Thursday, 31 March 2011

Awakening in the Marketplace

Or how to become a Buddha in three easy steps

By the man formerly known as Akash
Available on blog at

This blog has been organised sequentially so the material written first appears first. Ie Mar 4 was written befor the Mar 1 and Feb material.
If you want to read the more recent material see the links on the side
of the page that are earlier or the link down the bottom for 'older' posts.

This book is for people who are interested in waking up, (becoming enlightened, becoming a Buddha ) , who have started down the path or are about to.
Good luck. You’re going to need it.
If you are not in one of these categories then I suggest you think hard before reading this book. There is a reason this ended up in your hands and you are reading this right now ....and despite the fact the universe has your best interests at heart it is quite likely that you will disagree with that statement before getting off the path that this book may start you on.
If you choose to continue reading then I repeat the above.
Good luck. You’re going to need it.....

To my wife for understanding about the rope....
Not only is the rope an illusion – so is the cliff, the person falling and for that matter the person reading this...

Awakening in the Marketplace
1.)  Why am I here
2.)  What is enlightenment anyway
3.)  Why wake up
4.)  How do I get enlightened
5.)  Still mind
a.     Single point
b.     Many points
c.      Space between thoughts
d.     Who am I
e.     Awareness turned in
6.)  Open heart
a.     Open up
b.     Willingness
c.      Letting go (of the tiller)
d.     Any price
e.     Likely price
7.)  Pay the price
a.     Suppressing
b.     Burning
c.      Clearing
d.     Letting go
8.)  Weird stuff
9.)  Waking up
10.)                     How long does it take
11.)                     Advanced variegated emptiness
a.     Garbage man and shifting energy
b.     The sight
c.      Slap downs
d.     Samjana
e.     Recognition of non separateness of selves

If you want to cut out all the description and entertainment here are the nuts and bolts of the book in three steps. How to wake up, achieve enlightenment, become a Buddha ect
1.)  Clear your mind
2.)  Open your heart (be willing to feel what is there)
3.)  Pay the price (feel what is there without running away or suppressing)
Repeat the above steps until enlightened.

Easy right....
At this stage anyone who has gone down this path will smile. Anyone who is still going down it will laugh hysterically. Read on if you want the fine print (and it’s worth reading)

