Awakening, Transcendence and the Return of Focus

Posted on by Sen.

The whole cycle of awakening goes like this

Phase 1: You are unconsciously identified with the mind, lost in physicality (lost in the mind)

Phase 2: You wake up from your mind’s external conditioning and realize your true wholeness as the universal consciousness, and realize the truths about life’s movement. (This is called awakening of awareness)

Phase 3: Your awareness slowly removes its focus from the mind and rests more and more in its wholeness, in a process of “self knowing” (this is what is called the “transcendence of the mind”). In one sense, it starts detaching itself from the mind’s pull and occupies its position as passive awareness. The reason I give the pointer of “stay as relaxed awareness” is so you can allow this phase to operate in you.

Phase 4: When your awareness fully attains its independence from the mind, it returns back to the mind – returns back to the getting fully involved in physicality, only this time there is an element of “conscious wisdom” that was not present during phase 1. (This is what I would call “the return of focus”)

Anyone who awakens to their wholeness (their truth as this “aware” energy), would inevitably feel a pull to move through phase 3 to phase 4 in sequence – simply because this is the very movement of awareness after it awakens, it wants to “know” itself fully during phase 3 and after it has known itself, and rested in itself entirely, it returns fully back to the mind to engage in physicality with total focus, in phase 4.

How long does each phase last?

It’s not possible to predict how long each phase would last. A lot of people stay in phase 1 for an entire lifetime. Some people move to phase 3 after awakening, but start “holding on” to this transcendental space, and thus become a “drop out” in the realm of physicality, addicted to the transcendental realm (mostly because they resist the return to fully engage with physicality, out of fear or through some misguided ideas of spirituality).

There are also a good majority of people who have an awakening but don’t fully let go into the space of awareness and thus stay in a limbo between phase 1 and phase 2, not fully committing to transcending the “control” of the mind. This is mostly because there is tremendous fear involved in letting go of mind identification, the pull of the ego is too strong, the ego’s need for control is difficult to let go of (due to years of identification). So they mostly just compromise between “letting go” and “staying in control”, vacillating between these two conditions. But useless you are willing to totally let go of the mind, you will not allow the movement of awareness to reach its maturity.

Understanding this process can help you identify which phase you are at (or which phases you are vacillating between), and allow the release of resistance to moving into the next phase. To be stuck in between any of these phases is extremely uncomfortable because there is a constant “nagging” sense of something missing and constant sense of a “pull” within. Only when you come to a full maturity into phase 4 that this sense of “something’s missing” finally dies away.

After awakening, it can take anywhere between a few months to a few years for a person to transition to phase 4 depending on their load/momentum of negativity, accumulated over the past years. But when someone really understands this process, they don’t stand in resistance to its natural unfolding, and hence they don’t delay this process in any way. The sooner this process comes to an end the better in terms of feeling at ease and becoming fully functional in this world. To be stuck in-between, by not surrendering to the pull, feels constantly “unpleasant” in the being.

How does one know if one is awakened?

Awakening, or enlightenment, is no longer a “rare” thing as it was some decades ago. It’s quite common place now for people to get enlightened owing to the amount of information/teachings available in terms of books, online literature or online videos. One has access to teachings from enlightened people, around the world, sitting in the comfort of their homes, thanks to the internet – contrary to the olden days when one had to visit monasteries and spend years in service before he/she was given the “knowing” . Moreover, nowadays different teachers are able to enunciate this knowing in more “conversational” ways, that help people get to grips with this “knowing” more easily – compared to the metaphorical teachings of olden spiritual literature.

So “phase 2”, which was extremely rare just a few decades ago, has become quite common place now – there are many people who understand their true self, their position as this “aware” energy, their ego structure, the dysfunction of negativity, their natural vibration and the process of manifestation, and this knowing comes to them quite swiftly through easily available channels of information present now. So in simple words, “awakening” or enlightenment is no big deal anymore. What’s lacking however is the “allowing” to transition into phase 3 and finally to phase 4, because this requires a “surrender” to the movement of awareness instigated by awakening – a lot of people have very little idea of what this entails, and there is usually a lot of resistance within to the “letting go” that’s required to move into phase 3.

