The Adventure: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Awakening


Step-by-step practices for cultivating spiritual awakening, from a renowned spiritual psychologist who has studied the phenomenon in hundreds of people and experienced it himself

Steve Taylor has devoted his life to investigating spiritual awakening. In his books The Leap and Extraordinary Awakenings, he discussed case histories of dozens of people who experienced profound shifts in consciousness. The Adventure draws on this groundbreaking research, together with Taylor’s own awakening experiences, to offer guided meditations, contemplative exercises, and other practices for catalyzing spiritual transformation, as well as lyric poems and inspirational stories.

The Adventure outlines how to:

  • recognize and cultivate the eight defining characteristics of wakefulness, including presence, acceptance, gratitude, and disidentification from the ego
  • expand awareness and quiet the mind through meditations and practical exercises
  • transcend our normal “sleep” state and the “thought mind” to move toward increasing heights and depths of spiritual awakening
  • use the challenges of everyday life — of home, workplace, and relationships — as doorways to enlightenment


“If you follow this book’s guidance, your life’s journey can become what it is meant to be: ‘a glorious adventure, full of grace and joy.’ ” — from the foreword by Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now

“I warmly recommend both Steve and this book, his most practical to date, to anyone wishing to discover true happiness and uncover the awareness of being.” — Rupert Spira, author of You Are the Happiness You See

“If you’re ready to drop the heavy baggage of the past and future and enter the sublime freedom of the Now, this wonderful book is your ticket to transformation.” — Mike Kewley, author of The Treasure House: Discovering Enlightenment Exactly Where You Are


The only viable path ahead for humanity is that of awakening — or wakefulness, as Steve Taylor puts it. Fortunately, with each passing year, ever more people are finding access to that state: pure, unconditioned consciousness and the expansive peace and heightened sense of aliveness that it gives rise to. Taylor is one of a growing number of teachers who have devoted their lives to promoting that state in as many people as possible, and this book, The Adventure, is his latest contribution to that endeavor. In it, he makes the crucial point that wakefulness is not reserved for gurus or ascetics cloistered in monasteries but is, in fact, quite common and within reach of every person. 

All his previous works have in their own way provided invaluable signposts pointing the way toward the path of awakening — be it through his poetic reflections that serve as windows into presence or through his presentations of research into the multitudinous experiences of those who have attained and maintain wakefulness. The Adventure is different and perhaps even more potent in that it provides specific, accessible guidelines and practices that enable readers to embark and progress on the path for themselves. More than mere signposts, it offers a loose itinerary to follow, even a vehicle for the journey, for all those who wish to live out their unique version of this greatest adventure, the awakening of consciousness.

At the outset, Taylor delineates the eight qualities of wakefulness and offers guidelines for the journey. He then devotes one

chapter to each of the qualities. Together, they provide “a raft to take us across,” a means of getting from the normal human state

of denial or forgetfulness of the Now — that is to say, misery — to the presence, peace, and joy of being.

Taylor writes, “all qualities of wakefulness naturally grow stronger as we practice them.” And so the chapters include meditations and poems to encourage the integration of the qualities, as well as occasional stories from Taylor’s own life and those of awakened people he has interviewed. They also present two types of practical exercises: contemplative exercises and life practices.

While solitary contemplation is essential, life practices are arguably more so, because, as Taylor puts it, “everyday life provides

many excellent opportunities for spiritual growth that a monastery cannot”; indeed, one of his foundational guidelines is “everyday life is part of the adventure.” It must be, for otherwise you will not be in charge of your own journey but rather like a passenger on a bus speeding along a narrow cliffside road, at the mercy of an intoxicated driver with one hand on the wheel and the other typing messages on his smartphone. Clearly, that’s the wrong kind of adventure! Instead, by doing these practices, you will build the skill of catching yourself when you react to life’s unpredictable events and inevitable challenges by slipping out of awareness and into drama, boredom, self-recrimination, or any other manifestation of the mind’s tendency to veer into past or future.

If you follow this book’s guidance, your life’s journey can become what it is meant to be: “a glorious adventure, full of grace and joy,” one in which you are present in the Now and therefore stop to smell the roses, ever aware of the beauty and the miracle of life continuously unfolding all around you. In this way, you can transcend ego, thought chatter, the pain-body — our inherited dysfunction — and contribute to the flowering of human consciousness, the evolutionary leap that is the only way humanity can overcome the seemingly insurmountable problems we face.

— Eckhart Tolle