Spiritual Awakening

Spiritual Awakening: Definition, Signs and Symptoms

Published on March 7, 2023

Spiritual awakening is a profound experience that is often described as a deep connection to the divine, a deep understanding of the nature of life, or a sense of inner growth and transformation. It can bring a sense of peace and oneness, and it can provide a greater understanding of one’s purpose and the meaning of life. Spiritual awakening can also be seen as a journey of self-discovery, as well as an opportunity to gain insight into the spiritual truths of the universe. Regardless of the form it takes, spiritual enlightenment can be an incredibly powerful and life-changing experience. If you are looking for answers about life and the universe, you may benefit from exploring the definition, signs and symptoms of spiritual awakening.

Key takeaways

What is spiritual awakening?

Spiritual awakening is a term that has been used to describe a variety of experiences. Throughout history, different spiritual paths have used various terms to describe spiritual awakening, including enlightenment, salvation, liberation, and self-realization. In the yoga tradition, this process is described using the terms Kundalini awakening, Moksha, and Samadhi. In Buddhism, the term Nirvana is often used. While the terminology may differ, the core spiritual experience remains the same or very similar.

Spiritual awakening is the experience of one or more profound shifts in consciousness that brings about a greater understanding of the mystery of life and the interconnectedness of all things. These mystical experiences can vary greatly, but typically involve a deep sense of peace and joy, a deeper connection to one’s true self, and an understanding of one’s place in the greater universe. It is a shift in consciousness in which a person moves from identifying with the physical body and mind to recognizing a deeper connection with the divine or the oneness of the universe.

Spiritual awakenings can vary greatly depending on the individual, and can range from a subtle shift in awareness to a complete transformation of the person. They can take the form of a religious experience or it can be purely spiritual in nature. They can be the result of a deliberate spiritual practice, such as meditation, or they can happen spontaneously. A moment of awakening can be a quick or very slow process that unfolds over time. These spiritual experiences can be very subtle and difficult to recognize, or quite profound. In some cases, people may experience a range of spiritual awakenings over the course of their lives.

What happens during a spiritual awakening?

During a spiritual awakening, an individual typically experiences a profound transformation in their life. This transformation is marked by a profound shift in perspectives and beliefs, often leading to a heightened sense of purpose and clarity in one’s life. The transition that takes place during a awakening can be both challenging and life-changing, as the individual is forced to question their beliefs and perceptions of the world around them. As the individual’s sense of purpose and direction become clearer, they often begin to develop a deeper connection to themselves, to others, and to the spiritual realm.

During this awakening, individuals may feel an intense sense of clarity, an opening of their spiritual awareness, and a new connection to the universe and all living things. As a result of this shift, individuals may start to identify and focus on their core spiritual values and beliefs. They may develop a heightened sense of empathy and compassion for others, become more mindful of their thoughts and actions, and even feel more connected to the divine. Awakened people may start to explore spiritual practices, such as meditation, prayer, and yoga, in order to nourish and deepen their connection to the divine.

How long do spiritual awakenings last

Spiritual awakenings can last for a short or extended period of time, depending on the individual’s personal experience, life circumstances, spiritual practices, and background. Given the individualized nature of spiritual awakenings, it can be difficult to determine how long a particular awakening will last, as it can depend on various factors, such as the individual’s dedication to the process and the amount of self-work they undertake. However, in general, awakenings are more of a gradual process than an instantaneous event. Therefore, it is possible to experience spiritual growth over a period of weeks, months, or even years.

It is important to remember that everyone’s journey is different and there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to spiritual awakening. Therefore, it is important to be patient with yourself and your journey, and to take the time necessary to fully explore and experience the transformation.

What does spiritual awakening feel like

Spiritual Awakening experience

The experience of a spiritual awakening can often be overwhelming and leave a person feeling isolated and confused. Some of the most common feelings associated with a spiritual awakening include an increased sense of empathy, intuition, and connection to the world around them. Other common sensations can include a feeling of being disconnected from one’s old identity or self-image, sudden shifts in emotional state, a heightened awareness of one’s own thoughts and feelings, and a deep inner peace. Some people may also experience physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, or body aches. It is important to remember that every individual’s awakening process will be unique to them and their particular situation.