So why am I here.
I woke up while in my early 20’s for a while and again for a month or so in 2008. It seems that I am starting to wake up again so now would be the best time to start writing about this stuff... I thought that others who might be thinking about going down this path could use a handbook or some useful pointers. I know I could have the first time around. The point is when I’m awake I may not be able to see where I am now anymore or have the inclination to write any of this down. Or if I can it may be irrelevant. So now as always it the only time to begin.
Most books and texts I have read and other sources I have learned material on the awakening process have had descriptions and explanations that were obtuse at best. At worst they described awakening as an unattainable goal, in this lifetime. In addition to this they tend to describe waking up as a process that requires severing of ties from the normal world (retreating to a cave). The process described here is for the person who wants to wake up in the ‘normal’ world. To still be a part of the world and to wake up at the same time. To be able to have a job, family ect and function in the world and still wake up.
If that sounds like you, then this is for you.
Despite the fact that this may annoy any number of Buddhists and ‘spiritual seekers’ I was never interested in waking up. Enlightenment was something I’d get to later. I was interested in normal things. Money, sex, power ... that kind of stuff. The thing that got me into it eventually was my curiosity...... I was sucker punched.
I was always a curious kid. I wanted to know everything. How things worked, how they were put together, how they ticked. That applied to myself and other people too...
So I studied Science and found that my school didn’t have the answers. I was told I’d find them at university. That was a lie – to cover the fact the adults I was questioning at the time didn’t have a clue as to what the answers were themselves. If they’d told me that - that would have been useful. But as it was I spent several years in the higher education system before I realised a fundamental truth.
Science couldn’t answer my questions.... Not only could it not answer my questions because the information wasn’t available. (Simple stuff like how does gravity work) but it could never answer my questions because it’s basis was founded on assumptions that have no reality other than those given to them by an unconscious consensus.
(the assumption that atoms exist for instance.)
Science can describe.
(we think this is an atom)
It can’t answer.
(Why is that atom? – or anything else – here?)
So at the age of 21 and after an epiphany (More like a sequence of ongoing epiphanies) from reading a book called Beyond Violence by a guy called J.Krishnamurti I had my first experience in what could be described as waking up.
Credit to Krishnamurti. He describes very well how to wake up. He even builds a bridge for you and helps you get across. All this with a book. Amazing... However my problem was I had no idea where I was going or even what I was when I got there. And that was without the weird stuff that I had going on at the same time.
It was like building a bridge to another part of the world but not providing a map of the territory for people when they get there. Or food or water and the landscape keeps changing every moment when your concentration wanders. .... Something like that.
So I was pretty messed up and pretty together at the same time which makes perfect sense if you’re in that same place.
I left uni and had a year of ‘travelling’ – which basically meant trying to find the answers that I had expected science to solve.
Just to let you know – I did get those answers. Just not in any way I could have predicted.
 I read every book I could lay my hands on. I tried every process and exercise that I could. I had all sorts of mystical experiences from communicating with fairies to downloading the total consciousness of a crow and going for a spin in its body.
Like I said - Weird Stuff.
For me reality had become somewhat pliable. Things that didn’t exist for other people were normal in my world. This didn’t make me special it just meant we were in different worlds.
During all of this I eventually found what I was looking for. I found the answer.
Curiosity got the cat.
It was an obscure aspect of yoga that enables the individual to directly perceive reality.
Now that’s the business for a man who wants to know everything...
I tried this on my partner at the time and knew we would be breaking up (not only that we would but there was no possible way to avoid it).
I tried it with a friend and saw that he thought I was insane because my reality was so far outside his that he could not comprehend it.
I tried it on a magpie and a crow and found a lot about what it is to be a bird....
Being a smartass ....I tried it on the universe...and I had an experience of knowing everything.
It was the most painful and pleasurable experience of my life. A bit like trying to cram an ocean into a melon. It could be experienced but not taken home... at least not by me. Talk about biting off more than you can chew. Strangely enough I lost all my curiosity for about 2 years.
