This is part 1 in a 6-part series that takes a close and intimate look at my own experiential journey of awakening. Parts 1-4 are taken from a talk I gave, in 2016, as part of a long-term series I was hosting at a local Zen center. Parts 5-6 are an update on my adventures from where I am now, five years later. In this first part, I talk about some of the events and experiences that led up to my initial awakening – ending with that moment in which everything fell away and all that remained was awareness of awareness. It is my hope that this in-depth look at my own awakening process can be of comfort to those who are having difficulties on their own journey – so you can see that you are not alone and that we are all in this together.