What is a Trillium?
A trillium is a three-petaled flower native to North America and Asia. It’s leaves and petals emerge in perfect symmetry, reflecting the three facets of the Trillium path–
Consciousness, Embodiment, Mutuality.
Awaken now, just as you are
Trillium Awakening™ courses and services can help you awaken, transform your life, and find lasting wholeness. In this process, you stably realize your divinely human nature—not just conceptually, but as a lived experience.
As you recognize that you are both infinite and finite, you relax deeply into this paradox and find you’re no longer solely identified with your human self. You now know yourself as a finite embodiment of infinite Consciousness.
This powerful transformation is known as whole-being realization, and represents a stable shift in your fundamental sense of self. You recognize yourself, others, and everything to be intrinsic parts of the unified wholeness we call Being.
The Trillium process is not a shortcut to perfection, nor is perfection a prerequisite for awakening. In fact, your process actually quickens when you bring compassionate awareness to your human patterns and conditioning, and relax your efforts to work on yourself. You transcend in this path by including everything and excluding nothing.
Awakening in the Context of Conscious Relationship
Our awakening process includes mutuality, a style of conscious relating in which you honor both yourself and others as unique expressions of Being. Mutuality involves profound respect for others, listening deeply, and reflecting consciously. It also means honoring and speaking your truth while making room for others to do the same—which can be challenging. Over time, mutuality builds trust and creates deep healing and transformation in your life and relationships.
By getting support from our teachers and mentors for this awakening journey, receiving transmission (tacit communication of awakening), and engaging in mutuality, you will be taking the most direct path toward your own awakening.
This has been the experience of hundreds of ordinary people for many years. We welcome you to join us.
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Your awakening leads to deepening and integration
Whole Being Realization “lands” you in yourself as never before. This quantum shift in your identity can happen either gradually or suddenly, and fundamentally changes your entire orientation to life.
As time passes, your awakening becomes deeper, more integrated and more mature. This brings forth a greater capacity to live your purpose and offer service that brings benefit to our world. You deepen in tacit knowing of your embodied awakening, which brings greater relaxation, openness, and wellbeing.
The result is an ever-increasing ability to live a skillful, divinely human life.
The Trillium path stems from the principles of Waking Down in Mutuality, and includes the investigation and realization of infinite Consciousness as your fundamental identity and core essence. Discovering you are free of limits, while also being in touch with them, helps pave the way for whole-being realization, the recognition of the underlying unity of consciousness and matter.
To activate this realization, our teachers offer transmission by non-verbally conveying the awakened condition from one individual to another. Transmission rapidly catalyzes your spiritual awakening, and is readily available via gazing meditation, writings, recordings, personal sessions, small group sittings or large group events. As a practitioner, you might notice shifts impacting many areas of your life in a short period of time. Within a few months to a few years, you’ll most likely achieve your whole being realization, and be deeply engaged in embodying that awareness throughout your life.
The Trillium journey helps you discover you are simultaneously infinite and finite. The embodiment dimension of our work helps you embrace infinite Consciousness throughout the full range of your unique human form, from its messy, uncomfortable aspects to its most delightful qualities. We use greenlighting, a form of profound compassion and radical acceptance, to become aware of whatever we are experiencing so that we can integrate it, and allow it to be organically transformed over time. Greenlighting relaxes the body-mind and enlivens the body’s experience of infinite Consciousness. Facing patterns and revisiting past wounds is a natural part of the awakening process. It frees energy and attention for greater levels of aliveness in the present. For support throughout the process, we recommend you turn to your teachers, mentors, and peers. Support teams can also include licensed therapists as well as other practitioners within and outside the Trillium Awakening community.
Mutual, conscious relating is essential to the Trillium journey. Mutuality is a relationship disposition that self and other are two aspects of singular Being. In other words, other is not really “other”, but is also you, and it’s therefore impossible to harm another without also harming yourself. Living this aspect of relatedness means having profound respect for others, listening deeply, and reflecting consciously. It also means honoring and speaking your truth while making room for others to do the same—which can be challenging. Through the practice of mutuality, you deeply explore and claim your authentic nature though vulnerable self-expression, even when that’s uncomfortable. You also build capacity to perceive the tension and experience the discomfort in your differences with others. Old wounds might surface when engaging in mutuality, yet, over time, the practice builds trust and facilitates deep healing and transformation. While honoring our shared existential equality in Being, mutuality simultaneously evokes respect for others’ truths as well as the functional hierarchy within our community.
