Trillium Core Teaching Definitions

Trillium Awakening educational offerings and coaching services are by nature experiential. We offer the following definitions as a conceptual starting point, knowing that embodied understanding emerges over time through experiencing the many facets of this work. Feel free to ask your teachers and mentors about their personal journeys in this process.

Some words have been capitalized to signal their transcendent connotations, beyond their more common use.

Aspects of Awakening Realization: Awakening to the infinite and unbounded dimension of our Whole Being nature may have a variety of flavors, such as infinite expansiveness (associated with the head center or consciousness), interconnectedness (associated with the heart center or love), or unshakable being (associated with the belly or embodiment).

  • Consciousness (sometimes noticed as light, clarity, witness, or insight, in the vicinity of the head);

  • Heart (a multi-dimensional aspect; experiences here range from raw emotion to “divine” frequencies of unconditional love, compassion, or bliss, noticed in the center of the chest);

  • Being (sometimes experienced as a subtle vibrational energy, aliveness, or “ground of existence,” noticed in the belly)

Awakened Life : Living in the fundamental condition of non-separate Conscious embodiment

Awakened Reconfiguration: A post Whole Being Realization passage that is characterized by a profound reconfiguration of our most deeply held conditioning and beliefs about ourselves and the world. Often cyclical, with periods of rather intense immersion in our shadow material and broken zones followed by new openings and expansions of consciousness. This awakened reconfiguration ultimately leads over time to greater trust and confidence in Being in the midst of the ups and downs inherent in the human condition, and also to profound compassion and appreciation for ourselves and others.

Awakening: The discovery, clarification, and ever-deepening recognition of our nature as infinite Consciousness, free of limits while simultaneously embracing them. This clarification prepares the ground for the whole being realization of the underlying unity of Consciousness and matter.

Being: Our fullest sense of individual self and our fundamental non-separateness from others and all phenomena (relatedness).

Being-Force:  The dynamic current of Consciousness expressing itself into, as, and through our human bodies, feelings, phenomena, and all experience.

Being Initiation (i.e., quickening): A sense of coming alive and awake, with an increase of energy and internal activity, a “heating up” of your whole being.

Being-Field (Field of Being): The subtle shared field that connects and enlivens everything in manifest reality, sometimes experienced as luminous presence.

Broken Zones:  Psycho-emotional patterns developed in situations of overwhelm. When activated, these patterns can trigger reactions out of proportion to current events. We might lash out in anger, freeze into immobility, collapse in shame, or flee uncomfortable feelings through substances and distracting activities.

Consciousness: The infinite transcendent ground that is always registering everything while remaining untouched and unbounded; that which makes experiencing anything possible; the unlimited and infinite dimension of who we are.

Core Conditioning (i.e. Governing Sentimentalities): Limiting patterns of identifying, believing, perceiving, behaving, and feeling that take form during childhood or arise from family influence or individual karmic seeds. These habits are often comforting, unquestioned, and familiar. Therefore, we may resist, or feel we are losing a piece of ourselves, when they begin to shift or dissolve. 

Core Dharma: The central distinctions of the Trillium path, which have been informed by principles from the Waking Down teachings and are collectively held by our teachers and mentors. See Core Dharma or Teacher Dharma

Core Issues: The unique psycho-emotional challenges that tend to recur throughout our lives. Core issues are associated with our personal histories, while the core paradox is universal and existential in nature.

Core Paradox (i.e. Core Wound): Core paradox refers to the fundamental sense of split at the core of our self that is initially experienced as existential angst, personal confusion, sense of inner discomfort, or feelings of separateness or insufficiency. It happens because we are simultaneously both finite, limited human beings AND infinite Consciousness, non-separate from the entire cosmos. This core paradox can evoke the sense of contraction and pain that is especially pronounced in those of us who have not yet fully embraced or relaxed into our paradoxical nature, yet can and will occur in those who are awakened as well. The core paradox can also evoke a sense of wonder about our fundamental nature as we open to this core mystery. Both are paradoxically true, and life will give us dynamic fluctuations between these felt states as we spontaneously contract and open. After Whole-Being Realization, the tension of the core paradox becomes conscious and is no longer interpreted as a dilemma needing resolution.

