True awakening is not just about spiritual enlightenment or liberation. Awakening implies knowledge, wisdom, awareness, mindfulness and responsiveness to the problems and situations in life.
You spend a whole life time thinking and working about your job, your family, your relationships, your successes and failures and your problems and struggles. Then suddenly you realize one day that there is more to life than the mere pursuit of things that do not last for long. It is an awakening.
One day, you realize that a close friend of yours whom you have trusted all along betrayed you and revealed some private details of your life which she only knew to others. It is also an awakening. When your mind wakes up to a new reality, a new lesson or a new realization, it is an awakening.
Each day life brings you new revelations about the world and people. Sometimes you notice them and sometimes you do not. Sometimes you not only notice them but also learn valuable lessons from them. All such experiences where you wake up to new truths about life and yourself constitute your awakening to the truths of life.
Spiritual people tell you that true awakening is waking up to the reality one’s own essential nature and knowing the distinction between truth and falsehood, and between reality and delusion. With an insight into the nature of his own existence and consciousness, an awakened person can pierce through the veil of ignorance and see the reality that generally eludes ordinary people.
An awakened person is mindful of his mind and body and their modifications. He pays attention to his own breath, thoughts, feelings and actions, without becoming involved with them. You might have either seen such people personally in your life or heard about them. Following are some of the distinguishing features of a spiritually awakened or enlightened person.
1. He is awake when other are asleep.
2. He is awake even when his body is resting.
3. He is attentive to every thing that happens to him.
4. He has control over his senses.
5. He is equal to both pain and pleasure.
6. He is free from ignorance and delusion because he has discernment
7. He is virtuous.
However, an awakened person need not be a religious person or a believer in God. An awakening may happen in different ways. It may be spiritual, mental or even physical. One may awaken to a new truth or a new realization. A scientist may suddenly find an unexpected solution to a problem on which he might be working for several years. One may gain a new insight into the nature of a relationship, a person or problem. People may wake up to a new reality when they grow through adverse situations or a sudden change of fortune. An accident may open one’s eyes to the value of life. Each of these awakenings has the potential to transform a person and change his whole attitude towards life and relationships. Many events and circumstances in life can trigger such experiences.
Whether it is spiritual or otherwise, an awakening is a state of mind in which the mind is open to a new reality or a paradigm shift in awareness. It can happen to anyone who has focus, dedication and discipline and in any field, an art, craft, profession or branch of knowledge. It may happen with regard to oneself or some external thing. When it happens you know that it happened to you and your have woken up to a new realization.
On the spiritual path, an awakened person has discerning wisdom and intuitive ability as he gains profound knowledge and insight into the nature of things through his mindful attention, whereby he can discern truth choose wisely. Yet he remains non-judgmental and unassuming, in his thinking and attitude.
Many people spend their lives in a state of ignorance, unmindful of what is going on in their lives and what happens to them. They have no idea why they do what they do and why they live. Without specific aims and interests, and without concern for their future of spiritual wellbeing, they live rather mechanically and habitually. They go by their surface impressions, yielding to their weaknesses and impulses without making any effort to transform themselves.
As Your Consciousness Raises, Your Suffering Is Simultaneously Eased
You can awaken your mind and body to higher truths and transcendental reality. You can overcome your limitations and see life with a great vision and understanding. With practice, you perceive the reality hidden behind the visible world. Following are some of the time tested method to awaken your mind and body to experience higher consciousness and realize transcendental truths.
1. Mindfulness practice
2. Breathing techniques
3. Practice of compassion, non-injury, truthfulness, selflessness, humility and similar virtues
4. Silencing the mind and body through detachment and self-restraint
5. Meditation and concentration
6. Devotional services
7. Performing actions without expectation and selfishness
True awakening means developing right thinking, right view, right attention and right actions. It is knowing truth without the interference of the impurities of your mind such as selfishness, egoism, desires, and prejudice. It is bringing your mind to concentrated attention and perceive the world with the clarity of a seer.