It is quite popular to be spiritual these days. At least compared to just 10 years ago. There is a whole industry growing out of different healing modalities and ascension courses that you can take.
People meditate and look for different tools in order to gain something that they might not even be able to put in words. Yet they all are in search of something that is missing in their life.
Obviously, this gives quite a lot of room for all kinds of opportunists to tell all sorts of things to people that are already confused or some even in extreme pain, because many people do experience the Dark Night of the Soul (Ego Death) at some point in their life.
So what is the ascension path that many teachers talk about? How do you become enlightened? What is enlightenment? What is ascension?
What ascension IS NOT
The Dark Night of the Soul (Ego Death) is something nobody wants to experience and everyone who has experienced it would know what it is. It is not just feeling depressed – it is dying in slow motion without seeing any end to it. You are not really dying, your Ego/Mind is crumbling and it makes you believe you are dying.
At some point during the Dark Night of the Soul when you have tried many healing modalities and meditated for endless hours or have just been riding it out, you will start to feel better. And as you start feeling better you might think that you are ascending. Well, you are not, this is just the foreplay really.
During these hours of meditation you might see amazing visions and experience amazing energy shifts, but these are all from the metaphysical plane. These are still from the same level your Mind is operating from with some glimpses of Soul energy.
You will also see that over time you tend to find yourself almost like on a circle of ups and downs. You will feel better and then you will feel like there is no way out of this Dark Night of the Soul. And it will go on as long as it does. There is no decision you can make to step out of it. Because this is purely an energetic process you just have to wait it out.
You cannot speed it up in any way, but you can slow it down by resisting the process. You can also slow it down to almost standstill by buying into the victim mentality and identifying yourself as a victim of this horrible life event. This is exactly what your Ego/Mind wants because this is the easiest way for it to resurrect itself as an even stronger entity that controls your life energy.
So how should you avoid that? You accept it for what it is and do not blame anyone or anything for your current situation.
How to use your pain?
You can use your pain or pain body as Eckhart Tolle calls it, to move into ascension. It will happen when you are ready, but it helps to know that as your pain grows so strong that it is impossible to tolerate, it can actually help you to move into Soul energy. Your pain will make your identity collapse and it is painful because your Ego is dying, but your real self is actually fine.
There are other teachers who refer to using pain or disappointment in life to kick off your ascension. Charlotte Joko Beck has said in her book “Everyday Zen” –
Disappointment is the best chariot to use on the path of Dharma (enlightenment). Disappointment is our true friend, our unfailing guide, but of course nobody likes such a friend.
When we do not use the pain and disappointment to ascend, we restore it as some other type of destructive emotion in our body and it will keep building up the energy blockages in our energy system.
Sitting with the pain and disappointment and being present with it causes a huge energy shift and even though it is uncomfortable, it is also very beneficial for your Soul – the real you. During this process you have to stay present and allow the pain, you have to stay there and observe it, not identify yourself with it. It will still hurt, but this will help you to dissolve it and ascend at the same time.
You will release the life energy that is stuck in your body that is causing pain, and transmute it back into free-flowing life energy and this will make you instantly feel at least relief if not anything more blissful.
Meditation is one of the main tools that is helping people to stay present.
How to meditate?
Some people who meditate for decades never get anywhere with it. It still makes them feel better than people who do not meditate but the real benefit of meditation is not reached. The reason is that they are DOING meditation but you have to BE IN meditation. There is no doing – the moment you are doing, you are in your Mind and it will not work.
Meditation is a practice to slow down your thoughts and through this also your life situation. It is supposed to move you from Mind (doing) into Soul (being). But if you approach meditation with the mindset – I have to meditate, I have half an hour – I’d better get quickly into it… it will not work.
Meditation is a shift in focus – you have to shift your focus on being, not doing. You do not even actually need to sit in a quiet room with your legs crossed to meditate. You can run your daily life and be in a meditative state the whole time. This is actually where you want to get to. It does help to sit in a quiet place in the beginning and keep your eyes closed so that your Mind does not get as much information to chew on, but in the end it is not important.
My meditations these days are more about staying present all the time regardless of what I do. But more than doing I do enjoy looking at the city lights or the clouds flying by – without a thought in my head, just being there in the moment. Enjoying the perfection that this moment is, the sweetness of life.
What ascension IS
So I had been healing and suffering, going through ups and downs during my Dark Night of the Soul for more than 16 months. I was ascending for sure, or so I thought. In fact, I wasn’t.
They say that it is not necessary to heal in order to ascend but this is how my journey went. I did healing and then my Mind blew up because it got to a point where it understood that none of that stuff worked. My personality collapsed and I thought I will die, but not – instead I ascended.
