Firstly, it’s crucial to understand one thing. Awakening to your True Nature, reconnecting with your Soul, however you want to put it, doesn’t happen by ‘your’ doing. It happens by grace. It arrives when it arrives.
Although you can’t control when the shell cracks, when the seed falls, and when the bud blooms, you can create a good atmosphere that encourages this blossoming.
Here are seven ways to awaken to your True Nature:
1. Understand that everything you need is already here
It is here. It is in you, it is in me, it is in all life, both sentient and insentient. It is everywhere. As long as you are searching for it, it cannot be found because you assume that it is someplace else.
“All the answers are within.” I know this sounds cliche, but there’s a reason why it’s a common saying. Pair this with a gratitude practice, and you’ll be stepping outside of the endless game of seeking, striving, and consuming that is a cornerstone of spiritual materialism. Instead, you will gradually deepen into an appreciation of the beauty of what Is and the wisdom that is always accessible within you.
2. Simplify, purge, and make space
We carry so much clutter in our lives. Any type of mess is a weight on the mind (which causes the mind to become hyperactive). Clutter can be what we externally possess or agree to or, alternatively, what we internally carry. Examples of external clutter may include excessive belongings, too many unnecessary commitments, and disorderly social engagements. Internal clutter can include, for example, unexamined beliefs, ideals, desires, and traumas. I’m not saying that you should sell everything, cut ties with everyone, and go live in a nunnery or monastery. Instead, just try to make as much space as you can in all areas of life. Practice non-attachment. Do this at your own pace with self-love. Making space allows what’s important to grow and flourish.
Psychotherapist Robert Johnson echoes this sentiment, writing,
To ‘create space’ is both to allow realisation of our inherent higher Self to occur, and to allow existence to ‘send’ desired things our way. In this sense ‘creating space’ is a metaphor for Self-realization … When we do not create space, when we are too present in our ego-self and its chronic tensions and mistrust of existence, there is no room inside for creation to occur.
3. Be sincere and committed to a mature spiritual practice
Your spiritual practice won’t “earn” you awakening or self-realization of your True Nature, but it will help to make the garden of your being fertile (if that makes sense). As Bonnie Glass-Coffin Ph.D. and don OscarMiro-Quesada write:
For it is difficult to remain awake to our true nature, even after we have glimpsed it. The ego fights mightily against our enlightenment. That is why spiritual practice is so important.
This is why practices such as meditation and inner work are so vital. They help to make internal (and external) space, undo inner knots and contractions, and relax our inner selves. They help us to experience spiritual maturity.
4. Learn to trust your own inner authority
There’s another main reason why we chose the wolf as the symbol of this website (and the spiritual journey). The wolf symbolizes self-sovereignty and trust in one’s own inner authority. Without this trust, it’s too easy to give away our power to limiting belief systems, gurus, teachers, and others who would have us buy into their worldview. Indeed, it’s too easy to go astray when we have no inner fire, no inner sense of our own divine sovereignty.
Spiritual teacher, Jeff Foster, echoes this, pointing out that eventually, we have no choice but to trust our own inner authority (so better now than later!):
All your preconceived notions of “enlightenment” will shatter into a million pieces; your happy ideas of “spiritual awakening” will not survive this, oh no! You will be forced into a face-to-face encounter with life, without the comfort of Mummy and Daddy, without the shield of belief, without the protection of ego, without the seeming security of fixed reference points. Even your most beloved spiritual gurus and philosophers will no longer be of any use. The raw pleasure and the pain of it, unfiltered, at last! No longer numb, you will be as softly vulnerable as you were in the beginning, before you knew right and wrong, good and bad, God and the devil. At first, this will be terrifying, this total reliance on inner authority, on your gut, on your belly, on your intestines, this absolute openness to experience, this honoring of yourself; but you will learn to trust the path of no path at all, and you will make your nest in the warm bosom of insecurity. And everything will be held in the most profound silence. Oh yes, for sure, there will be heartbreak! Yet there will be joy, too, the likes of which you’ve only ever dreamed about!”
