The Direct Path To Spiritual Awakening

The Direct Path
Spiritual Awakening

Stages of Spiritual Awakening

The journey of spiritual awakening is a winding road with many twists and turns along the way. While there are some common patterns and spiritual awakening stages that many people experience, everyone’s path is unique and unfolds differently. As someone who has walked this path for decades, I can say that the spiritual awakening stages are beautiful, messy, painful, blissful, incredible and at times dark. 

Everyone’s journey will be different. It’s important to recognize that these stages are not linear, nor is every seeker destined to experience each one. The spiritual awakening stages are more like a series of psychological and metaphysical openings that shed light on our human conditioning and spark an inward revolution. For some, the process is a soft unbinding, while for others, it may feel like a severe upheaval of reality.

Feeling discontent with life as you know it

For many, the first stage of spiritual awakening arises from a profound sense of discontent or emptiness with the day-to-day grind. Despite checking off society’s boxes of success, something fundamental is missing. An underlying feeling that there must be “more to life than this”. A vague yearning pervades, a homesickness for something they cannot quite name. There is an intuitive sense that merely making a living is not truly the essence of being fully alive.

This feeling grows more pronounced over time. Nights are spent in existential questioning about purpose and the nature of reality itself. This profound feeling of separation from source becomes a catalyst for their spiritual awakening journey. The homesickness is finally recognized as a sacred calling to return to the depths of their true nature.

Questioning your reality and belief systems 

As the thirst for truth grows, the next stage of spiritual awakening involves a deep and often unsettling questioning of personal reality and belief systems. This phase is characterized by turning fundamental assumptions about the universe, consciousness, and the narratives we’ve subscribed to inside out. This shaking up of mental and cultural constructs can be both liberating and deeply unsettling.

You might start to question long-held beliefs about who you are, what the world is, and how it operates. This process can be difficult, as it challenges the very foundation upon which you’ve built your understanding of life.

Spiritual curiosity and seeking knowledge 

This stage of spiritual awakening created voracious spiritual curiosity for me. I found myself drawn to various philosophies, faiths, and esoteric teachings – devouring books on Buddhism, Hinduism, metaphysics, and other non-dual traditions. I attended workshops, went on retreats, and sought out spiritual teachers and gurus. 

In the relentless pursuit of spiritual enlightenment, the seekers explore various paths, each one offering a unique perspective on reality. Their journey is fueled by a burning desire to unravel the mysteries of existence and to attain a deeper sense of meaning and purpose.

This is typically the honeymoon period of seeking, where there is intense passion, energy and excitement of discovering new knowledge and experiences..

Finding Your Spiritual Guide or Guru

For many seekers, there comes a point when the desire for a guru or spiritual mentor arises organically. Having a guide who has walked on the path can be invaluable. They can act as a mirror, insightful friend, and point the way when you feel lost.

My experience has been that the guru appears when the student is truly ready. There were times of seeking outwardly for the right teacher, only to realize the ones I needed were presenting themselves all along – sometimes in human form, other times as life itself. 

Ultimately, the truest guru is the one who points you back to your own inner nature. They guide you to find the guru within.

For me, another major insight came when I realized my path could not be dictated by any one teacher or tradition. I am immensely grateful for the many guides who have graced my life. As I learned to go directly to the source of my own being, all scriptures and masters revealed their greatest wisdom – that which I am seeking, I already am. 

Purging old habits and conditioning

As my awareness expanded, there was an inherent purging process that took place on multiple levels. Old habits, relationships and possessions that no longer resonated with my inner truth started falling away – sometimes gracefully, other times with great resistance and turmoil.

It was as if my being was shedding an old layer of skin. While painful at times to let go of attachments, this created space for me to align with the insights emerging from within. Looking back, I’m grateful for the people, situations, and comforts I’ve had to release to continue evolving.

This stage of spiritual awakening is like casting away your anchor and setting sails on an infinite ocean.

Non-attachment and surrender 

As the spiritual journey deepens, spiritual seekers begin to cultivate a deep sense of non-attachment and surrender. This shift in their consciousness arises from the realization that clinging to desires leads to suffering and dissatisfaction.

Through their studies and meditation practices, they learn to let go of the need to control every aspect of their life and to embrace the present moment with acceptance. This newfound understanding of non-attachment does not come easily. But as you surrender to the present, you experience a profound sense of peace and contentment that had previously eluded you. 

Understanding you are not your ego – A pivotal realization 

A big stage in spiritual awakening was recognizing that the constant stream of thought, and emotions were not ultimately who I am. There was a witnessing awareness beneath the egoic mind. In the space between thoughts, I experienced glimpses of my true nature as consciousness itself. However, it was an ongoing process of catching myself getting re-absorbed in old mental patterns and stories – a continuous cycle of remembering my infinite essence.

Experiencing periods of bliss and unity
As conditioned beliefs dissolved, I had experiences of indescribable bliss, love, and a sense of unity with all of existence. These were periods of being absorbed in the rapture of the Divine, a homecoming to my true nature.