A spiritual awakening is a process of self-discovery and growth that can be both challenging and rewarding. In this stage, you may experience a sense of disconnection, confusion, and depression. During this time, you may also experience heightened intuition, empathy, and a deepening sense of self-honesty and personal responsibility. You may find yourself feeling more connected with yourself, others, and the world around you. Other signs of spiritual awakening include blurred vision or seeing auras and glittery particles around people. They can also be triggered by traumatic events, such as divorce, breakups, deaths, births, or marriage. While the process can be difficult and uncomfortable, there is hope for enlightenment on the other side.

24 Spiritual awakening signs and symptoms

Many people who have gone through a spiritual awakening experience a variety of signs and symptoms. Some of the most common signs include heightened intuition, increased empathy and sensitivity, enhanced creativity, heightened dreams and visions, feeling a deep connection with the universe, an intense desire to be honest with oneself, finding it difficult to make small talk, and an inability to tolerate negative energy.

A shift in consciousness

A small or large shift in consciousness is a common experience and is marked by a deepened sense of peace and understanding about spiritual paths, spiritual experience, religious experience, and mystical experiences. An internal journey is initiated in which an individual moves from a limited, ego-based perspective to a broader, more enlightened view of reality. During this process, the individual gains access to a greater source of inner wisdom and knowledge. As this wisdom is accessed, the individual can begin to understand the interconnectedness of all things and cultivate greater compassion, empathy, and love towards themselves and others.

The acknowledgement of the spiritual realm

The awareness and acknowledgement of the spiritual realm is an important first stage of spiritual awakening. This can include the exploration of spiritual paths, such as meditation, yoga, or prayer. It can also involve direct spiritual experiences, such as religious experiences, mystical experiences, and even physical experiences, such as out-of-body experiences. All of these experiences can be profound and enriching, and can open up a whole new level of understanding and connection to the spiritual world.

Questioning your beliefs

As your awaking begins, you may start to experience a natural curiosity that causes you to question your current beliefs or lifestyle. This may be in the forms of reevaluating your values, or challenging the status quo. This questioning can lead to a deepening of your understanding of yourself and can create a stronger foundation for your spiritual journey. As you question your beliefs, you may also start to identify which ones are no longer serving you, and can start to make changes to align with your new spiritual path.

A heightened awareness

One of the most prominent spiritual awakening symptoms is a heightened awareness. This can manifest in many ways, such as feeling more connected to nature, experiencing deeper empathy for others, or even having an increased capacity to sense and recognize the subtle energies of prana, chakras, elements, kundalini, and vayus. This newly heightened awareness often causes people to reevaluate their priorities in life, as they become more in tune with their deeper values and purpose. A heightened awareness can lead to an overall greater appreciation of life’s beauty, even in the more mundane moments. You may also find yourself more attuned to the needs of your community and the environment, as well as an increased desire to be active in social causes and humanitarian efforts.

Connected to a greater purpose or power

A common sign of spiritual awakening is a feeling of being connected to a greater purpose or power. This could be a connection to God or a higher power, a feeling of being part of something larger than yourself, or even a sense of feeling connected to other people, nature, or the universe. This feeling can lead to a sense of purpose and fulfillment, and it can also be accompanied by a greater sense of responsibility for your own life, or for the world around you. This sign can be experienced in a positive or negative way, depending on how it is interpreted. For example , if you feel connected to something larger than yourself, it can lead to a feeling of peace and understanding. On the other hand, if you feel overwhelmed or scared by this connection, it can lead to a sense of fear and confusion.

