Navigating Spiritual Awakening: Interview with Sohan Ko
Being True To You senior coach Sohan Ko speaks with Shelly Honey about transformational experiences and spiritual awakening.
BTTY: Thank you for taking the time to share with us Sohan! Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Sohan: My name is Sohan and I live in British Columbia in Canada. I’ve been working as an integration and spiritual transformation coach for years now.
I started working with different medicines about 18 years ago and have had different roles in organization, facilitation, and support before and after, so that’s primarily my work. I also work with people who have addiction and past traumas as well, in terms of coaching and the support that I offer them.
BTTY: Can you share briefly about your background and what brought you to Being True To You as a coach?
Sohan: I moved to Canada in 2001 and started working with different psychedelic medicines shortly after that. This has been a powerful journey for me, and naturally it became a calling for me to go deeper on the path, not really having an agenda, but just seeing what would arise naturally. I started to ask myself “Do I really want to go shopping? No, not really” so I started to read the books that I liked to read and talk to people who are more on the same vibration and have explored similar types of journeys.
So that’s already what I was doing when I came across Being True To You and I spoke to Deanne and I started doing the training with her. That’s how I became a coach with Being True To You as well as starting my own practice. I’ve been really enjoying what Being True To You has to offer to each of us from the classes, the coaching, the community, the sharing, and so on.
BTTY: Yeah, I definitely resonate with that, thank you for sharing. What is a spiritual awakening to you, and how might one happen?
Sohan: Spiritual awakening, well, I like to use the word awakening instead of healing sometimes. It’s like we were in a dream, so to speak, that we don’t really realize we are in. The path of awakening is very much about bringing more and more consciousness to the shadow, something that is hidden. Awakening starts to put a lightbulb in a very dark room and you start to see, when you turn the light switch on or put a candle on, you start to have awareness from that point on.
It’s been something that I’ve been pondering about throughout all these years, what spiritual awakening is. It’s not a done deal as if we become someone quite spiritual and all happy. It’s actually a really difficult journey. A lot of energy can come through, a lot of difficult emotions can come to the surface, not just positive emotions. Although we experience the beauty, light and love and feelings we enjoy, there’s the other side of it as well. Basically it’s the interplay between expansion and contraction of our mind. The more you contract, the more you expand, and the more you expand, the more you contract, and so it’s a beautiful interplay and unfolding process. It’s something that I’ve always felt drawn to help hold that space for people to feel safe to go through the process and to know what it actually means. It’s not an easy path, it’s an ongoing unfolding process for each of us. So we must find what we can do to make it easier for us so we can go through it with more truth and peace.
A lot of energy can come through, a lot of difficult emotions can come to the surface, not just positive emotions. Although we experience the beauty, light and love and feelings we enjoy, there’s the other side of it as well.
BTTY: Wow that’s really beautifully put, thank you. How might one have a spiritual awakening and what do you think creates the environment for it to happen?
Sohan: I would recommend to not try to manufacture it or manipulate it. The glimpse of thought that comes to our mind “What does it mean to be enlightened? What is enlightenment? What would it mean to be waking up?” even just that thought coming to our mind is the beginning of it already. Because it’s starting to come to our energy field and we can sprout at any time because the conditions are right there. So basically it can be triggered by or endorsed or started by or catalyzed with many different spiritual practices. If you feel the calling to yoga practice, meditation, or breath work, it can be one of the catalyzers. Interestingly, also it can be triggered by trauma, very traumatic events, such as someone dying or going through death or having cancer. It shifts things around and puts things into perspective immediately for you and that can be the beginning of spiritual awakening.
Plant medicine is also a path which you can go deep into. It helps you immediately, almost like a jump forward, and you begin to see “Ah what I used to live in, used to be a whole lie, and in the darkness I have just been living in lies all the time, as an image or persona or something like that”, and plant medicine can help shed layers to see the truth of interconnectedness and our true self, to get a sense of who we really are and understand the thoughts of our different life events and try to see what this life is and who I am.
So there are many ways to help and assist a journey of spiritual awakening but it also needs to be balanced by a sense of ease, trust and surrender. Knowing that when it is meant to happen, it will happen and to try not to force it.
BTTY: What are some ways to move through a difficult experience of spiritual awakening?
Sohan: Guaranteed, spiritual awakening is difficult, so that’s one thing we know will play out one way or another. It’ll bring up a lot of difficult stuff, a lot of very raw hidden emotions and sometimes it’s not even associated with our own life events, it can be multigenerational stuff and it just comes very strongly. In terms of emotions, it would be very important to learn to accept it, of course, and learn different ways to ground ourselves and learn how to be friends with our emotions. Learning how to work with emotional energy like qigong practices, breath work, yoga, embodiment practices and mindfulness practices can help us connect to our body, our emotions, feelings and energy as much as we can, and bring that to daily life as well.
Also it’s important to ground ourselves in the practices as well because through the awakening process sometimes we get a crazy amount of ideas and inspiration and insights like bam! bam! I like to say it’s not about finding it or being or becoming, its about remembering truth in a way, through the process of who are we in our true nature. Asking questions like, “Who was I as a little girl? What did I enjoy?” Remembering these things, remembering truth and our true selves and what it feels to be joyful and happy or to be really sad without being distracted by things all the time. So when we are so exposed and extended and feeling so much wild energy all around, it’s important to come back down to this present moment, so learning how to come back to our bodies and our home. Be friends with our body and whatever happens, knowing we can connect with our body no matter what happens our body is still here. By connecting to our body we will not get lost, we will still be safe and solid in here so we are capable of being stable enough to deal with all of the inspirations and insights when sometimes the ideas come so quickly.
The idea of practice is very important when we go on a plant medicine journey to do a lot of work. It’s absolutely necessary to do the groundwork of integration after and just stay grounded right now and bit by bit manifest what we learned in those beautiful spiritual journeys, to manifest and embody these qualities and become light itself and bring that feeling to the people around us.
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Disclaimer: The views in this blog and of the blog writer do not necessarily represent Being True To You LLC. The writer of this blog is an independent contractor, and Being True To You does not necessarily endorse the content written within this blog. Being True To You does not advocate, suggest, approve or disapprove of the use of psychedelic medicines such as Ibogaine. The content written in this blog is not medical advice and is for entertainment purposes only. Being True To You provides transformational recovery and integration “coaching” to individuals and families through the addiction recovery and psychospiritual healing process. Coaching is not a medical service and is not regulated by any governmental authority. It is an emerging profession not accredited by any institution or organization. Being True To You coaching is not counseling or psychotherapy and does not use professional assessments or diagnose mental illness. Being True To You coaches are independent contractors who provide recovery coaching to Being True To You assigned clients on a case-by-case basis.