During these times, the personal “I” dropped away as I recognized my essence was one with the entire cosmos. There was no meditator, no one being awakened – only the dance of consciousness waking up to itself. 

These experiences arise with different intensity during different stages of awakening.  While these were temporary experiences, they provided a taste of what lies beyond the egoic, limited self.

Facing your fears and shadows within 

As my journey of spiritual awakening progressed, I realized I could not bypass the human experience. In fact, I had to go straight through the eye of the storm and face my deepest fears, wounds, and shadows head-on.

I had to dive within the subconscious mind  that had been running my patterns, sabotaging relationships, and creating suffering. Confronting the darkness within myself, while deeply uncomfortable, was a powerful part of integrating aspects of my humanity and divinity.

Isolation: Feeling detached from others

This is a common stage of spiritual awakening, when a seeker feels all alone and isolated.

During certain stretches of my inner journey, I felt very alone and isolated from others who lacked a similar level of conscious awareness. As family, friends, and parts of my former identity dissolved, there was a sense of being the “odd one out” who could no longer fully relate. 

Living in the present moment 

One of the most tangible shifts was my ability to stay present in the here and now, rather than being consumed by mental projections. Through  meditation practices, I rewired my relationship to the human tendency to resist “what is.” In the present moment, there’s an experience of vastness, stillness, and the profound truth that all I’ll ever have is this moment- and that is more than enough.

The dark nights of the soul 

The journey of spiritual awakening is not always filled with light and bliss. There are periods of deep darkness, known as the “Dark Nights of the Soul,” that are as crucial to your spiritual evolution as are moments of insight and joy. These times of struggle and inner turmoil test your resolve and ultimately lead to greater transformation.

During these times, you may feel lost, disconnected, and overwhelmed by a sense of emptiness. The comfort of previous beliefs and spiritual experiences may seem distant, and you might question everything you thought you knew.

My spiritual awakening journey had its periods of joy, insight, and transcendence – what I would call “light” experiences that expanded my sense of being. However, these were counterbalanced by “dark nights” of confusion, loss, ego dismantling, and feeling cut off from the sacred light.

If you are going through the spiritual awakening stage of the dark night of the soul, don’t despair. Rather than bypassing these dark nights, a seeker should see them as utterly essential for transformation. It’s in the void spaces of not knowing, of stripping away identities, where many of the great mysteries will be revealed. 

Glimpsing higher states of consciousness 

Seekers might experience these glimpses during various stages of their spiritual awakening. These moments of higher consciousness can occur spontaneously or through spiritual practices. They serve as milestones on the path, encouraging the seeker and affirming that they are on the right path.

Throughout my journey, I’ve been fortunate to glimpse higher, expansive states of consciousness that have profoundly reshaped my perception of reality. In these non-dual states, all sense of separation and identification with form dissolves into the radiant expanse of unified consciousness.

During these experiences, I felt like the ocean observing itself as waves, or the pure spaciousness in which all arises and returns. It was a moment where the boundaries of the self melted away, revealing a deep interconnectedness with all that exists. Words fall short in capturing the essence of these states, but they unveil the truth of our infinite, divine nature.

This experiential oneness is not just a philosophical concept. It’s a reality that transforms how we relate to ourselves, others, and the world. From these experiences arises a profound reverence for the Earth and all beings.

Arising of pure consciousness 

One of the most profound stages of spiritual awakening is the realization that fundamentally, we are not the body, emotions, or an individual self. At our core, we are pure consciousness.

We are not separate selves at all. Rather, we are the one infinite consciousness exploring and expressing itself through each unique perspective. The very boundaries of self and reality begin dissolving in profound ways during this stage of awakening. 


The final stage of spiritual awakening is integrating the experience of oneness and universal consciousness into daily life. This is the art of bringing the sacred into the mundane – walking between the worlds of nondual wisdom and doing laundry and paying bills.

Integration is about embracing the ordinary with sacred eyes. Every moment becomes an opportunity to express the divine. Washing dishes is no longer just a chore; it becomes an act of love and presence. Paying bills transforms into a recognition of the flow of energy and resources.

As you integrate your spiritual awakening, you begin to live in harmony with both your inner and outer worlds. The peace and insight gained from your spiritual journey need not be confined to moments of meditation or solitude. Instead, they infuse every aspect of your life.

Think of integration as walking between two worlds: the world of spirituality, where everything is seen as one, and the practical world, where you engage with daily responsibilities. 

Service: Feeling called to help and heal

I’ve felt an innate calling to be of service to humanity and all beings. For me, this has taken the form of  teaching, writing, guiding others on the path, and offering myself unconditional to all spiritual seekers.

This intention to help liberate consciousness and alleviate suffering wherever it exists is a beautiful and noble aspiration, which seekers should embody not at the final stages, but from the very beginning.

When you feel this calling, it is as if your heart is whispering a sacred truth: that in serving others, you are serving that one consciousness which is within you and all. This calling is not merely a choice but a profound recognition of your interconnectedness with all life. When you extend your hand to help another, you are not just performing an act of kindness—you are participating in the cosmic dance of healing and  love.

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