Awakening only brings an invitation to let go

Awakening by itself does not relieve you of the pull of the mind’s negativity – though it allows an invitation to start “letting go” of it. Enlightenment/awakening is like attaining “knowledge” but just having this knowledge does not make you feel “free” within because the momentum of negativity does not suddenly die because of the knowledge you gained. So if you’ve attained “understanding” of the truth of life (of who you are), you can consider yourself enlightened or awakened – but if you want to realize the actual freedom from the negativity of the mind, it’s important to move to phase 3 and finally to phase 4 through the simple practice of “letting go” of the mind. If you are sensitive, you can recognize in yourself that this is what life is calling forth in you – in fact, a lot of events may be taking place in your life right now that are almost forcing you to just “let go” or surrender to life.

Only in phase 4 do you truly incorporate the knowing, that you attained through awakening, in an effortless way, into the expression of your physicality. But if you try to force “practice” this knowing, using techniques or mind strategies, instead of “letting go” of trying to control (which just means you’ve still not left phase 1 fully), you will just feel confused about why you are not able to live the truth that you know. After awakening the pull is always to surrender to the space of awareness, this is a temporary phase (though the most challenging one in many cases) and you will move to the fully functional, and stable, phase 4 quite soon.


  1. Alliswell

    Is phase 2, living it or just realizing it?
    If you are gaining a clearer knowledge of awakening and what it means to “let go” along with a better understanding of awakened awareness, you are in phase 2? Phase 3 would be when you start living it and letting go?

    1. Sen Post author

      That’s right, phase 2 is all about gaining understanding or knowledge, or getting “enlightened” about who you are and the truth of your existence. You gain understanding about life force, how it operates, about the movement of creation, your natural expression and the ways in which you are resisting it, and what it means to surrender to your life stream. When you really have a clear understanding, or when you’ve fully woken up to your truth, you naturally understand that you just need to “literally” let go into the pull of your life stream without any “techniques” – in this “natural” letting go you enter phase 3, the feeling of letting go is similar to the feeling of jumping off a cliff or sitting on a raft without oars on a fast moving current of water. As long as you are taken in by the doubts, questions and fears of the mind you are still in phase 2, where you are just deepening in your enlightenment – there will come a time when your trust in your life stream is so strong that you surrender your doubts and let go of control, allowing yourself to be taken over by life instead of navigating through your mind’s external conditioning which is always rooted in fear/lack. As phase 3 keeps maturing you find yourself letting go more and more deeply, in layers, until awareness can fully disidentify from the mind’s fears (rather transcending the mind’s resistances) – this brings an end to phase 3 and the beginning of phase 4 where awareness brings its focus back into the mind/physicality to manifest its natural expression in an uninhibited manner.

  2. Jay

    Dear sen
    In phase 4, do we have to know that we have fully attain awareness and have to intentionally return our focus to our mind? Or returning to our mind is automatic response after completing phase 3? Also, some of your post mentioned that letting go allows our old reality to deconstruct which will also leads to resistance from the mind and causes suffering. How do I distinguish between struggling due to deconstruction of old reality and personal will/effort. Thanks.

    1. Sen Post author

      Phase 4 is simply the “Stable” state that one reaches when the resistance in the mind ebbs away to the point where it no longer has any influence on the movement of your life stream. When I say awareness comes back to physicality in full focus, it’s just a way of describing what it feels like within when you sense that there is no longer a movement of “detachment” from the mind’s negativity (because the momentum of negativity ebbs away totally in its influence) rather there is now a movement of total “involvement” due to the absence of “resistance”.

      Phase 3 is when awareness detaches itself from the negativity/resistance of the mind, and allows the resistances to ebb away in intensity. As phase 3 comes to an end one naturally can sense a higher level of involvement in physicality (since so much energy is freed up that was previously taken up by the resistances in the mind). This is just a natural movement and it just happens automatically as soon as the mind’s resistances are dealt with during phase 3.