Conscious Paradox:  After whole being realization, the tension of the core paradox becomes conscious and is no longer interpreted as a dilemma needing resolution.

Consciousness Awakening: The discovery, clarification, and ever-deepening recognition of our nature as infinite Consciousness, free of limits.

Daring and Persevering: Living and speaking in integrity; daring to speak your truth even when it might be unpopular or shameful;  letting others see you as you are even in your tenderness and shyness;  daring to follow the inner prompts of Being;  persevering even when there is little visible progress.

Dharma: Set of teachings. “Core dharma” is shared and understood by Trillium Awakening teachers and mentors, whereas “teacher dharma” refers to offerings brought forth by individual teachers. See Core Dharma or Teacher Dharma

Discernment: Using our attention to explore the various layers of our experience. A growing sense of being clear about what is an impulse of Being rather than personal patterning or a conditioned response.

Divine Feminine: Divine Feminine refers to qualities such as intuition, compassion, creation, love, connection, and community. The archetype of the divine feminine points to energies which are allowing, holding, nurturing, loving, creative, and powerful. In Trillium, we access this feminine field when we listen deeply, see and feel into whatever arises for ourselves and others without trying to fix or change anything. This wise feminine energy provides a deeply sacred and compassionate container to hold our unraveling and other challenges in awakening. The divine feminine is present in all of us regardless of gender and operates in partnership with the divine masculine.

Divine Masculine: Divine masculine refers to qualities such as insight, steadiness, comprehension, initiative, and direction. The archetype of the divine masculine points to the discriminative intelligence used to discern inner and outer wisdom from which “right action” arises. In Trillium we access this discerning energy through a conscious connection with Being activated by silence, trust, and inquiry. This clarifying masculine energy provides a stable force for learning, accomplishing, and resolving. The divine masculine and the divine feminine are within all of us regardless of gender, and are inseparable, as two sides of the same coin, each informing the other.

Divine Relationship: Recognition of the divine mystery of oneself and all forms and levels of life can provide a sense of personally meeting the divine. This recognition may emerge in mutual recognition between two people, or may manifest as direct connection with the divine in another form. Divine love may express itself as unconditional love, devotion, compassion, bliss, or radiance that is often represented as the divine Mother, the Goddess, or the Beloved.

Divinely Human: Much as a ray of sunlight shares the same essence as the sun, we realize upon awakening that we remain simply human at the same time as embodying the fundamental essence of the divine Mystery that pervades all phenomena.

Effulgence and Intensification (i.e. White Heat): The ever-deepening process of recognizing, enjoying, and expressing the seamlessness of Consciousness and phenomena, Onlyness, such that one’s awakened Presence quickens transformation in the field of Being.

Embodied Consciousness Awakening: There can be a stage in awakening when Consciousness is recognized to be permeating the body-mind, with a continued sense of separation of the personal body-mind from all other forms

Embodied Witness Realization (i.e., Embodied Feeling Witness Consciousness): Experienced by some but not all participants, this is a stage prior to Whole-Being Realization in which Consciousness is recognized to be permeating the body-mind. Here, the infinite and finite dimensions are paradoxically realized within ourselves. However, there is a continued sense of separation of the personal body-mind with all other forms.

Embodiment:  Catalyzing the experience of being simultaneously finite and infinite. From this ground, we deeply investigate and embrace the messy, juicy, delightful, uncomfortable, joyful, and sorrowful mystery of being human.

Gazing: A form of meditation in which two people make eye contact with each other for a period of time. This silent connection between self and other can activate and deepen one’s awakening process. Gazing with a person integrated in their whole being realization can convey the awakened condition through subtle awareness, resonance, and interconnection.

Grasping the means of your own realization: No two individuals are alike, and therefore our paths to awakening will be unique. Rather than just following a standardized route, we are alert to our particular way, and seek out the resources and support we need to progress. 

Greenlighting: A radical acceptance of whatever is currently arising in order to bring it fully into conscious awareness, thus freeing greater amounts of energy and attention to facilitate deepening awakening. This principle does not mean uninhibited behavioral expression without consideration of its impact on self and others.

Holding: Being in presence with something or someone with heartfelt support for the other as they are.

