Awakening Defined

The phases of Awakening to Enlightenment and beyond

Enlightenment is simple. It is merely practicing Presence in a way it is grounded through all your neurology. Eckhart Tolle clearly explained it in his book The Power of Now. However the catch is to actually do the steps, especially Step 1 the body. This is important as it is away from your head and mind so you activate your neurology. This activates all your body and esoteric bodies if done right. The more non-physical the spiritual (esoteric) body the more spacious and less tangible it is. Thus the traps of mind and ungroundedness tend to have far too many thinking the are Present when they are not.

Most are just too lazy to activate Presence throughout their day. Hence the phases of Awakening defined here do require using your volitional attention to check the steps. That way you learn and ground the habit. The good habit is Correct Presence Practice, the bad habit is wrong Presence practice, or just not doing it. Good old being lazy is the worst habit, that simply wont work. In this top video I briefly discuss the phases to Enlightenment and beyond. Understand your journey, so you know what is required and that the initial grunt of phase 1 Got it Lost it can be mastered. Each step Presence is deeper and more consistent. Each phase has its tests and new aspects you'll not have experienced before.

This below 2019 video was made before the Laws of Grace course and the 9 pillar framework. Yet these structural aspects are clearly embedded throughout this video. As you listen and practice Presence see if you can hear the underlying structure of the 9 pillar framework. Come back to this video again as it is deep and structural. Your depth of understanding will grow as you study and deepen your habit of Presence. This is because we are habit based creatures to review and distill these core structural aspects help you move into the Awakened life with greater clarity, ease and speed.

As you watch this video practice at my prompts. Observe your capacity to be attentive and Present in your body. Your attention span and capacity to practice Presence as you watch this one hour video is evidence of your Awakening. The simplicity of Presence practice and its application will transform your life, as described in here in this video and website.

Each of these phases along the Enlightenment continuum are discussed more precisely in their own page in the above sub menu. The 9 pillar framework lays out the bulletproof way you can evaluate and evidence each phase.

Enlightenment is definable

by consistency of Correct Presence Practice

There are many ways that Awakening is defined. In this webpage it is defined as: The capacity to be fully Present in this moment and to be consciously aware of this. Simple.

This is a measurable outcome, if you are willing to be honest with yourself. This can simply be experienced as space, stillness, aliveness, emptiness, hugeness and so on. It is via your body so it is grounded. If you are Present as defined by Eckhart Tolle then that is the Awakened state as described in this website. Though most that use his method seem to skip step 1 the body. Eckhart does not emphasise its importance in the Presence process. My approach is much more precise so you can evidence it with zero confusion.

Here I discuss the two initial cycles of Awakening. The first cycle is individual "me" related. This individual first Enlightenment cycle has 4 phases. The second is Transpersonal "We" related which also has 4 phases. They both has these 4 definable steps as pillar No7 is the structure always applies.

Firstly you need to Awaken yourself. You and God is cycle one. Then the second cycle may occur that is you and God with others. It's imperative to settle in the first personal cycle before you are ready to be a bigger you that includes others and simultaneous levels of conscious awareness. These phases of Awakening are very similar to that discussed by Adyashanti in his book End of Your World. I extend this into the second Transpersonal cycle that Adyashanti does not discuss.

Below is a summary of the phases then each has its own page with more details and video. I only discuss the phases that I have lived through, no projection or imagination as this is pillar No3 all based under the rules of evidence.

This material is based on how easily the person is able to be in the state of Correct Presence Practice throughout the day regardless of what is happening. I use the three words Correct Presence Practice intentionally because the overwhelming evidence is most seekers do not enter Presence correctly. My words are precise for this reason. The video course by the same name is only about how to practice Presence correctly and that is why it is pillar No1 in this framework. It is not based on unmeasurable things like levels of bliss, what a person claims with their words, their belief systems nor the attainment of spiritual abilities.

Each of the Awakening phases discussed in this teaching can easily be misinterpreted and the boundaries between them may overlap. Hence pillar No3 of Rules of Evidence and No4 Law Zero which is self honesty and responsibility test each phase for consistency for months to years. This then demonstrates the phase of Awakening has become a stable way of life. Instances that don't last are not a phase, but classified as an Awakening instance. Hence phase 1 is Got it Lost it.

Please note that the information below will be confusing as to live these is based out of the cognitive mind. Hence habit and consistent evidence is the basis of evaluation. The mind claims very easily as it is very capable of imagining things as real. Beliefs are mind thus irrelevant in this framework as beliefs are never based in behavioral outcomes, only habit is. You do not believe you breathe, do you? No, you actually breathe and can viscerally observe it. Note that distinction, its one of the many endless pot holes the majority of aspirants fall down.

The difference between thinking and evidence based actions is as clear cut as having a piece of tropical fruit.