    2. Sen Post author

      The mind associates fear with change, so its natural for it to feel a sense of uncertainty/anxiety when the old realities, that are no longer congruent with your new vibration, start to dissolve. Some old relationships may dissolve, you may move out of a job that never felt congruent with you, you may moved of the vicinity of people who are not congruent with your aligned state of being, some old habits dissolve etc The realities which dissolve are the ones that were a source of suffering for you, but the mind will try to cling to these realities because they feel “familiar” even though they were dysfunctional. It’s very possible, and happens quite commonly, that the mind will try to use its “personal will” and forced determination to try to maintain certain old realities that are dissolving, it’s a futile effort but the it’s natural for the mind try to fight this change through some desperate actions. However, all the starts understanding that its struggles are of no use, and the mind also starts losing its power of influence, hence it feels helpless for a while and it also throws up a lot of “tantrums” about its helplessness – these tantrums can be quite unpleasant but as you stay stable in your awareness they pass away harmlessly. As the mind loses its grip on your vibration, as phase 3 continues, realities will transition more quickly and more smoothly. Eventually the mind starts feeling happy about the new realities that start coming forth and it understands why the old realities needed to be dissolved – and there is a lot of gratitude and appreciation in the mind for the intelligence of life.

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  4. Kaatha

    I thought Buddha was one of the rare souls to attain enlightment. Do you mean to say that there are more buddha’s living now in this modern world?

    1. Sen Post author

      Kaatha, Enlightened living is to let go into the pull of your life-stream, leading a resistance-free life (I also call it “aligned living”)- there are many who have been living this way(before and now), it’s just that Gautham Buddha was an amazing “teacher” of this way of living and hence got famous. Just because you are living in alignment doesn’t mean that you become a “teacher”, neither do you become “famous” just because you are aligned with life – Gautham Buddha’s natural expression was to be a teacher, someone else might have been a house-wife, a sweeper or a painter.

      I would call this age the age of awakening/enlightenment because more and more people are waking up from mind-identification, and realizing their true nature as the wholeness of life, owing to the amount of information/teachings that are accessible through the stream of “internet”. Youngsters and adults alive are waking up to their true nature, and finding alignment with their natural expression. What used to take 10-20 years to realize before can be realized in a matter a few months if one has the attitude of learning because there is so much open information available now which can be accessed from the comfort of your home.

      You can read this post – seeking enlightenment, to get some insights on what it really is about so that you don’t have misguided or extra-ordinary ideas and imaginations about it.

  5. Clay

    Phase 1. You wake up from your mind’s external conditioning and realize your true wholeness as the universal consciousness, and realize the truths about life’s movement. (This is called awakening of awareness)

    I consider myself to be woken up from my minds external conditioning, but i certainly dont feel wholeness with the universal conscience or realise the truth abouts lifes movement. I would consider myself an “aware” being, well aware of my thoughts how i act, why i act the way i do, ect, so why dont i fell the rest of it? People talk about big love and one with the universe stuff, but i dont get any of that. Im starting to think this “awareness” stuff is just a waste of my time.

    1. Sen Post author

      Clay, this “awareness stuff” eventually is the means through which you become a better human, by “better” I just mean a more aligned and balanced life-energy. As you said, you are becoming more and more aware of your mind patterns, which means you are no longer unconsciously in the pull of its negativity, is that not a great benefit to start with? So, how was this a waste of time? And as for the “big love” and “oneness experience” people talk about, it’s just “experience”, nothing different from experiences created through the use of certain drugs or altered consciousness states – it’s not a big deal, it’s mostly just an entertainment created by mystical experience. There are many “mystical experience” junkies in the spiritual circles who are addicted to these “shots” of experience. You don’t have to go that way, just use your awareness to improve your physical life to start with, use it to free yourself of the pull of negativity so that you are no longer driven by fear or any other imbalance for that matter. Be open to constant growth and understanding, that’s what you need to use your awareness for.

