No doubt, when the authentic impulse for spiritual awakening dawns within you, you can consider yourself one of luckiest people on earth. Spiritual Awakening is the single most important goal of our human life. However, although simple in its nature, maturing into awakening can be quite confusing, unclear and challenging. You need guidance. This blog post will explain the place of guidance and support along this blessed process.
The Beginning Point of Spiritual Awakening
The spiritual process is a very mysterious matter. Honestly speaking, nobody really knows or understands what is it that awakens this pull in the heart to search for Truth. However, at an unknown point on our Soul’s path of growth the impulse to know the Truth will get lit up. This is the actual beginning point of the awakening journey. Many will not regard it so, but in reality, the impulse itself is the Awakened Nature that tries to pierce through illusion and know itself. This is why as I see it, this is the very beginning point of Spiritual Awakening.
This impulse that strikes the heart like a golden arrow of remembrance of a long forgotten yearning is a true blessing. It sets you on the path towards the never-ending revelation of your True Nature. Your true nature is reality itself, beauty, wonder, freedom and infinite mystery itself. There is nothing more precious to discover in your life on earth. That’s the highest Dharma.
Spiritual Awakening – Simple but not Easy
As you start deepening into the inquiry of your true nature, you realize how many limiting beliefs you have. How much unnecessary emotional and mental baggage you carry. This can be pretty hard to overcome and penetrate through. Many spiritual practitioners either give up or use practices that don’t yield results. But this really doesn’t need to be so if you have the proper support and guidance.
It is very important to understand that like everything in life, to achieve lasting results there are no shortcuts. This is true for spiritual awakening as well. To become a medical doctor it takes years of study and then more years of actual experience. The same goes for becoming a professional musician, dancer, computer engineer and any other expertise. So the first thing to understand is: don’t search for shortcuts.
The path of spiritual awakening is the path of your growth and maturation. It never ends. Therefore – better relax into it. From the age of 10 to 20 it takes exactly 10 years to grow up – not more, not less. You cannot speed it up. But what you can do is prepare yourself better by applying gradually more responsibility, learning and applying new skills and so on. Then as you become 20, you are much more ready than if you hadn’t prepared.
Why is Support and Guidance needed?
When you step into such a subtle territory of your Inner Being, you definitely need guidance. You start touching a dimension that is beyond your physical existence and it is in many ways unknown to you. You were also never taught how to deal with limiting thoughts, beliefs and emotions. This requires proper training. And so, just like a university teacher, the spiritual guide is your address here. The spiritual guide/teacher is someone more mature on the path of spiritual awakening that can guide you with confidence and ease.
Each one of you has a different energetic, emotional, mental and physical constitution. For this reason you need someone that can understand what kind of spiritual practice will work for you. What is the right dosage of practice you need and where are your weak points. This is the specialty of the Spiritual Teacher. In addition, being with a spiritual teacher is like giving yourself the most nourishing atmosphere to grow in. The teacher’s energy field is more mature, radiant, stable and awake. When you spend time with her/him your energy field is nourished and fed by his. And this in the long run helps you a lot in the unfolding of your spiritual awakening.
Gaining Confidence in Spiritual Awakening
To allow spiritual awakening to unfold, an element that is usually not talked about is confidence. To gain confidence in what is revealed to you and trust your inner knowing is of utmost importance. This is the backbone of spiritual awakening and what actually stabilizes it within you. But true confidence is not something you can fake. It is gained through authentic experience and healthy acknowledgement by an experienced guide. Then slowly but surely you build your own authority and autonomy and can start acknowledging yourself.
A good spiritual teacher is in many ways like a spiritual parent. S/he nourishes you with proper guidance and encouragement and strengthens your confidence in yourself. This enables you to step into deeper and deeper inner territory with wisdom and confidence. The more confidence you have you are able to validate what is real within you and give it full manifestation. This is crucial for a stable and mature spiritual awakening.
Guidance Through Turbulence
The process of spiritual awakening can be at times very unsettling. A lot of what you thought you were is being reprogrammed. The sense of stability is shaken and this can be very disorienting. It is like being used to take a walk in the park all your life and all of a sudden being thrown into the jungle. You need a guide. Period. It is important to set aside useless pride about being guided. To learn music, knitting, being a therapist, a soccer player etc you need a guide. Same goes for becoming spiritually awakened.
Moments of disorientation can seem without guidance as if you took a wrong turn. With proper guidance you realize it’s the best turn. And soon it turns into further joy, discovery and freedom. There are energetic changes going on, a total rewiring and many unknown, surprising and uncontrolled feelings and sensations that come up. The spiritual teacher helps you navigate through all of this with calmness and context. He takes you hand in hand and helps you cross the river easily and safely.
Very often a spiritual practitioner will get to a point where there’s a higher opportunity for spiritual awakening. However without noticing it herself she won’t make use of it. This can happen more than once. If your teacher is with you, she can see those opportunities and make you aware of them. This is a great privilege and advantage. Sometimes just the recognition of these potent points on your path will be a game changer, a point of quantum leap.
Therefore my honest recommendation after many years of experience both as student and guide is to work with a teacher. It’s not about holding on to the teacher forever, but rather until your spiritual awakening matures. When that happens and your inner wisdom and autonomy is strong, you may find the calling to walk alone. At that point your inner wisdom will make the decision and guide you clearly.