Awakening Sutra


  1. Awakening is the discovery of who you are.
  2. The main instruments of awakening are self-honesty and self-observation.


  1.  You cannot bring your assumptions to a discovery. You cannot bring your assumptions, prejudices, fixed mental positions, opinions, intellectual conclusions, conditioned mental patterns, fear, or attachment to or identification with thoughtemotionsensationbelief, and ego.
  2. Putting these aside is self-honesty.


  1. There is only consciousness (awareness, intelligence).
  2. In the field of consciousness, the world arises. In the field of consciousness, space and time, experiencing, mind and body arise.
  3. Experiencing is also known as observation, noticing,  becoming aware of, putting attention on.
  4. Observation is a function of consciousness, not of the mind.
  5. Insight (revelation, recognition, epiphany) comes from observation.


  1. The obstacle to awakening is attachment or identification with an object in consciousness.
  2. The objects in consciousness are thought, emotion, sensation, belief, ego, fear, conditioned mental patterns, and attachments. These are collectively known as the “mind.”
  3. In themselves, they are simply objects in consciousness.
  4. It is identification with them which leads to delusion.
  5. One such obstacle to awakening is identification with the ego.
  6. The ego is the false self in you which you identify it. The ego is the bundle of thoughts, emotions, and beliefs which are about you. The ego is driven by fear. It has many needs–the need to survive, the need to be right, the need to be heard, the need to exhibit, the need to win, the need to suffer, the need to be victimized, the need to perpetrate, the need for mental attachments, the need to jump to conclusions, and so on.

Consciousness awakening:

  1. Awakening is the discovery of who you are.
  2. The main instruments of awakening are self-honesty and self-observation.
  3. A good way to start is to observe the thought-stream. Observe the thought-stream, as a witness.
  4. Other methods of observation are: observing the sense-of-I-am (true sense of you), formless meditation, observing emotions, observing body sensations, observing the ego (false sense of you), and more.
  5. Awakening can be disturbing, disorienting, and destabilizing. It takes courage to overcome the ego’s fear to start to observe. It can take stamina and effort and patience to keep going.
  6. A release technique can be helpful.
  7. You need know only your very next step. Go step by step. When stuck, go the beginning.


  1. Work in progress. Comments welcome. The idea is to succintly describe awakening.
  2. First use of important words is boldened.

10 thoughts on “Awakening Sutra

  1. Roxy

    I had experienced this and more it could be very confusing at first I’m a stage where I can just let everything that arises be whatever form it takes at first it was very challenging I had never had the need to go anywhere with this just the simple wanting for peace with my self and when that becomes more important than any fear any thought any situation you move into any situation with ease I had never questioned it I had just allowed it hasnt always been easy but there’s rewarding moments of bliss that makes you grateful even for the most unbearable pain it is a process. Eckhart tolle’s advise is good too
    I’m grateful for this blog
    Thank you !

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Thanks, Roxy!

      Yes, it can be confusing. I remember long periods of confusion and down cycles. Then it becomes clear and then it becomes clear enough to articulate.

      Thanks for your openness.


  2. Davidya

    Hi Kaushik
    I enjoy what you’re attempting here. It’s a big challenge to whittle the essence down to sutras. Writing it down helps make clear where we’re clear and where were uncertain.

    #2 is interesting. It is a process of consciousness becoming more awake to itself and increased clarity (sattva) that is the result of letting go of our energetic baggage. You’re pointing that way. I would add that it’s not something that we do but rather allow.

    It’s also worth noting that thoughts, emotions and such are not attachments in themselves. Someone awake still has them. But being attached to them makes them reactive, entrenched, etc. That is a barrier to being. As the Yoga Sutras (2:3) put it, ignorance of who we are is the cause of the 5 types of suffering, one of which is attachment.

    When you get into #6-7, you’re presenting a hypothesis and argument. This isn’t really a sutra in the traditional sense. Thats more commentary on an aphrosim than an aphroism.

    I’ll also note you want clarity on self-observation. The self-observation you and mindfulness talk about is consciousness as the witness of behaviour. Psychology describes “self-aware” as a stage of development of the mind. But this is mind observing itself. Mind referral does not result in awakening. “I think therefore I am” is mind. What may be required for some is samadhi from meditation to become aware of what consciousness itself is so consciousness can favour itself. Otherwise, it’s just a mind game.

    On ego, similar to the above. Ego is often demonized but ego itself is not the barrier. It is identification with the ego that is. I am me. For some, it can be identification with a concept of what awakening is that is the last barrier. It depends a bit- but always some identification. More clarity and experience of who I am beneath the mind and ego softens the identification and allows the Self to see Itself here, resulting in the shift.

    Finally – Self-observation is a function of consciousness as the observer. Objects of observation are a function of consciousness as the observed. Knowledge/insight/intelligence is a consequence of the process of clear observing. These are the 3 aspects of consciousness.

    Those are my 2 bits, if they add anything of value.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Good stuff, Davidya. I’ve incorporated most of your feedback.

      The motivation here is that I am with a group of people who new to awakening, and I am finding that I don’t have good skills to explain awakening. And so I am trying to succinct and clear.


  3. Tara

    I have been awakening for a while now and it seems that lately I have had a more difficult time letting go of resistance. I thought I was doing well and now it seems like I am going backwards, like more resistance has come up. does anyone have some advice on letting go of resistance and just allowing. I think it may be fear of allowing which has created more resistance…not sure, need an awareness, I feel like I am dancing in circles, a constant battle with the ego, feeling like I am in a war. maybe trying too hard….

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Tara,

      Yes, it can seem difficult at times. I encourage people to comment if they have shared your experience.

      On the recommendations page you find resources which have been helpful to me. Of these, the release method is parituclarly helpful.

      Also this forum, which is not limited to Eckhart Tolle discussions, is a friendly and helpful online place.

      If you are feeling that you are going three steps forward and two back, continually–that’s common. I have felt that, and confusion and the kind low mood which people sometimes call the dark night of the soul, and so on. Releasing has been very good to me. My big turn-around came at the conclusion of the technique John Sherman suggests.


    2. Davidya

      Hi Tara
      I’ll add that it’s like peeling an onion. We think we’re just about done, then a new layer arises to be seen. As we’re now conscious on this new level, it seems we’re going backwards but it actually is a progression. Notice how the issues are more vague and subtle than before, although they may seem to be in your face. They may get harder to name.

      Keep in mind that it’s ego that battles ego. You can’t win any such battle. Ego has to be allowed too. But ego doesn’t want to be allowed or it will be seen through. So it puts up a drama or distraction to keep your attention away from this. Letting go of the game is also part of the process. Increased clarity of consciousness is what will bring the seeing through. Releasing what arises as mentioned and what brings you samadhi, pure consciousness, will help.

Comments are closed.