  6. Viraj

    Hello Sen,

    I have been letting go for 1 month and I am damn confused whether i am doing the right thing. This is because I am coming across various states like total confusion and uncertainty, intense sadness and depression, boredom and anxiety. I am petrified whether I am doing something wrong and my mind always wants to figure out whether I am on the right path. It feels like these states will never go away. Earlier you had said you have to allow these feelings to rise. So I am allowing myself to be depressed if I am depressed, bored if I am bored, sad if I am sad and so on. But again my mind starts to figure out whether I am suppressing or allowing these feelings. Also it feels like I have lost my personality and I am feeling very vulnerable and unworthy. My self esteem seems to have plumetted down. can you please guide me..I am in total confusion….I dont know what allowing feels like.. Again thanks in advance

  7. Clay

    Thanks Sen, a positive word spoken at the right time.
    There is a few other things happening and I’m not sure what’s going on.
    I know longer have any of my friends left, people I have known over 30 yrs, just don’t have anything in common I think, a job I loved I now have no time for and am only doing due to the financial situation on the planet( I’m in finance so I know how bad it is) . I used to be a big drinker and dope smoker, u would never guess and now I carnt seem to, its hard to explain, I wish I had a better way with words. I still have a smoke and a drink but very rarely. I even stopped smoking tobacco after 35 years without even trying. I just stopped. Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, just odd that’s all. But about 2 weeks ago I started getting really angry with everything. I watch it come up and can usually laugh at myself, but a few times I said things to my boss and people around me things I would never say, to corporate savvy, but they just came out of my mouth. It’s like my mind is pretty pissed of with me and trying every trick in the book. It’s like I’m trying doing it deliberately. It’s like I’m in free fall and I’m shit scared. I realise I’m still at stage 1 and don’t mind hard work, but does it get better? Honestly feel I’m I’m free fall and I’m two scared to go with it. Im acting like a two year old stamping his feet.

    1. Sen Post author

      Clay, the process of coming into balance can look chaotic for a while as the old structures of imbalance, and the realities created by them, are brought down. You are more like in the “letting go” phase, and are coming into an inner balance and it’s scary only when you don’t realize that it’s actually a positive process. You can get more insights in these posts

  8. Sid

    Sen, jumping off a cliff [been reading similar denouement in Carlos Castaneda’s books.] or riding on a rudderless boat trusting completely that which IS seems to be a complete impossibility as one tends to jump out of the ride very soon out of mortal fear of God knows what. To not venture that far seems to be a gut reaction and not a conscious decision and to consciously venture thus far would probably require a gargantuan Will. And thus we ought to engender, as Don Juan says, Energy and nurture the Will to then accomplish the impossible, if at all…How do you do it ? I am not able to even kick a simple thing as smoking…can I ever hope to make it ? though I am not giving up…

    1. Sen Post author

      Sid, it’s important to not get too dramatic about this process and just focus first on understanding the actual mechanics of how to bring a state of allowing to work at reducing the momentum of the mind and emotional space. These pointer of “jumping off the cliff” or “riding a rudderless boat” and dramatic statements like that may be great to hear, but essentially they just create a lot of resistance/fear in the mind because it imagines some extra-ordinary change, which is not how this process works – and the state of inner wholeness does not feel like riding a rudderless boat at all, it feels like a state of deep inner control and direction. In truth its a very ordinary process of allowing the release of layers of negativity that have a momentum within you, by developing the space of awareness, and connecting with your space of being. If you primarily focus on releasing the momentum of negativity within you, you will see that dysfunctional addictions lose their hold on you automatically without needing any forced discipline. You can read this post – for some insights on how to start getting grounded in this process.

  9. j

    I have a question regarding stage 3 and 4.
    you mention that some ppl get stuck in phase 3 and for some ppl, not returning to focus(stage 4) may be due to fear of getting back into unconscious stage..

    so, if one does try to reach stage 4 and actually do end up back in unconscious behavior, does that mean regression? or does it mean that this person actually havent reached stage 3, but ‘thought’ he did?

    so to simply state, could someone attem to return to focus from transcendental(stage 3) and end up getting lost in unconsciousness again? if so, what does it mean? does it mean this person still have cycles of momentum left in him?

    thanks sen, your guidance is truly appreciated

    1. Sen Post author

      J, basically, it’s not a strictly linear process – there is a stage when you are done with most of the release, but you still have some momentum left, so at this stage the return of focus starts happening while also working on releasing the remaining momentum. If you sense that there is still a strong momentum in your mind (or emotional energy), it just means that you will have to work on releasing it consciously – it doesn’t mean that there is a “regression”, it just means there are a few more layers of momentum to be released. What I mean by “being lost in unconsciousness” is about being lost to a pull of imbalance/negativity in some way. At some point, during the return of focus, you would just be in a state of flow (no longer bothering with “trying” to be aware), that does not mean you’ve become “unconscious” it just means that you’ve settled in to the natural state (what I would call migrating from aware competence to relaxed competence).