Hyperfeminine: Hyperfeminine refers to exaggerated adherence to archetypal feminine principles such as openness, receptivity, empathy, and collaboration. It is an exaggerated form of the impulse to compassionately relate to self and others. It can appear as enmeshment and fusion with others, as well as a lack of clarity, and the capacity to take responsibility and action. Its balancing comes through greenlighting of self-honoring and discrimination.

Hypermasculine:  Hypermasculine effort refers to using belief, willpower, and self-improvement strategies in an attempt to fix the discomfort and dis-ease of being alive. It is an exaggerated form of the archetypal masculine capacity to solve problems. The underlying assumption is that confusion, pain, and “negative” feelings need to be fixed or avoided. The hypermasculine tendency is hardwired and culturally conditioned, and cannot be overcome through effort. Its unraveling can be recognized, and then radically accepted through greenlighting. 

Illumination or Glimpse: A state shift that brings a transient peak experience, insight, or energetic opening that reveals a deeper or more expanded sense of self and/or the nature of existence.

Mutuality: Mutuality is a way of relating that holds both self and others as unique expressions of Being. When practicing mutuality, we honor our true and total self while also making room for others to do the same. Seeing and calling forth the wholeness in one another through vulnerable self-expression, compassion, conscious listening, and reflection helps us recognize and claim our authentic nature. See more on Mutuality.

Oscillations: Oscillations are often experienced as waves of expansion followed by waves of contraction. Sometimes our realization of consciousness, conscious embodiment, and non-separate interconnection blaze forth, and other times we feel identified as our pre-awakened finite self. Understanding that our realized nature is a range of infinite and finite, we learn to expect these oscillations and no longer interpret them as something wrong. Each oscillation deepens and integrates the fullness of our realization.

Onlyness: Onlyness is the quality of seamlessness of consciousness with phenomena; the recognition that all phenomena, objects, and others are of the “same essence” as your conscious embodied, non-separate nature.

Paradox: An apparent contradiction that is experienced as inherently true—for example, the condition of being both divine (infinite) and human (finite).  A polarity in which both ends of a spectrum are true and necessary.

Presence: A state often reflected by stillness, timelessness, consciousness, embodiment, interconnectedness, and empathy.

Radical Embrace: With radical embrace we allow everything we are AND all our ways of being, not only to be present within, but to be seen, heard, felt, lived, and integrated as our whole Being. Nothing is excluded. This is a natural process of investigation and integration of our conditioned responses, broken zones, and shadow issues, as well as aspects of our well-being. It supports greater freedom and authenticity in our self-expression and in our relationships with others. Through this process, the natural wisdom of our Whole Being may be revealed, resulting in the mending of all kinds of internal divisions or “splits.”

Recognition yoga: A practice, named and trademarked by Linda Groves-Bonder, to investigate and integrate our conditioning. Its steps include “See it, feel it, live it, be it, transcend and integrate it, and speak it as appropriate with trustworthy others along the way.”  Freedom of transcendence occurs in the midst of experience, rather than outside it. Though our patterns may remain, our relationship to them change at the core, leading to greater authenticity and intimacy. In recognition yoga, we greenlight our experience so it can be felt and integrated, rather than trying to change it.

Restorative Mutuality (or Coconut Yoga): When practicing restorative mutuality, we are sensitive to our effects upon the other. We are open to listening to accounts of hurt resulting from how our words or actions were perceived even though we didn’t intend harm. We take responsibility for making amends in the spirit of honoring our divine connection with the other person. We offer a heartfelt apology or other restorative action without necessarily believing we did anything wrong. We authentically regret that our words or actions have impacted the other in that way. Practicing restorative mutuality does not entail violating one’s own boundaries or limits.

Sacred Reconfiguration: A post whole being realization passage that is characterized by a profound reconfiguration of our most deeply held conditioning and beliefs about ourselves and the world. Often cyclical, with periods of rather intense immersion in our shadow material and broken zones followed by new openings and expansions of consciousness. The Sacred Reconfiguration ultimately leads over time to greater trust and confidence in Being in the midst of the ups and downs inherent in the human condition, and also to profound compassion and appreciation for ourselves and others.

Sitting: A group gathering led by teachers that typically includes gazing meditation, personal sharing by participants, and reflections by the teacher. See Introduction to Trillium Awakening Sittings.

