Ten Steps to Self-Realization
"The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph. Self-realization demands very great struggle."~ Swami Sivananda
Self-realization entails going beyond ourselves towards "something more" than what we have been socially conditioned to be.
10 Steps to Self-Realization
1. Ego Formation: Coming into a human body involves forming an ego identity. Your ego has a "me story" based on your human experiences. Your ego is the subject of your personal narrative.
2. Practicing Presence: Meditation cultivates presence. Meditation techniques typically involve sitting quietly, breathing deeply and slowly. If your eyes are open, you can aim them toward the floor, a blank wall, or possibly on a candle or a mandala. If your eyes are shut, you can focus your attention between your eyes or in your heart.
3. Monkey Mind: When your unprocessed emotions come up in meditation, your "monkey mind" will get activated. When it is activated, it is best to observe your mind without getting pulled into the emotional content.
4. Emergence of the Observer: After you do some emotional processing, your monkey mind will quiet down, and you might notice a perceptual shift that establishes a division between your Observer Self and your thinking mind.
5. Siding with the Observer: Once the Observer emerges, it is important to “side” with the Observer and encourage some distance from your ego. The goal at this stage is to identify more with the observer rather than with your conditioned mind.
6. Observing Habitual Patterns: As you establish more identification with Your Observer, the patterns of your socially manufactured self can be discovered. As you go deeper into your unconscious programs, you will discover the roots of your dysfunctional beliefs, emotions and behaviours.
7. Deconstructing Painful Patterns: You can make the unconscious - conscious. You can examine, care for, and neutralize painful emotional and thinking patterns. The more deeply you observe yourself, the more profoundly you can exercise choice and self-agency.
8. Daily Awareness: Once you have excavated your major pain patterns, it is intriguing to notice how your nervous system is still driven by automatic programs from the past. Yet now, when your habitual self takes over, you can interrupt it, and focus more intensely on the here and now.
9. Depth Inquiry: Once you can maintain more continuous awareness to the present moment, you can begin to live your life more intuitively, based on what feels right and wrong, much freer from influences from the past.
10. Pristine Awareness: Ask yourself, "Am I aware right now?" Observe yourself being aware of the present moment. Sense your awareness as a larger field that exists beyond the construct of your familiar narrative.
You are so much more than your adverse human experiences. With enough practice, you can identify yourself as your vaster (soul) awareness much more of the time. Your human thoughts and emotions can still be there, but they will not drive your entire experience of life.
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