How to Wake Up

Someone asked me recently, “How do I surrender so that I can wake up?” This made me laugh because there is in this question a paradox: The “you” that would invite surrender (or resist surrender) is not relevant to waking up to your true nature as Awareness.

You see, surrender is not something you do. It is not an action or a mental choice. Surrender simply happens when you realize there is nothing to hold on to, nothing to give up–that anything you imagine you must let go of is not real.

In this way, surrender is your natural state of non-resistance and openness to what is. Once you know there is nothing to hold on to, then surrender is your state of being. Surrender naturally rises up when resistance dissolves.

So then the real question is: How do I let go of resistance to my already surrendered and vast Self?

At risk of creating a recipe for enlightenment, I am going suggest that one “method” might be a practice of noticing the ways you are not yet awake and therefore in resistance. This witnessing of the dreaming self can be the beginning of going from fast asleep, to groggily awake. And then one day, boom—you just wake up, all the way.

So, just as when you are dreaming at night and can become lucid by looking for signs of a dream in progress (the purple polka dot elephant in your dream living room) I invite you to do this in your waking dream. Here are four purple elephants that can clue you in to a dream in progress. In paying attention to these four simple signals, you can begin to ask yourself  “Am I awakened Awareness or am I the mind dreaming?”

1)   You mind what happens: Or, reality bothers you. Instead of simply unfolding in the accepting embrace of Awareness, some or all of the what-happens causes you to feel anxious, sad, angry, guilty, and regretful and the list goes on. You are in an intermittent or ongoing dispute with what-is.

2)   You believe your thoughts: Or, your thinking has influence. From Awareness, thoughts are few and arise in the context of the moment. They are contextual to the now, and do not converge around problems in the past or worries for the future. There is the now, revealing itself to ever-curious Awareness OR there is the past, future and almost-now being managed by the mind.

3)  Your feelings matter: Or your emotions seem to make sense.  What if you were told feelings are symptoms of a sickness? That your happiness, sadness, anger, fear, shame, guilt, despair on so on, are the results of an illness, much like a delirium induced by a fever? And that when the fever breaks, and wellness is restored in the form of your awakened self, the new territory is unerringly calm. Emotions are not real, because like weather patterns, they come and go. What always remains and is present even as the dream mind dreams on, is the understanding that stillness, joy and peace are all that is real.  This is not a trying to be these states, but rather this is the truth of who you are, which pervades all and extends into the world once you are awake to your true nature as Awareness.

4)  Your body is you: Or you imagine without your body, you are not here. This is perhaps the most convincing illusion in the dream. That this physical form called–(fill in your name)–is you. The fun part is that the body is you and it is not you. It is closer to say, that your form is an extension of the real you. A test that you believe yourself to be the body is the fear of injury or death. The fear is simply not possible in the presence of the Awareness. This is not to say that adrenalin won’t fire if you are faced with mortal peril. But it does mean that although you might have a physiological reaction from the body, you will not be afraid. This deeper serenity in the face of annihilation is a natural outcome of already experiencing annihilation of the mind upon awakening. Only the mind fears death. Awakened Awareness knows itself as eternal.

So you see, you are asleep—deeply or lightly. But if these clues arise in your experience of life, then celebrate the opportunity to recognize that “Hey, maybe I am not really awake. This must be a dream!”

To be lucid in your own life, in this waking dream, is a blessing. Because the gift of this realization is the inevitable: No sleeper sleeps forever. You are bound to wake up.  It could be now.

Awareness is Here!

Lori Ann



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24 thoughts on “How to Wake Up

  1. navneel

    You say that there is nothing to hold on to, and when its clear one is free; but thats not my experience.I dont control what my brain is doing to me, and it seems to hold on to anything even if I am aware that of it cent percent- that I should not hold on to it because it will make me suffer but my brain just create drama and fixate automatically.I just cant seem to break the chain.Please dont ask me to look deeper and clearer because thats what I do most of the time.There must be some other way out.

    One thing that you said is bang on is about belief that I am the body.I have a deep and insecure belief that I am this body, and I have questioned and questioned repeatedly, but it never helped.You cant let a belief just evaporate.The primal urges overrule and we are at the mercy of our genes, as the doctor say. How to be to totally free of it?


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  3. maurylee

    Knowing about is good. Experiencing is good. Both are in Awareness. True knowing is being It. We all are already that, so being it is already completed. Knowing one is That, backed up by experience, whether currently blissful or not, is That.


  4. dominic724

    Lori Ann:

    Have spoken with dozens of non-people. It all starts out feeling different and then keeps changing – just like before, but no-one home. It’s already changed a lot here. When it first happened, I was outraged I had spent all those years meditating… for this – this simple, obvious, absence. Now that’s gone. Some people have a lot of difficult emotional stuff come up. Some don’t. But whatever emotional/psych stuff that was there before is still there, waiting in the backroom. It will be easier and more effective to meet it with the new super power you got.