Spiritual Awakening in yogaIncreased intuition and inner knowledge

An increased intuition and inner knowledge can manifest as a feeling of being able to more deeply access information about your life and the world around you. You may find yourself more in tune with your innermost feelings, or you may be more aware of spiritual insights, intuitive wisdom or ‘spiritual downloads.’ You might find yourself knowing things that you don’t have any logical explanation for. You may become more in tune with your instincts and have a greater awareness of what is going on around you.

Heightened sensitivity to the energies of others

As we progress on our spiritual paths, we begin to develop a heightened sensitivity to the energies of others. We may find ourselves feeling both positive and negative energies more strongly, and this can be disorienting at first. This can manifest in many different ways, such as feeling overwhelmed in large crowds, feeling drained around certain people, or feeling a deep connection to those we meet. It takes practice to develop the ability to stay grounded and centered while still connecting to the energies of others.

Change in breathing patterns

A subtle yet profound symptom of spiritual progress is noticing our habitual breathing patterns shifting toward a constant slow, deep diaphragmatic breath. This type of breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which encourages relaxation, healing, equanimity, and a deeper sense of connection to our inner source. Taking more slow, deep breaths creates a sensation of increased energy and vitality and a shift in consciousness.

Mindfulness in everyday actions

Experiencing a deepening of mindfulness in everyday actions is a common sign of spiritual awakening. This could be an increased awareness of one’s physical, mental and emotional states, as well as and noticing details in the world that you may not have noticed before. Living in a deeper state of mindfulness anchors us in the present moment, and helps us to be more aware of our reactions and responses to the world around us. We can learn to observe our thoughts and feelings without judgment, and to be more accepting of both ourselves and those around us.

Being “in the flow”

The feeling of being “in the flow” can be a strong indicator of spiritual awakening. The Flow state, also referred to as being ‘in the zone’, is an elevated mental state where a person participating in an activity is wholly immersed in a feeling of energized concentration and pleasure from the activity. People in a flow state often forget about time and are frequently able to achieve a higher level of productivity, creativity, and performance. This feeling is often accompanied by a sense of peace and inner calm, as well as a heightened awareness of the present moment.

Experience of deep states of meditationSpiritual awakening signs 

Longer, deeper, and more profound states of meditation are a sign of spiritual development. This can manifest as improved concentration, increased self-awareness, and more meaningful connections with the Divine. Symptoms of deep meditation can also include a heightened sense of clarity, a feeling of being completely centered and in balance, and a deep sense of joy and inner peace. Deeper states of meditation can help gain insight into the nature of reality and one’s purpose in life.

Detachment from thoughts and material possessions

One of the most common signs of spiritual awakening is the detachment from thoughts and material possessions. Strong attachments to ideas, emotions and material possessions are the source of much of our suffering and pain. As our awakening progresses, we realize that these attachments are only temporary and that true joy lies in letting our desire to grasp on to things go. This understanding allows us to detach from our attachments and to focus on the internal instead of the external. As we continue to do this, we can experience a greater connection to our true nature and to all of life.

Increased creativity or inspiration

As you become more in-tune with your spiritual self, you may begin to experience sudden bursts of creativity or inspiration. These may manifest as ideas or insights that come to you out of the blue, or provide you with an increased ability to problem-solve. You may find yourself suddenly able to make connections between seemingly unrelated topics and develop new methods of approaching difficult problems. This is a sign that your spirit is awakening and your true potential is starting to be revealed. If you experience this, it’s important to take the time to explore and discover your creative ability, as it could lead to deeper spiritual insights and understandings.

Living more in “the moment”

As you progress towards a state of enlightenment, you may notice that you are more present and aware of the present moment, rather than living in the past or worrying about the future. “Be here now” will become more of your natural state rather than something you need lots of reminders to practice. This heightened presence allows for a more connected feeling to life and all that’s around you. This increased mindfulness can also lead to improved concentration and focus, which can be beneficial to all aspects of life. You no longer get caught up in the drama and chaos that has plagued your life, and you become more comfortable with uncertainty and can better “go with the flow” of the present moment.

