The first modern, comprehensive resource on spiritual awakenings, this pragmatic, clear guide covers everything from the first step on a spiritual journey to enlightenment, and the different types of spiritual awakenings, from mild to dramatic, we may go through.
Using the concept of the twelve layers that cover an awakened state Mary Mueller Shutan addresses every step of the spiritual journey, starting with the Self and showing how family, ancestral, past lives, karmic, archetypal, and other larger layers such as societal, cultural, global, and cosmic energies condition us to sleep and obscure our realization of an awakened state. Instructions for how to navigate through each of these layers and how to recognize where we are in our spiritual journey are included each step of the way along with common physical, emotional, and spiritual symptoms that may be experienced. By addressing post-awakening states, oneness, dark nights of the soul, ego death, near-death and severe illness, psychic abilities, addictions, dietary changes, the God self, personal and collective shadow, and psychosis vs. awakening we understand the experiences we may go through while struggling with spiritual awakenings. This practical book opens new understandings of how to live in the world while going through an awakening process, and offers the revolutionary idea that we are meant to be humans, to have a physical body with physical, sensate experiences and emotions. We are meant to live in the world and be a part of it even as fully awakened individuals. This guide proposes a look at the possibility of leading a grounded, earth-bound life of work, family, friends, and other experiences in an awakened state.
For many of us, awakening is something that is actively searched for. Years of meditation practice, yoga, workshops, and healing methods all have led us to awakening. This is the ideal path—one of gradual changes, deep understandings of a spiritual nature, and a context and container, such as a meditation group or teacher who can guide us through the process, provide us with understandings, and allay any fears that come up along the path.
For others, awakening occurs as a result of the searching process but lacks the appropriate teacher or guide to the experience. We find ourselves awakening through spiritual pursuits but find that our teacher, the other students, and our friends are not, and then have nowhere to turn for real assistance during the process.
Some of us who are awake were simply born into an awakened state. When we are born this way, we may gradually lose this state or put ourselves to sleep when we come to an age where we understand that it is not culturally appropriate to be awake in a world that is not. In an effort to be “normal”—relating and similar in understandings to our family members, friends, and community—we shut down our awareness. It is common for many of us awakening as adults to remember the specific moment we shut ourselves down or started to wear a mask to appear normal. A few of us who are born awake stay that way, simply deepening our experiences and understandings as we mature.
Mary Mueller Shutan is a Spiritual Teacher and Author. She holds a Master's degree in Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture and Herbalism), is a Diplomate of CranioSacral therapy, and has extensively studied bodywork, energy work, and spiritual healing. Although she has been interested in spiritual and mystical topics since she was a young child, she began experiencing a kundalini awakening in 2003 which propelled her to spend the next decade of her life devoted to study, meditation, ritual work, and her clinical practice. Since that time she has supported thousands of students and clients seeking assistance for their spiritual experiences. Known for her clarity and straight-forward nature, her books, blogs and teachings are for people seeking depth, authenticity, as well as spiritual and energetic tools.