    You mentioned several things in your first post: reading Autobiography of a Yogi @ 23. [I read it @ 18] You listened to Emptiness Dancing & Fierce Grace whilst driving around. [ I read Fierce Grace as an e-book. Listened to Emptiness Dancing 6 times; never missed an Adyashanti monthly talk, listened to every free podcast, drove to CO with spouse to see him in Boulder last year] You are 49. [I am 48]. Interesting parallels. Hove found essentially 100% of Adya’s info to be accurate. Two exceptions : In my case, there was no honeymoon. (OK, it was 12 seconds long) and so far, I have not experienced or heard of anyone actually losing their awakening. And am in continuing contact with quite a few others. Who knows ? Knowledge was my drug of choice and favorite collectible, once. Now it’s just a tool, set down after use, or often, not picked up at all.

    And although we are out of tee-shirts at the moment, welcome to “The Club.”



    1. awarenessishere

      Sweet to hear the club is expansive and expanding…and parallels too are curious. I also spent a weekend with Ganga-gi on Sept 11, that was part of the rapid shift to awakening from groggyness…I had a huge disidentification in the satsang with her, not to mention the beauty of sitting in stillness with a potently still non-person. I was mindless the whole weekend, and never quite got back to Lori after that. Yet it was funny enough Adya’s voice in my dream, that “woke me up”


      Lori Ann


  5. Darlene

    GREAT REVIEW! I totally agree with all you said in your article, especially at the middle of your article. Thank you, your post is very valuable as always. Keep up the good work! You’ve got +1 more reader of your super blog:) Isabella S.


    1. awarenessishere

      Hello Leela–I love your user name, yes, the play of god. Well, I can only speak from here, my experience of not-Lori, to say that well being (peace, eqaunimity, delight, bliss) are states of being that are where I reside all of the time, though in degrees of depth with bliss because that one is a bottomless joy that I realize in some ways I am swimming the surface of…but THAT is another blog). Emotions on the other hand are circumstance dependant and come and go like weather..The storm of anger passes, or the wave of grief, or the surge of happiness. And then poof, they are spent….there is not “spentness” to a state of being, I simply is here, always, the ground of being….Osho speaks of a new human, one with three facets–Awareness, Feeling and Action. When asked to talk about feeling he makes it clear that feeling is not emotion in an awake person, but rather ‘love, beauty, commpassion.” In other words, from the vastness of being, feeling is not emotion, but something else, what he calls an asthetic. Before I woke up, I used to seek pleasure like a drug, and happiness too…and now I realize that both of these are echoes of the deeper truth of my nature, which abides, which is Joy. Same way that calmness in a pre-awakened person becomes stillness when you wake up. It’s as if the human transient and fleeting emotional spectrum is an teaser for what is unchanging and real. Hope this helps. Thank you for reading. Lori Ann


  6. Pingback: Lori Ann – How To Wake Up! – 8 December 2011 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  7. Rose

    Lori, thank you for pointing me to your website via Phil Cannato’s blog. I love it! Your “clues” above are right-on! Your wonderful journey and writing remind me of Dr. Joseph Murphy’s wonderful little book, “The Precious Present”—alas now out of print. It tells the charming story of a young boy who searches the whole world in order to fulfill his dream of finding a precious “gift” which he was told about by a wise, peaceful old man. After years of traveling and searching to no avail, one day when he least expected, he was given the gift of awareness of “The Precious Present” (moment) which transformed his life for the rest of his days.
    Your point in an earlier blog about the word “water” not being wet is a wonderful elucidation of the reality of awareness. To me, awareness is really consciousness, universal consciousness, and what Judy Cannato calls “Incomprehensible Holy Mystery.”


    1. awarenessishere

      Thank you for sharing Rose. Yes, words are inadequate at best, but other than a vulcan mind meld, (or satsang and the idea of a transmission) I guess it will do. I am hearing from several people about great books of awakening, thank you for this refernce. (I might hunt it down). Another reader mentioned a book called “Collision with the Infinite” by Suzanne Segal as a story of one wooman’s awakening. I am new to Judy Cannato’s work, but I got the impression from what I have read through Phil that she was a true Christian mystic, a woman who woke up and began to teach and share her insights from that other shore. I hope you keep reading and find some value here. In Awareness! Lori Ann


  8. Ellen Besso

    Much of what you say is true. However, different people language concepts in different ways, in fact for many they may have a felt sense of something but not be able to grasp it verbally. Also many people do not have the awareness level that you have been recently gifted with Lori Ann.



    1. awarenessishere

      Hi Ellen:

      We are headed to the aame mountain top, just different paths up (and degrees of getting there-ness, to the nowhere-ness). Thank you for your comments. I used to be a reporter, so I just keep on reporting….until one day perhaps, the movement to chronicle the journey takes a new form. For now, there is delight in trying to language the unspeakable! Makes a rubics cube look easy. hugs to you, Lori Ann


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