It takes no time to Be Who You Are.
That’s because Presence is always Here, Now.
You can feel it.
It never leaves.
It is simply covered up by the thought-stream and the preoccupations that result from the thought-stream.
Therefore, Awakening can happen in an instance, yet that is very rare.
Mostly, it happens progressively.
And it moves as fast as you practice awareness (also called mindfulness, witnessing).
The more you practice it through out your day, the faster you awaken.
The thought-stream is very seductive. It has a sticky quality to it.
Buddhists call this sticky quality “shenpa”. It hooks you.
Shenpa is a function of conditioning and what happened over your life.
For example, someone who experienced certain trauma could have a lot of shenpa around that trauma, for example they may have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD), which is a strong shenpa.
Or another person who has developed addictions or compulsions may have strong shenpa there.
Or an area of deep fears may produce strong shenpa.
Shenpa creates entrancement with the thought-stream.
The thoughts capture you, distort reality, distort truth, obscure everything else, and you forget Presence.
Until you choose to step back, create space, and witness, become mindful.
Initially, you forget Presence, and then you remember Presence, and then you forget, and you remember, forget, remember… moment by moment. Some days are super good, some are not. Mindfulness works like that. Like pealing the layers of an onion.
But each moment and each day deepens your awareness, even when you think it “went badly”.
This is because Awakened Self cannot co-exist in the same vehicle as the Sleeping Self (unawakened ego).
That is obvious.
And so, the Real Self brings forth everything you need to address and be awakened to, so that you may address it and transcend it.
If you worry a lot about being abandoned, it brings situations that are wisely designed to give you the opportunity to see past your fear of abandonment, for example.
And it gets easier and easier as you go, as you become proficient at staying more in Love instead of Fear.
When you trip, you trip only for brief moments, whereas in the past you may have tripped and stayed fallen for hours, days, weeks or even years.
A time comes when you only trip for minutes.
And then eventually, you don’t trip any more!
Here is another description of what it feels like to begin Awakening, this time from Michael Singer in his book, The Untethered Soul:
“Would you like to go beyond? Would you like to feel no edges? Imagine a comfort zone that is so expanded that it can easily fit the entire day, no matter what happens. The day unfolds and the mind doesn’t say anything. You simply interact with the day with a peaceful, fully inspired heart. If your edges happen to get hit, the mind doesn’t complain. It all just passes through. This is how great beings live. When you are trained, like a great athlete, to immediately relax through your edges when they get hit, then it’s all over. You realize that you will always be fine. Nothing can ever bother you except your edges, and now you know what to do with them. You end up loving your edges because they point your way to freedom. All you have to do is constantly relax and lean into them. Then one day, when you least expect it, you fall through into the infinite. That is what it means to go beyond.”
Now, you will always have an ego.
Even after awakening.
However, the Awakened Ego is simply a device for navigating physicality.
The ego is not bad.
It is simply unconscious until it awakens.
Without the ego, you would not get a sense of dimensionality.
You would literally feel completely Unified with All That Is. Which would end the game of life.
The Awakened Ego doesn’t cause suffering – it simply creates that sensation of an Awakened “Self”.
The Divine incarnate as a Human Being.
It is part of the human design.
Without the Ego, and the Human Vehicle, which includes the physical and etheric bodies that make up a Person, you would simply be Spirit, with no beginning or end.
The ego + vehicle is what makes the Awakened Self (or, for that matter, the unconscious self) “seen” and to “feel” in 3D physicality.
That is why, as long as you are using your human vehicle, you will always have an ego.
The ego is a tool, deliberately created to navigate physicality.
And so you do need it – it’s not a mistake.
The problem is that the programming or conditioning held in the thought-stream of the unconscious ego, and the identification with it, makes for a terrible boss that causes suffering and myopia.
The ego is just a tool, a tool that is meant to be a tiny, background aspect of the vastness of Who You Really Are.
The mind, too, is just a tool, a computational device for basic computations required as you move about physicality – it isn’t meant to plan and control your whole life.
Who You Really are is that Spirit, or that Presence, that gives rise to and animates the vehicle (the body, the mind and the ego).
All humans are simply costumes. Costumes worn by Presence.
The costumes are unique and different, but the The Presence is the Same One.
At the root of it all, it is the Same One.
And when you look into your newborn child’s eyes, or into the eyes of your loved one, or into the eyes of your beloved dog, or even when you experience a most beautiful sunset, you feel the connection:
The Universal Language, from the Same One.
Now, Tibetan Buddhists demonstrate this process of awakening with this rather very fitting image (start at the bottom and work your way up, noticing how the elephant, the fire and the monkey are initially wild, and eventually they transform):
Before Enlightenment, Chop Wood & Fetch Water. After Enlightenment, Chop Wood & Fetch Water
To practice mindfulness and Presence, the Magical Approach, you have to drop any pre-conceptions of what you think Presence is, what you think Enlightenment or Awakening is.
Some people believe they will see great light, and hear angelic voices.
Others think it is the end of “normal” life.
Others think it is a non-stop spiritual experience, endless bliss.
Granted, these things can and sometimes do happen, from time to time, for a time, to some people, if it is what they require, when they require it, and for the amount of time it is useful to their growth.
Presence itself may decide to bring these upon you, if that is useful for your particular path.
Or it may bring you face to face with your greatest fears.
You see, there is no standard feeling or path to Enlightenment.
You don’t have to start talking funny to sound “enlightened and peaceful”, and you don’t have to pretend to feel loving and grateful all the time even when what you really feel like is biting someone’s effing head of.
Presence, for the most part, is an ever-changing, functional way.
You get what you need, in that moment.
Sometimes you need anger, for it sets a necessary boundary. Or because it brings up suppressed anger. And so Presence may bring that up so you experience it. Your job is not to suppress that anger, or to go into hatred with it – your job is to let it flow in your body unrestricted as you witness it, watch it. And in that time, if you really don’t feel like acting “nice”, you don’t have to – simply act how you need to, but from a position of witnessing instead of identifying. You will find that witnessing will create understanding of the self and others, whereas identifying will create “lashing out” and possibly violence or hatred. Anger is not bad – suppressing or identifying with anger is what creates drama.
And if you have so-called “bad habits”, again, you don’t have to force yourself to quit cold-turkey. If you smoke, over-eat, are alcoholic, or whatever – accept yourself as you are, and begin witnessing your inner workings even as these habits are triggered, as they activate, as they run their course, as they make you feel this and that, and so on. Go ahead, do them, but do them with mindfulness. This mindfulness is what brings Presence to these habits and, one day, you just find that you are different. Presence works its own magic in its own way.
The same goes for emotional pain – the “bad feelings”. Don’t block it, judge it, or try to end it yourself. Instead, accept it, first and foremost. Acceptance is the first step. Acceptance is what stops the judgement, the self-hatred, the blocking, and so on. And once accepted, and the witnessing starts with self-kindness, the Light is brought upon the pain, and change happens by itself.
So be authentic, honest with yourself.
Presence has it’s own intelligence.
And it will humble and enlighten you by itself at the right time – you don’t have to pretend to be humble and enlightened.
Before enlightenment, chop wood and fetch water.
After enlightenment, chop wood and fetch water.
Just do one job, the job of witnessing. Mindfulness.
Leave the rest to Life itself.
That was a sample taken from the course, Radical Mindfulness Made Simple in 5 Easy Steps.