Spiritual Awakening, Knowing the Signs

You open your eyes and started looking around. Everything seems to be in the same order as you left it a while ago but there seems to be something different. As you slowly stretched your arms and legs, you have this feeling of a relaxed or calm disposition. You feel refreshed, energized and, well, happy. It was a good meditation session. But sometimes you ask yourself what is a real spiritual awakening and if I have already attained such an experience. Some would argue that the experience of spiritual enlightenment is so profound and life changing that it is just impossible to miss. Still, when one achieves spiritual awakening, knowing the signs might help them realize that they are already in the place. Spiritual awakening is not a constant thing, I can come and go. Thus it could actually be better if you know if youíre getting closer in achieving it or not.

Now, if we base our definition to the Buddhist and Christian approaches, we have a spiritual awakening rooted on the enlightenment or awakening of the consciousness and knowing their true or their original self. It is a higher form of awareness where the consciousness is able to see past the more obvious physical self. It is being aware, sensing and feeling oneís very existence that accounts for a spiritual awakening.

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Perhaps among the more obvious signs of enlightenment is having a certain level of calmness.

People who have awakened spirits have proven to be more focused in attaining their goals. They seem to have reached a degree of calmness where experiences, memories, events, issues, problems, and even desires are no longer causing confusion and interruptions. It is like, every distraction have been set aside and stored away resulting to a having a clear path from the start to the finish line. And just like the song: ìI can see clearly now, the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.î

Among the signs of spiritual awakening is having self control.

When one reaches the level of spiritual enlightenment, he not only exercises free will but knows what bad things need to be cast aside and choose only the right path based on proper wisdom and good judgment. Those that offer temporary pleasures are no longer entertained since these acts or things often lead to suffering in the long run and only provide momentary and earthly happiness.

Humility and selfless love are other signs of an awakened spirit.

Part of having an awakened spirit is the eagerness to learn, understand, and work for the well being of not only oneís self but of others as well. Pride and arrogance are not really marks of a good person to begin with what more a person with an awakened spirit. The same thing goes with unconditional love. With an awakened spirit, people will begin living in harmony with both nature and other people. Compassion and love would be equal regardless of race, nationality, culture, and the like.

Genuine happiness, non-attachment, having the right intuition and feelings of non-attachment are other signs of spiritual awakening. If you find any of these signs present in you when and after you accomplished a session meditating, it would be prudent to ask consider that you have actually experienced this deep, philosophical enlightenment.

What Spiritual Awakening Can Do For You

What Spiritual Awakening Can Do For You

Aside from the self-transformation you get from having a spiritual awakening, there are a number of benefits that you can get out of the same experience. Soul awakening and self-development leads to a balanced life. Eventually, the same balanced life will lead you to a happy and fulfilled life. But donít get me wrong, the ending is great but even the process can quite a rewarding experience. What spiritual awakening can do for you is more than just the physical benefits. You might not see it now but when you reached that state of spiritual enlightenment, youíll be glad that youíve gone through the whole thing.

In reaching spiritual awakening you need meditation. And meditation itself has lots of benefits. Meditation can relieve stress for one thing which is highly ideal especially in the busy lives we have today. Working in the city and a highly stressful environment can bring a toll to the mind and body. Having daily meditation time can help relieve the stress and can in the long run make you healthier and your life longer. It will lead you to finding your true self and determining your real potential.

The effects of meditation might not be felt immediately. Some might even feel a little stress from the exercise but eventually when you do this on a more or less regular basis you will start to feel the effects kick in. It might take some time before you feel a certain level of calmness and peace but it will come. You will start to feel happier with yourself and with your surroundings. You will start finding the best out of a situation and not feeling depressed or angry all the time. You will become more patient and you can connect with other people more now. And not only that but you will find that you have a better understanding of who you are, a better understanding of your own consciousness. You will find that not only did your physical body improved, become healthier but your overall emotional and spiritual state have grown to some extent.

