Do You Become an Emotional Zombie? And 3 More Burning Questions about Awakening



In the hoopla of my last post, Why We are Not Ready for the Full Bodied Truth of Awakening which generated an unprecedented 30,000 views in one week, I also received dozens of personal emails with comments and surprisingly, questions. One email stood out for me because of what felt like such an earnest desire to understand versus punditry, hostility or praise.

So, here are my replies to the verbatim FOUR QUESTIONS asked of me by Alice, creator of the blog Reiki Awakening.

 1) Does this process of awakening disconnect one from his or her emotions? If so, how does that affect the day to day relating and functioning with others? For example, do you still feel love for your family? Can you connect with them, empathize? Express compassion?

What I like about this question is how it ties in with my recent post When You’re Okay and Everyone Else is Not. In that article I describe how equanimity prevailed during a family medical crisis (my husband had a stroke) and yet how friends expected me to be worried, upset, and emotionally fragile–and were concerned at my calmness.

Awakening–at least for me–dissolved overnight most emotional reactivity. And in the years since, when episodic emotional trigger points showed up, they flared and then subsided, often never to return. In other words, there has been a profound softening, not hardening, around emotional content. It’s a bit like the soft-focus lens filmmakers will sometimes use to create an effect around an actor. This new ‘soft focus”  filters the harsh edges of emotional ups and downs and brings them into a new kind of impressionistic calm-abiding. And even that analogy doesn’t capture it.

But that’s not to imply emotions cease to exist. Happiness, sadness, annoyance, irritation, anger can all make guest appearances in this house of equanimity. It’s just that they are that: guests. They are not householders. Instead these feeling states come and go, but they do not take up residence. They simply do not stick around for very long, but nor are they unwelcome.

Perhaps the most profound difference post awakening is this: I used to be identified and invested in my emotional states–they meant something about “me.” If i was miserable, there was something wrong about me. If I was happy, I was on track in life and my “me” was a success. The kicker post-awakening is the me is no longer the Big Kahuna it used to be. It’s just a facet of this creative vastness which expresses as Be-ing and its antics are amusing at best.

Which brings me to the punchline: There are states that emerge post-awakening which are not emotions but qualities of what we really are, beneath all feeling states and thoughts. Qualities of the transpersonal self, if you like or qualities of being. Peace, joy, bliss come to mind. And from these states of being, actions often emerge that look like compassion, service, kindness, playfulness and even sacrifice.

As for daily functioning, that’s mostly a matter of how well I manage my physicality. If the body does not get the sleep it needs, I might be irritable or more withdrawn, less likely to express myself in a joyful manner. But the inner landscape is emotionally neutral–that’s the new baseline. Prior to awakening, the baseline was a jagged line of anxiety and frustration. Prior to awakening, I could seem “happy” to others but inwardly, there was a suffering. Now I can appear “unhappy” (because I am grumpy or irritable) but inwardly there is peace.

2. How do you, once awakened, deal with things that would formerly make you angry, such as your children fighting or hurting each other?

That is the beauty of an awakening versus a mystical experience or glimpse of our true nature. Once we are awakened to the Self, these things that used to upset us, often no longer have an impact. I often tell the tale of two days post-awakening, my then boyfriend (now husband) telling me he wanted to leave the relationship. Now THAT would have upset me greatly prior to awakening–we had just moved into a new home together, I had sold a house, consolidated furniture, and my daughter was already seeing this man as a father figure. For him to just leave from frustration would have been cause for me to scream, wail and react. Instead, I took a deep breath and said something like, “I can see you are suffering right now and I honour whatever choice you make for yourself. I just ask you give this decision three days.”

Of course, if my children were hurting each other physically I would separate them. But this would be from a place of obvious action not reaction. I would not be telling myself a story about my mothering abilities good or bad, or running a narrative in my head about my rotten children.

So, action happens that simply makes sense. Reaction happens rarely.

3) Can a person who is awakened in this way practice energy healing?

