First of all, let me say that awakening does not have to be hard. It is so simple that one could flow in it in total harmony. Some might.
I can’t say for anyone other than me but I can share my own experience. If it helps anyone then good if not then it’s fine too.
For me, writing has been a very useful tool to help me navigate the awakening process.
Even though we are already whole and free, there was definitely a process of integration for me and I am not assuming this process is over at all but there is a more peaceful sense of being that stays with me now more often than not.
So what was awakening here for me? One day, I found out that there was no fixed or solid reality. That the thought about what is real is only an interpretation and that these thoughts change from one moment to the next and from one person to another. I realized that the mind/thoughts was a very limited tool that was trying to understand reality, to give it a meaning and to build an identity for itself. I realized that they were only thoughts and that I was not those thoughts.
Once that crumbled, at first, there was an immense sense of relief but after a few weeks of being in this blissful thoughtless state, thoughts arose again to question all that new knowledge.
There were storms of emotions that arose out of what I now feel were part of the identity that was built by earlier trauma in life. The child that felt unsafe, was right here to the surface to be seen and heard. To be loved and let go. There was a sense that there was nowhere to go anymore to avoid facing those shadow parts. There was no possibility to see that problem arose from the “outside” world.
Then also came storms of existential questions relating to what are we doing here, what is the meaning of life. What if nothing means anything, isn’t it very empty and dull?
Because I realized that thoughts about reality could not be entirely true, then what was true? Purpose, direction, meaning comes from mind. With the seeing that I am always here/now, the realisation that there won’t be a future moment where all will be well was kind of brutal. There was for me a time of processing all of that. The mind was seeking answers, fighting for survival probably.
The suffering seemed more intense as those important questions arose and demanded answers or true reflection.
There was also a sense of being destabilized as all landmarks about who I thought I was and what life is were lost. There was a feeling of having nowhere to hide and nowhere to go.
For me the mind was really in turmoil and there was an acute sense of seeking help, for understanding and for support. One can even question its sanity, but the paradox is that one has never been so sane and real in its entire life. I would say in retrospection that there is immense courage in that phase of meeting the shadows part of ourselves and it is so worth it.
Then for me, after months of this turmoil, there was a real sense that the mind was starting to lose power over me. It was first exhausted and there was a sense of surrendering.
It seemed real when it arose with questions and judgment about reality but it was also seen for what it is more and more. A very powerful tool of creation but a very limited one in seeing what is real. The mind is like a software that is trying to understand things with only 0 and 1 or black and white. It has no capacity to see grey or the whole rainbow of color.
The mind is also me, when I blend with it, it feels like me. But going through the awakening process I was more and more able to see myself as the whole ocean, while looking at the mind as the small waves on top. It can be in turmoil while the ocean is perfectly still. The waves are the ocean too, but only a tiny part of the ocean. Before realizing the limits of the mind, I was so identified with it that I did not saw that I was the whole ocean. I was in the turmoil in the surface as the waves being bounced from left to right by life.
After months of processing or integrating the realization of the limited nature of mind, I would have a sleepless night entirely trying to figure out what I should do, where I was going and if I made good decisions. Entirely hypnotized by thoughts as if they were real, as if they were giving me an accurate description of reality, having only a slight sense that it might be untrue. And upon waking up the next morning, I would see clearly that all is well, that I am still here, at peace. Able to see mind for what it is. And with those realizations, one after the other, I could see that all is well. Even if the mind throws a huge storm at me, I am just here, safe, happy, at peace. The more I can see the mind for what it is, the more it is put back to its role. There seem to be also a realization that thoughts are not the enemy, there can be original thoughts, new thoughts that are part of the awakening process. The limiting thoughts are seen fro what they are, limited. Thoughts about a personal me identity where duality brings suffering. But then what about thoughts that comes from openess and a love of truth, these can be beautiful and one can feel expansion while thinking. Maybe one can develop a sensing into if a thought contracts or expands conscioussness.
The mind is very helpful, we need it to navigate the functional side of our reality, driving, eating, going to the grocery store, speaking with people, writing, etc. But it can’t be telling us if we are happy or not and if the world is right or not. It can’t be telling us who we are as we are before the mind.
If you are traveling this pathless path, rest in the peace of knowing, all is well. The mind can throw anything at you, you will realize more and more that it changes nothing, that you are still here. Nothing has happened, nothing ever will, the presence that you are is not going anywhere and can’t be changed.
There is no need to do anything, when there is discomfort. In fact if there is one thing that one can “do” with discomfort or suffering, to the best of its own capacity, is to be present to it and to allow it without building a “story” around it. Suffering is for sure coming from the personal “I” thought. The “person” thinking that something at some point will be better than it is right now. The “person” living in time, in the future in the hope of better things to come or the “person” living in the past, explaining why we feel this or that. Come back to here/now and see for yourself that you are simply here and that thoughts about what is good or bad or what you should do or not do are just thoughts. They will loose their power over you. Any suffering showing up is there for you to be present to it, to heal from that loving space of awareness/being to enable you to go back home to your true self, pure love and openess.
In fact, awakening might be a difficult process to go through but it is so utterly simple. There is only what is, this moment. When the mind is let go of, all is well and the moment can be experienced fully without resisting anything that arises in it.
But one has to walk the path on its own. Seek help if you need it but know that you are ultimately your own sovereign self. Total freedom awaits here/now.
The process is without an end, there is no destination, only a deepening of seeing what we are. And it seems it might get lighter and lighter.
Real peace and happiness are not found in the past or future. Peace and happiness are found here/now in being totally OK with what is. In fact, it is always here, but when we are living in the hope of a better future or in the trauma of the past, we simply miss it. It has not gone anywhere, it is always here in presence to what is, outside of the mind. It is what we are.
And that is where words fail. That is where the mind has to be let go.