by Saniel Bonder
My friends and I are often asked, “How does this work work?” Let me try to offer an explanation of the Waking Down process that speaks to you, whoever you may be.
Who does this work work for?
That’s really the first question. There are no special attributes that guarantee an individual’s readiness for this kind of awakening and transformative work. At least, none that stand out as credentials of experience or necessary styles of living or behaving. People who would identify themselves as “spiritual seekers” are not necessarily more prepared to Wake Down than other individuals. And people who have already achieved some kind of ultimate fulfillment of their search appear, most often, to be less prepared to Wake Down than others-if not because they are less qualified, then because they are less inclined.
Our process appears not to work very well for, and even not to speak very well to, anyone who is already enthusiastically pursuing one or another enterprise in their lives, whether spiritual or secular.
Who, then, does it work for? Who does it speak to? Those who are “Hungry.” Those who have tried much and, even if they succeeded, still feel somehow empty at the core. Those who have aspired with all their hearts and are beginning to despair. And those who have aspired and despaired so often and so conclusively that they are beginning to suspect nothing will ever really satisfy their primal Hunger for … for whatever; they may not even know what they yearn for.
Many people can identify themselves in such a description. You know who you are, or at least you suspect it. You may be doing practically any kind of work for a living, or none at all. You may be involved, or not, in any kind of intimate relationship. You may be male or female, young or old, with an extensive history of spiritual quest behind you, or little, or a lot, or none at all.
First Principle : Transmission
If you are Hungry, then … eat! Our process proceeds on the basis of direct imparting of the awakened condition from one individual to another. In the venerable traditions of spiritual and conscious awakening, the core of authentic work has almost invariably involved a living transmission of such a kind. What is transmitted is an energy or intelligence that simultaneously nurtures and challenges the receiver.
We call what we thus radiate and communicate, simply, “Being-force.” The primary way we communicate it is through direct personal meetings with people. But it comes through in all kinds of ways. You will find a variety of available books and other writings, as well as audiotapes, videos, photographs, and so on on this website, all of which naturally broadcast this awakening intensity to all. Happily, for everyone, there are now many teacher-transmitters of this work who, each in their own manner, are serving others in our Waking Down Community. Those aspirants who are open to any degree are affected by our transmission of Being-force in a variety of ways. Most fundamentally, they find a new energy, a new hope, a liveliness stirring at the core of their being. They notice that something is shifting in them, something perhaps quite indefinable, but also clearly having an impact on almost every aspect of their lives.
If you have had experiences of spiritual transmission with other teachers or schools, you’ll have to determine for yourself what differences there may be between those influences and what you receive here. But, whether you have experienced such things or not, reception of this transmission is the key that opens the lock on your own process of Waking Down in this work.
Second principle: Waking
The key to any authentic and profound path of awakening is the investigation and realization of Consciousness itself. This is certainly true in our school too. The conscious principle at the root and core of our very existence must be permitted to become self-aware and then made the basis of all life and action. This occurs through the exercise of discriminative intelligence, which, as one participant described it, is something like “whole-being common sense.”
As you continue to do the simple things that enhance your receptivity to Being-transmission, you will begin to notice, at some point, an increasingly self-sustaining intuition of your conscious nature. “Consciousness” is a word many seekers use today. But the actual, direct, untrammeled, and really effective investigation of consciousness is rare. We feel that we have developed a way to facilitate this in our work that really makes the desired results accessible for serious aspirants. You will hear a great deal of conversation about consciousness in our gatherings-and a great deal of conversation about the cultivation of discriminative intelligence as the extension, we might say, of consciousness into all the stresses and choices involved in daily living.
Third principle: Down
Along with the awakening of consciousness, this work naturally stimulates a kind of landing in your own ordinary, human personhood. That’s why we call it “Waking Down.” You literally gravitate into being yourself as you are. “Self-acceptance” does not do justice to this ongoing passage. I prefer the term “greenlighting”-you wind up getting so much permission from others here that you begin to give a green light to all of who you are as a person-the dark, difficult, shadow fears, self-negations, and reactivity, along with all your virtues, strengths, and brightness.
As it turns out, however, much of the catalytic magic of our work comes through our encounters with those dark, difficult zones in ourselves and others. The whole ambience of our meetings, workshops, and the very relationships we establish with one another, allows each serious participant to relax more and more deeply into these primitive places of wounding, betrayal, fear, and distress. By becoming conscious in these places, we liberate energy and attention for an increasingly integrated and awakened daily life.
Fourth principle: Mutuality
What really greases the wheels of the total Waking Down process is that we don’t try to accomplish these great passages in isolation. Learning to be vulnerable and communicative with others while we and they are going through these changes proves, in our work, to deliver a continual alchemical charge, and at the same time a calming balance, to the often tumultuous transitions we find ourselves enduring. Mutuality in the context of this path is being as true as you can to your own true and total Self while cooperating with others who are doing the same. Sounds simple and straightforward enough-but between and among men and women who are awakening and emerging as more and more profoundly integrated and consciously divine beings, such mutuality is a huge, and hugely empowering, undertaking.
One of the keys to this practice here is that no one is off the hook. Every teacher, including, even especially, myself, is on the line to stay accountable, accessible, and communicative in mutuality. How this actually works out in practice is sobering, humbling, and yet, again, empowering beyond everyone’s expectations.
Fifth principle: White Heat
Where does all this lead? We are a growing community of people who are finding ways to stay connected and be mutually supportive in the midst of ordinary life needs and activities. Over time, because this path of Mutual Waking Down does work so well for so many people, we anticipate a thriving community and that even a great international culture of awakened and free men and women will appear. The arts and sciences developed by such people will, we feel, contribute to a planetary renaissance on Earth.
But the ultimate goal or end of all this is not some paradise on Earth. Not to say that human and all life can’t be enormously improved upon-they certainly can, and they should! And divinely human awakeness liberates the genius of Being in every body to contribute immensely to just such improvements in human culture and life in general. I am just indicating that the wedding of Consciousness and Matter that our work provokes does not merely stimulate evolutionary shifts in human beings. It prompts such shifts, we sense, in all of life, and even all cosmic phenomena. The consummation, we might say, of this wedding produces a super-intensification in us that I call “the White Heat.” What I mean by this is an absolutely ecstatic intuition of the ultimate transformation of all existing beings and things. Once this kind of rapture begins to appear, body by body, we sense that even as we live our ordinary daily lives, we become something like evolutionary cooks for the whole cosmos, up and down, inside and out, physical and spiritual.
Who knows? That’s how it appears to a number of us. We are in no position to know if this is so. If it’s true, it means we are in for a very long haul here. That’s why I say that this path of Waking Down in Mutuality liberates you into life, not merely out of it. You then become an awakened servant of the ultimate liberation of everyone and everything, not merely your personal self.