Anyway I was trying to figure out how to take smaller bite of the whole universe at one time and so I started looking for a teacher who could show me how to do this.
There is a saying. When the student is ready the teacher will appear. (Note: it doesn’t specify the teacher is human, a person or even alive)
So I met a guy who could teach me what I wanted to know. The problem was he wasn’t interested in teaching me. He was awake (referred to by some as enlightened or a Buddha) and the only thing he was interested in teaching was how to wake up. So I hung out with him for a while, curious and learnt about waking up and also tried to learn about taking smaller bites of the universe at a time.
So I got on the rollercoaster called waking up.
Let’s be clear about this. I think waking up is a great idea. I think everyone should do it. I also think that no sane person would think about doing it in a million years if they knew what they were in for. It’s suicide by a trillion paper cuts. But worse.
The closest analogy I have read about that seems accurate is that it is like having a very very very bad case of a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Assume that this condition can GO ON FOREVER.... Vomiting, suddenly stomach cramps that double you over. Pain like you would not believe. So strong that you are sure you are going to die and in many ways that would be a relief. Pain killers are available that will help and but you have committed yourself to NOT TAKE THEM. This goes on for some years. Occasionally you feel better and this is like a light at the end of the tunnel. This doesn’t last for very long. A few hours or days at best and then it’s back.
People call it the dark night of the soul. The funny thing is I have never heard of it taking a night and when you mention in to people who are going through it or have been through it they either smile or laugh hysterically.
It’s never a night – and it may be forever. You don’t know...
So that’s the down side, what’s the up side and why would anyone jump off this particular cliff.
Some people are curious and want to see what’s at the bottom (if there is one)
Some people have a life that is so painful they have to jump.
Some are pushed or pulled (a loved one jumps off and forgets to tell you they attached a rope to your leg). This is generally a consequence of having a conscious relationship among other things.(wife’s comment) So if you’re in a conscious relationship and are looking at taking this path it’s a good idea to tell your partner about it. They can’t stop you and no one can avoid the consequences but they may decide to tie a rope to your leg before you jump off. (or they may notice the one you surreptitiously tied to theirs)
And what’s the up side.
Well this is where it gets tricky. As there is no way I can accurately describe the experience as it is outside language and by its nature, language assigns labels to things and at best a label is just that – a label. So as I am currently limited to this media the best I can do is offer pointers.
Peace (Nothing much bothers you)
Silence (the mind may be quiet)
Happiness (there may be periods of extended happiness)
Lack of suffering, baggage, conditioning and the like.
There is an awareness of a lack of separation between all things
Joy, happiness, compassion, Love...
Sound good?
It is.
Also there are a range of normal human abilities that you get access to that most people are not aware of (everyone has them but not everyone can use them). There is other stuff too but we’ll look at that later.
So how do I become enlightened?
The question you haven’t asked... or answered is
What IS enlightenment?
Well the typical accepted answer is... abiding non dual awareness.
Great.. Perfect. A definition that only makes sense to you WHEN YOUR ALL READY AWAKE. May as well throw that one out.
There are a range of other definitions that are equally useless. Passing through the gateless gate and the like.
I have only found one explanation that seems useful to me in the sense that it gives you some direction as to how to wake up and makes sense from both an intuitive and cognitive fashion.
But first some definitions. This is necessary so we are both talking about the same thing.
Awareness- The essence within you that is aware, that senses and perceives things. This is the part of you that is aware of your own existence and perceives it directly.
Mind is the operating system for your brain. If the brain is your biological computer then your mind is Windows 95, 98, 2000 vista ect.  It holds the skills and abilities that allow you to operate in the world. And occasionally it crashes.
Ego is the driver that pushes you to survive. If the brain is the computer and the mind the operating system then the ego is the Virus protection and the virus. The ego is all your beliefs and attachments along with some cool preloaded programming all rolled into one neat package. It tells us things should be this way or that way.
Normally what happens is awareness looks at the world through the mind and ego.
In this symbolization awareness is represented by the first circle and the arrows. So awareness views the world through the mind and the ego. While the mind is active and the ego in turmoil the emotional content and noise colours awareness’s perception of reality.

