Genuine spiritual awakening has always been the pinnacle of human aspiration. If you’ve had even a glimpse of this profound spiritual potential, you know that an extraordinary, enlightened life is possible–a life filled with meaning and purpose, in which you have access to a seemingly limitless well of inspiration, wisdom, love and creativity.
So, why is that, for thousands of years, the supreme goal of spiritual awakening has been shrouded in mystery, believed to be accessible only indirectly through decades (or even lifetimes) of repetitive and often tedious meditation practice?
As a spiritual practitioner, it never made sense to me that spiritual awakening should be so inaccessible.
After all, spiritual masters East and West have always told us that the miracle of Awakened Consciousness already exists, fully formed, inside of each of us–that this luminous awareness is none other than our own true nature.
If this “spiritual nature” is truly who we already are, why would it be nearly impossible to gain consistent, ongoing access to it?
It was my pursuit of this inquiry over decades of spiritual practice and teaching that eventually led me to a discovery that turned my entire world upside down.
The context for the inquiry that gave birth to the Practice of Direct Awakening was a series of evolutionary laboratories I had the good fortune to participate in.
When I talk about an evolutionary laboratory, I’m not referring to a sterile environment where people in lab coats attach electrodes to the scalps of meditators. I’m referring to a place where dedicated spiritual practitioners come together and spend thousands of hours doing spiritual practice and experimenting with awakening.
It was in one such laboratory that this new way of approaching meditation and awakening emerged.
The unexpected discovery that gave birth to this new form of spiritual practice is that it is possible to meditate in such a way that enables us to tap directly into the infinite energy, intelligence, and freedom of enlightenment every time we practice.
Instead of doing practices designed to bring about a future moment of awakening, we can practice “being awake” right now.
It’s a subtle shift in approach. But it changes everything.
In order to begin this exploration of the approach to meditation I call “the practice of direct awakening,” I want to invite you to temporarily set aside everything you’ve already learned about meditation.
Not because I think what you’ve learned is wrong or that this approach is “better,” but simply because the approach I’m describing may have little or nothing in common with meditation as you’ve been practicing it—other than the outer posture of sitting still for a while every day.
For most of us, meditating means silently repeating a mantra or sacred word, or following our breath, or labeling our thoughts and feelings as they arise, or trying to become a witness of our mind.
But this practice is about something entirely different.
It is a practice of directly recognizing our Enlightened essence or what is often referred to as “awakened awareness” or “awakened consciousness.”
In other words, the Practice of Direct Awakening is an approach to meditation designed to bring us into the immediate and direct awareness of our true nature beyond the mind and ego.
It is not a practice we do now to prepare for a future moment of Awakening.
It is not a practice we do now in order to get better at something or to strengthen particular capacities.
It is a practice of being Awake right now. Of being Enlightened right now.
This is possible because Enlightenment is the discovery of who we already are. It is the discovery of our “true nature.”
The revolutionary proposition at the heart of the Practice of Direct Awakening is that you don’t have to wait for Awakening to happen to you. You don’t have to spend a lifetime practicing various techniques in the hope that one day you will stumble upon awakened consciousness. It’s possible to actually practice being Awake, or resting in your true nature which is always already Awake.
At the heart of this paradigm shift is the recognition that just as our ordinary, unawakened consciousness operates in predictable ways, awakened consciousness also functions in reliable, observable ways. And if you can observe and understand how the natural functioning of awakened consciousness works, you can learn how to practice stepping directly into it.
For instance, if you’ve ever had a moment of awakening, you probably noticed that awakened consciousness is fluid, flexible, open and at ease. It does not grasp after certainty. It does not identify with thoughts and feelings. It does not react mechanically to circumstances. And it is naturally aware of the vast open field of consciousness itself.
When you engage in The Practice of Direct Awakening, you practice all of these things in meditation. You practice letting go. You practice letting things be. You practice not clinging on to the mind, not grasping after certainty and not identifying with thought.
You practice simply being present, awake, and aware and not in reaction to what’s happening. You practice not holding out for a better future, not looking for enlightenment or fulfillment somewhere other than in this moment.
All of these and many other natural attitudes or dispositions of awakening are things that you and I can sit down for 30 minutes a day and practice.