I don’t see why not. The question would be a matter of motivation. If moved to perform healing and if that impulse was met with flow, ease and grace, then it would self evident. I’ve noticed post-awakening, that my creative writing has increased, along with the ease and synchronicity of finding places to publish it.

At the same time, if post-awakening there is a natural desire to go inward, or to be still (which there often is) then healing work might take a back seat as a priority. It’s not the work that matters, really (chop wood, carry water) but rather it’s the motive. If the impulse or intention arises spontaneously and effortlessly, outcomes usually unfold without the need to question.

4) How does being awakened in this way change the way you live the mundane aspects of your life? Feels like grocery shopping, errands, work and the like would seem different. Can you describe how.

In the beginning–the months-long honeymoon period–everything was infused with wonderment. The feeling was awe and delight at every thing because I AM THAT. It’s discovering you are all of it, after imagining lifelong you were a small bit of it.

It’s a stunning revelation/recognition and at first, I had a kind of dazed, giddy appreciation of every detail of reality. Over time, as that became the new norm, my perceptions moved toward a more refined noticing of the intricate, perfect weave of life. The synchronicities increased and my clairvoyance (a born talent) also increased.

In this way, the wonderment has moved toward the joy of experiencing myself as the director and the actors in the story of my life. And the mystery of how it all fits together, my intentions the actions that unfold, the players that play this game alongside me, all if it inspires me. Most of all, I feel grateful to in the dance of life as Lori. It’s a cool role to be me, and to know I am so much more than that “me” as well.

Awareness is Here, Playing at Q & A

~ Lori Ann


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21 thoughts on “Do You Become an Emotional Zombie? And 3 More Burning Questions about Awakening

  1. top diy solar panels

    certainly like your website but you have to take a look at the spelling on several of
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  2. Mark

    Questions like this about how things function could be stated as ‘how does it work?’ We might say it doesn’t – it plays. We couldn’t say very much about play due to its nature, and people are not likely to take it seriously for the same reason – but I think people who are so serious are missing something important.

    Take emotions for example, what if emotions are something you literally play with? I don’t mean in any manipulative way with people who are identified, that would clearly be very unethical, but basically to use it in a creative way rather than being a set way. If you think about it, taken to an extreme this is pretty much the definition of mastery, do you can’t exactly do much other than paint a very rough outline to describe what it “looks like” – though it’s cool when you see it in action, which of course doesn’t necessarily mean one particular person doing something.

    It reminds me of this song, and of course there’s no right way for clouds to be. (though some may be good at making box clouds) Sure people may be very dexterous with teachings and intellectual content, but if there is full mastery why not use emotional affect and all of that? Or if we look at it in terms of clarity, it wouldn’t mean there are no colors, but they may be more vivid and if not dominated by a few colors then the patterns are also more intricate. Multiple tracks and instruments to the music, ‘layering different sounds’…


  3. Shyam, Dark Horse

    OH god, I am on my knees in gratitude for you all, ,,,, One evening after yet another “expanding experience” (???) I asked of god,,, so what do I do with THIS???? why are you teasing me with little kisses when I long to die into you, god?? I’m feeling terribly confused because now I REALLY want to come home… how does THIS vast-ness fit itself into life, here in the mundane…. you know what to do, the feeling spoke, go feed the horses, go shovel shit, go have a bath, you know, same old same old……OH, I said, OH…. and the stars were ever brilliant-er that evening, twinkling cheekily.
    I thank god, to know of you all, also awakening, also putting one foot in front of another…… here, in this world, somewhere….does anyone else experience life firstly, and for quite a while, as physical, bodily, sensations of absolutely every kind?? today the body feels the intensity of rocket ship burners,,, nerves twisting and burning,,,spine crumpling under the weight and unimaginable pressure …this is a very heavy rocket ship wanting to explode, to launch into space….The body is first to wear, feel, experience every energy in its field, it seems…..this time around the heart and mind, in their brilliant collusion,, determine that the body is experiencing the tantrums of a frustrated child who can see and feel everything in the world, the lies and facades, and behind those, the immense pain of separation from god, and who knows that she is LIGHT, but thinks she has somehow come un-plugged from source…crying in frustration,, oh Beloved, where, where, where are you!!! ….aaaahhhhh until she eventually re-members, and breathes, and feels,,,aaaahhhh oh right, I AM THAT, I AM aahhhhh… (it took the infinity of a week, this round!), physically, emotionally exhausting sometimes, this being hu-man, this be-ing a rocket ship, this be-ing a guest house… this be-ing swept out by crowds of sorrows, impatience, frustrations, and other things, this be-ing danced by bliss entwining herself with intense physical sensations… and allways in the core of the Heart, the infinite, unspeakable, gratitude and peace..…breath within breath, breath beyond breath,,,and this Heart that cannot stop bursting into song of love for itself..
    (Whew, thanks for the space to speak, much love to all, I don’t talk to humans much!)