Normally what happens is awareness looks at the world through the mind and ego.
In this symbolization awareness is represented by the first circle and the arrows. So awareness views the world through the mind and the ego. While the mind is active and the ego in turmoil the emotional content and noise colours awareness’s perception of reality.

In the above diagram awareness perceives the world through the chattering mind and the raving ego. This means any perceptions of the world are coloured by what is going on in the mind and ego. Like looking at the world through rose coloured glasses.

When the mind is stilled and the ego is dropped the world can be seen for the first time without distortion or colouring.
Enlightenment is when awareness becomes aware of itself. When awareness turns on itself.

Awareness is aware of itself

The ego drops (eventually) and the mind and awareness are left.
Awareness is aware of itself, the mind and reality. The mind is used as required but not necessary for all things.
Don’t get stuck in the technicalities here. If I don’t have a desire to move my arm how does it happen ect. Without a driver how do I act in the world. This all becomes clear later. Things that seem to be a paradox are in fact straight forward when viewed from a different paradigm. You don’t have to believe me. Find out for yourself. Wake up and smell the roses.

Why wake up
So given all the doom and gloom and downside I mentioned earlier why would anyone want to get on this merry go round (or get off).
This is an interesting one to describe – particularly because I am still in the mill at the moment so to speak. This would best be described by someone already there. I will ask and add in some more detail later. But my memory of the times I have woken up can be described in the following way.
The best, most profound and most ordinary experience you can imagine. My first impressions were. Is this it? Really? This is what they were talking about. How can there be 6 billion fish on the planet searching for water but unable to find it. How can anyone have missed this. How could I not have seen it.
Here is some material I wrote at the time I woke up a while ago
It seem my awareness expands – looking in on itself without limit.
It feels like my thoughts are words into a vacuum – no sound is heard...
The new consciousness feel strange. What was once only there in moments is there all the time now – or so it seems.
Open, empty, expansive, clear.
I think it is important to record what is happening and how it feels.
I no longer seem to harbor any old resentments. Previously I could think of a person who i had perceived had done me some harm and an emotion (usually of anger or pain) would be felt in consequence.
Now All of that has gone.
It seems I not only have dropped the baggage but thrown out the suitcase as well...
I feel like i am on a slippery slope with consciousness pulling me down into its depths.
I am very happy a lot the time for no apparent reason.
It’s a bit like flicking a switch. Off, on, off, on ...ect ect until one day it just stays on.
What is happening .. awareness is looking at itself and then through my senses looking at the universe.
Fear seems very remote
Conditioning that would have prevented me taking action in the past seems to be gone.
In its place is a clear awareness of what is the best thing to do right now..
The problem with writing in the awake state is that there seems to be little motivation to do those sorts of things and the human species has an amazing ability to forget pain. It seems that when you wake up you may forget how difficult it was to get there. I did.
So to me waking up seems to be the best thing in the world to do. Everyone should do it. I am not sure everyone would want to. The price may be too high.
So if you want perfect freedom, freedom from suffering, openness and a new awareness, then enlightenment may be for you.
Also maybe your life is just so painful that you need to jump off a spiritual cliff. This may also be for you.
You may just be curious(what is at the bottom of that cliff?- is there a bottom? and how do you grow wings on the way down?)
Only way to find out is to jump.
How do I get enlightened
Now this part is actually relatively easy. Just follow these steps.
1.)  Clear your mind
2.)  Open your heart (be willing to feel what is there)
3.)  Pay the price (feel what is there without running away or suppressing)
Repeat the above steps until enlightened.
Simple right? Then why isn’t every person and their canine companion enlightened.
It’s not that simple .....and it is. While being a relatively simple process the actuality is like fighting a war internally nonstop for some years. This work is full of these seeming contradictions.
Clear the mind.
This is the first and easiest of the steps and this is crazy difficult in itself. Try it right now if you don’t believe me. Still your mind for 30 seconds without allowing any stray thoughts to pass through. Use a stopwatch. How did you go. 5 seconds, 10, 15...
Clearing the mind is simple and yet can be very difficult to master.  The main thing is it just takes practice.
Set aside some time each day for some mind clearing exercises. Other awareness exercises try to use throughout the day.
My formal experience in stilling the mind was almost non existent before getting to university, with the exception of practice in concentration from years of martial arts. I found my combat was always best when my mind was empty as it allowed me to see the opponents’ techniques and contest them. At Uni someone gave me a copy of a book called Creative Visualization, By Shakti Gwain. While most books like this would have come up against my inner scientists fruit loop radar I found it extremely valuable as it had been written in such a way that it didn’t use terms like meditation, chakras or vibrations which would have promptly ended with the book in the trash. As a result I learned to meditate and focus my mind very effectively while doing everything under the banner of visualisation.
So I learnt to still my mind while fighting, meditating and doing just about any other activity. It just goes to show that you don’t have to just practice this stuff for only 20 minutes a day. Every action in your daily life can become a point of focus.
I have recommended techniques in the appendix but here are a few of the basics
1.)  Focus on a single point
This exercise involves focusing on a single point, object or thought to the exclusion of all others (often called one thorn to remove a thousand). Simply pick an object or process, like a candle or the breath and focus on it. When your mind wanders and you notice, gently bring it back to the point of attention. Try not to beat yourself up.

2.)  Focus on many points
As above but with multiple points of focus, focus on the breathing, the heart, sounds around you and the actions you are taking, all at the same time.
3.)  Focus on space between thoughts.
 In this exercise you watch your thoughts and focus on the space between them. Don’t worry about the thoughts as they float in and out, just watch.
4.)  Who am I?
This famous technique  from Ramana is amazingly simple and is ultimately all you need to do, if followed correctly. You ask yourself who am I. You then say ‘ No I am not that’ and then repeat the question. Keep going until nothing remains.
5.)  Turn awareness on itself.
This is the ultimate technique. Look for the part of yourself that is observing, that is aware. Focus on that to the exclusion of all else. I have recently observed a refinement in this technique. It involves applying some mental effort or tension to your awareness to turn it inwards. The aim of this is to lock awareness into observing itself. So while you are observing the outside world you are also observing the inner one. The aim here is to observe everything that is going on internally including the observing. I have found that initially some effort or tension is required to maintain this state but once it has been maintained for a while it becomes effortless.

