Awakenings …

On the afternoon of May 1st 1996, I was blessed with an experience that permanently changed my life. It happened, of all places, in my shower when I was going through a harrowing “dark night of the soul” period of my life.

The transformation happened in a few short minutes was close to miraculous. The vast majority of the emotional and mental pain that I’d lived with all my life simply went. I mean gone, finished, never to return. Here’s what happened …

Personal growth workshops, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and counselling had been the focus of my life for the previous six years. Driven by the waking nightmare of suicidal depression, of a deep, black pain that haunted my every breath, I searched everywhere for healing and an end to my suffering.

I’d worked with famous world-renowned therapists, practised powerful meditation techniques, and analysed myself into the ground. I thought I was getting somewhere. I thought I was getting better and making progress. I thought my mind could heal and free itself.

Then, completely without warning, all the pain, all the dark memories, all the agony of self-loathing, came back. In an instant, all the therapeutic work undid itself. The pain became so extreme I could not tolerate it any more and emotionally I died. During three long, desperate, days I became a walking, talking zombie-like shell that appeared human but inside was dead, empty, and unable to feel anything except pain.

This was my state of consciousness as I stepped into the shower. As the water began to cascade over my body, a wall of fear rose in front of me. I felt trapped and alone. Previously I’d hung on to the hope that my mind-orientated therapeutic and personal growth practices had given me. I had believed that one day I would get rid of the pain if only I applied myself to doing the techniques and took part in enough workshops.

Now, all that hope had gone. It felt as if everything had failed me. My mind was unable to think a single lucid thought and the fear was almost overwhelming. Fortunately, one small memory filtered through, of a spiritual teaching from years gone past. A silent voice whispered, “Feel into the pain. Feel into the blackness.”

A volcano of searing, tortured energy erupted from within as I felt into the darkness of the deep abyss opening before me. It was like diving into an ocean of suffering. From somewhere deep in that ocean there arose a wave of emotional and physical pain of such intensity that it devoured all remaining consciousness of my surroundings.

I screamed out loud as a torrent of horrific childhood memories tore loose from my gut, releasing their pain into my body. A chaotic montage of flashing, kaleidoscopic images flew across my inner vision as if I were witnessing my whole life go past me in seconds.

My fingernails clawed the tiles of the shower. A cutting pain sliced through my body as if a million bayonets were stabbing every inch of my skin surface. I screamed again. And again …

Eventually, the frenzy subsided. As I looked around, I became aware of the water still flowing over my body. And that was all that was happening. The black emotional pain had dissolved, never to return. My body felt incredibly delicate and fragile. But my mind, although dazed and stunned, was clear of self-torturing thoughts.

It would be several hours before I could drink anything and many weeks before I could eat properly again. My whole body felt so vulnerable and delicate; it was almost as if a demon, which had possessed me for years, had been exorcised. It left raw nerve endings where once its leech-like tentacles had sucked the life out of me.

Although I did not realise it at the time, as I stepped out of the shower I was walking into a new world of increasing freedom.

The journey

On two subsequent occasions in the weeks following this experience in the shower, something similar happened but without the drama. They were simply times in everyday life when more emotional pain safely released itself and effortlessly dissolved.

Immediately after these events, an awareness and understanding of the process that was taking place came to me. I intuitively felt it was valuable information and that I should write it down. This was the beginning of the book you are reading.

The Consciousness that guided me to feel into the black pit of despair also guided me to many fine spiritual teachers, each one bringing me to a new point of understanding. They awakened me to the reality of the limitless Being that lives within us all as our “essence” and true identity.

A new chapter of my life began with that powerful awakening. The reward for being willing, one day at a time, to look into the truth of who I thought I was is a deep and permanent peace. This peace is present even when life offers me the gifts of challenging situations, relationships and business dealings. I count it as the greatest blessing I could ever dream of receiving.

A new day dawns

Immediately after this experience, information began downloading into my brain. Intuitively I felt it was valuable and that I should write it down. This was the birth of Break Out of Your Mind.

Over the next 10 years I was introduced to numerous wisdom teachers, each one of whom brought me to a new point of understanding. They helped me awaken to the reality of the limitless, timeless Being living within us all as our “Heart-Self” – our true immortal identity.

I was shown the way to freedom from all suffering – and a way to incarnate happiness and peace amidst the ordinariness of everyday life.

The mountain of happiness

Another pivotal event occurred in January 2005, during an intensive three-week silent retreat. I was meditating in the Virupaksha cave once inhabited by Sri Ramana Maharshi – located near the summit of the sacred mountain of Arunachala, Southern India – when the vast reality of pure Consciousness revealed itself.

These words from the Sufi poet Rumi came to visit …

“I’ve lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons.

Knocking on a door, it opens.

I’ve been knocking from the inside…”

At the moment I heard those words, an vast intelligence revealed itself. A beautiful intelligence that brought with it a profound humility. I walked from the cave with my whole body glowing with pure happiness.

Words pale beside the simple reality of the peaceful, kind, intelligent happiness that forever transformed my perception of the world and who I am. There is little I can say about it. All words can only point to that which is beyond all words.

I walked from the cave knowing that I AM the context, the field, within which all the universes and dimensions of manifest form are arising. I saw I AM shining through the eyes of everyone. There was no separation, none. I knew I AM as immortal, unchanging, unborn, without form while including all forms. And there was total clarity that I AM lives every life form, lives as the essence of everyone.

Awakening as pure I AM Consciousness was the end of all seeking and the beginning of a adventure that has no end …

A couple of years later I put the wisdom I’ve been blessed to receive from these and other spiritual awakenings into a book Break Out of Your Mind

Click the links below to discover more about “Break Out of Your Mind”:

  1. Break Out of Your Mind – quick view
  2. Foreword by Robert Holden
  3. Click here to buy the book on
  4. Click here to buy the book on

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Leo Searle Hawkins

Pamela Wilson – international spiritual teacher and author, featured in numerous books – says

Pamela Wilson
Pamela Wilson

“Leo has returned to his natural dignity, compassion, and clear seeing. He has a passion for inquiry and thus the joy of liberating the body and mind from the past and all misunderstandings. Join him on an inner tour and re-acquaint yourSelf with your unbounded and unlimited naturalness!”



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