Is awakening a one-off event?

Is awakening a one-off event?

In my experience so far. No.

But what I’ve seen is that when it’s done, it’s done.

We could say, in a potentially oversimplifying way, that there are two types of awakening – dramatic and gradual. I’ve not met anyone for whom either way has been a one-off event. That doesn’t mean one-off-event people don’t exist. They might. But I imagine if they do, they’re rare.

The two types I see are dramatic or gradual.

The Dramatic

When we hear impressive stories of fancy awakenings it’s easy to be drawn in by that. It sounds incredible. It sounds dramatic. It sounds important and special.

When we’re identified with the belief in separation all those look like important things to get, be or have – incredible, dramatic, important and special.

And we lose sight of the fact that we have no idea what else has happened in addition to the dramatic moment. We imagine they had this one-and-done experience. And that was it.

I was speaking to a close connection of Byron Katie recently who shared how tough it was for Katie after her huge awakening! It was no walk in the park to integrate what had happened, reconstruct her life and ultimately put language to the experience.

Many people who have dramatic awakening moments like this need some level of post-even recalibration to figure out what’s just gone on, and what they’ve seen. To realise that the incredible open, expansive, aliveness felt was the very direct experience of their self. And they now benefit from more quietly grounding in that as who they have always been. To see the nature of that nature and to realise it is who we all are and have all always been.

The Gradual

Not better or worse. Simply different. And the version which is more often experienced.

But you can hear the ego can’t you? Oh, how dull and boring. Where’s the excitement in that? How will I be interesting now?!

The huge benefit with a gradual awakening is that you don’t have such a huge integration mountain to climb on the other side. You iterate as you go – deepening into the recognition a bit…integrating a bit…deepening a bit…integrating a bit.

It can be incredibly useful when you’re also living a life of work and loved ones and friends and hobbies.

The recognition of your essential nature, in the moment, is always an awakening in that moment. It’s just that with this version you look and look and look again. Remembering and recognising your awake nature all the more easily and clearly each time. Deepening…integrating….deepening…integrating…

When it’s done, it’s done.

The similarity with both dramatic and gradual awakenings is that when it’s done, it’s done.

When your essential nature has been seen to such an extent that you know who you really are, and you know who you are in relation to the person you’re here to be, all the other people, and all the other things – you’re done.

Unlike enlightenment, which appears to be a life-long journey, there comes a point with awakening when it’s simply done. There’s no way of knowing when or how this will happen. But you’ll know.

Its primary ‘symptom’ is that seeking stops.

There’s a feeling of completion. A settled-ness. An absence of anxiety. A quiet background knowing that everything is absolutely OK and that this – whatever ‘this’ is – is who you are, appearing as this.

Your path is perfect because it’s yours

So if you find yourself yearning after someone else’s experience, or wishing yours were different. Just notice that for what it is – identification with thoughts that draw you into an idea of ‘better over there’.

There is no ‘better’ awakening. There is only this one for you.

And when it’s done, it’s done.

With love, Helen

Would you like to awaken, or awaken again, to the truth of who you are? Our live, 12-week group starts 17th January 2024 – Realising Awakening. Putting the power of self-realisation back in your hands – for your unique path. Join us here. Or become a member for 50% off.

  • Helen Amery
    My work involves exploring with people who are on the awakening and enlightenment journey. They’ve already seen a lot but they can also feel that their understanding is more conceptual than felt, and lived. They can feel that there is more to be seen and understood and yet they also don’t know how to ‘get at’ that. I focus on this shift from conceptual into the deeper, felt understanding of it.

    You can find me at

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