The short answer is that spiritual awakening, to me, is having ‘self-knowing’, ‘self-realisation’, and ‘spontaneous knowing’ that comes from no one else, but instead emerges entirely from within yourself. Thus, when you have spiritual awakening, your spiritual seeking ceases. Your endless spiritual thirst and yearning disappear. It brings some peace to your mind, and makes you feel you’ve spiritually achieved something. It gives you a sense of being spiritually settled.
The self-knowing I’m talking about has nothing to do with knowledge and information that you’ve collected from books and talks. The knowing and answers must arise from inside you. You may find that you don’t even know why you know, you just know – sometimes it might just come out as a reaction. For myself, my knowing unfolds when I come across spiritual questions. Sometimes awakening deepens the knowing that you have accumulated through your spiritual and life experiences on your journey.
Spiritual awakening can happen through a couple of different stages. For myself, there were roughly 4 stages involving “self-knowing”, then “no-self”, followed by a new sense of self without ego and emotions, and lastly, heart opening which made me know a love beyond human love.
The first two were the most significant stages. The final two were subsequent stages that came about from my knowing and emotions being integrated together, bringing me back into human life after feeling like I had awakened from a long deep sleep. After the first and second stages, it felt very hard to relate to normal human life. People looked like they were all in a deep sleep. It felt like I was living with people in a dream whose eyes couldn’t see, and whose ears couldn’t hear properly – these last two stages showed me how I could integrate my knowing so I could relate to humanity with compassion and love.
Different individuals may have a different order of spiritual awakening stages. I don’t feel the order is important, but each stage brought me to a different level of knowing and understanding.
This is the awakening that I know, and that is the only thing I am interested in talking about when I do spiritual teaching. However, I’ve come across some people that have different concepts of ‘spiritual awakening’. Some people see awakening as the very initial stage of being interested in a spiritual journey. Some people see awakening as occurring when you start to have some kind of firsthand spiritual experiences, such as gaining psychic power or sensing energy moving. You can have any concept you like for awakening, but, when I talk about awakening, it will always be based on my own experiences and journey which I have described above.