ationships, finances, illness, and ongoing traumatic life events such as divorce, accidents and death.

 

We all have challenges in life and have been traumatised on some level, but with this pathway, a traumatic life is the main theme. A traumatic event such as bankruptcy, divorce, a sudden death, or serious illness, is often the catalyst for an initial opening - a glimpse beyond the veil. This can be the beginning of an awakening path that has a focus on healing trauma - and the more that is healed, the more the illusory self lets go.

 

Some of the advantages of this pathway are:

 

  • You're more motivated to let go of the story of you. As life is most likely continually challenging, it's easy to want to let go of that and steer towards Truth. If you enjoy your life it is a lot harder to let go of it. Being tired of being yourself, can be used as the motivation to go beyond the false self.

  • Early childhood trauma can manifest as difficulties in relationships later on in life, and perhaps you becoming a loner at times. The awakening path involves facing your aloneness and spending a lot of time on your own in contemplation. If you're already comfortable on your own because of your trauma, this is an advantage when facing the hermit part of awakening. Please click here for a video on facing aloneness during awakening.

  • Having a lot of trauma in your lifetime makes you very brave. You have likely had to face some terrible situations and you kept surviving and doing your best. This built strength and courage which means when you come across some of the more challenging parts of awakening, such as facing existential fear, you'll be well equipped to dive in. Here is a video on facing this fear.

  • It's often a much faster awakening path than others - you get through the layers of the false self quickly, once you've committed to healing all your trauma.

  • You most likely have a lot of compassion and empathy if you've struggled most of your life. You understand pain and feel the suffering in others and the world. This is a great benefit for the heart opening part of awakening, that leads to living from Unity.

 

Some of the disadvantages of this path are:

 

  • It's intense and tiring. Once you've committed to healing and understand that it is your way to liberation, you can be in for an intense emotional ride. Once the lid has been taken off and the healing has began, it seems to just keep arising to be seen and healed, layer after layer. This can take a toll on your health and mental wellbeing.

  • Other people may struggle to understand your pathway, even if they have been through an awakening themselves. It is a very different path to the other awakening journeys and has its unique challenges. An example is that a meditation teacher that doesn't understand trauma may guide you to meditate when you may not be able to without disassociating, because of the trauma held in the body and nervous system. This means you will not be grounded in your body, making the meditation much less effective. You may also have trauma arise during a meditation that cannot be managed by someone that is not trauma informed.

  • The intersection between trauma and awakening is still quite a new area as far as content and teachers are concerned. If you want to learn about meditation or Buddhism you have many options, but the trauma path to enlightenment is one of the lesser understood pathways. A lot of the awakening content out there may not be relevant for you if you're on this path. Telling someone that has a highly traumatised system to just be present is asking them to do something that is impossible, early on in their healing journey. It can be a challenge to find therapists and awakening teachers that can understand this complex pathway.

Of course you don't choose this awakening path, it chooses you, and I feel very fortunate that this was my way to liberation. Although it was challenging, so was most of my life allowing me to be well prepared for the wild ride. Fast and furious, but extremely effective in letting go of the illusion.