"This dropping away of the seeker can be experienced as a huge relief. It marks what I like to call the honeymoon of awakening. At least for me, this dropping away of the seeker and seeking was experienced as if an enormous weight had been taken off my shoulders. It was a very physical experience. I literally felt like a weight was removed — a weight I had no idea I'd been carrying.

"This is a common experience for people upon awakening. At the moment that consciousness wakes up from its dream of separation, there is a great sense of relief. That's why some people will start laughing or crying or have some other sort of deep emotional release — they are feeling the relief of finally being outside of the dream state. I sometimes refer to this moment as the first kiss. Awakening is sort of like your first spiritual kiss, your first real kiss of reality, your introduction to the truth of who and what you are.

"This honeymoon may last for a day, a week, six months, or a couple of years. It varies for different people. What characterizes the honeymoon period is complete flow — there is no resistance in your being, in your experience. Everything is flowing. Life is a flow; everything just seems to happen of its own volition. It is the experiential knowledge that everything is actually being done, that you as a separate entity aren't doing anything.

"In the deepest sense, this honeymoon is an experience of complete and utter nonresistance. Within this nonresistance, life flows wonderfully and beautifully, almost magically. Things show up when they need to show up. Decisions are made without actually deciding them; everything has a sense of obviousness. It is the experience of Spirit completely unhindered, uncorrupted by illusion, conditioning, or contradiction. This flow may be a momentary experience, or it may last longer. Some people get so swept up in the honeymoon that they become almost incapacitated for a period of time, lost in the bliss state for a week, a month, or even years.

"In ancient times, people having this experience entered protected environments such as monasteries — places where those around them would understand. They'd be put in a nice little cell and left alone to let the process happen. They were fortunate to experience awakening in a context in which it was understood, seen as normal, and given the space it required.

"In today's society, most of us having these realizations are not living in monasteries; we are not in a particularly supportive environment. In fact, in our society it is possible to have an amazing realization on Saturday and be back in the office on Monday morning. If your mind is still blown out in bliss, this can be very disorienting! Yet it's the reality of the situation we live in. Most modern people do not have the luxury of sitting in a cave for a few months and letting things shake down naturally. This is the state of our world, and it can be a challenge for some people."