So, Why Would You Want To?
There are so many benefits to taking this journey! Below are just a few of the most talked about:
- You will be more likely to enjoy the simple things, because the simple things no longer seem as insignificant and the ‘big things’ no longer seem as significant.
- Less stress and less fear. When you let go of fear, and shift your focus, you will automatically and naturally experience less fear, and less stress and worry.
- Because you have less stress, you will experience less stress-induced health problems such as high blood pressure, headaches, and stress eating.
- You will experience deeper, and more meaningful, thought processes and higher levels of productivity in the things that really matter.
- Increased feelings of connection with yourself, people, and the world around you. This will increase understanding and compassion.
- A higher ability to let things go. To let things happen as they will happen, and as they were meant to happen, instead of trying to mould events to the way you want them to happen.
- You will find that you have less desire for conflict and confrontation, helping to make your entire life more peaceful.
- Increased awareness. Things that have been happening all along, that you may have always brushed off as coincidence, will become clearer and you will be more aware of them as well as of their effect.
So, there you have it. The what, the why, and the how of Spiritual Awakening, Will you choose to embark on this journey, or do you prefer the ordinary and mundane?