Seven Stages of Spiritual Awakening

Seven Stages of Spiritual Awakening: Discover Your Ultimate Inner Light

Spiritual awareness, or spiritual calling, is the true calling of the soul that takes us to our higher purpose. Some of us hear it, but many of us don’t hear it or fail to answer to it.  This spiritual calling can also present itself in numerous ways which, at times, can be a very confusing and lonely phase.

Indeed – the spiritual awakening process is often filled with intense fear and uncertainty. So, how do you know you are going through the process? What do most people experience? What should one expect when becoming spiritually ‘woke’?

This guide answers all these questions and more. Please note that an awakening can happen in a flash and that there is no map that clearly marks the wild terrain of awakening

However, the seven stages or steps of spiritual awakening given below are quite accurate and I am sure many of you will find them useful as you answer your calling. Before we dive into the seven stages of spiritual awakening, let us understand what spiritual awakening means.

What is a Spiritual Awakening?

Spiritual awakening is the soul’s cry for freedom. In our daily grind, we often forget what our higher purpose is. We feed our bodies with nourishing foods and drinks and read and watch positive and motivating media for strengthening the mind. But what about the soul? How do we feed our souls? More often than not, most of us forget to take care of the soul.

If you listen carefully, you will hear your soul’s call. And once you do – your life will be transformed into something beautiful and meaningful.

Spiritual awakening is a beautiful, transformative process. It is a call for a chance to do something great for humanity. It is a signal that you should become a teacher, a healer, or a guide –  a force of compassion and wisdom for the world.

Spiritual awakening is the start of something important. It is a call to service. It is the realisation or awakening of who you really are. It is a chance to realise your highest potential – potential you can realise once you are no longer restricted by your own mind, society, and materialistic boundaries.

A spiritually woke person is in alignment with his/her mind. Once you are ‘woke’, you will find that your physical reality, mental outlook, and day-to-day existence change to match who you are. 

Let us study the stages of this beautiful process.

Mindful Awakening

7 Stages of Spiritual Awakening

Stage 1 – Feeling Despondent, Unhappy, or Lost

This phase can be called the ‘Dark Night’ of the Soul. It is a time of loneliness, grief, confusion, and disconnect. You might feel depressed, lost, and alienated.

Often, this stage happens during a major shift or change. It can come as a quarter-life crisis when you have just finished school or college. It can also happen with the death of a loved one, retirement/loss of a job, or a breakup or divorce. In short, a major life change, trauma, or illness can trigger this stage.

Steps to Take in This Stage

  • Consider therapy
  • Keep a daily gratitude list
  • Journal your thoughts
  • Do daily guided meditation 
  • Practise pranayama or breathwork

Stage 2 – Shifting Perspectives

In this stage, you start questioning your old beliefs. You start understanding the principle of One Consciousness – that we are all connected with each other through a Higher Consciousness or the Spirit. We understand the lies and half-truths society has drilled into us.

You might start feeling unhappy with materialism and understand the value of service. You will no longer want to live your life as you did earlier, – in a state of complacent unawareness.

Steps To Take in This Stage

  • Continue with daily meditation, breathwork, and journaling
  • Indulge in some form of community service – whether it is volunteering at a soup kitchen or teaching underprivileged kids.

Stage 3 – Seeking Answers/Searching for a Guru

After Stage 2, you might still have questions about your purpose and about the journey to attain spiritual awakening. You may be wondering about the meaning of life itself. You might start dabbling in different metaphysical, self-help, and esoteric fields in search of answers.

This is why you need a guru or a Master – someone who can guide you further on this path.

The word guru translates to dispeller of darkness. This person will gently and lovingly remove your misperceptions. They can guide you on the right path and also steer you away from the wrong path. A good guru can even neutralise your karma.

Steps to Take at This Stage

  • It is said that when the student is ready, the master appears. Trust the process. Let your intuition be your guide. Trust the Higher Power and allow it to introduce you to the right Master.
  • Continue with your daily practice – journaling, meditation, pranayama, etc.
  • Read spiritual books like Autobiography of a Yogi (Paramahansa Yogananda), The Alchemist (Paulo Coehlo), Be Here Now (Ram Dass), and The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle).
Spiritual Awakening Guru

Stage 4 – Finding Answers and Experiencing Breakthroughs

After the Soul Searching phase, you will find self-help books, spiritual teachers, or practices that will ease your suffering and show you the path. On the downside, some people tend to fall into traps that often occur at this stage.

