Abiding Awakening Defined
Phase 3: Enlightenment Level 1 is default habitual Presence
This is why the 9 pillar framework is here and free in this website so you can evidence your progress and make it your concrete reality. As you watch the videos or undertake the courses come back to this one frequently and review it. It is important for you to understand what real Abidance of Awakening is. It takes significant practice to reset your neurology and unconscious mind. It is important to know that all that you need to do is enter Presence as best as you can. The ability to allow and not force is part of the learning curve.
To action the steps of Correct Presence Practice applies even when you have been in Abidance for over a decade and one has deepened into phase 5+ in the 2nd cycle of Enlightenment; the Transpersonal! This fact was tested as I spent a full year recording the Laws of Grace course and I implemented what I was saying in the videos.
I'd guess that most people would assume that after 12+ years of solid Enlightenment that a significant difference would not be noted. Yet my testing the Laws of Grace course content gave me some significant feedback and extra deepening. It was confirmed that pillar No7, the structure applies, regardless of the Awakening phase you are in. This is why volitional attention and Correct Presence Practice are such critical foundations. The other aspect of pillar No7 is there is always more, greater depth and nuances to be experienced as you journey home to God. It is then a matter of the question: What do you want, and what will you do about it?
All this is discussed in the Laws of Grace course. It's so simple even though the mind and ego try to drag you away. As I say in the Law Zero video, ask yourself frequently 'Am I lying to myself'? Then test the 4 steps of the Presence practice.
Abiding Presence: Phase 3 explained
The goal of these Laws of Grace for you!
This is the third main phase of the Awakening journey and your Presence practice. Presence never leaves. It may seem like there is no practice as the unconscious mind has now accepted Presence as a default habit. If you stick to the 4 Steps to Presence practice it will deepen and consolidate. Both unconscious habit plus volitional conscious practice is what is required, there is still a life time of bad habits to undo. It is now much easier. Stillness is there in all daily life situations regardless of how tough life makes things for you. It may seem lacking or a bit less substantial in certain situations.
You may enter this phase through some big awakening or through a metaphorical death-type experience. This death-type experience is where you surrender, even if the surrender occurs because you are forced to do so and have no choice in the matter. Alternatively, you may suddenly realize that it has been days and weeks and your deep sense of connected stillness has not left you and no big experience happened. It can be all of these. There is no fixed way.
Initially you may start to notice that the practices you used to enter Presence no longer seem to work. This is because as soon as you wanted to notice your Presence it was there in an instant. At some stage you will wonder; is this just an extended good cycle like you had in the non-Abiding phase 2? Yet something will seem different.
You may go through a protracted period where you doubt the grind of the Correct Presence Practice was worth all that effort. The old practices, or even the Correct Presence Practice, may seem to not deepen your connection. This is your system getting used to the new bandwidth of Abidance. This is critically important if you want to Mature into phase 4 or risk falling back to phase 2.
The experience of Abidance and that it's just here regardless of effort may hit your personality structure (probably in the first 1 to 4 months). This may cause panic or uneasiness as the thing you have been seeking and working towards for so long is now a fact. This will require a massive internal re-structure as prior to this all your effort and life goals may have revolved around this 'attainment'.
So what is next will be the big question. This can also be unsettling, even in the Stillness, as you are now like a rudderless boat in the still pond of existence.
This can be a time of shedding the old spiritual teachings you used in your search. You will now know through direct experience that most, if not all, teachings only point to what you now experience. You will also see in glaring obvious fashion the falseness found in aspects of the different teachings.
In the initial months or first year of this phase, at times the Stillness may seem a little weaker in trying circumstances. You will know that is OK because you don't lose the now unbreakable connection. It's just a matter of doing your Correct Presence Practice and letting the outcomes be as they are. No forcing. It bounces back very quickly.
Once it has dawned on you that the Stillness cannot be lost everything seems anew. If the description of this phase describes you, please be vigilant because you will now know that the Stillness is the truth of your being, not what your mind (or others) try to say. It can be easy in this phase to fall into the claimer I got it mentality.
Claiming you have it opens you to falling down pot holes of the ego. If you can make contact with someone who is also in this phase then all these unsettling issues can be assured. I suggest you contact me and undertake some coaching at intervals that suit as you will personally know few (at best) who can relate to what you are experiencing. The drag of societies unconscious ways may pull you back into the prior phases. I've never heard a teacher discuss this issue, but it is real. As humans we tend to fall into herd behaviour. Hence the coaching and Mastery club for a flock of Eagles to hang with. We all benefit from support and community, pillar No6.
You may even contemplate for months whether any spiritual practice was of any use at all. To assure you, the answer is yes, it did help. The pre-Abiding practice developed the discipline to now take your Presence out into the world and maintain it. It also accustomed you to life with Presence. If this Abiding entry was not enough of a shock, imagine how incredibly shocking it would have been if you had not pre-integrated! Some people don't cope and they do become unhinged without prior acclimatization through Presence practices. Technically Carl Jung covers this process with the creation of the Mana personality, the ego crumbles and dysfunction results. A stable mature ego ensures proper Abidance and a stable Enlightenment so you can function as a 'good person'.
Eckhart Tolle for example sat on a park bench, didn't work and ran out of money. It took him years to integrate and get his life back on track. I use society's definition of on track which is: being a functional contributing member of society. Eckhart jumped straight into the deep end with no prior practice or experience. I have heard that some academic studies indicate that up to 20% of mental hospital patients were admitted due to significant spiritual experiences. These people were unable to integrate their experiences with normal life thus become mentally dysfunctional.