When you do this, you’re practicing relating to your mind, your feelings, and this world in an enlightened way. Instead of waiting for enlightenment to happen to you, you’re practicing being enlightened. Instead of waiting to wake up, you’re practicing being awake. Instead of waiting for a spiritual explosion to break you out of the prison of the ego,you’re practicing being free in each moment.
Another way to look at this is that when you do The Practice of Direct Awakening, you’re creating daily opportunities for awakened consciousness to show up by practicing a way of being that only awakened consciousness can participate in. Your ego can’t do any of the practices I just described. But you can. And when you do, you’re making room for a profound mystery, an infinite dimension of being, to show up in your experience right now. What if awakening didn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process leading toward an ultimately unpredictable result?
What if, instead of spending the next 10, 20, or 30 years doing mindfulness practices, watching your breath or repeating mantras in an attempt to prepare for Enlightenment, you could engage in a daily practice that gave you direct access to Awakened Consciousness right now?
What if, instead of hoping for a lightning bolt of spiritual insight to awaken you sometime in the distant future, you could practice aligning with the limitless energy, intelligence and freedom of Enlightenment every single day?
If you’ve been struggling with meditation and other practices for any length of time, you may find that what I’m asserting sounds just too good to be true, or too easy to be genuinely transformational.
But, after teaching the Practice of Direct Awakening to thousands of people over the past decade, I can say with confidence that anybody with a sincere aspiration to Awaken can do this.
You can do this. It doesn’t have to take a lifetime to wake up.
Access a vibrant support structure to help you express and live your awakening in every moment of your life.
The Awakened Life Membership Program offers frequent opportunities for live virtual engagement with Craig and a structured practice program within a dedicated community of support.
I have been a Vipassana meditator for the last 38 years and believe that meditation is an ongoing process, like life, forever in flux, forever changing… the growth is eternal & beyond mind and matter.. equanimity with the awareness that “This Too Shall Pass” can you add to that?
I agree completely, having come to the same conclusive experience, which I explain in my book, “You Are the Light: Secrets of the Sages Made Simple.” So happy to read your words which corroborate my own understanding.
How is your program set up? Do you have to be available at set times to participate? Is it daily? I am so interested in this. Excited about your reply!
Susan here, from Craig’s team. My apologies for the delay in my response to you, I somehow missed seeing your question when reviewing the comments. 😕
You do not have to be available at set times to participate in Craig’s 12-week online meditation course. The module materials are released to you weekly, and you may proceed at your own pace.
You can learn all about The Practice of Direct Awakening on our information page here:
And if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us by writing to email@example.com. We would be happy to help!
Thank you for your interest and have a great day.
I just got access yesterday, will this be adjusted in my 7 day access?
If you haven’t done so already, please write to our support desk at firstname.lastname@example.org with your question and they’ll be happy to help you!
Psychotherapy aligns with Mindfulness (Indirect mindfulness) to treat stress and dysfunctional “parts..”
How does Direct Mindfulness align (if at all) with psychotherapy?
I am a Jewish woman, 73 years old. For 30 years, I lived in Marin County, practicing numerous forms of spirituality (Buddhism, Hinduism, A Course in Miracles, Science of Mind, MS in Counseling Psychology from CIIS, and more . . . not Judaism). I moved back to New Jersey to care for my elderly parents. There I worked hard as a teacher and principal. My parents died, I retired, moved to Tallahassee, and I joined a synagogue. Learning Judaism feels like coming home. I have done some Jewish meditation, but I want more, deeper. So, here I am.
hi craig; kanishk nathan here; im on yr mailing list long time; im interested in yr meditation technique; but i have a question; how is yrs different and faster to cieve self realization than many of the major indian practices like transcendental meditation, tm and kriya youga; and have you dont any research on these methods before you make this claim of yr technique being faster than above mentioned methods? no offence mean im just curious; thanks and i await yr answers
Dear People’ I signed up. I have not heard a word from you. No meditation, nothing. Same as last year. Where I gave up. Are you so local still, that you cannot write people in Europe. ? Why do you contact me then? Put me in the seminar or give me the money back
Susan here, from Craig’s team. I’m sorry you’ve had difficulty accessing the seminar. Please write to our support desk at email@example.com and describe what has happened and what you signed up for — I’m sure they’ll help you get it straightened out quickly.
Hi Craig & your team, I love the idea and I am fully in agreement with this approach. It makes perfect sense to my logical mind. Why has no one thought of this before? Perhaps their is power in making students wait a long time for enlightenment.