By Luke Miller
What I Learned From A Spontaneous Spiritual Awakening (8 Years On)
The day I had a spiritual awakening was the most intense day of my life. A string of events led me to a significant turning point when I started to question if the world is all as it seems.
I had started meditation a few weeks prior and I had started to feel really blissful sensations which I had not prior, but nothing could prepare me for this morning when my whole world changed.
I was sat on the edge of the bed at home while my 2 stepchildren were running around upstairs. I plugged in my meditation music and focused on my breath using a technique I had been playing with for the previous few weeks. I focused on my third eye point just above my eyebrows in the centre of my forehead and found myself in a pleasant blissful state.
When in this deep meditation I felt a loud cracking sound at my third eye point. After this happened I felt something open up inside of me and this triggered a kaleidoscopic psychedelic experience with beautiful colours and geometric patterns.
At the time it was the most beautiful thing I had ever experienced. Time stopped moving, energy flowed through me and I experienced complete transcendence of myself. It was pure ecstasy and something I would later realise to be a kundalini awakening.
After this experience, I started to have out of body experiences and a daily blissful meditation practice. This euphoria lasted for around 6 months. In this time I felt there were no mountains too high and no problems that I could not overcome. I thought I had found the answer to all of life’s problems and was generously sharing this answer with anyone who would listen.
Then one day it stopped. The deep blissful experiences ended. The geometric patterns where no more and this beauty that had been keeping me company upped and left.
After this, I started to feel very isolated. No one else I knew had experienced anything remotely similar to what I was going through, so I felt I had to just suck it up and suffer.
The problem was I had no reference point or guidance to deal with this experience. This led to a spiritual crisis that left me feeling more lost than I ever had before in my life. I later discovered that this was called the Dark Night Of The Soul and is a very common feeling of abandonment that people experience during a spiritual awakening.
This was a complete purge of my egoic mind and the death of a mask I had created for myself. It was incredibly painful and isolating, and I felt hopeless to do anything at that moment.
It took me 6 months of despair before I returned to normal and it was a very humbling experience which I did have to repeat again a few years later, although the second time around I was a little better equipped to deal with it.
The reason I am writing this article now is that in my work I come into contact with many people who are or have been through a spiritual awakening and this year seems to be indiscriminately putting many of us through the dark night of the soul.
Young, old, experienced and inexperienced, many of us are being put to the test in a big way. What is causing this? World events? A collective shift in consciousness? Or something else?
I am unsure, but from my experience, it passes. It is around 8 years since I experienced this polarity of joy and despair, and it led me on a journey of self-discovery with many realisations which I have condensed into 6 tips for working through this shadowy experience.
Face Your Darkness
A spiritual awakening can be very much like the start of a relationship. At first glance, the person of your desire is beautiful and can do nothing wrong. You have a honeymoon period of bliss and magic.
But then as you get to know each other a little better, a few cracks start to appear and you start to realise that maybe the person isn’t as perfect as you thought.
This is the same for the awakening, you become more self-aware and realise the issues you have been projecting on people and circumstances are actually your own.
It is so common to want to run the moment something comes up that is uncomfortable, but what you resist persists.
If you are facing a dilemma or patterns keep repeating, it is an indication that a need or needs you have are going unmet. We all have access to the light, and the moment you shine that light into the deepest corners of your psyche you can start the process of freeing yourself. Face your darkness as early as you possible.
During the darker periods, it is common to swing in moods. Sometimes you will feel like the curtain has been lifted, fill your calendar with commitments only to wake up the next day feeling low again. Meditation is great for grounding, but without sounding too cliche so is simply stopping to take a breath.
Look at the whole week that has past, not just the last 5 minutes and try to ground yourself in your current reality. If that reality has been solitary and reflective, there is not always a need to snap out of things. You are where you need to be and sometimes we really need to listen to our body and spirit.
Maybe you need a rest or maybe you need the opposite, but trust your intuition. If you push yourself too hard it often leads to complete burnout.
Find Support In Community
It can feel lonely having a spiritual awakening, especially when in crisis mode. The good news is, there are larger communities than ever popping up as support. If you live in a major city it is very easy to find like-minded people. Just go to a breathwork class, open mic poetry or similar and you often find those seeking.
A spiritual community is not really a singular thing and has many types of people, so the best thing you can do is figure out what your path is and find people with similar interests. Attend events, go to festivals and join social media groups. The support is there, we just need to be receptive enough for it.
Find A Mentor Or Teacher
It can help to have someone hold your hand through this experience, as it can be incredibly hard at times. It is very rare to find a doctor that will understand and if you are not careful you could find them trying to convince you that you are crazy. Spiritual awakening and crisis are very real things that people have experienced forever and having someone who has already passed through what you are facing can help to make the process far smoother.
Everything Has It Rhythm
Like the inhale and the exhale, life too has its own rhythm. If you are feeling unstoppable like you can take on the world or barely capable of getting yourself dressed, everything passes.
The time’s things do not pass are when we cling to circumstances and want to return to a specific way of being. You have to truly remain present and not compare everything to “the good old days”.
If you are feeling great know it will pass. If you are feeling the opposite it will pass. Everything has its rhythm, and you should learn to tune into yours. Flow with the natural current of the river, because if you try to swim against it chances are you will drown.
Understand The Process
The butterfly is the perfect metaphor for spiritual awakening. It is the metamorphosis which from the outside seems really beautiful when the reality is actually a lot more brutal. For the transformation to take place, the caterpillar has to dissolve and die. It doesn’t grow wings as we may think, but it decomposes and becomes a pulp of gooey substance that does not even slightly resemble a caterpillar or a butterfly. Then in the complete darkness and unknown, it transforms. Meaning a caterpillar has to step into the completely unknown, away from all comfort. This process is just the beginning because once the butterfly is formed it has to make its way out of the cocoon. This is not an easy process. However, the strength of the wings is formed in this fight and without it, the butterfly would be unable to fly. It is the caterpillars own awakening that leads it to become the beautiful butterfly.