Awakening Defined

Phases of Awakening to Enlightenment & 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 structures 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 ungrounded-ness lead many to think they are Present when they are not. Hence ingredient #3 (and pillar No3) is Evidence once volitional attention is used to check it.


Most are just unaware through poor teaching methodologies or 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 correct 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 won't work. In this top video, I briefly discuss the phases of Enlightenment and beyond. Understand your journey, so you know what is required. Getting past the initial grunt of phase 1 Got it Lost it is the most challenging part of the path to Enlightenment. Most seekers fail at this to get past this first phase. The 9 pillar framework (or a coaching session) will assist you to understand what is required to help you into phase 2 non-Abiding Awakening. At each phase of Awakening Presence is deeper, more consistent and effortless. Each phase has its new tests and aspects you'll not have experienced before.

The 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. Because we are habit based creatures to review and distill these core structural aspects helps 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 here in this video and website.


Each of these phases along the Enlightenment continuum are discussed more precisely on 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 as this ie: Correct Presence Practice. 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.

In this website 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 have these four definable phases as the structure always applies (pillar No7 ). Structure typically impacts content as a universal law.

Firstly you need to Awaken yourself. You and God is cycle one. Then the second cycle may occur where it 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 website and teaching is pillar No3 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 the mind can project and create. 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 on behavioural outcomes, only habit is. You do not believe you breathe, do you? No, you actually breathe and can viscerally observe it. Note that distinction, it's one of the many endless potholes that slows progress for the majority of aspirants.

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 had one.
Describing the complex flavour and its tropical perfume scent 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. People think to themselves and say to others “I had this amazing experience”. Yet you cannot re-enter that experience it now instantly by choice. Remembering what it felt like does not count, that mind and imagination. This tricky imagination versus sensory reality is covered in many videos within the Laws of Grace course. This phase is the most common. The vast majority of spiritual aspirants (and people who think they are fully Awake) 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 many hundreds of these Awakenings with some lasting up to five months in duration. I also experienced many that lasted seconds but very powerful openings. The length of an Awakening is no indicator of its impact. It is the aftereffect and lasting habitual change (ie: No3 habitual evidence) 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.

For those that love psychology and the works of Carl Gustav Jung, this phase is where you may start the beginning of the Jungian Individuation process. Individuation will take a few years to complete and it has some correlation to Awakening as the Self, as described by Carl 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 (ego) from the Self (Presence) 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 it's hard where it requires determined effort

Awakening, inner Peace or Presence levels and practice are quite stable in life, even during the tough days. Conscious practice and effort are 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 phase 1 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. The mathematics of the Laws of Grace apply. The iteration of the good habit causes the right outcomes. The bad habits and laziness mean the old habits of being unconscious and not-present remain. Is this not common sense logic (thus pillar No9)?

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 non-Abiding 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 and now more reliable 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

Congratulations. Presence feels like it never really leaves you. Enjoy the afterglow 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 to old bad habits after this significant step. Pillar No4 Law Zero of self honesty and self responsibility plays a cornerstone role in not falling 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, greater depth and consistency. My natural drive and lessons learned from losing huge Awakening opportunities meant I was not going to stop what was working.

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 rare phase). Chances are you'll be alone in your newly Enlightened state of living. It is so easy for the collective drag of unconsciousness to have you slip into a lesser state of consciousness.

So Presence is now Abiding both consciously and unconsciously within you. This is defined as basic level 1 Enlightenment in this teaching. The unconscious mind has reset its default behaviour to that of step 3 in Correct Presence Practice. 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. The unconscious mind and its prime directives lay out the operational laws and boundaries of how the ego and human mechanism behaves. This is why so few awaken under those approaches, it's just hit and miss. Most spiritual teachings don't define the ego and how to work with it correctly. 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. Though in my observations these people tend to be highly driven and disciplined in their approach.

Some people do just collapse into Abidance. As this is unconscious and the correct Presence habit is not installed these people will tend to struggle with their new reality. Furthermore, bad habits and pillar No8 blind spots remain and these potholes will impact Presence consistency. It will slow if not halt progress to phase 4. Bad habits may actually undo the Abidance, and the Awakening will be lost. The mind (ego) regains its power and then just owns it as real when it isn't. This is a type of Jungian Mana personality and it is very difficult to move past because these people will exhibit high levels of spiritual arrogance.

Spiritual arrogance is a sign of being lost to egoic thinking and ignoring pillar No3 Rules of Evidence. Then it's compounded by a lack of pillar No4 Law Zero. There isn't much self honesty or responsibility to use their volitional attention. The ego has them and the slippery slope back to phase 1 Got it Lost it.
A favourite mantra of mine is "Am I lying to myself?" That makes me dig deep and validate by checking my 4 steps of Correct Presence Practice. People like the spiritual myth you cannot go backward. Any adult can go backward. We are all the same DNA habit machines and that structural (No7) aspect never changes. Presence is just a habit that can be replaced with a bad one.

Therefore 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 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 plus years if lazy. It is mathematical per your application of your volitional attention. Then you'll demonstrate the evidence in life. As you remain connected in step 3 Presence and increasingly step 4 Nothingness (the Divine) in more and more of life's varied experiences you'll start to indicate aspects of phase 4 Matured Abidance after years of consistency.