There are different meditation techniques. In fact, there are numerous schools of thought that provide different styles and approaches in finding your true self. Some would insist on having a mantra, a word that you have to repeat in order to calm your mind to begin the meditation process. There are some who would find having someone guide him or her through the meditation process as the most effective way to reach a calm state of mind. They seem to find it difficult to do it by themselves. The goal in meditation is to get to that place where you are totally relaxed, where nothing, including your mind interferes. It is a level of consciousness where you donít have unnecessary thoughts, or no thoughts for that matter play a role. Imagine yourself in a pitch black room. Even if you donít see anything you are aware that you exist. That is very similar to what we plan to do during a meditation process. You look into yourself and become aware of what or who you are without thinking. It is a higher level of awareness that weíre looking for.

Okay, I do hope I am not complicating things nor making things ambiguous. But the truth is spiritual awakening cannot be described by simple words or in my case series of paragraphs. It is more than just words, it is more than just an experience. The important thing is that what spiritual awakening can do to you is more than you can hope for.

Who are you? A Spiritual Awakening

Who are you?

A spiritual awakening now will help you answer that question. We have asked that same query repeatedly in the course of our lives, often having answers that dwell on the basic and the more obvious. Who are you? I am an employee, a clerk in the bank, a teacher, an engineer, a scientist or a businessman. But that question is a loaded one and requires an answer beyond what we do in our lives. It can be approached as a philosophical question where the answer would require looking more closely and deeply into oneís self.

To achieve an awakening

One might have to go into deep meditation. Others might suggest a different approach though. It is still meditation but more of an involved observation. Observing closely the inner workings of your mind would be a different approach but can be as effective as meditation. Being a third party observer to your thoughts could be a good exercise of separating yourself from your own thoughts which can lead to discerning who you really are. You might find this concept a little different or even outwardly weird. But still thereís no harm in trying though since youíre in the process of knowing yourself, giving different means or techniques a shot is not that bad.

Techniques may vary but what is important is that you are meditating on what is happening on the now. The realization will not come if you keep thinking of the past or paying too much attention to the future. Thinking, meditating and concentrating on your thoughts at this very minute or second would be the right way to go. You donít think about past exploits, former employments, the days during those college years, and all that stuff during meditation. You think of the present, you think why you exist right now. You observe what you are at that moment and enlightenment might come quickly to some or might take some time to others. You might need more patience and keep trying to get something out of the exercise.

Others, however, would insist on leaving everything as they come and dealing with them as they enter your consciousness. All those things are part of your existence. Resisting them is like resisting part of yourself. These things are happening now and not paying much attention to them does not really help. This is why other people insist on not blocking those emotions. Living in the moment means not trying to change.

The thing is it to continue feeling peaceful.

Remember the moment and keep coming back to that moment. That will be your base for your meditation. Always remember to leave everything behind and always pay attention to the moment. I may have said this over and over again but the fact of the matter is you need to always pay attention to the moment. If you suddenly found yourself drifting from your meditation, go back to that moment where you are at peace. Just be there at that moment and do not worry if youíre doing everything right or wrong.

So we go back to that question of who are you?

A spiritual awakening is indeed the answer but it might not come instantly to others while it comes immediately to others. You just need to be patient if you belong to the group that enlightenment does not come easily.

Personal Transformation: Spiritual Awakening

Personal Transformation: Spiritual Awakening

Spiritual awakening and enlightenment seems to be part of religious practices. Spiritual awakening is a religious experience where the person who is enlightened had contact with the divine and supernatural. It has been part of different traditions and practices, encompassing different religions.

Enlightenment is subjective since it fits on the individualís perception and understanding divinity and religion. It is also something which other people who do not share the same views may find different and sometimes frightening. Even though, different religions have different understanding of the divine and supreme being, awakening experiences seem to have commonalities, as well as their differences.