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Passages on the Trillium Path
The Unraveling of Fixing and Seeking Strategies
This is a time of unwinding. Your previous strategies for fixing, escaping, or transcending your core fundamental feeling of “I’m not okay” are no longer effective. You may find you can’t avoid life’s pain, yet no longer have the will to try to “fix” yourself. You might lose hope of attaining a perfected state, and begin feeling the distress of the core paradox. Although the deconstruction of your patterns and conditioning can be disorienting, this passage is crucial and prepares the ground for your whole-being realization.
Relaxing into the Core Paradox of Being Human
The core paradox is the inherent stress or tension at the core of your sense of self that you’d probably prefer to avoid. It results from being finite and limited, yet intuiting you are also infinite and divine, and is experienced differently by different people. This paradox can feel like separation, confusion, wrongness, inadequacy, angst, or yearning, and is often experienced most acutely prior to whole being realization. Once you realize there’s nothing wrong with you just because you’re having these feelings, and that the core paradox is inevitable and natural, you’ll find yourself relaxing into its inherent discomfort. After whole being realization, the core paradox continues to be experienced as a fundamental tension, but is no longer interpreted as something being wrong.
Whole Being Realization: the paradox is you
As you relax more fully into the discomfort of existing simultaneously as infinite and finite, divine and human, you recognize your identity has shifted to being this paradox. This fundamental shift may be gradual or sudden. It is often felt as a “landing” into self as never before, and actually changes your whole orientation to life. Your sense of self is no longer exclusively identified as the finite body-mind, or as infinite Consciousness, but now incorporates the entire spectrum of being, which includes everything and excludes nothing. Whole being realization is just the beginning of an ever-deepening journey of awakening and integration which over time becomes an embodied awareness that’s stable amidst life’s fluctuations. This tacit knowing brings relaxation, openness, and well-being.
Integration & Transformation
After whole being realization, transformation occurs from your core outward. You will re-experience and release deeply held conditioning. Wounds and shadows come to light for healing and integration, and your radiance and brilliance are also evoked. This process is often cyclical, with awareness of shadow alternating with states of expansion. The authentic you can now come more fully alive. Engaging in active communication with like-minded others who can reflect your unique divine humanity is very supportive during this passage.
Wellness of Being – seamlessness
Over time, integration leads to greater trust and ease in the midst of life’s ups and downs, and to profound compassion for yourself and others. You really get how difficult it is to be here as a conscious, whole human being. You begin to experience extended periods of fundamental wellness and joy, which in turn enable you to enjoy life, embrace love, and express your natural gifts as never before. What was once a paradox—a rub at the junction of finite self and infinite potential—melds into the inseparable unity we call Onlyness. Life becomes, more and more, a dance of ease, grace, and profound wellness of Being.
For more key concepts, please refer to our Glossary.
Ten reasons why the Trillium path is effective
1. The Trillium Awakening teachers “greenlight” all that you are.
The spirit of this work says “YES!” to your whole being. It welcomes you to be here, become whole, and fulfill your optimal potential. No part of you is fundamentally wrong or bad. We compassionately accept all your parts, even those that are most hidden or cut off, and invite you to do the same. We welcome your most shy and vulnerable parts to come into awareness and be known. Over time, this deep acceptance leads to release and transformation.
2. The Trillium Awakening culture is democratic, humane, experiential, and empathic.
You’ll find no hierarchy here around personal worth or being heard. Disrespect of others is not welcome, but those who might display it are encouraged in humane ways to course correct. Teachers and practitioners are accountable for their speech and actions. No one is put on a pedestal, and we all know how to apologize. When we make mistakes, we try to work things out. This is an experiential and experimental path, and people find its insights, transformations, and awakenings are lasting.
3. The Trillium teachings include and transcend the ego.
Your fundamental, individual sense of “I” or “me” gets included in this approach. Teachers don’t conceive of the ego as an obstacle to growth and transformation. Instead, we welcome your story and all your egoic “stuff.” If you’ve been fighting a war against your ego, you can make peace here with all parts of yourself, including your most cut off shadow material and “broken zones”. Your ego remains intact and becomes integrated with your transcendent essence, which subsequently liberates energy and attention for further integration and deepened awakening.
4. The Trillium path is generated at the source of your life and awareness.
The evolutionary force of transformation in this work activates your own source. At the core of your bodily and spiritual existence, the living fire of Being becomes increasingly self-aware. It feels greater than you and your thoughts or will, yet intimately includes all of you. As you cooperate with this core-generated evolution, you are effortlessly changed within, like flowing downstream in a river.
