Setting Triggers vs Setting Conditions for Awakening

In pursuing a spiritual path, what do I need to do to have an awakening experience? I tried going to church but didn’t have the experience I was hoping for.

The way many people go about “pursuing” an awakening experience can actually backfire because they set up the experience as a goal. “My goal is to have an awakening experience.” It becomes the craving for the sensation, rather than understanding what an awakening experience is. 

That’s the difference between setting a condition and setting a trigger. 

So when you went to church and you wanted to have a spiritual moment, the church is an environment that sets the condition. But it doesn’t pull the trigger. 

When you’re talking about having an awakening experience, it’s possible to accelerate the process. 

Start by learning how to rework each one of your senses so that they’re clear and sensitized and responsive. Learn how to understand signs and symbols and synchronicity, and know that’s how the universe communicates with us. I’ve talked about it before as energetic pathways that we travel along that carry knowledge. But they’re regulated. It’s not like you can just zip along any one at any speed at any time. There are gates and the gates set up the conditions, and where the gates are locked or open is the trigger. 

The trigger is the thing that moves you forward. The condition is the starting line. 

You can’t really pull the trigger without being at the starting line, at least in the beginning. Eventually, you can just want that experience and that wanting is enough of a trigger that you can generate that experience. 

For instance, anytime I want to go into deep meditation I just sit and close my eyes and it’s instant because I have set the intention so many times that it’s a groove. 

You’re trying to use the church as a groove because it’s familiar to you. But the missing part is the centering part. Otherwise, it’s just you sitting in a church thinking “I’m in a church.” You’re not experiencing the vibrational, energetic exchange of all the thousands of masses that have been said in that church that set the conditions for spirituality and connection to something greater. It’s just the external visual cue, which is a condition. Which is not the trigger. 

So the trigger in that environment would be meditation on awakening and being in that environment setting the condition. 

For example, when you learn to meditate, you will most likely be told to sit up straight with your back straight. Keep your head up straight, keep your spine straight. They’ll set all these conditions. There are reasons for that. They’re not necessary eventually, but in the beginning, they teach the body how to flow the energy to clear passageways to open up greater consciousness. 

Sitting up straight isn’t a trigger. In the beginning, it’s a condition. It’s setting the intent that I want to be more spiritually awake. The condition will eventually create the trigger. 

Yeah, well, I wasn’t frustrated when I went to church and didn’t have a moment. My intention was, “Oh, I’m going to go have a moment.” And then that gate just wasn’t open. And I was like, “Oh okay, not today.” 

What you experienced in that moment was using the church as a touchstone. A familiarity. A place of comfort. 

Touchstones can actually block us from creating a trigger. Because if the touchstone is a self-soothing act rather than a generating act. I want to feel calm. I want to feel part of a long tradition. I want to experience whatever. So, it’s like using your phone for self-soothing. It generates a dopamine response that helps the body feel good. 

So church for a lot of people can be that. It’s a habit that we’ve learned through time to use in a certain way to generate a certain feeling. 

If the intention is for self-soothing, that’s fine. If the intention is for awakening, self-soothing will never bring awakening. Self-soothing is the opposite of awakening. Self-soothing is “Let me go to sleep.” Awakening is “Let me wake up.” I think people get confused by that. 

The reason why religion often doesn’t wake people up is because religion most often generates followers. It doesn’t generate seekers. And when you follow something, that’s a self-soothing behavior. When you’re seeking, there’s no security net. For most people, religion is the endpoint. It’s not the starting point. 

And seekers can’t be at the endpoint because they’re not awake yet, so that’s why religion often isn’t enough for a seeker. But truthfully, anything, including religion, can take a seeker to awakening, but it can’t take a follower to awakening because their intentions are not to be awake. Their intentions are to follow, to be part of, to be self-soothing. 

Obviously, that’s a gross generalization, but they’re two very different motivations. 

If anything, I had the opposite experience. Church is not self-soothing. It’s not a habit or a pattern for me. 

That’s because you didn’t get started young. 

Right. But I’m saying, in that moment when I went on Christmas Eve, I did feel the weight of the thousands of masses that had been held there. And that was overwhelming and that was partially the blocking factor. 

Okay, then that’s actually an awakening moment that you were able to feel that. 

That church has always felt incredibly intense though. 

There are many levels of awakening. Awakening means realization. 

You had that realization and you’re saying maybe you’ve always had that realization in that church. But you had that realization in that moment, feeling the weight. And then whatever emotions got triggered by that feeling of the weight stopped you from going further is what it sounds like. 

Well, yes, so then it becomes less personal and it’s more about the energy of this space, as opposed to the experience internally. So I was trying to have a private moment with God, but instead, I felt everybody else’s private moments. 

But that is awakening. When you become one with something, you don’t feel yourself. You feel everything. That was an awakening moment you had. 

There was enough of yourself left in that experience that said, “I don’t like this. I don’t want to feel everybody else.” 

 Welcome to the club, but that’s awakening. When you feel everything. And the intensity of that feeling can be completely overwhelming. But that’s where we’re still enough of us where we’re placing a value on that. And we’re feeling the feelings of those thousands of masses. Rather than the spiritual energy of those thousands of masses. 


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