Different religions and traditions share that spiritual awakening and other religious experiences includes the person to detach from the world and unite with God or gods and goddesses. The person would have deeper connection to the world after the awakening. They would also attain innate knowledge and understanding of the world and other people.

Spiritual awakenings are not only experienced through religious activities and methods. It can also be experienced through peak experiences, life and death experiences and situations, psychic openings and past life experience. Those who have awakened would say that they would experience physical, mental, emotional and spiritual changes and difficulties. But the awakening, even with its turmoil and difficulty, has bee called blissful by some people.

It is a personal transformation and the awakened can experience different changes on their actions, habits and way of life.

William James in The Varieties of Religious Experience, states that a spiritual awakening brings certainty and insight to truth which is unfathomable by usual sensory and intellectual means. The experience can change the outer behaviour, attitude, character and outlook of the person who have experienced the awakening.

For example, people who have a spiritual awakening would experience sudden waves of emotions. Food intolerances and allergies develop after the religious experience. Some traditions say that because the human mind and body is opening to the divine and the spiritual, it gets more sensitive. Getting more sensitive means that your body can have lower tolerance level to some things compared to how it was before the religious journey and completion.

The senses are in a high and can be extra-sensitive. Enlightened people would see auras around living things and some glittery particles. The colours would appear more vivid and even see shapes and brilliant colors with eyes closed. Hearing is also sharper than before. But some would testify that they would experience a decrease in hearing since they would hear different kind of sounds and have difficulty identifying the different sounds.

Smell, taste and touch are also enhanced. Which is why, some would be sensitive with food and smell. Rashes can happen on the skin that can happen in the same time with healing moments or completion of some memories or anything that could have happened in the past.

There would also be moments when the awakened person would feel a sudden rush of power. Some people would say that they would experience hotness running from their head to toe, while there are others who would say the feeling was cold.

Just to stress on the point, the transformation that a person undergoes upon a spiritual awakening depends on the how they see and understand divinity and religion. Not all of these personal transformations could happen to everybody who has experienced enlightenment. In some religion, some of these transformations are not acceptable while other traditions and religions would foresee these transformation essential.

Religion and Spiritual Awakening

Religion and Spiritual Awakening

Spiritual awakening is not tied down to a religion as some people might think. People read the word spiritual and they immediately conclude that this is something for the religious or for the highly spiritual people. The spirituality of the self through spiritual awakening refers not to the religion of a person but to the consciousness or awareness of being, the realization that one exists. Various religious beliefs do have their own versions of spiritual awakening. Most are rooted on their own sets of religious doctrines and principles. Some have come to a spiritual enlightenment through meditations and self actualizations. To them spiritual awakening is the removal of whatever layers or walls we have that cover or hide our true selves. It is having the experience of peace, the calmness, the fulfillment, and completeness. One person has so eloquently put it as waking up through a big bump to head. That of course is a too simplistic way to describe the experience.

Spiritual awakening is not the end of the end. It is in fact can be seen as just a stepping stone where you can provide change to other people and the environment you live in. In some religions, spiritual awakening is the pre-requisite to spiritual healing. If spiritual awakening is the finding of your true self, the spiritual healing part is the part where you collect all the positive physical, emotional and spiritual elements and use them to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. It is important that this person pass to other people these positive energies to promote spiritual healing to all. There are religions that would suggest or even require people to accompany spiritual healing with prayers and going to their church. They insist that prayers will provide or reinforce the guidelines they need to reach, repeat and maintain spiritual awakening.

For Christians, spiritual awakening is also attained upon realization that they are sinners and begin to repent. They have this enlightenment that God is the only true path and going to back to him and being faithful to the doctrines of the Church is the way to spiritual healing. This is, of course, only one religion interpreting the essence of spiritual awakening. One cannot say that their interpretation is wrong for the experience is really a subjective one based precisely on interpretations of what should and should not be.