Compassion and unconditional love for all living things

As your spiritual life deepens, you may begin to feel a strong sense of compassion, empathy, kindness, and unconditional love for others. You may find yourself also feeling more connected to animals and nature, and you may be more inclined to speak out for social justice and help those in need. This feeling is a sign that you are beginning to live from your heart, seeing the world with a wider perspective, and that you are beginning to understand the interconnectedness of all life.

The pursuit of inner peaceSpiritual awakening symptoms

The pursuit of inner peace and equanimity is a common goal among all spiritual paths. This pursuit involves understanding and applying spiritual practices in your daily life, such as meditation, prayer, contemplation, and service to others. The deep desire to experience profound peace and tranquility will encourage you to let go of drama, daily stressors, toxic relationships, and unhealthy habits. As your awareness expands, you will gain insight into the present moment and the ability to remain in a state of calm. The cycle of ups and downs created by your thoughts and actions will gradually diminish, leading to more stable and consistent spiritual growth and inner peace.

Seeing of the interconnectedness of all things

The realization and understanding of the interconnectedness of all things is an essential concept found in many spiritual paths, including Buddhism, Hinduism, and yoga. This concept is fundamental to fully deepening the spiritual journey and can provide insight into the universal nature of our existence. It can be experienced as a profound sense of oneness with all life, a feeling of spiritual interconnectedness, and a realization of the inherent oneness of the universe. The image of Indra’s jeweled net, where all the jewels in the eyes of the infinite net reflect each other, is an apt metaphor for this interconnectedness or interfusion. As we become aware of this essential truth, our perception of the world is forever changed.

Dreams become lucid

Experiencing evocative, lucid, and vivid dreams can be a sign of awakening and accessing the subconscious mind. Lucid dreaming is the practice of being aware you are dreaming while you are asleep and having some measure of control over the dream. It allows you to explore the inner realms of your subconscious mind and access higher states of consciousness in a safe and secure environment. You may find yourself meeting spiritual masters and teachers in your dreams and having a greater awareness of what is happening in your waking life. Lucid dreaming can also lead to a greater understanding of the subconscious mind and deeper insights into the spiritual realm.

The ego softens and becomes less controlling

The ego seeks to maintain a sense of separation from others and the world, but during a spiritual awakening, it softens and it begins to lose control over our thoughts and actions. This allows the person to open up to the spiritual realm and transcend beyond their typical ego-based perspective. This can manifest in a number of ways, such as a greater ability to go with the flow, an increase in self-acceptance, and an overall feeling of peace with the present moment. People may also find themselves more open to differentperspectives, and less likely to judge or criticize others.

How spiritually awake are you?

Take this brief and insightful quiz consisting of ten thought-provoking questions to test your stage of awakening. By engaging in this introspective exercise, you will gain valuable insight into your current level of spiritual consciousness and better understand the extent to which you have awakened to the profound truths of the universe.

Awareness of old negative habits

Realizing your old negative habits and samskaras (mental impressions) is a sign of spiritual progress and transformation. These habits and samskaras can be anything ranging from negative self-talk, unhealthy coping strategies, or self-destructive behaviors. As you recognize the actions and thought patterns that don’t serve you, you begin to take responsibility for your choices and create positive and meaningful habits. By making positive changes to your daily life, you can cultivate a greater sense of inner peace and contentment. Practicing good karma through conscious and purposeful decisions, thoughts, and emotions will lead to a more rewarding life experience.

Changes in relationships

Changes in relationships are common when our spiritual lives are being awakened. We may find ourselves questioning the dynamics of our current relationships and feeling a need to make adjustments to ensure that our relationships are more in line with our spiritual values. We may start to feel a disconnect from our family, friends, and even our romantic partners as we start to recognize our spiritual identity. We may find ourselves connecting with old friends in new ways and feeling drawn to meet people with spiritual depth. Initially, this can be challenging, confusing, and uncomfortable, but removing toxic people from our life creates stronger connections, a sense of community, and a greater sense of self-love and acceptance.

