What is an AWAKENED mind?

The term Awakening has been widely used lately to describe the phenomenon of a spontaneous change of consciousness. Awakening can be described as a realisation that there is a higher dimension of reality which is rooted in a universal consciousness of unity. Such a realisation is inevitably accompanied with a heightened positive emotional state, invoking feelings of joy, connectedness, outpouring of love and frequently intense ecstasy. It often has a lasting effect on the life of the experiencer, but it can also take a lifetime to integrate such an experience into our everyday lives. There can be a number of triggers for STEs or for such sudden change in consciousness to occur, such as a near-death experiences, drugs, shock, trauma, intense appreciation of beauty or involuntary or intentional raising of the Kundalini energy, which can be the result of a prolonged meditation. A spiritual awakening often has a lasting and transforming effect on one's life.

Barbara E. had the fallowing STE after suddenly falling sick:

”Next thing I knew I was aware of hurtling through a tunnel. Then I was situated in the midst of a startling, seemingly alive, white...white light. Still feeling a bit stunned and confused I wondered "where am I, what is going on?" Then it hit me. I thought to myself "oh shoot (not exactly the word, if you get my drift), I must be dead!"  

Almost simultaneous with that realization, it seemed as if the light penetrated throughout me and I felt the most magnificent warmth and peace and acceptance imaginable. I felt awe, loved and cradled. It was clear that the light loved me so completely, knew me through and through, had no hesitance in accepting my foibles and weaknesses, and felt quite a bit of humor about how seriously I took myself and my life.  

As I settled into the love without condition, I realized more and more how utterly and absolutely intelligent light was. The sheer level of creativity and intellect was emotionally and psychologically beyond comprehension. I knew that because light was telepathically melded with me, allowing me to sense at least a minute degree of what was contained within.  

There was so much thought and information that it felt as if zillions of scrolls of data about the true nature of reality just kept unraveling. I was lost and overwhelmed and had no comprehension of what it all meant. Yet the central message came through loud and clear. Reality is SO much larger, multi-layered and multi-dimensional than we realize. Consciousness is able to experience so much more than what we commonly practice. Everything has purpose and meaning.” (Source:

The problem we are faced with in our western culture is that such an experience appears to conflict dramatically with our materialistic life style and many people can feel left out of place and disconnected in a world which is founded largely on materialistic values. As an experience predominantly featuring universal unity and love STEs frequently turn our values upside down. Values which are experienced as lying at the heart of a cosmic order and appear to be set in stark contrast to a society which is geared towards ego gratification and largely focused on materialistic achievements.

Unless our waking experience is integrated into our lives it will not serve us. We should consider such an experience as a starting point for transformation, not as an end in itself. This involves attuning ourselves to the higher state of consciousness and integrating it into our everyday lives. In most cases this transformation is gradual, but when the integration is achieved a complete transformation of our existence here on earth takes place, affecting every aspect of our psychological and individual makeup.

People who have accomplished such integration are often referred to as “enlightened”. An enlightened or illuminated mindset is nothing contrived and it should be regarded as our natural human state not anything that is the preserve of a spiritual elite. All it means is that we are rooted in reality, liberated from the illusions of our lower mind and ego identifications and that our awareness stretches far beyond the physical consensus reality. Ideally this is a mindset which should form the bases of our humanity condition not the exception. After all, society’s most cherished values spring from this, such as liberty, tolerance, compassion, unconditional love, truth, honesty, authenticity, empathy, integrity, respect and so on.

Once this our natural condition has been restored we can clearly see how anything else may appear like an aberration, a mental or emotional abnormality which is the cause of untold suffering and conflict. Our new state of consciousness, will provide us with unlimited freedom, the expansion of our full human potential and a much more fulfilling life in every respect. Even prison walls will not dent our inner liberation felt. It will return us to our authentic selves and open up new horizons in a way we simply could never have dreamt of before. This change in the quality to our lives is revolutionary. It is like stepping out of a paddle boat into a yacht and navigating the seas using the wind rather then depleting our strength by rowing.