The still mind stuff left a path for Krishnamurti to open up. I couldn’t see that then but it’s as plain as day now. If I hadn’t done that work I wouldn’t have had the realizations I did.
Back to why we do it. The mind is like a chattering monkey – bouncing all over the place. It is not necessary to have a quiet mind to wake up but it helps. So as this seems to be a difficult task for most people we do everything we can to help. When the mind is still it is like looking into a pond when the surface is blown by the wind (mind/ego) nothing can be seen. But when the mind stills the bottom and the reflection of the sky can be seen. When the mind is bouncing around all over the place awareness will focus on it. When the mind and the ego are still there is an opportunity for awareness to turn back on itself. So in stilling the mind we are clearing the way for awakening.
Open heart
Like the previous section this one is both simple and amazingly hard.  The reason it is hard is that we all are loaded with emotional like pain from before we are born and all of this has to come out of us. For most of us in our typical societies that is a lot of pain and it hurts as much coming out as it did going in. So how does this work.... Well the good news is that if you are not living in a cave somewhere away from the world (and possibly even if you are) the universe has an amazing way of helping us. It helps us like this. If we have some area that is painful in us it will find a way to stimulate it so the pain comes to the surface. Now this is important. If we stay open to the pain when it is stimulated, it will pass through us and leave. This means no suppressing by eating, drinking , avoiding, ect or whatever your preferred suppression techniques are.
So an event happens, pain is triggered and rather than suppressing the pain we allow it to be and let it through us.
Other key things to note are – to start this technique all you have to do is stop all the suppression techniques you have been using and allow whatever is coming to be felt. This is not a walk in the park.
When the pain comes turn your awareness to it to see if you can understand it’s nature. This is necessary as sometimes pain can come from a buried source and sometimes it is because you are dwelling on something and/or banging your head against a wall. If you find you banging your head against a wall it’s a good idea to stop. While the pain that is inside you will pass through and sometimes it takes a while.... if you are banging you head against a wall you can do that forever and not realise it.
Just before you get started... This is not an exercise for the fainthearted. Any old pain, hurt, humiliation, shame, fear and any other negative emotions that were suppressed will be dragged up and it will not be easy. Or maybe it will be for you. However it seems that most people have a lot of trouble with this part of the process. To put it in perspective it took me 18 months of ongoing abject pain, terror and misery to burn through one aspect of this process. This for me was the survival drive which I must admit is a pretty core drive and was triggered by spending a lot of time not knowing if I was going to be broke and on the street from one week to the next.
a.     Open up
This would seem to me to be the 'easy' part however most people do not even get past go. What is required with this part of the process is to stop holding back and suppressing what you feel. What is likely happening with you right now is that a whole bundle of uncomfortable feelings, thoughts and emotions are trying to make their way into your awareness. To prevent this you may be doing any one of a number of things to suppress these feelings (eating, drinking, drugs, sex ect ect)So to open up the main thing you have to do is to stop suppressing what is coming up for you and to let it be there without suppressing.
b.     Willingness
In order for step a.) to be successful you must be willing to take that step. It sounds self evident but it is quite easy to assume you are willing to take the step and all the while suppressing anything that comes up for you. You must be willing to feel whatever comes up for you on a daily basis. The more you are willing to feel the faster this process seems to go. I personally found that while I was willing to feel what was there somedays it just got too much to handle and I would use a suppression technique. I was aware of what I was doing and quite ok with it. We all do what we can.
c.      Letting go (of the tiller)
When we take action from an ego based centre the action is coloured by the desires behind the action. A very useful step in this process is letting go of your decisions in the process of action. Allow action to happen. Let the emptiness decide. Make no decisions of your own. When this is done actions are obvious.
d.     Any price
The thing most people don’t like about this process the most (other than losing the illusion of control) is that you have to commit to paying a price not knowing how much it will be. It may be everything. Imagining you have a nice family, kids, house ect. The way this process works is the universe will point out areas that you are stuck and attached. There is a chance you may be attached to your family. Most people are. Are you willing to give them up. It is possible to have a family and a job during this process it is just very difficult.
e.     Likely price
My teacher has told me on a number of occasions awakening only requires one thing. Everything. It does not mean it will cost you everything but that is what you have to be willing to pay if it comes to it.