Now those who are far less attuned to religious influences believe that spiritual awakening can be achieved through meditations. Through proper meditation, inner peace and serenity are attained. Healing can be achieved as well. But meditation is only a step towards spiritual awakening. One has to go deeper into the process to achieve the true enlightenment as some people would rather believe.

Meditation can come in different forms and techniques. Thereís the mantra meditation where you need to repeat a certain sound which appeals to your mind before you reach that meditative state. Thereís the trataka meditation technique where instead of sound, one has to focus his attention or mind on a particular object. This technique has been used in the past by a number of religions. Chakra meditation on the one hand is more of energy based mediation where the goal is to open the chakra points in the body to achieve a higher level of awakening of the consciousness.

Religion and spiritual awakening are connected but depending on the religion as well as the approach and techniques, the interpretation of spiritual awakening varies. But one thing is certain, achieving spiritual wakening results to having a positive outlook in life making living in this world happier and more content.

Spiritual Awakening And Healing

Spiritual Awakening And Healing

When we are dealing with pain, whether it is physically or emotionally, we are unable to think clearly. Having clouded mind would mean that we are having difficulty getting in touch with our inner self, spirituality and ascending to enlightenment. Without spiritual awakening, we are in constant search of the meaning of our lives.

We need holistic spiritual healing to deal and attain spiritual awakening. Spiritual healing can be a bit weird coming from an age of modern medicine and technology. But it is difficult to ignore the fact that there is a Supreme Being, God or Allah, that are behind every thingsí existence.

In a survey published by USA Today last October 8, 2008, 55 percent of American adults regardless if they are agnostic, atheist, or religious, believe that there is a guardian angel or similar entity that protects them from harm. This only shows that spirituality and its acceptance has significant importance on a personís life.

In spiritual healing, it is said that physical healing depends on how the spirits heals. With spiritual healing, it treats not only the body, but the mind and the spirit as well. Spiritual healers, uses the concept of ìlight and loveî to relax the body. Aside from relaxing the body, it also has several benefits like it releases tension and anxiety. Relieving these negative thoughts would increase the stimulation of self-healing.

The basic principle with spiritual healing is that you would get a connection with God and at the same time, secured and safe feeling. Patients would get the strength from the fact that they are not the only one who are experiencing what they are feeling. This would teach or give patients security and confidence to seek somebody for help. In a nutshell, spiritual healing is about paying attention to life and the living.

So what are the methods of spiritual healing?

Spiritual healing can be performed in different religions. It can be performed through prayer, visualization, devices that transmit healing forces, concentrations process and advance levels of it, and personal spiritual realization. These kind of methods would help patients recover from illnesses or slows down the effect of illness trough self-healing.

Counselling sessions are reinforced with spiritual healing. Spiritual healing is done with full rational understanding of its principles and not by blind faith or superstition. Undergoing spiritual healing with full understanding would provide you the awakening and enlightenment that would benefit you in the future.

The Kabbalah is a school of though concerned with the mystical aspect of Judaism. According to Kabbalistic teachings, the body is the vessel or the ship for the soulís expression and if the connection between the soul and the body is broken, diseases and disorders can happen.

To maintain the connection between the soul and body, here are some tips that can be done easily:
ï Eating a balanced diet and regularly exercising
ï Express yourself.
ï Feel your surroundings.
ï Never give up.
ï Do not be afraid to ask for help.
ï Spend time with friends and family. They would provide you the support and intimacy you would need to heal.
ï Make sure to remember that you have a purpose and you are the one who create the meaning of your life.

With the help of a spiritual healer, not only would you attain a holistic better health, you can also dig deeper to your feelings and start your journey to spiritual awakening. With the help of breath work, creativity and experiential mind and body, your body can release the pain and start its journey to healing.

Born Again: Spiritual Awakening And Near-Death Experiences

Born Again: Spiritual Awakening And Near-Death Experiences

Near-death survivors tell us stories of out of body experiences and spiritual awakening. How could it be possible for near-death experiences to result into religious experiences that would totally transform a person? Is it really possible to attain enlightenment through this experience?