The awakened life

There is a great difference between awakening and leading an awakened life. People who had an awakening experience or STE often feel like exiles after having experienced that their true home lies elsewhere. But once our awakened lives have become the status quo we are no longer interested in leaving this world in favour of some spiritual heaven, because this world will have become our true home, perhaps for the first time. Our focus of attention is shifted. We may even lose interest in a spiritual life or spiritual pursuits, simply because “spirit” or consciousness reveals itself to be in everything we place our attention on. Nothing is exempt. Wherever our attention is directed to we will be aware of a new Presence which will be with us every hour of the day. This Presence, some call it the Silent Watcher, others “God” or simply Stillness, will reveal to us the inner workings of the circumstances surrounding us. Best of all we begin to think and act like the “Silent Watcher”, and whenever we realise that we are no different to this “Presence”, we are welcomed with ecstasy and joy and this will happen on a daily basis. Every morning we open our eyes we feel like sending out our gratitude for the privilege that we are allowed to be alive on this earth. We will experience a constant, underlying stillness which accompanies us wherever we go and nothing else has

Quest for Enlightenment - Part 1

Awakenings and Spiritual Transformative Experiences (STE) and how their integration transforms our personality and affects our lives.

Key characteristic of an awakened consciousness.

  1. Attention is focused on the present moment.

  2. Enhanced sense of reality and increased discriminatory powers.

  3. Persistent feeling of being “Home”, regardless of where we are.

  4. Enhanced aesthetic appreciation

  5. Spontaneous peak experiences in
    everyday life

  6. Enhanced empathy with fellow men

  7. Nonjudgemental attitude.

  8. Increased creativity and joy in engagements which benefit others.

  9. Awareness of a benevolent presence, which may be referred to as “God”, “Higher Self”, “Guide”, “Guardian Angel” or simply the presence of a universal consciousness.

  10. No fear of death.

  11. Detachment from conflicts and enhanced modes of dealing with them.

  12. Dreams are more coherent and often lucid

  13. Lack of attachment

  14.   A feeling of Sovereignty over ones life and destiny

  15. Indifference towards roles in society, such as status, acclaim, fame, position, wealth etc

  16. Authentic, accessible, benevolent, empathic, sense of humour, tolerant, perceptive, wise

  17. Purposeful and rewarding relationships without attachments or dependency

  18. Perception that every moment is new. Reality is not seen as repetition even though apparent repetitive events occur.

  19. Disinterest in psychic abilities although they may arise

  20. Disinterest in following a “spiritual” path

  21. Regarding dream life as important as  waking life and visa versa.

  22. Modest and content with the ordinary

  23. Impartial, detached, peaceful, objective

  24. Ability to adapt and experience any viewpoint from the viewers perspective.

  25. Not considering themselves as enlightened

any power over us or our lives. Such a statement may sound preposterous when we find ourselves in the middle of a battlefield or when tragedy is unfolding around us. And what about a life in constant physical pain and illness one may ask? The nineteenth century sage, Ramakrishna, who died of cancer in constant pain said simply this: “Oh my mind, remain in bliss; let the body and its pain look after each other.”

Our awakened consciousness may still experience the pain, but without the suffering. We no longer seek to escape from reality, but instead we begin to appreciate its deeper meaning. Instead of trying to escape from reality in futile distractions we welcome it with an open heart in eager anticipation of what reality will offer and teach us next.

Detachment from erroneous beliefs
and wishful thinking

Most STEers will have experienced that our egos and our memories no longer form the basis of our identity. Many will have realised how insane their lives may have been before and have now arrived at a much greater understanding of who they truly are.