    1. Lori Ann Lothian

      I think you will understand this story of Ramana (addressed as Bhagawan here), sent to me by a reader recently:

      Kunju Swami once noticed that Bhagawan’s head and body were shaking and faltering and so when there was no one else present but close disciples he asked Bhagawan, ‘Bhagawan, although only in middle age, strangely enough has a shaking of the head and of the body necessitating his walking with the aid of a stick; what could be the reason for this?’

      Bhagawan replied, with a smile, ‘What is there so strange in it? If a big elephant is tied down in a small hut, what else will happen to that hut but troubles of all sorts? This is the same.’


      1. Shyam, Dark Horse

        I love this!!!! thank you, it feels assuring to know there is nothing “wrong” with the body,,,, just the physics of Light and 3-D matter jostling to “fit” in each other….just a loaded-to-the-gunwales rocket ship and all of its fuel wanting to burst free of its fetters…. so much deeeep rest-ing needed by the body… watching impatience arise…letting breezes flow thru…. Breath at a time…. thank you dear Awakened Dreamer, for this holy resting place


      2. Davidya

        It’s worth noting that this is much more than the body going through lots of adaptation to be able to support the shifts. Just as we recognize we are cosmic within with awakening, we eventually come to recognize the body is comic also. There is only one body that contains all the bodies in all time and all universes and we are that, expressing with a specific emphasis in this local focus. This is part of the non-duality process, to embody oneness even in our physical form.


  4. golden9vedas

    The awakened state seems like this is the way it should be. Completely normal and happy. The previous state seems like it was one big confusing neurosis. Why did I believe any of that crap I told myself! Thoughts – for the most part a bunch of yappy little dogs and entitled toddlers. Thanks, but no thanks. I’m on vacation from here on out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reiki Awakening

    Thank you so much for responding to my questions. You’ve given me a lot to think about, and I will share your post with my students and blog readers too, because this piece of learning, whether or not I am able to personally experience it, is worth sharing, and pondering. As I’m a seeker, a student of life’s depth, and one who is fully on the path of growth in a soul way, your experiences are an inspiration.


    1. Lori Ann Lothian

      We are unique as our fingerprints even as we are “all one:” and all awakening to the One that we are. So remember to take my story as just that–the way it has unfolded here. I look forward to hearing more about your journey as it continues. THank you for taking the time to ask me these questions! They were fun to answer.


  6. Davidya

    Hi Lori
    I enjoyed your answers. re: #1, I have seen people occasionally who become detached from their emotions to a degree where they didn’t even notice the feeling state. But this usually passes as the experience is integrated better, unless it is invested in. I well imagine one of those more powerful emotional events would knock one of of that. 😉 I went through a phase where I became pretty oblivious to the body, not even noticing when it got quite sick. But then the bliss became less contrasty and more normal. Then normal life things were more present, life was more integrated.

    re #3, I know some energy healers who have woken, so yes, certainly. For most people, life goes on much the same because the same laws of nature are at work. Life continues as before, only now from quite a distinct new perspective. There may be some transitional changes that require a bit of stepping back. And sometimes, the shift can blow off enough karma to change life direction or have former drivers fall away. But any expectations about what may or may not stay cannot be anticipated. If change does arrive, it is not the problem it may have once been. And the support we get from life itself is considerably enhanced as we’re no longer in opposition to it.