Most people would perceive that spiritual awakening is associated with religious personas, like saints, yogis, and lamas. Therefore, ordinary people experiencing spiritual awakening can be both fascinating and frightening for some. There are some who intentionally journey towards enlightenment through meditation, yoga and other traditions and rituals. But there are others who experience spiritual awakening on their death-bed.

In an essay written by Dr. David San Filippo titled Religious Interpretations of NDEs, he stated that a ìnear-death experience (NDE) is a conscious experience in which the individual experiences a sense of being detached from the physical world during the process of physiological dying.î

Medically, near-death experiences as described by Dr. Filippo, is when the patient cannot breathe making the muscles in the heart to fail and powerful substances are released. Also, NDE survivors say that they would have an out-of-the-body experience, where the spirit or the soul detaches itself from the body. During these detachment, survivors can experience seeing darkness or the light, meeting spiritual and divine people, and somehow judging their lives.

In a survey performed in 1991, there were 13 million Americans or 5 percent of the population who report that they have experienced an NDE. Near-death experiences and spiritual awakening after them can actually transcend any culture and religion. Regardless, if the patient believes in the divine or Supreme Being, near-death experience could happen.

What happens during a near-death experience?

The survivor first feels a sense of being dead and peace. The soul or the spirit separates from the body and meets with different entities which have already passed away like family, friends, even angels and religious persona. The spirit seems to be rising into the air and encounter a Light which is often associated with the Supreme Being, whether it is God or Allah.

The survivor then senses what happened to their life and judges it. Commonly, the survivors feel reluctant on going back to the world of living. Survivors cannot sense any time or anything that would restrict them from going wherever they want.

There are significant psychological effects of these near-death experiences to the survivors. According to Dr. P.M.H. Atwater (People are dramatically Changed by NDEs), here are some the psychological effects which can also be somewhat referred to enlightenment or spiritual awakening:

ï Unconditional love- NDE survivors turn themselves into fully loving and generous people who would wonder and express themselves to each person they see.
ï Timelessness ñ survivors begin to follow the ìflowî and tend to ignore schedules and time frames. They would shift their focus and give more importance on the present.
ï Psychic ñ some survivors would wake up or return to the world of the living with heightened senses or extrasensory perception.
ï The soul- survivors would show more interest on reincarnation and would later on accept this concept regardless of their previous belief. Since they have experienced the soul or the spirit separating from the body, they understand that the body is nothing but a coffer for the soul.
ï Communication- NDE survivors display the use of new language or new vocabularies which is totally different with what they are used to speaking before.

These effects of NDE can be treated as spiritual awakening since the person transforms into a new person.

Following the Steps for Spiritual Awakening

Following the Steps for Spiritual Awakening

People at times refer to it as a great realization. Sometimes it is known as a state of enlightenment. Whatever it might be called, the state of spiritual awakening is something that people realize. Some will offer guidelines and by following the steps for spiritual awakening will you only reach that state of enlightened spirit. And through these steps, people will soon realize or reach that level of awareness, enlightenment or spirituality. Some will argue, otherwise, saying that the awakening is a deep and often philosophical experience where man realizes his own true nature and finds ways how to maintain a balance life relative to his environment and thus only happens unplanned and often unexpectedly.

Depending on the line of thought, the approach, and the kind of book youíre reading or the teacher youíre following reaching spiritual awakening follows several rules or much more like guidelines. Some require complicated steps while others just require several kinds of meditations and the awakening youíre seeking will come eventually. Nonetheless, there are times where people need some guidance for attaining an awakened spirit. May it be specific steps or generic principles, people find it easier to reach a state of enlightenment.

Preparing yourself is a very good way to begin. Whether you believe in a step by step process or you only accept the fact the spiritual awakening happens only in a natural and more spontaneous way, preparing your self brings you closer to that goal. How? Believing truthfully that a certain level of awakening is possible is surely something that you should accept first. One should look deep down into oneself and recognizing your shortcomings and problems and identifying how they can relate to you and your environment.