States and stages: States of human consciousness are temporary; arising and passing like the changing weather. A “glimpse” is a state change. A stage is a stable level of realization. Whole Being Realization is a shift into a new stage of spiritual unfoldment.

Tantra: Tantra is the union or embrace of opposites. Trillium is a tantric path in that it is transcendent as well as body-positive and world-embracing. In this path, we awaken to ourselves as both limitless Consciousness and our earthly, ever-changing, vulnerable, and limited embodied selves. Tantra includes everything. We embrace all of ourselves––the divine and the human––and know ourselves as both.

Tantric Initiation: An unexpected passionate infatuation, devotion, or attraction that can be spiritually catalytic, even when it is not enacted or reciprocated.

Teacher Dharma: Like branches spreading from the trunk of core dharma, teacher dharma is a further elaboration upon the process of embodied awakening that arises out of an individual teacher’s experience and understanding. See Core Dharma or Teacher Dharma

Transmission: A subtle event whereby the radiant awakened-and-embodied Being-force of the whole being realizer is effortlessly and spontaneously communicated nonverbally as a resonant effect to the student. Transmission is enhanced through proximity, gazing meditation, writings, focused intention, or other ways of being together.

Trillium Awakening™: The trademarked term that refers to educational courses, coaching services, writings, and recordings authorized by the Trillium Awakening Teachers Circle (TATC).

Trillium Path or Process: These terms refer to the set of principles that emerged from the Waking Down teachings and its predecessors in that lineage, and have been collectively stewarded by Trillium Awakening teachers since 2005.

Trust in Being: Being is consciousness manifesting as the multiplicity of creation. Being-force is the dynamic current of creation expressing into, as, and through our human bodies, thoughts, feelings, phenomena, and all experience. Trust in being is a personal confidence in being-force giving life, direction, and connection to our own evolution and to all evolution in creation. Trust in Being increases as we settle into a stable knowing of ourselves as consciousness, conscious embodiment, and non-separate interconnectedness. While not doing away with the challenges of being human, this trust creates a fundamental sense of wellness and presence that grows stronger over time, and gives us greater capacity to meet whatever life brings our way.

Unraveling of Fixing and Seeking Strategies (i.e. Rot): The will to impose formulas for self-perfection, avoiding suffering, and fulfilling desires is dissolving, leaving you in a freefall or groundless condition that feels disorienting, perhaps even devastating, yet prepares the ground for the quantum shift of Whole-Being Realization. 

Wellness of Being: Wellness of Being refers to the openness, receptivity, flow, ease, and grace that are more and more consistently present as we awaken, and that can become even more predominant as we clarify, integrate, and live our whole-being realization. It is a quality that is a consistently present and stable part of awakened life. 

Witness Awakening: A state or stage of awakening that may be experienced by some practitioners whereby their sense of personal identity has shifted to their conscious nature without including embodiment. It includes a greater sense of expansion and freedom from limitation, and may be associated with a location beside or behind the head.

Whole-Being Clarifier: A Trillium Awakening teacher who conducts informational conversations to help students clarify if and when they have experienced the shift known as Whole Being Realization. Affirmative results are a prerequisite for most advanced “awakened life” courses. The conversation itself is referred to as a “Whole Being Clarifying Conversation” (i.e., Second Birth interview).

Whole-Being Awareness: This all-inclusive awareness is reflective of one’s conscious nature, embodied nature, and heart nature. It unfolds through the process of whole-being realization and becomes a significant factor for integration in our unfolding awakened life.

Whole-Being Heart Realization: Whole-Being Heart realization is a post whole-being realization of the nature of love. This realization is inclusive of one’s universal conscious nature as unconditional love, personal manifest nature as embodied love, and interconnected mutual nature as interpersonal love. These dimensions of heart realization may be sequentially realized over time or may occur in one shift in which the dimensions can be discriminatively recognized later. Integrated heart realization manifests in life as knowing love, being love, and living love.

Whole-Being Realization (i.e. second birth):  Awakening into non-separate conscious embodiment. Consciousness fuses into feeling-union with the body-mind, and realizes its existential nature as the same essence with all that is. While this is a permanent shift of one’s experience of the ground of Being, the infinite and finite dimensions of self feel paradoxical, requiring integration over time.