As with the non-Abiding awareness phase 2, your feeling capacity in Abidance increases yet again. More internal structures and defense mechanisms fall away or are disassembled by your Inquiry practices. The practice in the previous phases prepared you to be stripped of the unconscious mechanisms that the normal unconscious populace have and need in order to function. So again you will feel more of everything. Yes, you feel more Divine yumminess and the extra nuances of emotions as you are more embodied. Your sensitivity is like a microscope, its a double edged blessing.
The difference this time, is that all of this is now concurrent with your stable Correct Presence Practice. So when the sensations become uncomfortable, your direction of attention goes into the holding of your Presence and nothing is denied. In this place the uncomfortable emotions or situation are being imbibed with your still Presence. Hence you no longer avoid life's nitty gritty.
This can take years to become accustomed to as being normal for you. Nobody else will understand that this is possible who have not moved into phase 3 Abidance. People seem resistant to this notion, with them preferring the tooth-fairy idea that Awakening means that emotions will never be experienced again while Abiding in Presence. Yet by definition Presence is all that is, and that includes emotions and all of life's occurrences, whether they are nice or not.
The great blessing of the pandemic was it presented this to all humanity. Those on the spiritual path got to see how they handled adverse and extended circumstances. There was no hiding behind false beliefs and nice sounding spiritual memes. It was tough for all, was the peace of Presence there? Pillar No3 would have given the evidence by your conduct and Presence levels.
Abiding Awakening will never be what one had expected it to be like. Even after years in the Abidance integration process you will know that you cannot predict what the next deepening will bring. Surprises are ongoing for years. As the years pass, you will notice is that it just becomes an ordinary state while still profound. While one piece of chocolate is rather nice, if you have 30 pieces a day for years it soon becomes ordinary as a way of life.
In this phase 3 Presence never leaves (it's unconsciously the default) and is contactable deeply in an instant. I use the metaphor of your Presence being like your right hand. It is always there and you use it without thinking or contemplating if your right hand is still attached to your arm. It requires no effort to use your right hand. You do not sit to meditate or practice certain techniques in order to move your hand. This is the key indicator of this phase, along with the application of vigilance. Vigilance is checking the 4 Steps to Correct Presence Practice. The more you evidence the faster the habit embeds unconsciously.
As a result, the search for spirituality dies. You know that you are what you were looking for. Presence will continue to deepen, and become ordinary in more and more areas and aspects of your life. There will be a movement towards being a normal human being, rather than the pursuit of what is perceived as spiritual.
Avoidance of the nitty gritty aspects of being a human being stops and you literally enter and be in the world. Normal things like paid employment, regardless of how dull, take on a new edge as you steep it in your Presence. Ego filled environments will not deter you and if it tests you, you grow in Presence through it. If a change of profession happens, it will do so when the time is right.
Adyashanti says in his book End of Your World that this phase takes a minimum of five to twenty years to integrate to phase 4 Matured Abidance. He says five years if you are a quick study and do not get caught in distraction. Volitional attention is still required, as the mind's trickery and society's pull for you to go back to being an unconscious sheeple can never be underestimated. You can always re-learn the bad habit of not being Present! Just stop your Correct Presence Practice and the lazy non-present habit can reclaim it's default place within you. Hence it's all mathematical.
Full maturity of Abidance, phase 4, can be accomplished in five years if you stick to validating your Correct Presence Practice. The vigilance aspect in Abidance is easy and not the hard slog it was in the earlier phases. Personality and unconscious aspects to be addressed will remain for most people in differing degrees. Thus Inquiry will continue as you integrate more of your psyche into your Presence.
In this phase you will eventually notice the deepening of no avoidance of the bad days and no driven preference of what the days bring. Presence will greet all of life as it happens and you will go through the tough days and good days in the same way, with Presence and peace. You may not enjoy the bad days, but peace will be your main undercurrent. You will not fight the bad days.
As part of this phase you may also experience drops in desire and wanting. This can be incremental or in large drops. While you may want an outcome, you will find you are not in the slightest bit disappointed if it does not occur. This is because your internal Presence, your Stillness, feeds you and you know that this is the only thing that is truly true.
This may team up with changes in your motivation. Your motivation may drop dramatically without warning. The personal motivation of the "me" dies. This can also be a shock, as things no longer seem important as your personal relationship to outcomes has weakened or gone. The old methods of goal setting and such, now seem inherently false and don't work.
It may take considerable time for the new impersonal form of motivation and drive to show up. It is important that you keep your life on track if this occurs until the new motivation stabilises. You may go in cycles of having drive and motivation to being unmotivated and enjoying your inner connection to everything. Be sure you keep your life on track during this process until the new impersonal form of motivation settles and stabilises. It is important to maintain your obligations, income, career and relationships etc. It can be too easy to vegetate out in Presence and the Divine and let time fly by as your human life crumbles.
Entering the world and integrating is a rich and rewarding process as you will experience how Presence keeps deepening in your life, while also becoming more 'normal' and ordinary. As Presence becomes ordinary, after a number of years, you may find yourself not being able to remember what it was like to be 'lost' and disconnected from Presence. This is a sign of phase 4 Matured Abidance, the next stage in this journey.