You can only know what a babaco tastes and smells like if you have actually had one.
Describing the complex flavour and its tropical perfume smell is close to impossible.

Describing the babaco's physical shape and texture is hard enough! The Awakening phases are just as difficult to describe. One has to live them as a stable habit to tell the differences at all levels from the Soul / spirit down to the cells in the soles of your feet.

Summary of the Awakening phases

Phase Zero: No Awakening type experiences

The search may not yet be started

One may not have had any big experience and not know what Presence is. There may be no inner peace, but a desire for it. Desire is the typical human state, as one naturally wants to feel good all the time. The spiritual search may start here to make life more enjoyable by avoiding the pain. The search has started. We all start somewhere and this is it. People that don't seek to understand themselves don't even get to phase 1.

Phase 1: Got it Lost it

One or hundreds of Awakenings happen and "I want that back"

Experiences of stillness, presence, God, Oneness and Awakening occur. Awakenings do occur here, even one’s that last for months, but eventually they are lost and people think to themselves and say to others “I once had this amazing experience”. Yet you cannot experience it now instantly by choice (remembering what it felt like does not count). This phase is common. The vast majority of spiritual aspirants (and people who think they are fully Awakened) fit in this category. Most people will have had at least one Awakening experience, often one that is very profound and powerful. Hence the 'I want that back!' and why it's a clear sign of this phase.

It is possible to have many Awakening experiences in this phase. I had hundreds, some up to 4 months in duration. I also experienced many but very powerful openings that lasted seconds. Length of an Awakening is no indicator, it is the after effect and change created that counts. How much easier is it for you to easily enter Presence in this moment now in your day is the measure. The hundreds of the shorter more powerful awakenings gave me the base to understand and be OK with the Transpersonal Awakening cycle (phase 5 and up) that started to happen 20 years later. Wanting to experience more of this unity, bliss and oneness are key indicators of this phase.

For those that love psychology and the works of Carl Gustav Jung this phase is where you will enter the beginning of the individuation process. Individuation will take a few years to complete and it has some correlation to awakening as the Self, as described by Jung. The full Individuated Self as described by Jung is someone who is in phase 3 Abidance and beyond, if Present. Falling from Grace to the self from the Self is as easy as not being at least Step 3 in Correct Presence Practice.

Phase 2: non-Abiding Presence / Awakening

It's kinda easy then its hard: it requires effort & application

Awakening, inner Peace or Presence levels and practice are quite stable in life, even during the tough days. Conscious practice and effort is required for the connection. Many more Awakening experiences can happen. Each time you deepen the connection at the 4 steps of Presence practice can become easier and faster. There may be an increase in tangibility because your neurology is starting to open.

You can often sense “I never quite lose this connection”, yet you do have to consciously choose and practice. This phase is still quite uncommon, many like to think they are here, but are usually in Got it Lost it. Cycles of solid peace and bliss may last for six months plus before a crash occurs and connection is difficult and requires determined (but allowing) conscious effort. This phase will become more common for those that really want Enlightenment.

Regardless of how evolved your soul is, or how many Awakenings you have had, it does require actual application in your life to be genuine. There are levels of attainment within this phase where you keep your connection easily, but still lose it in others. You will mostly master all emotions in this phase and stay Present and connected. This even includes being in full rage, anger, anxiety, sadness and fear! Although some days you will not and will fall into the emotion and it will require a period of conscious practice to regain your peaceful sense of Presence.

In Jungian psychology this is where you will complete what Jung defines as the Individuation process. Your ego will learn how to merge and cooperate with the Self (with the capital S) in this phase. You learn how to consciously be the Jungian Self in unity while you are also a separate psychological entity. The dance with the Jungian archetypes and how that relates to you at a personal level will be significant. If you later enter the Transpersonal phase 5+ this dance will re-ignite at a more profound level.

You will heal a significant amount of your personal unconscious baggage / karma. Mastering the skills of Inquiry to heal your baggage faster happens here because your ability to be Correctly Present is growing. You are developing your master skills of Presence and dealing with life.

Phase 3: Abiding Presence / Awakening

Correct Presence is tangibly instant and a priori: Enlightenment Level 1

Presence is now Abiding both consciously and unconsciously within you. This is defined as Level 1 Enlightenment in this teaching. The unconscious mind has reset its default behaviour to that of Step 3 Presence. This is because your unconscious follows the Prime Directives of the unconscious mind. Thus it resets to that path of least resistance. Hence pillar No5 in this framework is a critical aspect many spiritual teachings completely miss. This is why so few awaken under those approaches, its just hit and miss. It's a situation where the driven student may just fluke it as they do flip their unconscious mind's default habit to Correct Presence.