5. The Trillium path is transmission-activated.
Rather than relying on practices that require a great deal of will and effort, our work relies on your metabolizing the transmission of the awakened condition, especially during the early phases of your process. You can find this activating transmission in the presence of our teachers, as well as in their writings, audio recordings, and videos. It’s also alive among community members who gather, in person or virtually, to explore this work and way of living.
6. The Trillium culture is not regimented, hierarchical, or dissociative.
This work is not one-size-fits-all, where everyone does the same practice. It’s uniquely tailored to each individual. Because each person’s uniqueness is highly valued, everyone’s distinct path is honored. Our teachers may advise you, but they will not direct your actions or assume they are existentially superior. Although dissociation is understood as spiritual bypassing, people are not made wrong if they dissociate. Instead, they are supported to engage their feelings and bodies, and open into respectful relatedness.
7. The Trillium teachings honor the divinity of both matter and spirit.
It is profoundly positive about earth, our bodies and our lives. Because we see matter and spirit as equally divine, we greenlight our human nature as much as our spiritual refinement. As we awaken, we come into the fusion of spirit and matter, which involves a quality of embodiment that needs to be experienced to truly be appreciated. It’s so deep and unexpected that it really can’t be described.
8. The Trillium path is like a melting pot for people from all types of spiritual backgrounds.
Practitioners are encouraged to love and respect the gifts they’ve received from past teachers and teachings. We too honor the traditions and teachers that have preceded us and made our work possible, yet we are not constrained by them. Instead, our highest regard is for ever-evolving truth.
9. The Trillium path is centered on you and us rather than traditions or teachers.
Although we don’t glorify any teachers, sacred objects, texts, special places, or teachings, we value them as servants of the people in our emerging community. We invite you to consider yourself as the most essential dimension of this work. We also welcome you to hold as precious the ‘we’ space you have with all of us as your fellow practitioners, teachers, and guides.
10. The Trillium path offers a natural, evolutionary process.
Even your most broken zones cannot prevent your bio-spiritual awakening, which is a natural, evolutionary process. You may have thought or been trained to think of yourself as struggling to find your way to spiritual awakening and freedom. In this work, you begin to realize this view is inaccurate. You discover that you are part of an unstoppable process in nature—indeed, you are here for evolutionary transformation in service to all of life.
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What community members are saying about Trillium Awakening courses and services…
Pioneering and innovative
“This work is a pioneering and innovative process of integration of the transcendent and matter. It’s great at producing real awakenings in people and healing deep wounds.”
— Steve Burch, Antioch, CA
Teachers are authentic, skillful and wise
“Teachers embody authenticity, presence, compassion, wisdom, and skillfulness. The principles and practices are innovative, grounded, thoughtful, and intelligent. There are rich and abundant offerings: from teachers/individual work and sittings, online materials, books, and courses.”
— Susanne West, Teacher, San Rafael, CA
Inspiring you with love and courage
“Imagine a space and a group of people who take the little seed of whatever you’re going through, feeling, or just beginning to wonder about, whatever is boldly inspiring you or irking you to the core, whatever is tormenting you or beckoning you to the cliff’s edge. And they place this little seed into a fire in the middle as if it’s the holiest thing they’ve ever heard or laid eyes on, nurturing and growing it. Allowing it to either burn back into something more beautiful, or grow and gather momentum and courage. And you feel a relaxation and inspiration to move forward in a way you’ve barely let yourself dream imaginable.”
— Brita Grothe, Oakland, CA
Greatest freedom I’ve ever experienced
“This work offers a profound understanding of empathy and healthy human relating. The teachers of this work recognize that other-ness is a deep, honorable quality of reality. And because of this, the degree of respect, and the amount of interpersonal freedom that I’ve felt teachers, mentors, and students allow each other, is simply greater than anywhere else I’ve encountered. This “mutuality” is one of the essential reasons why permanent spiritual realizations happen here so readily. But even more, this kind of freedom to let others be other, and let self be self, and to keep feeling each other in the midst of all of that, feels to me like it’s planting seeds of a new human culture—one that’s more vital, more respectful, and much more fun.”
— Zachary Schlosser, Fairfax, CA
Where else can you find this?
“I love that we can hold each other in both our down moments and our transcendent moments. I love that we allow each other to be who we are in the moment and to grow and change, without tying ourselves to who we were in the past. I love that there’s no party line, only useful perspectives and approaches that help people know themselves better. I also love that the teachers uniquely embody the transmission and wisdom of this work and that each brings a wide array of perspectives and skills to help people awaken. In what other spiritual community could you find such breadth and depth?”
— Margi Showman, Redmond, WA