Trusting your inner authority doesn’t mean becoming an egomaniac or denying all help/guidance from outside sources. No. Instead, it means honoring your innate, bone-deep wisdom that is outside of the realm of mind altogether.
5. Be aware of the ego’s tricks, ploys, and scams
There’s no need to demonize the ego, but it is a tricksy fella. It will do all it can to convince us that if only we align our chakras a little bit more, awaken our kundalini, or clear all past karma will we then become enlightened. If that doesn’t make it hard enough, we’ll also have other ego’s confirming these delusions around us – and that’s why practicing spiritual discernment is so crucial. Without being mindful and being able to see clearly through our own delusion, it’s easy to get trapped in the sticky spider web of cosmic la-la land.
Remember that awakening to our True Nature (what is known as Moksha, Illumination, Enlightenment) is not something “achieved” by the individual self, the me.
6. Explore the nature of the “I”
To awaken to our True Nature we need to be able to distinguish what is actually true to begin with. In other words, we need to actually have direct experience of the transparent/transient nature of the ego and the unchanging presence beneath that.
Perhaps the simplest way to do this is via self-inquiry, or asking the question “Who am I?” This can be done either in meditation or in contemplation. Indian sage Sri Ramana Maharshi popularized this technique which has been adopted and taught in many meditation circles and spiritual fields.
So, who are you? What within you isn’t subject to birth, change, and decay? I’ll leave that to you to discover. 🙂 Feel free to check out the book ‘Who Am I?’ for more guidance.
7. It’s simple
After reading all of this you might be thinking, “geez, this is all so complex.”
Don’t worry. It’s not. But it seems that way!
Our minds have a way of complicating things; creating stories and obstacles that don’t really exist – making a mountain out of a molehill. Believing that we must “earn” our way to freedom.
As spiritual teacher Unmani writes,
After searching for fulfilment or enlightenment for years, to be told that I am already fulfilled and enlightened seems to be too easy. ‘Surely it must be something more, something very spiritual.’ Enlightened people should act a certain way and look a certain way. They should be vegetarian and not smoke or drink. Enlightened people are people who have attained a special spiritual state after years or lifetimes of meditation and self-enquiry. They have dissolved all their karmic knots and opened all their chakras. This shows in their compassion and their aura of unconditional love for mankind … Why would Life be anything but easy? There is just the assumption that it has to be difficult because in the play, when I want to achieve something, it seems that I need to work hard at it. The nature of Life is not difficult. Look at a flower; does it work really hard to be a flower? Does it need to hold the image of ‘flower’ in order to be a flower? What is being pointed to here is simply Life recognising itself. Life being Life. Flower being flower. It’s so easy that it’s already all just happening by itself!
In other words, this is it. You are it. You are already that which you seek. You don’t need to pretend to be something or someone special. What you’re looking for isn’t in a future ideal state. Everything is here already. Why wouldn’t it be?
When we orient ourselves toward this simplicity, we find the truth. We discover a doorway of awakening. We learn that simplicity is truth. We understand that simplicity is clear, pure, and untainted while complexity is of the mind which is convoluted, dramatic, and stressful. The mind believes everything must be a super tricky game. This gives the mind the illusion that it’s “achieving” something special while preoccupying itself. But what you are seeking for is that which you already are, and what you already are can’t be achieved!
So move toward simplicity. And figure out what that means to you.
Awakening to your True Nature is both an end and beginning. It’s the end of the spiritual search but the beginning of freedom. And ultimately, that’s all we’re searching for at the end of the day. At the heart of every lone wolf walking the inner quest is the longing to reunite with that which we truly are.
About the author:
Mateo Sol is a prominent psychospiritual teacher whose work has influenced the lives of thousands of people worldwide. Born into a family with a history of drug addiction, schizophrenia, and mental illness, Mateo Sol was taught about the plight of the human condition from a young age. As a spiritual guide and teacher, Sol’s mission is to help others experience freedom, wholeness, and peace in any stage of life. See more of his work at lonerwolf.com.
This article, 7 Ways to Awaken to Your True Nature (and End Seeking!), was originally published on lonerwolf.com, reproduced with permission.
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