Congratulations. Presence feels like it never really leaves you. Enjoy the after glow of this massive initiation and Awakening. Bliss and all those yummy spiritual phenomena may be quite strong for many months. Techniques and your Correct Presence Practice may feel as if it no longer works. It's just here. The difference between your now Abiding conscious and unconscious state may be indistinguishable from Correct Presence Practice outcomes. This is a critical danger spot for the newly Enlightened. Many stagnate or revert back to old bad habits after this significant step. Pillar No4 Law Zero of self honesty and self responsibility plays a cornerstone role to not fall back into the old ways of unconsciousness. Due to my personal path of losing huge Awakenings I took no chances. Laziness of non-dual concepts and making it a mind-F*** were not options for me. I wanted evidence and greater depth and consistency.

The caveat is you keep checking the steps in the Correct Presence Practice. This will build the evidence it isn't just a good cycle or a mindful delusion. The inner Presence connection is always there in degrees of tangibility and durability.

It takes time to settle in this phase. Typically five years minimum and up to twenty years if lazy. It is mathematical per your application of your volitional attention. Then you'll demonstrate the evidence in life of phase 4 Matured Abidance.

Entry into this phase 3 Abidance is truly a shock to your system. A good mentor or guide is very beneficial here (even in this phase). Chances are you'll be alone in your newly Enlightened state of living. It is so easy for the collective drag of unconsciousness have you slip into a lesser state of consciousness.

I didn’t truly see myself in this phase until I had four years of solid evidence and deepening. By then it was truly settled and had deepened significantly. I know these things can be lost as I experienced that in phase 1 Got it Lost it. You will continue to deepen in this phase, it never really ends as it just goes deeper and more durable.

Life is good in this phase and you lose preference for nice days over difficult and painful days. This is evidence that it is real. Presence and Stillness fills you regardless of how horrid life is. Not liking the horrid stuff is natural, but Presence is there and that is all that matters as that is the home of your consciousness. You actually become more human in this phase and less spiritually focused as you cannot lose your inner freedom and connection to all. You will still look at yourself and “heal your stuff”, as stuff happens in your Abiding Presence.

Most (99%) people I have met in the past eighteen years that imply or say they are Enlightened or Awake are not under this precise definition. They are all typically in phase 1 Got it Lost it.

This phase will become more common and is actually attainable by those dedicated and are focused correctly. I also see that being an advanced soul, or not, is irrelevant here. This is all about Presence, not the soul’s past progress on the path. Anyone who is truly and deeply driven can arrive at this place in themselves. Presence is before your soul, thus you can. It need not take many lifetimes, now is enough!

Abiding Presence is your birthright. This Laws of Grace and 9 pillar framework can make this very achievable of you follow the math of application and rules of how you tick structurally. No vague truisms, theory and generalised memes are needed, it is a 100% application of your volitional attention. Your attention is yours isn't it? Or are your old non-Presence habits ruling you?

Phase 4: Matured (deeply settled) Abiding Awakening

Where brutal life events are held with full visceral grounded Presence

It takes five to twenty years for Level 1 Enlightenment the Abiding Presence to settle. This depends on many factors, most of which are related to the lack of pillar No1 Correct Presence Practice. In the post Abiding Presence entry one will have a lovely period where its all so new and easy. Many just resort to claiming and get lazy. Its is dangerously easy to mind F*** it and slip back in to the old habit learned since your conception. In the old Enlightenment traditions the newbie Enlightened student was kept by the Masters side for around a decade for this very reason. Westerners forget this critical aspect and just become instant green teachers with no Maturity of Abidance, and no solid mentor at their side.

Yet there is always more Presence and Step 4 Nothingness to integrate in every area of life. This is where pillar No7 is the kicker as there will be a new range of tests to master. Not a lot is written about the post Enlightenment tests. Many struggle with the dying of personal will, motivation changes and the loneliness of having no community that lives in this extremely rare level of Awakening.

You are still a human and life continues. As such things like pandemics, society and relationships will present new tests. The truly horrible aspects of human life will eventually occur to test your Enlightenment and your personality-ego. Can you hold extreme 9/10 or 10/10 pain for a week to 8 months with full Presence and access to the Divine (Step 4)? If not then there is more pillar No1 Correct Presence Practice to master. Can you have a horrible accident or break bones and hold Presence and not go into physical shock? Did you go through this pandemic with its lockdowns and hardships with Presence and the Divine being concurrent with these human situations?

Presence (Step 3) and the Divine (Step 4 Nothingness) can be held concurrently while you experience these horrible in-life situations. Yes, they will still feel horrible and emotional, but your Abiding Enlightenment is there with its peace and even joy and happiness at the same time. It is not a this or that. It is a this AND Deep Abidance at the same time. This is why Mature Abidance takes years, its so oxymoronic and dichotomous over the old unAwake experience of living.