Nevertheless, you will feel an expansion as your old beliefs dissolve and you connect with your True Self. Some people start having mystical experiences that give them a glimpse of the ultimate nature of reality.

Steps to Take at This Stage

  • Try going on a spiritual retreat – preferably an advanced meditation course with silence. This will further your progress on the path.
  • Continue with daily meditation practices.
  • Enjoy this phase filled with joy, bliss, hope, and connection.

Stage 5 – Feeling Lost and Disillusioned Again

As with life, the spiritual awakening process is filled with ebb and flow. Some people become bored at this stage and discontinue their practices. Some even leave their gurus and follow other gurus. Some feel a need to have something deeper and their current practices make them feel disillusioned.

It is not surprising to see some people losing their connection with the Divine or Higher self. Understandably, you might feel upset and disturbed during this confusing stage. You may be craving a deeper and more authentic spiritual experience to connect with – one that transforms and permeates through your life.

Steps to Take at This Stage

  • Let the unhappiness and stagnation you feel motivate your search
  • It is important not to give up on meditation and other spiritual practices, like keeping a gratitude journal.
  • It may be worthwhile to seek a session with a guru/Master to help answer your questions.
Steps to Spiritual Awakening

Stage 6 – Feeling Motivated to Do Deeper Inner Work

By this stage, you may feel you are done with superficial practices. Feel-good spiritual philosophies do not interest you any more. You want something deeper.

Steps to Take at This Stage

  • It is important that you become a serious student of meditation.
  • Try some Inner Child Healing, Transcendental Meditation (Mantra Meditation), shadow work, bodywork, etc. Transcendental meditation is important at this stage, as your guru will give you a personalised mantra that will deepen your meditation and take you to a blissful state of samadhi.

Stage 7 – Integration, Expansion, and Joy

Integration means that you take your learning from Stage 6 and apply it to your daily practice. It is important to make it a daily habit. Integration also means ‘walking the walk’ as you imbibe all that you have learned. You sleep, eat, and breathe your spiritual learnings naturally and without having to give it much thought.

This results in ‘expansion’. You feel one with Divinity and start to experience several mystical experiences.

This stage also brings a perpetual state of joy or bliss. You feel happy and grateful. Above all, you feel a sense of purpose. Your perspective is enhanced.  You feel at peace with yourself.

Steps to Take at This Stage

  • It is important to understand that spiritual awakening is not a linear process. You might shift between the above stages. But it is essential to continue your practices and keep moving forward.
  • Sadhana (practice), Seva (service), and Satsang (surrounding yourself with spiritually evolved people) are important at this stage.
  • You may even be ready to become a spiritual teacher or mentor to others. 
The Joy of Spiritual Awakening

What Are The Signs of Spiritual Awakening?

A spiritually awakened person tends to experience the following ‘signs and symptoms’

Physical Symptoms

  • Intensified senses – You might experience a heightened or intensified sense of sight, smell, touch, and/or smell.
  • Food intolerances – some people suddenly develop allergies to certain foods like meat, soy, dairy, gluten, etc.
  • Changes in sleep patterns – you might find yourself waking up at 4 a.m. or even earlier. Some people also start suffering from insomnia. Woke people prefer sleeping early and waking up early.
  • Vivid/lucid dreams – you might remember your dreams clearly. Some people tend to experience scary dreams or nightmares.
  • Changes in eating habits – some spiritually awake people feel the need to fast or limit their calories. Eating less deepens their meditations. Many “woke” people eat just one or two small meals per day. They also gravitate towards plant-based diets. Their body conserves energy, resulting in a lesser need for calories. This may result in weight loss.
  • Changes in libido – as the chakras or energy centres in the body get activated, some people experience a higher sex drive, while others may feel the need to abstain from sex or practice celibacy to deepen their meditation.
  • Energy fluctuations – some people tend to experience greater energy or bursts of intense energy and vitality.
  • Vibrations – you become more aware of vibrations and energy movement through your body.
The Mind Spiritual Awakening