When awakening has become the status quo for our everyday lives our minds no longer feel inclined to rely on mental constructs or different fashions of belief, the old and the new religions such as “Cosmos Ordering”, “Manifesting”, “Positive Thinking”, “Ascension”, “2012”. Adhering to theories or beliefs only show our neediness, our craving for salvation and to bolster thin hopes that the world will be OK one day. An awakened mind will already perceive itself as saved, our world is already OK, so what would be the need for a theology, a theory or a dogma of how to get there?  For awakened individuals these are no more than Red Herrings and a distraction of our attention from the awareness of the greater reality we are experiencing right now. Although people may derive inspiration, moral codes and even wisdom and from their religious texts, it is a second hand experience. When we are awakened we experience inspiration and wisdom first hand and our moral code is intuitive and pure because we can do nothing else but act with integrity.

And this is only one aspect. The rewards of living directly at the source, in the presence of stillness, our days will be highlighted by peak experiences, intense moments of joy, which often come uninvited and without the need for prayer. We are blessed simply because we no longer seek and as a consequence we continuously find. We begin to notice that only a thin layer covers an underlying current of ecstasy and it doesn’t take much to bring it to the surface. It can be triggered by as little as the sun drawing shadows on a wall or the sight of a father cradling his child. And the reason we have these experiences is that we know beyond doubt, every moment of the day, that what we see is the real thing, the actual truth, the reality beneath the surface and any prayer, belief and faith, no matter how sincere and how deep, are no substitute. We will have become aware that we have instant access to the “Original”, to “God”, to our silent companion and the consciousness which makes up the ground we walk on and the air we breath.

Instead of faith we have irrefutable evidence, which is our constant source of joy. The simplicity of the present moment, the reality of the now, offers far greater benefits and satisfactory answers than our old complex mental constructs which had to be topped up and reinforced with faith, belief and indoctrination to stay alive within our minds. Awareness of the present makes no such demands and only requires us to open our eyes.

The Loss of Ego Identification

There are many ways to loosen the grip of our egos. One very effective way is by nurturing a feeling of unconditional love or surrendering to the stillness of the moment. The mind can never harbour two feelings or two thoughts simultaneously so we are free to make a decision. By focusing attention on unconditional love, our preoccupation with our inner drama will quite simply dissolve because it no longer receives the life blood of our attention. With meditation and practice we will cease to be the involuntary participants of our internal dialogue, the idle chatter of our thoughts and their obsession to pay homage to our past and irrational concerns for the future.

Attention focused on unconditional love is one way to free us to embrace the present and harvest its rich fruits which can be found in the stillness of the moment. Though there are many other ways and it is up to the individual to pick out the most suitable path which suits the individual’s temperament. To suggest a practice is beyond the scope of this website. The reason I picked on unconditional love is that to me it best expresses what it feels like to live in an awakened state. Others may choose “surrender” or “appreciation”, the key point is our attitude which draws attention away from thought

Common misconceptions about enlightenment

False: The Enlightened live longer.
True: Enlightened people have average life spans

False: The Enlightened are healthier.
True: Enlightened people can suffer health problems

False: Enlightened people walk around in constant bliss
True: They lead ordinary lives though more peaceful and rewarding with clarity of consciousness and mind

False: The Enlightened don’t suffer pain
True: Enlightened people tend to be more sensitive and experience pain but without the associated “suffering”, they are sensitive to the suffering of their fellow man, but they also enjoy life more.

False: They enjoy unlimited freedom
True: Enlightened people tend to take more responsibility within society and often curtail their freedom, though they enjoy spiritual freedom and freedom from beliefs and preconceived ideas

False: The Enlightened have “arrived”
True: Enlightened people still evolve, unfold and consider themselves to be learners.

False: The Enlightened are all knowing
True: Enlightened people focus better and can gain knowledge and deep insights wherever they place their attention

False: The Enlightened are perfect in every respect
True: Enlightened people still display idiosyncrasies

False: The Enlightened are always loving, nice and kind to other people.
True: Enlightened people can be hard, stern and able to speak their minds without being emotionally attached to their argument. They call a spade a spade and “don’t tolerate fools gladly”.

False: The Enlightened don’t have sex
True: Enlightened people have closer bonds during sex

False: The Enlightened stand out from the crowd
True: Enlightened people try to avoid the limelight, and the most skilful ones will never be detected by the public as such, but some may have a high public profile.