  10. Rahul

    Hey Sen,

    So by being in a state of total allowing and releasing all our mind/emotional momentum, we will naturally transition through all these phases and reach inner wholeness? I remember reading on this blog about “Conscious Living”, which you said was very different than the “state of allowing”. Do we have to worry about going into this phase and doing things differently, or will it just happen naturally once my mind/emotional momentum has been released? Because right now, I am not sure what comes AFTER the state of allowing (if there is anything at all) and it is making me uncertain. Can I just trust the process of release will guide me through all the phases I need to get to to reach inner wholeness?

  11. Mark

    Dear Sen, forgive me for my curiousity. Right now, i am able to sense a thought when they come up and immediately allowing the negative energy/emotion that comes along, and sometimes with a subtle fear of the mind, is this normal? But these last 3-4 days I felt that my mind momentum is very high, i always got stuck in them for some time and then aware that i got lost in them, is this also normal? Am i doing it right? Sometimes when i am in doubt about whether i am doing it right or wrong, i just ignore it, and allowing the negative emotion arise, is this the correct way to do it?

    Thank you Sen

  12. Em

    I just went into phase 3, I think. Just came off a pretty aggressive phase of awakening (about a month of depression) and hit the wall one day – it was like I hit my limit and just gave in for good. The next day I woke up and had a completely different awareness of myself and my mind. Ive had glimpses of it in the past, but now I totally get it.

    Is it an active process to get to stage 4? I can see that part of what I need to do now is just get familiar with how it feels to function in normal environments given that I have a different sense of awareness. Im already finding in some situations I go straight back to functioning from the mind and there are times the mind wants to pull me back in. Just being aware helps stop it, but I can see I have work to form new habits. Is there anything else I should be aware of or trying to do? (I haven’t found any other entires about this)

  13. Michael

    At present moment, eating not only feels a little revolting, but as of tonight the idea of it seems weird. It’s like I’m highly aware of the food in my stomach after I eat it, so I’m thinking “Food is abnormal” or something.

    I’m not sure if that is a old thought unearthed (I can’t remember having a strong feeling like that) or if it’s partially being fueled by the never ending nausea I’ve been having for a week – it’s a constant “*groan I feel sick” and 3 separate days where the feeling of vomiting is imminent (but doesn’t happen) and it lasts for hours. (edit 2 minutes after typing this – it’s back, god damn it)

    I came to the conclusion that the nausea is my stomach chakra clearing out, but the sudden “foreigner outlook” on food is quite puzzling, could it be my very old food repulsion mindset coming up? Will the high awareness of my stomach go away when the chakra is all clean?

    In addition to that, I’m skinnier than before, despite not really eating any less, so I assume that is due to toxins being released. In relation to that, I’m having thoughts like “The repulsion continues and you get skinnier, it’s suicide time, mister”, which is probably just dramatic thinking.

    If I’ve ever needed an assurance it’d be now, so please help.

    1. Sen Post author

      Michael, it’s possible that there is a strong accumulation of energy of hatred in the form of disgust, irritation, frustration or intolerance, present (possibly in you as a soul or in your current body through cellular memory, or a combination of both) and though your current awareness is not lost to this imbalance the energy still has to be released. One does have bodily reactions like feeling a constant sense of nausea or bodily irritation/inflammation, lack of appetite, lack of interest in sensual activities, when there is a specific accumulation of the emotional energy of disgust, which is a form of “hatred energy”. During the release, as this accumulation of energy comes up to be released, it’s bound to create these “symptoms” in some higher intensity for a while, but eventually things the intensity ebbs away and things start harmonizing, returning to balance. How long it takes depends totally on the load that has been accumulated, but the fact that you are in a state of openness would allow the release to happen at a faster rate. I would suggest that you don’t try to force yourself to eat if you don’t feel like eating, even if it means not eating for a few days, and just sustaining on juice or water – just eat if you really feel like eating. The body is intelligent enough to sustain itself, you don’t have to worry about the body killing itself, it’s a survival machine and it knows it job – when nutrition is really necessary it will prompt for it, beyond that just allow your body the space to ride out the release in a way that’s most comfortable for it without trying to force anything.
      Don’t worry about losing weight either, when the release is done with you will be able to regain an optimal weight in a short time.