Mental and Emotional Symptoms

  • You feel that you have lived a false life – everything that motivated you earlier no longer excites you.
  • You crave deeper meaning and purpose – you feel a sense of loss or something missing from your life.
  • You begin asking deep questions – ‘Who am I?’ and ‘What is my purpose?’
  • You feel alone but you also enjoy your own company – friends and acquaintances no longer interest you. Conversations seem shallow. You prefer an evening alone rather than partying with friends.
  • You see through illusions – success, profit, and materialism no longer mean anything to you. Some people even feel like quitting their jobs.
  • Seeing the pain in the world torments you. You awaken to the suffering of others. You become sensitive. Some people even feel depressed and helpless. You feel a longing to make the world a better place.
  • You feel like going on a purge – this means decluttering, living a minimalist life, and even cutting ties with toxic people. You also break old habits by seeing the flaws in the old ways. You develop a strong urge to wipe the slate clean and start over.
  • You become empathetic and compassionate – you no longer get angry with others as you realise that you are all connected. You experience a deep connection with fellow humans and wish well for others.
  • You start having mystical experiences as your intuition sharpens – the small voice inside you becomes louder. You manifest things with ease. You get better at decision-making. You start experiencing serendipity and deja-vus. You become conscious of signs from the Higher Power.
  • You love unconditionally – as the ego barriers break down, you start doing everything with love and compassion at its foundation. You also love unconditionally and deeply and lose interest in drama, conflicts, and anything that fosters hatred.
  • You feel eternal bliss – joy bubbles from inside you. You feel the urge to spend time in nature. Small things give you bliss -the laughter of a child, a spider’s web, a pretty flower. You start seeing the sacred geometry around you. You see life as amazing, magical, and beautiful.

Your Spiritual Awakening

As can be seen, the spiritual awakening process is a profoundly life-changing experience. You will undergo changes on all levels – physical, mental, and emotional. Your body, heart, mind, and soul will all evolve.

 These shifts may seem difficult in the beginning. But it is very much like the caterpillar on its way to becoming a butterfly. The spiritual awakening process is a great metamorphosis and the beginning of a wonderful adventure.

Spiritual Awakening

Spiritual Awakening FAQ

  1. What are the seven stages of spiritual awakening?
    • The seven stages of spiritual awakening represent a process of profound inner transformation. They include initiation, self-discovery, awakening, purification, illumination, integration, and service.
  2. What is the purpose of spiritual awakening?
    • Spiritual awakening aims to deepen one’s connection to the divine, expand consciousness, and foster personal growth, leading to inner peace and a sense of purpose in life.
  3. How can I recognize if I’m experiencing a spiritual awakening?
    • Signs of spiritual awakening may include increased self-awareness, heightened empathy, a desire for personal growth, synchronicities, and a yearning for a deeper connection with the universe.
  4. What happens during the initiation stage of spiritual awakening?
    • The initiation stage often involves a catalyst, such as a life crisis or significant event, that propels an individual into questioning the deeper meaning of life and their purpose.
  5. What is the role of self-discovery in spiritual awakening?
    • Self-discovery is a pivotal stage where individuals explore their beliefs, values, and past experiences, gaining a clearer understanding of who they are and what they seek.
  6. What does the purification stage involve?
    • During the purification stage, individuals confront and release negative patterns, fears, and attachments, allowing for inner healing and transformation.
  7. Can you explain the significance of the illumination stage in spiritual awakening?
    • The illumination stage signifies a profound spiritual awakening, where individuals experience moments of divine connection, insights, and a heightened sense of clarity.
  8. How does one integrate their spiritual awakening experiences?
    • Integration involves harmonizing the awakened state with daily life, allowing the insights and wisdom gained to become a part of one’s regular existence.
  9. How can I use my spiritual awakening for service to others?
    • The final stage of spiritual awakening encourages individuals to share their wisdom, love, and compassion with others, contributing to the greater good and helping those on their own spiritual journeys.

These stages are a guideline for understanding the spiritual awakening process, but the actual experience can vary from person to person.

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