Pay the price
The hard part of this work is paying the price. This usually means sitting with whatever pain is going on and being ok with it. Don’t underestimate this – it can quite literally be hell.  Things to be aware of:
a.     Suppressing
This is when you feel something (and it may be unpleasant) and you choose and action that suppresses what you are feeling and consequently makes you feel better. Great examples of this are eating, drinking, drugs, sex, music, reading, movies... any escape. These things are in no way bad by themselves it’s just in the context of trying to wake up anything you do to suppress is going to make the process longer.
b.     Burning
Is what happens when you stop suppressing . Everything starts coming up and gets thrown on the fire. Generally it feels like it is you that are in the fire and in many ways that is true.
c.      Clearing
This is useful if you can learn to do it yourself or can find someone to help you by clearing you for you. (if you do ask someone to help you make sure it is someone you trust) I was fortunate. A friend of mine has the amazing ability to clear others and helped me immensely with this process. There are not many people who can do this and generally they have to be  awake to do it but there may be others who can do the same thing. The process works by shifting the pain you have and clearing the stuff out of your system that is causing the pain. The experience itself is quite weird. It feels like someone is poking around inside your head and moving the furniture so to speak and it’s not you.  See the Advanced Variegated Emptiness on how this is done. There is a subtle point to be aware of and that is what is your motivation?  Observe it and understand your true motives.
d.     Letting go
This one came as a real revelation for me as I have heard the term ‘let go’ so many times in spiritual circles and I never really got what it meant. Letting go means to give up your need to choose. “Not my will but thy will be done”
So it means letting go of the tiller( steering wheel,controls,ect ect)
It is dropping the controller and letting the universe decide what happens next.

(just so we're sure on a specific point - this does not take away your ability to act responsibly or to take action to take care of yourself and others. Some people take this to an extreme and assume that they require no actions. Great way to starve.  As the saying goes 'trust in god but tie up your camel')
Weird stuff
As I said earlier I went through a period (that seems to continue) where weird stuff seems to be normal. After a while it’s not that this stuff is weird or different it’s just that your understanding of reality is different. A bit like living in the matrix but in real life. Waking up gives you access to a range of abilities that everyone has but not that many people use. It’s a bit like waking up (ha) one morning and going ‘what the f..k.. I have two extra arms’ . Ok not much I can do about it now but it will come in handy when I’m doing the dishes. And that’s really how it feels. A small amount of surprise and then an acceptance that this may be useful but otherwise not much use.
So here is what happens as I understand it and some of the mechanics.
When we start waking up there is an experience of the awareness turning inwards so that awareness is aware of itself. In this space (it feels like an empty space) awareness is observing itself. This may happen for a few moments initially but as one continues with the process the spaces become longer and the amount of awareness you observe become larger. Eventually it seems that the time out of the awake state diminishes until you are awake all the time. This is when that state has stabilised.  (Note that people who have been awake for years can snap into an a sleep state for brief periods) When the awakened state is stabilised then you are technically a Buddha (or arahant, bodi ect ect depending on your definition)
In the early stages when you are just beginning this work you may experience a lack of separation between you self and others when it comes to emotional states. What this means in practical terms is that water flows down hill and in a similar way if you are hanging out with someone with a lot of emotional pain ect  and you have been clearing a lot of yours then their pain may well flow into you. Net result is they may feel ‘better’ for a while and you may feel what is going on for them. Lucky you – you get to help out another human being for a while.
I experience this state all the time with my wife (and vice versa now) so if she has something going on I can feel it directly and vice versa. This puts a new meaning to the term ‘I share your pain’.
As you sit in awareness for a while (weeks to months) awareness of awareness expands you may become aware of the fact that everything has awareness in it and there is no space in awareness. The separation between my awareness and everything else is a myth. This becomes quite clear in this state. It is possible to see the reality that there is no distance between us and everything also exists in awareness.
Another thing of note that happens during this process is the formation of a Buddha field. There is something about the awareness turning in on itself that creates an energy field that speeds up the process of clearing pain or other forms in either you or those around you. I have no idea if you can measure this but it is really obvious once you have been doing this work for a while. I also don’t know how it works only that it seems to.  
The other thing that appears is what seems to be an awareness of different forms of energy (And coming form a Physics and chemistry background I really hate using terms like energy but it is hard to find an appropriate similar term)
What I mean by this is any emotional or physical sensations that are experienced in the body.
For instance pain is the most common form of energy we experience and recognise readily. Other forms include hyperactivity, lethargy, anger, fight or flight, bliss, calm and emptiness.ect
There is also the masculine and feminine forms of energy.
Once one becomes aware of all of these forms of energy working with them becomes possible.
Waking up
As this state stabilises it seems as though there is the development of two types of awareness. The ‘normal’ awareness of the material world and the internal awareness of the ‘awareness’ world. There is also a concurrent awareness of the connection between the two. Ego appear to get dropped and the attachment to outcomes is destroyed.
The awareness is deepened over time and with the shifting of awareness further within itself. Look as deep down the rabbit hole as you can.
There is an experience of emptiness and space within. This space while having the quality of empty also appears to have form and variegation.
The process may take some while to stabilise or it may happen in an instant.
Others hearts may speak to you and you may share their joy and pain.
There seems to be a feeling of compassion/love that is held for all beings/things.
 The illusion of separation between myself and others can be seen through. We may appear to be separate waves but we are all one ocean.
The illusion that is I seems to dissolve until only emptiness remains