As you discover more of yourself, take the opportunity to understand reality as well. Place yourself in the world you live in and see how you relate to it given all the things that you learned about yourself so far. Attaining an awakened or enlightened spirit comes from understanding the nature of the world and how you react to it and how you can impact it.

Learn the process of healing. Once issues and problems have been clearly identified, take the path of healing not only focusing on healing oneself but also promoting healing to others as well. This is an important aspect of reaching an awakened or enlightened state. Achieving balance is another. Balance with both the physical body and the spirit is the ideal state that we should aim for.

These are merely musings of what and how I think we prepare ourselves for that awakening of spirit. Like what I mentioned earlier, how your reach that state is relative. We can go on arguing for a whole day on the various steps or approaches on how enlightenment can be achieved and we forget that the whole point is having reached that level of consciousness. For me following steps for spiritual awakening is okay as long as you reached that state. Having received a sudden gush of spiritual enlightenment is also fine with me. The important thing is reaching that level. It doesnít really matter anymore how you managed to do it, but rather what you can do now that you have reached that level. That I think is the more important issue that we need to address.

Meditation And Your Spiritual Awakening

Meditation And Your Spiritual Awakening

Meditation is often visualized as an Eastern tradition where the person sits in a circle surrounded by candles and saying mantras or humming. Currently, meditation and its benefits are recognized and is far from what we had in mind before. Aside from the calming effect that it could bring, meditation are often said to be a path to awaken the spirit and start the journey towards spiritual awakening.

Meditation has different schools. Each school would have its own thought about meditation. There are also different techniques for meditation and it can also be classified based on their focus. There are meditative techniques which focus on a field or a background perception, while there are others which focus on a specific object.

Meditation is used to calm the mind and relax the body. Tension, stress and anxiety can be relieved by performing simple techniques. Aside from the inner peace that meditation brings, it can also improve the bodyís total and general health. It is also a great way of improving your concentration. There are studies showing the relation between meditation and other concentration exercises with the performances of athletic and sport professionals.

Health benefits of meditation would include better circulation, deeper level of relaxation, increase in exercise tolerance among heart patients, regularizing blood pressure, reduces anxiety attacks and muscle tension, helps against allergies, arthritis, and shows significant help for those who are recovering from operation or surgery.

With this concentration process, you get to listen to the inner self and separate from the pressures of daily life. Understanding the inner self would lead to understanding of our higher self. This would increase our knowledge and understanding how the higher self unites with the universe. In meditation, you get the chance to tap into your inner self and get in touch on how it sees your life. Getting in touch with the inner self will provide guidance towards our happiness and fulfilment.

There are religions which advocate the use of meditation to reach enlightenment. As mentioned, there are different schools of thoughts and focus that each religion adapts. But the method or the technique used is not as important with the underlying concept that behind meditation.

Meditation is about listening to the inner self, therefore it has something to do with controlling your attention and focusing. There are too much distractions that it is very hard for some to focus their attention into what it is important and keeping the attention on fixed object. When focused on a fixed object or field, one-pointedness could be experienced and could take the person to a completely different state. This one-pointedness is not that easy to achieve though, there are some who would need to meditate for years to achieve it.

When one-pointedness is achieved, the person would experience bliss. Bliss is referred to as a natural state of the soul which cannot be experienced easily in daily lives. During this meditative state, spirituality and also the mind expands its consciousness and understanding of nature and the universe. Destructive thinking and behaviour brought about by the materialistic and fast-paced world can be flushed away by focusing more on the your spirituality.

A deeper understanding and knowledge would be felt and the body would be in one with the universe. This they say would be what would link us to the Supreme Being. Attaining this one-pointedness could somehow be compared to a spiritual awakening, where the body and the mind can fully understand what cannot be seen or touch in the material world.