    Missed the last satsang – was just getting home from a retreat. 😉


    1. Lori Ann Lothian

      Yes, great additional insights Davidya! And I missed our hug. No worries, we are going to keep up a monthly mediation meeting at my house and you are welcome to join us of course. (we might put Igor on skype now and then too. ) hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. tari brand

    thank you for your beautiful words. i, too, am on this journey. and your post is profoundly what i wake up each day to move toward. your words to your then boyfriend struck a chord in that i struggle with my husband who thinks all of this is “woo-woo”. in any event, carry on the great work and i’m sure i’ll continue to find strength from your experiences.


  8. Jurgen Ziewe

    No doubt what you have written here, Lori, will find consensus amongst people who too have moved beyond personal identification. I am finding my perception, communication and interaction is no longer filtered by the brain but spontaneously guided through the heart. Consequently there is clarity and beauty now within these processes. Emotions are strong I have to say, because the heart is connected to everything it touches and recognizes its intimate relationship with the world around me. Though these emotions no longer have the feeling tone of old. They are no longer hijacked by events, but dispersed like the rain. Perhaps they are no longer emotions, but new varieties of bliss, unfolding either into compassion or outright love or even bliss.

    Sometimes I feel like balancing on the edge of ecstasy, naturally wanting to get immersed in the world around me, with passion coming from the joy of recognizing that I am already intimately related to what I see. I am on home ground wherever I am and I no longer see strangers. Ecstasy bursts out unannounced at the slightest trigger, observing a kindness in the supermarket, recognizing the pattern of the pavement, the leafs as I walk along, being in nature or in a crowd of people milling around in the city. Everything is privilege.

    When people talk about detachment they mistake it as lack of involvement and see it negatively. For me it is only detachment from what is inauthentic, the false identifications and the roles others adopt and wanting me to get “on board”. I no longer take sides or pass judgments. It no longer works. Instead freedom, unlimited, is everywhere, in every thought and every action. This is how we are meant to function as humans, our original blueprint it seems. How did we forget? Perhaps there is critical mass in Awakening, an Awakening up to Sanity perhaps. Lets hope your poetic words will trigger widespread recognition. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lori Ann Lothian

      You write so beautifully in this comment it just made me smile with the gratitude of mutual recognition. I love this part the best: “Emotions are strong I have to say, because the heart is connected to everything it touches and recognizes its intimate relationship with the world around me. Though these emotions no longer have the feeling tone of old. They are no longer hijacked by events, but dispersed like the rain. Perhaps they are no longer emotions, but new varieties of bliss, unfolding either into compassion or outright love or even bliss.”

      Yes, emotions seem ‘stronger” but then I’ve noticed it’s not really the same as the old reactions. I’ve had a “holy” rage perhaps twice post awakening, that surprised the hell out of me. It reminded me of the Jesus turning over the money changers tables in the temple, that story of a righteous anger…that I never before understood.

      Anger at the small self level is petty, self-indulgent, defensive, offensive and girded by fear. This holy anger is pure, like a white hot fire. It simply aims to burn that which is not true or real.

      Ah! A new blog topic..wondering, how has anger appeared in your awakened world Jurgen?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jurgen

        Yes absolutely, anger roars up like a towering flame, when I witness cruelty and injustice and I am shocked at the ferocity. The sight of it makes me step back and look at it as if I was the witness to a tsunami or or a volcano erupting. I have accepted that anger is part of our humanness and I don’t rebel against it, but I don’t do anything to nurture it either so I just watch and observe it die. When it has died down I fill the space with compassion. Surprisingly those who were at the root of my anger are then at the receiving end of compassion. I am also very grateful when this occurs because I can feel the bliss.

        Liked by 1 person

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