Ascension is just being in the present moment. And your Mind will now try to make it something that it is not. It is being here and now, accepting that this moment is perfect. Really feeling the life you are right here and now – not your body or your thoughts, just being. There is no past, there is no future, there is just you being consciousness in this very moment. You might still have some thoughts but these are like clouds flying by – you observe them and they just fade away. You do not feed them by identifying yourself with them.
Eckahrt Tolle has said that through pain, we gain deeper and more sustainable consciousness. That means that at some point you will welcome the triggers that you were so scared of during the Dark Night of the Soul. You will feel the uncomfortable emotion rising as you get triggered and you observe the thoughts that try to feed it and because you are consciously observing it all, it does not work any more and it dissolves. You have successfully transmuted the blocked life energy into free-flowing life energy.
So even your negative emotions are also life energy, but it is stuck – you just release it. This makes you an alchemist. This does not mean that you never experience pain again, but it means that you will not suffer. This is the way to end suffering. Suffering always needs a story in your head – the thoughts to feed the negative emotion.
My first day of conscious ascension
After I had tried everything my Mind had suggested and totally failed and exhausted by the Ego Death that my Twin Flame triggered in my life that didn’t seem to want to end, I ended up giving up and being guided to use presence. Here is what I wrote to my diary on that day:
“This is my first day being present. Not that I have been unconscious my whole life, but this is the first day I have been consciously conscious. Trying to pull myself into the present moment every second of my day.
God, it feels so hard. I had no idea I was thinking about him so much. Every second of the day really. I am waking up and brushing my teeth – I have been up barely 10 minutes and already I have had what feels like around 1000 different thoughts about him.
I am walking my kid to school and passing his window – I am using all my will-power to stay focused on each step and stay present. When walking back, it is even harder because his window is just there and I am still staring at my feet and to the ground to keep myself present here and now.
Huh – got past his windows, walking to the shop to pick up a parcel. Almost there – BHAM!!!
Around the corner comes my Twin Flame – walking 2 metres away in front of me to the bus stop!!!! He did not see me…
I just saw all my energy shoot out of my heart, solar plexus and sacral chakra to him. I could smell him, feel his touch, sense his energy. It is as if I am embracing him or like I am him and yet there he is, 2 metres in front of me. All my energy is flowing to him. Shit! I am using all my power to pull it back into me and walk on without staring at him. This is the hardest thing in the world!
I am almost surprised that this energy did not knock him off his feet and that nobody else on the street saw it. I had no idea how I managed to move to the direction I was supposed to walk. I just kept saying to myself in my mind – “you have to let him come back to you, you have to let him come back to you. Keep walking, keep walking, keep walking…
I got home and meditated for hours to get balanced again…“
When people tell you what it feels to be in an enlightened state, it does not seem something to aim for. Your Mind might like the fact that your life situation will get a lot better as the result, but it would find it boring and nothing much if someone tells you that it is peace, joy and blissfulness. Zen sounds boring to the Mind. The Mind wants to do, but this is only being.
Sitting on the sofa, looking at the clouds fly by without a thought in your head sounds dead boring. And yet, it is better than anything that the Mind can come up with. The Mind will try to identify any words used to describe enlightenment from its silo of memories and experiences. But the peace and joy that you experience in an enlightened state is nothing that you have ever experienced before.
These words are just used because there are no better words to describe it by our limited Mind. The bliss is like an orgasm in every cell of your body, feeling of being joy not experiencing joy, feeling of being love but not in love – there is no fear based anything in any of these sensations. It is being life itself – the sweetness of life, the sweetness of love itself, the deepest peace and contentment… There really are no words, nor will your Mind ever fully get it even when you experience it.
Charlotte Joko Beck has written in her book “Everyday Zen” that hopes and dreams and obstacles on the way of enlightenment. When you read this then your Mind would tell you that enlightenment sounds rather horrible – what, no hope and dreams? Actually, it is not. And the reason being that there are no hopes and dreams in the present moment.
Enlightenment is being in the present moment, accepting all that is as perfect. There is no hope because there is now. What can you hope about now that is already here?
When you try to figure it out with your Mind, you will never get there. Your Mind will never understand how just accepting and being here and now can be something that it has put on a pedestal for itself. The fact is that enlightenment is not a goal or some future dream to reach. It is here and now. It is the continuous conscious experience of life as life energy.
There is no way to become enlightened, you already are enlightened – it is just that you have forgotten your true identity and that stops you from experiencing life that you are.
It may help you to take some courses or follow a guru, but truly the time of gurus is over. The time of a student/teacher is here. You are a student and a teacher. All you have to do is just find your true self – the best teacher is the true you – your Soul.
All of us can listen to the wise words of people who have walked the same path before us, but we have to form our own truth and live by it. We are all perfect pieces of one – all the same and all totally different.