One becomes accustomed to holding this extreme range of feelings and situations in Awakened Presence. This is the basis of Bandwidth, which is another way of measuring one's phase of Awakening. This is why Law Zero and its self honesty is so critical as it is all 100% measurable if one is willing and has developed the sensory and inner acuity through self honesty.

Phases 5 to 8: Transpersonal Enlightenment

Cycle Two of Enlightenment is a rinse & repeat of Phases 1 to 4 with more!

Pillar No7 is there is always more and the structure overrules any content. The structure of Awakening is stable regardless of the phase or bigger cycle. Each person, thus Soul, has to go through the learning and Mastery of Divine law. At each stage it is about learning, walking the talk and passing the tests. Thus the learning cycle applies. Each cycle of Enlightenment has the same 4 phases from the initial shock of the first experience to full mature living with embodiment.

The second cycle of Transpersonal Enlightenment is where your personal boundaries are stretched to include not just you and 'God' but other entities. It's a mathematical obviousness as each of us is a tiny spark off divinity that is divided and divided. This is the reversal back to the Big One before the Big Bang before any division.

To experience deeply transcendental states of consciousness and merge with a bigger 'you' is a real test of the individual ego. Carl Jung had it right: The ego, the self with the little 's', does not die it integrates with the 'Self'. Self with the capital 'S' is your higher esoteric bodies and consciousness. If one has not developed a stable and strong ego / self then if the Jungian Individuation process takes place then a Mana personality may result. A weak ego / self results in dysfunction and one cannot function in society. Many end up in mental institutions if a weak Mana personality results. I have heard Adyashanti reference studies on this that up to 10% of individuals in mental institutions are people who opened the door to big spiritual experiences and they didn't cope. I have heard this also from others who have been in these institutions.

A strong ego / self is one that is inflated by the stronger energies of the Self. These types tend to turn into teachers who have a tendency to violate others and claim 'I am needed for your Awakening". I suggest you run very fast away from these over inflated egos. This is discussed more in the cult and brainwashing page. There are indicators that show how this operates. A real teacher does not #MeToo their students. Manipulation and boundary violation is a clear indicator to keep your eyes open for.

These individuals may hold significant Awakened siddhi of spiritual energies that feel really amazing. This may cause an energetic attraction for a student who wants more. It can be magnitising and very addictive. Then desire overrides common sense (pillar No9). The student is then hooked and boundary violations can happen very easily. This is why cult attendees tend to be smarter than average. Their clever mind overrides common sense and intuition that something is not right here. These people give their free will away.

Here is the page where the Transpersonal cycle of phases 5+ is discussed. Please read and watch the videos in the prior 1 to 4 phase pages. The Transpersonal phases of Awakening are extremely difficult to understand. Having a good grasp of the prior 4 phases will assist. Most teachers avoid talking about this topic for good reason! Phase 3 Abiding Presence is difficult enough to explain.

Laws of Grace Framework courses

Learn Correct Presence Practice with the 16 hour Correct Presence Practice course or the very extensive 50 hour+ Laws of Grace course. Both include one or more personal coaching sessions to check you are forming the Correct Presence Practice and to answer your questions.

Two important questions

Answer these like your Enlightenment depended upon it

Firstly, where are you in the Awakening phases above? Keep pillar No3, the Rules of Evidence, in mind as to what is the evidence in your life when life's tough stuff happens! Using mind knowledge and imagination is not real Presence as defined in this website. Blind spots tend to make people over estimate where they are situated on their path. We all have blind spots, hence I have my coach every 3 weeks! It is human nature to self justify and reason with thought where one wants to be while ignoring blatant evidence. For fifteen years I thought I was Enlightened, only after significant evidence as mentioned above and in many videos was it 9 pillar evidence based as actual fact.

Secondly, where would you like to live from? Thus what time and resources do you put into this? This then feeds into the evidence, pillar No3.

Seriously! If regular mentoring is undertaken (at 3 weekly intervals) and if you follow through with practice and Inquiry most people could easily achieve phase 3 Abiding Presence within 5 years. I did it in 5 years, and three of that I was doing Correct Presence Practice wrong.
It all comes down to you and your drive to develop your spiritual fitness. That is what I am seeing with people I coach and the wider spiritual community.

To get yourself to phase 2 non-Abidance is a pretty sweet place to live. Then it is just a matter of time with the assistance of Grace for entry into the full Abiding phase, as clarified in the top video in this long page. As I stated above I have seen enough to know “soul age” and other limitations don’t really matter. It is your application and listening to someone who knows the pot holes you must traverse that makes it a smooth journey to a life with real Enlightenment.

Everyone is unique, so lets discover what it will take. For real feedback, that is extremely hard to get by one who lives this, book a coaching session. You are welcome to try my number at the bottom of the page and call me, please leave a clear voice-mail message if I don't answer.

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