A sense of dharma or personal mission

Dharma is the path of right conduct and living in accordance with one’s purpose or duty. During a spiritual awakening, it is not uncommon to find oneself discovering or refining their dharma or life’s mission. This might be a unique calling or purpose that comes from within, or it might be a message from the Universe or a higher power. It is important to recognize that this mission is not necessarily a path to perfect happiness, but it is generally a path of greater alignment with one’s personal truth. As such, following one’s dharma can lead to a more fulfilled and peaceful life and provide a greater sense of self-confidence and inner strength.

A desire to live a more meaningful lifespiritual lifestyle

As your spiritual life deepens, you may start to question the purpose of life, and contemplate how you can make the most of your time here. Instead of chasing material possessions and short-term pleasures, you may find yourself seeking out activities that have a greater purpose or add more meaning to your life. This could be anything from volunteering for a cause you care about, to helping others in need, to exploring different spiritual practices and traditions. Living a more meaningful life can bring about a greater sense of fulfillment and inner peace, and can give your life a greater sense of direction and purpose.

Interest in living a yogic lifestyle

As your awaking progresses, you may experience a desire to align your lifestyle with the philosophies and teachings of the yoga tradition. You may find yourself drawn to a more yogic way of life, such as practicing meditation, reading spiritual texts, spending time in nature, eating less meat, and living more modestly. You may become conscious of the ways in which your lifestyle choices impact your spiritual growth and make changes that help you in the journey towards enlightenment.


The spiritual awakening process can manifest in many forms, and the experience of it is unique to each individual. While it can be an intense and challenging process, it can also be an incredible opportunity to deepen one’s spiritual practice, gain insight into the true nature of self, and open up to a more fulfilling and connected life. Being mindful of the symptoms of spiritual awakening can help to create space for self-exploration and transformation. Ultimately, it is a journey of self-discovery, and with the right guidance, it can truly be an awakening experience.

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5 responses to “Spiritual Awakening: Definition, Signs and Symptoms”

  1. Zoe Williams Avatar
    Zoe Williams

    I have been practicing yoga for a few years now, and I have definitely experienced a spiritual awakening through my practice. It’s amazing how yoga can help you connect with your true self and find inner peace. This article has captured the essence of that journey perfectly.

  2. Ji-hoon Lee Avatar
    Ji-hoon Lee

    Reading this article made me realize that spiritual awakening is not just about achieving a higher state of consciousness, but also about living a more meaningful life. Yoga has helped me find balance and harmony in my life, and this article has inspired me to deepen my practice even further.

  3. Aisha Patel Avatar
    Aisha Patel

    I love how this article highlights the importance of mindfulness in everyday actions during a spiritual awakening. Living in the present moment allows us to fully appreciate life’s beauty, be more aware of our thoughts and feelings without judgment, and foster acceptance towards ourselves and those around us.

  4. Karisa Pomarico Avatar
    Karisa Pomarico

    The mention of being “in the flow” as a sign of spiritual awakening brought a smile to my face. It’s such a wonderful feeling when we’re fully immersed in an activity and experience heightened productivity and joy.

  5. Sue Raphael Avatar
    Sue Raphael

    I felt connected to the words as I couldnt explain what happened to me a few years ago when I had a spiritual sensation go through my body from my feet upwards an had an over whelming feeling that everything was going to be alright..an had the best night sleep ever! But couldn’t explain in words what had occurred to me..so this article helped me understand..

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Timothy Burgin Avatar
About the author
Timothy Burgin is a Kripalu & Pranakriya trained yoga instructor living and teaching in Asheville, NC. Timothy has studied and taught many styles of yoga and has completed a 500-hour Advanced Pranakriya Yoga training. Timothy has been serving as the Executive Director of YogaBasics.com since 2000. He has authored two yoga books and has written over 500 articles on the practice and philosophy of yoga. Timothy is also the creator of Japa Mala Beads and has been designing and importing mala beads since 2004.
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