I didn’t truly see myself in this phase until I had four years of solid evidence and deepening. By then it was truly stable 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 as you move into phase 4 Matured Abidance.

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 fill 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 heal your stuff, as stuff happens in your Abiding Presence.

Most (99%) of the 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. The power of the ego and mind to delude is significant. Hence pillar No3 evidence and No4 of Law Zero of self honesty and self responsibility are so important.

There is always more Presence and Step 4 Nothingness to integrate into 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 rare level of Awakening.

In my first 4 years in Abidance I listened to Adyashanti MP3s daily for at least an hour. His voice was the only one who spoke about my experience. People who are not at least phase 3 Abiding just won't get you at all. It's impossible for them to really understand your experience of consciousness. Adya's talks assisted me and I kept up my Correct Presence Practice. The collective pull of urban consciousness, corporate business culture and spiritual groups where everyone was in phase 1 was significant. Humans are community based animals, to be with the flock and obey norm behaviours. The unspoken culture is norm with me, be like me, be lost. Hence the Mastery Club, as pillar No6 is community and your external support structures.

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 driven can arrive at this place in themselves quite quickly as it's about changing the habit. Presence is before your soul, thus you can. It need not take many lifetimes, it just takes the correct habit until it is default both consciously and unconsciously.

I openly say within five years for this reason especially if the framework and the Laws of Grace are used. Pillar No9 of common sense means this applies across many contexts. It takes about five years to be certified under a trade like plumbing or carpentry (etc) as it takes that long to learn and develop the skills to be competent. Abidance is merely the skill of default correct Presence throughout your day.

Abiding Presence is your birthright. This Laws of Grace and 9 pillar framework can make this very achievable. Just follow the math of application and rules of how you operate structurally both consciously and unconsciously. 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, phase 3 Abiding Presence to settle into phase 4. This depends on many factors, most of which are related to the lack of pillar No1 Correct Presence Practice. That's the nice way of saying are you being lazy thinking you've got it? Only through actually applying your volitional attention can you validate it. Just because it's now unconsciously default (pillar No5) does not mean it is actual in this moment unless to use vigilance and volition and check. Yes, it's now lightning fast and easy but laziness is very tempting. To illustrate the No9 common sense of it; you can tie your shoelace very fast now, eh? You don't even need to look at the laces to do it once you have your hands on them. It's a quick flick and it's done. But if you don't tie them then it's a safety hazard.

The other main issues to stop progression into phase 4 Matured Abidance be lack of pillar No4 Law Zero (self honesty and self responsibility) and your No8 blind spots. A coach who lives the next phase of Awakening up from you is a solution to help you navigate both of these. Things outside your control may be neurological problems or deep psychological conditions. As long as you can use volitional attention it is merely your motivation and then application.

In the post Abiding Presence entry one will have a lovely period where it's all so new and easy. Many just resort to claiming and get lazy. It's dangerously easy to mind F*** it and slip back into the old non-presence habits learned since your conception in the womb. In the old Enlightenment traditions the newbie Enlightened student was kept by the Master's 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/coach at their side.

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 as it needs to filter through all your human habits and past conditioning. It's so oxymoronic and dichotomous over the old unawake experience of living before Abidance. This is why the people in phase 1 or 2 cannot understand what it is like for those in phase 3 Abidance and up. When it becomes Abiding the shift is significant. Hence most teachers tend to say Awakening is impossible to understand until you live it.

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.

A core learning and gift for me was I tested all this extensively as I spent a year recording videos for the Laws of Grace course. I wanted the extra validation that what I was creating was 100% accurate and bulletproof. So in my 13th year post  Abidance (that had deepened into phase 6 non-Abiding Transpersonal since 2015) I did excessive extra validation of the Correct Presence Practice. The outcome was astounding deepening and initiations. The 9 pillar framework was an outcome, a distillation of the structure of the Awakening process. The evidence has stacked up for me at least 😉
The videos demonstrate the evidence, especially with the videos containing the Masters of Chaos, the smart Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, the timid Long Billed Corellas and even more timid Little Corellas. The 9 pillar framework applies to them as well. The LearnWhispering 101 video course is the No3 proof. In that course the 9 pillar framework is discussed throughout the course. Videos make great concrete evidence.

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 fully mature living with embodiment in the tough situations. If anyone reading this is in the third cycle or beyond please contact me to say if this is true in the next cycle.

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 of 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 tend to violate others and claim 'I am needed for your Awakening'. I suggest you run away very fast from these overinflated egos. This is discussed more on 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 of a false and manipulative teacher.

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 magnetising 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.

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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 overestimate 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. This is why ingredient #1 What do you want is the start of an effective journey. This is explored more in the What do you want page.

If regular coaching is undertaken and if you follow through with practice and Inquiry most people could easily achieve phase 3 Abiding Presence within 5 years. The deeper patterning and blind spots in the way will become obvious relatively quickly. I did it in 5 years, and three of that I was doing Correct Presence Practice wrong. Practicing via my mind and higher esoteric structures was my main weakness, as that felt real to me.
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, as a lot of the grind and bind to pain-body and mind is dispatched in the non-Abiding phase. As I stated above I have seen enough to know soul age and other limitations don’t matter for cycle one. It is your application and listening to someone who knows the potholes you must traverse that makes it a smooth journey to a life with real evidence based Enlightenment.

Everyone is unique so let's 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 voicemail message if I don't answer.

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