How long does it take.
Good question. One of the interpretations of Patanjali in his yoga sutras has a good comment on this.
‘Success is rapid for the hotly impetuous’
In my first waking up experience seemed to take a few months to arise. However I committed everything to the process and burned everything that didn’t help me (family, friends, reality ect). If I’d know what I was doing I may have been able to stabilise the state instead of retreating back into the dream. However I don’t regret my path as the rout I have travelled has allowed me to learn compassion. It seems that it is possible to wake up without using the heart. This can result in a person with a sword only philosophy.
My second waking process took a while longer.
I started hanging out with my first awakened teacher about 8 years ago and I hung out with  him for about a year. I then spent a couple of years hanging out ’by myself’ then found out my current teacher had woken up(I had got to know him while we were both hanging out with the first guy). So I would catch up with him in a process called ‘satsang’ or mindfulness meditation as often as once a week but initially more like once a month.
I hung out with this guy and still do about once a fortnight. He has a bunch of other people going through the same process.
My second waking up process occurred in 2008 for about a month or so after I shifted a major pattern with the assistance from my friend who was helping me with this work.
At the moment I am sliding in and out of the awaked state on a daily basis so I can see a more permanent change occurring but I am not sure when this will happen. So all up to get to this point has taken about 8 years.
My original teacher woke up in about 2 years and my current one in about 5. I know of others who have taken many times longer and less. My guesstimate for people waking in the marketplace would be the average is between 1-10 years with an average around 5.Here is the thing. It takes as long as it takes. You may not even accomplish it before you die. It might only take you a month. As stated above ‘Success is rapid for the hotly impetuous’
Generally when you say you’re willing to pay the price there is a part of you that does not agree
There is a point you hit in this work if you follow it far enough where you get to say ‘OK – I’m willing to pay the price- whatever it is...’ .....and mean it.
Success is a rapid as your commitment.

Advanced variegated emptiness
This stuff may not make sense to you and is deliberately written that way but if you get to a point of waking up it may be useful
a.)  Garbage man and shifting energy
I met a lama once who explained to me how he became a lama and when I asked him what he did now he said he was a garbage man. He smiled and I assumed he was referring to the fact that he would clear or get rid of other people’s baggage, pain or ‘garbage’. As far as I am aware this is not something that happens consciously all the time although it can.

When awareness turns in on itself there can be recognition of the lack of separation between oneself and another. In this space it is possible to see any energy occurring within yourself and to shift it. This results in the effects occurring in the other as well.  Water flowing downhill can result in this occurring involuntarily.
b.)  The sight
When the awareness turns in on itself there comes an awareness of the form and shape of emptiness that as it deepens expends to encompass all material things.  Through turning the awareness inwards and recognising the lack of separation between two points, awareness of different objects are realised.
c.)   Slap downs
Being something of a rebel, a non linear thinker and having a tendency not to respect established boundaries led me to do a number of things that over the years (and I can’t tell you what they were in case some other idiot try’s them) that appeared to have immediate and significant effects- usually resulting in me either being unable or uninterested in completing said action. Performing actions that may have overreaching consequence may result in other agencies taking actions against you. How these occure or how they are actioned is unclear at this time only that it appears that they are. 
d.)  Samjana
If the mind is clear, awareness focused on a single object and the free flow of awareness is occurring and these three processes are practiced simultaneously then samjana (samyama) is the result. This allows a direct perception of different aspects of reality. For details see patanjalis Yoga Sutras
e.)  Recognition of non separateness of selves
Through expansion of the awareness of itself there comes a recognition of the lack of separation of space between all things.(non duality)

Recommended reading and Useful links

The Patajali yoga sutras are a useful guide along the path. However they were first written a while ago and in sanscrit. The result is there are a number of interpretations of them and most (from my viewpoint) don't seem to know what they are talking about. The best one I have found so far is

Recommended Reading
By Jed McKenna
By J Krishnamurti
Beyond Violence

Link to this document as a pdf