Common characteristics of  Spiritual Transformational Experiences

STEs are often a once-in-a-lifetime experience and they can change the course of our lives forever. They are experienced across the cultural divide by people from all walks of life and are independent of religious backgrounds. The higher consciousness does not discriminate between believers and non-believers. This demonstrates that it springs directly from the very source of our consciousness, putting it beyond the reach of our minds. Interestingly enough, when reading STE reports, either from Near Death experiencers or Peak Experiencers, they often share important common characteristics. According to Dr. P.M.H. Atwater's NDE Research conducted over 43 years and involving nearly 7,000 subjects she discovered the following common factors:

  1. Bullet Overwhelming Love

  2. Bullet Mental Telepathy

  3. Bullet Life Review

  4. Bullet Experience of God

  5. BulletPowerful Ecstasy

  6. Bullet Unlimited Knowledge

  7. Bullet Experiencing Different Dimensions

  8. Bullet Seeing the Future

  9. Bullet Meeting their Religious Avatar (Jesus, Buddha etc.)

  10. Bullet Homecoming

  11. Bullet Reviving Forgotten Knowledge

(Source:  Dr. P.M.H. Atwater's NDE Research)

Technique for integrating STE via anchoring and the awakening of the Presence

It is possible to integrate our experience into our life so it becomes a daily experience rather than a distant memory. To do this we need to gradually change our neural wiring by activating our right brain hemisphere. It’s via the right brain hemisphere that our “ Silent Companion”, described in the next part, emerges. Meditation facilitates this. A special technique for STEers is described below.

  1. 1. Chose a time of day when your mind is at its most alert. Early morning perhaps, after a good rest is ideal.

  2. 2. Find a comfortable position on a chair or whatever suits you best in a quiet place.

  3. 3. Relax your whole body, use a binaural sound track if necessary.

  4. 4. Once you are relaxed watch your breath rising up your spine from its base to the top of your head.

  5. 5. When breathing out recall and re-experience your STE, at the same time experience the intense love and surrender completely to your visualisation. With practice you should be able to re-experience your STE.

  6. 6. Repeat the process for 15 minutes or so.

  7. 7. At the end rest in the feeling and open your eyes.

  8. 8. Connect the feeling to everything you see. Feel the “presence” of the light in everything you see.

  9. 9. When you wake up in the morning, right after opening your eyes, lie still and connect the Presence to what your eyes see.

  10. 10. Find an anchor. For example, whenever you walk through a door, recall the feeling achieved during your exercise remembering your STE. Using doors as anchors experience each door as an opening into a higher dimension. Feel the Presence.

Like all content on this website these articles are primarily based on observation and not taken from any outside sources except where indicated. It does not claim to give a full comprehensive account on the subject.

and our social identifications and directs it towards the Present. Eventually and with practice the impulse to focus on the Present will no longer be issued by our ego or our thought processes, but will be a constant joyful invitation from a higher source, which we experience as a form of blessing.

An awakened state is living a life of “benediction”, a continuous experience of being “blessed” with clarity and our resulting gratitude which expresses itself as an outpouring of love. We feel that this is how live should be lived, free of the madness of our thoughts and emotional entanglements. An awakened state is a lucid kind of living in which we feel that we have arrived home from a long exile. For the first time we begin to appreciate what “Home” really means. Gone are the alienations because wherever we are or turn our attention to we are on home ground, simply because consciousness shines through everything we encounter. Not only does the world appear in a completely different light, but is infused by light, the light of clarity which strips all interpretation away. Much of the confusion and illusions of our old ways now appear laughable and childish. Reality emerges as if for the first time, not once but continuously, moment by moment, forever new. At this point it becomes plain and obvious that we are no longer able to pass judgement on anything or anybody we encounter.

It is easy to understand how our quality of life will be revolutionised. This is not a closed path, but an ever evolving one, forever evading the grasp of our minds and forever being new and fresh, opening new possibilities at every turn. The continuous renewal will explain the many perceptual changes taking place as a result, which will be explored next.