  14. Michael

    Thanks a million Sen, I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better answer. One more question – do you think it’s possible to have missed a growth spurt? My brother back in 2009/2010 gained like 50+ pounds within a few months without changing his dietary habits at all and nothing like that happened to me, as I was insanely skinny back then as well and was forcing myself to eat every few hours just to jumpstart a minute weight gain.

    1. Mark

      Michael, i also has the same experience. For a 26 years old guy with 112 pounds body weight, I feel small. Sometimes my mind use my own bodyweight to terrorize me, it’s kind of funny though. And I have a desire to gain body weight since years ago. But until now, I dont see the manifestation of this desire. Maybe this desire is coming from feeling of lack.

      Sen can you help us? I need your insight about can “a conscious living” or awareness change our body? Or I am stuck in this small body for the rest of my life?

    2. Sen Post author

      Mark, you may first want to look towards allowing this feeling of “limitation” (including this sense of inferiority about your physique) fully. All along you’ve been hating it, resenting it and basically fighting it in yourself, being irritable, insecure and frustrated on a dominant basis owing to this resistance towards your limitation. Whether your body changes or not is secondary, what’s primary is that you first allow the experience that it’s creating in its present state – the experience of the feeling of inferiority, the feeling of limitation. It’s a dark feeling, but it’s something that you need to allow fully for a certain balance to happen within you. May be there are aspects of impatience, irritability, arrogance and superficiality, that are present in you currently and the experience of inferiority/limitation is something that’s needed to balance it out, to bring in a humility, a depth and a maturity in your being. This may be your growth for now that you need to work on, and once you do allow for this balance to take place certain things can shift in your reality to reflect this balance. In a state of balance you may become aligned with your body as it is, or you may bring forth improvements to your physique through some wisdom based actions (like working on your diet and exercise), but first what needs to shift in your inner resistance towards limitation.

    3. Mark

      Thanks Sen. I have been aware of a lot of feelings, ever since, I read your posts and Eckhart Tolle’s book, I feel like I have a lot of things to change, a lot of imbalances (in light nature and dark nature), I got this feeling that I am chaos, I am not of what I used to think of myself.

      But among all those feelings, sometimes I am wondering why I can still smiling, why I can still feel joy. You have mentioned many times about any sensation, feelings, and emotions that exist in this life is just an experience. But it’s weird why do I feel so clear about it now. I mean, if it’s just an experience why do we fear it? Why do we get identified by it? Maybe it is because the mind’s fear that makes everything looks scary, terrifying. Maybe i am on the process of finding this false self.

      Thanks Sen.

  15. Fingaladinga

    I’m still going through the detox phase, and there are times when letting go of the mind is easier than others. As of recently I seem to have allowed the negativity into my consciousness more so than I have in the past, and it feels more separate from me despite the intense discomfort.There are times when I am able to catch myself using the state of allowing as a technique (which I know you said is okay initially until the momentum dies away) and can then let go more into allowing a state of being instead

    Sometimes I can allow fully and let the negativity to be released, while other times (like last night) my negativity just ended up getting pushed down, despite me “wanting” to stay with it, like someone else was doing it. I’m not sure whether this comes from the need to control, or a lack of awareness in the specific moment, or if this is just a hiccup in the release process that I do not need to worry about.

    Sometimes during release processes, I am aware of myself, or a part of myself, clamping down on whatever negativity is coming up. I am aware of this in the moment it happens, and it usually still allows room for the negativity to move. Sometimes I can unclamp, and sometimes its not so easy.

    I had thought that I was in full swing phase 3, but could this mean that I am stuck between phases, or is all this just part of the release process?

    1. Sen Post author

      Fingaladinga, you can just move into a deeper “allowing” where you let go of the need to “try to allow”, and let go of the need to figure out “is this over, am I doing this right, am I stuck” etc. This is just a part of release process where you simply have to go into a deeper letting-go/allowing.

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