What Is Spiritual Awakening? (Causes, Stages, & Symptoms)

My life fundamentally changed the moment I had my first spiritual awakening. I realized the truth that I am not my body, and my sense of self shattered in that very instant. Ever since then I have been waking up to more and more truth and divinity every single day.

To understand what this experience really looks like let’s start with what a spiritual awakening means in simple terms.

What is Spiritual Awakening?

Spiritual awakening is the process of shifting your consciousness through profound spiritual realization. A spiritual awakening is a moment in time when you come into contact with reality shifting existential truth.

After a spiritual awakening your perspective of yourself and the world around you will change forever.

What Causes A Spiritual Awakening?

Many things may trigger a spiritual awakening, though there are several well known methods and life events that can cause a spiritual awakening.

1. Life-changing events

Sometimes traumatic and impactful life changes and events can cause a spiritual awakening. These events can be stressful and emotional, which can trigger an awakening.

Examples of this include: a death of a loved one, divorce, moving, and near death experiences.

2. Specific spiritual practices

There are specific techniques that if practiced enough can lead to a spiritual awakening. Some of these practices include:

  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Visualization
  • Self-inquiry
  • Other esoteric practices

3. Psychedelics

Psychedelics have been known to take people into altered states of consciousness that fundamentally shifts their perception of reality.

Some people find psychedelics like LSD and magic mushrooms will facilitate spiritual breakthroughs. Spiritual leader Ram Dass began his spiritual journey with LSD for example.

4. Spontaneous awakenings

Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason for a why a spiritual awakening strikes. It could just be a random occurrence in your life.



Discover the 6 stages of awakening and find out where you are in your journey.

It’s also possible that your awakening was divinely orchestrated in some way that you aren’t aware of. Though it may appear random, a spontaneous spiritual awakening could be part of the divine plan for your life.

5. Working with a guru

One thing that is bound to accelerate your spiritual growth is working with a guru. If you’re lucky enough to find a genuine spiritual master, you WILL start to have some profound awakenings with their help.

> see my article “How To Find A Spiritual Mentor”

The Stages of Spiritual Awakening

Everyone experiences the awakening process differently, however there are a couple well known stages on the spiritual path.

1. Asleep

The first stage is before the awakening process even begins, when you’re not even aware something greater even exists. This is where everyone starts their spiritual journey.

2. Curiosity

The second stage is when you haven’t experience an awakening, but you’re interested in the idea and are actively learning more about it. You may become very intrigued with the possibility of greater spiritual truths and experiences in stage 2.

3. Initial awakening

The third stage is when you have an awakening for the very first time. This is a moment of profound spiritual insight. Though this experience may be very brief, it lights a fire inside you to pursue the spiritual path more persistently.

4. Growth and plateau

The fourth stage is full of scattered awakenings and spiritual experiences. There are periods of growth and insight as well as periods of spiritual plateaus. You struggle to access greater states of consciousness consistently in this stage.

5. Integration

The fifth stage is where you start to integrate your awakenings and spiritual experiences into everyday life. You begin to see the sacredness of everything in this phase. It becomes much easier to access higher states of consciousness in stage 5.

6. Transcendence

The final stage of awakening is where you transcend all dualism, sense of self, and separateness. You understand some of the highest truths of the universe in this stage and have direct access to higher consciousness.

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Signs and Symptoms of Awakening

How exactly do you know if you’re having an awakening? These are some common signs and symptoms of an awakening.

> see my article “20 Signs of Spiritual Awakening & How to Know You’re Waking Up”

1. You can access the present more easily

When you have an awakening you experience truth as it is right NOW. Everything you experience, you experience in the present moment. When you begin to wake up, you naturally find yourself enjoying the present more and more. The present moment is where you want to be, and it’s the place where you find greater spiritual growth.

2. Your consciousness feels more vivid

As you raise your consciousness from your awakenings you’ll find that your awareness feels sharper and more vivid. It’s almost as if reality has become less blurry after your awakening. You become more sensitive to the little details in life that you may have missed previously.

3. Increased bodily and mental energy

Feelings of excess bodily and mental energy can be a significant symptom of awakening, especially a kundalini awakening. As you become more awake, you may find that new energy becomes unlocked in your mind and body. To some this can be a distressing experience.

4. Disillusionment with reality

Reality can begin to feel a little less “real” during and after an awakening. There are a lot of illusions and misperceptions that we have in our limited human forms. As you become more conscious and divine, you’ll begin to see through the illusions. This can lead to a feeling of disillusionment with your current life and reality.

5. Synchronicities

Synchronicities are moments of unexpected connection. It’s like if you were intentionally looking for red cars you’re bound to see more red cars. In the same way, as you experience more spiritual truth you begin to see the effects of it everywhere around you. As you have awakenings, the amount of synchronicities in your life will increase.

What Are The Different Types of Awakening?

There are probably an infinite number of ways you can experience an awakening. Here are a couple common types of awakenings.

1. Ego death

One of the most common awakenings is that of ego death. This is the experience of your ego or personality dying. When ego death occurs your physical body doesn’t die, however, your sense of self and separateness disappears. This is often described as frightening at first, but ultimately completely liberating. This awakening often occurs during psychedelic usage.

2. Top down awakening

When an awakening starts in the body but begins from one of the top chakras such as the crown chakra or third eye and moves down the body. This often begins with a surge of energy in the body and ends with an increased sensitivity in consciousness.

> see my article “What is a Top Down Spiritual Awakening?”

3. Kundalini awakening

A kundalini awakening is when divine energy shoots up through the body starting at the root chakra. This is often an incredibly intense experience of energy and warmth going up your chakras. Drastic changes in consciousness often occur after a kundalini awakening.

4. Infinite insights

Along with the previous types of awakening, there are an infinite number of spiritual shifts you can have. There are so many different insights to be had that I can’t list out. Here are couple more:

  • awakening to infinite love
  • awakening to your astral self
  • awakening divine energy
  • Realization that you are God
  • Realizing non-duality
  • Experiencing samadhi (or a state of no thoughts)


Spiritual awakening is the most profound thing that has ever happened to me and I believe it has the ability to change you for the better. Spiritual awakenings cause drastic shifts in consciousness. If you aren’t prepared for this it can come as a shock.

By understanding the different types of awakening, the symptoms of them, and the stages of awakening, you can be just a little more prepared for the wild ride of spiritual awakening.

Best of luck on your awakening journey.

Peace and love.

Hi, I’m Ryan. I’m a meditation teacher, spiritual seeker, and founder of nurtureyourspirit.org. I’m glad you’re here! I founded Nurture Your Spirit because of my love of meditation, spirituality, and spiritual awakening.

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Discover the 6 stages of awakening and find out where you are in your spiritual journey.

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Discover the 6 stages of awakening and find out where you are in your spiritual journey.

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