DO THE WORK – Level I
Welcome to the path! The Spiritual Path is a way of thinking and being that allows an individual to understand and experience union/connection to the fullness of Universe.
In this case, “universe” means everything that has life and gives life. It is what we call God, Source, Spirit, Christ, Infinite Intelligence or Divine Mind. These are all names that are given to define the vast universe of life. The name you choose to identify this Presence and energy is up to you. And, you should choose a name/title that feels right in your heart. On the spiritual path, this name/energy is recognized as and includes things that exist beyond and above the physical world reality. The spiritual path is the unfolding of lessons and experiences that teach about Source (the name you choose) life, themselves and their place in life.
What is the purpose of being on the spiritual path?
Ultimately what most of us want from spirituality is love, joy, peace, happiness, serenity, a deep knowing of who we really are, enlightenment, empowerment or liberation from the trappings of the physical world and our physical senses. Whatever you seek, can be yours. Once you make the connection to the Divine/God/Source/Spirit, “Ask and ye shall receive, knock and the door will be opened.”
How Do I Start on the Spiritual Path?
Our journey on the Spiritual Path begins at the moment of conception. The truth, we are all spiritual beings who come to the physical body and world for the purposes stated above; to learn, grow and experience life in a greater, grander way. In order for this to happen in a meaningful way, the Universe responds to your every word, thought and emotion.
The Universal energy, is governed by certain and operates within specific laws and principles, designed to show you the nature of your thoughts and feelings while granting your desires and help you understand everyday life. It does this by empowering and giving life to your thoughts, words and behaviors. The situations, conditions and experiences of your life is a reflection of the dominant thoughts and feelings you have plus, whatever it is that your soul has come to life to learn and experience.
To consciously and intently begin on the Spiritual Path of the physical world, all you have to do is have a clear intention, a heartfelt desire and the willingness to learn and grow. You may even think or say, “I’m ready.” The Universe will then activate the energy of your mind and heart, showing you signs that you can understand to support us in deepening your connection to the Universe. Coincidences, as some people call them, are designed to reveal that the Universe heard your request and is answering your call.
The signs will be very subtle, yet obvious, if you are attentive. The Universe will show you signs that you can now understand because you have the desire to do so. It will communicate with you in a language that you understand. You will see, hear, smell or feel certain things when you ask a question in your mind or even out loud.
It is important to remain open-minded and attentive, looking out for patterns of certain things that are unfolding in your life. You must have a clear mind and a clear heart, to recognize the signs and information being presented, otherwise you may either misinterpret or block the messages coming to you. This is where your Daily Spiritual Practice becomes critically important. The more consistent you are in your spiritual practice, the less likely it is that you will miss the Universe’s messages to you because of emotional or mental imbalance. You must be a clear channel. You must be willing to know and experience more.
Now a warning; The Spiritual Path is not a game or a fad and is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Once you have declared that you wish to travel the Spiritual Path the Universe will guide your life through experiences, both pleasant and not so, that allow you to experience a vast range of emotions. These may well include some of your worst fears. The Universe’s goal is for you, and us all, to heal and release all emotional and mental attachments to the physical realm of existence in order to experience ourselves and life in a more loving and peaceful manner.
Spirituality can be discovered by demonstrating your creativity.
Spirituality can be explored in the treasures offered by nature. The sunrise or set; sitting in the stillness of a forest, hugging a huge tree or laying on an empty beach listening to the ocean. Be open and you will be led.
Spirituality can be awakened by falling in love with yourself; taking care of yourself, nurturing yourself.
Start by in the mirror and saying, “I love you.” Keep saying it until you feel something, hear something or do something. The best place to start your spiritual journey is to develop a very personal relationship with yourself. Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Forgive everyone else that has caused you pain, disappointment or upset. Learn how to be in the present moment – the now.
Spirituality is revealed and deepened by meditation.
Spirituality is inspired by prayer and sacred rituals.
The Spiritual Path is a journey for you and you alone. No-one else has influence over it. You can and will learn everything you need to know, when you are open and ready to receive it. The Universe knows when and what you are ready to receive. It is the very highest teacher and the very highest authority on everything. Once you establish your relationship with the Universe the journey will begin. As you become ready for more knowledge and understanding, you will receive it. As you mature, spiritually in your thought and feeling life, your experiences will become more profound, giving you the opportunity to practice what you have learned. Just remain open and watch for the signs. It is through the signs you receive that you will learn the lessons you need to learn, heal the imbalances in your heart and mind, do the things you need to do, and journey to the place in the universe of life you should be.
Have a safe journey.
VOCABULARY FOR THE PATH
The following is a list of words common to those on the spiritual path. The definitions offered are designed merely to give you a basic understanding of what they mean and relate to. These offerings are in no way the end all, be all. Each of these words/terms should and will take on new meanings, deeper meanings as you journey along the path. Remember to stay open. Be willing. Ask questions and, allow each word, term, phrase to take on a meaning that you can understand.
In all honesty, there is no one definition for God. This is the Omni-Present (always present), Omni-Potent (all powerful), Omniscient (all knowing) energy and source of life. God is the universe. God is the presence of complete and unlimited knowledge, awareness, understanding that perceives all things. God is love. God is the Source and creative flow of life. We give this energy, power, force a name so that the human mind can comprehend that we are talking about something. In fact, when we say God, we are talking about everything. Therefore, think of God as the all-knowing, ever-present, everywhere present, all powerful essence of life that creates and animates every living thing. Then, use the name that feels right in your heart to identify this Presence. For instance;
God Source Creator Holy Spirit Divine Mind
Jesus Christ Yahweh Allah Jah
Father Mother Spirit Almighty Infinite Intelligence
Buddha Lord Most High Jehovah On, and on and on
Alignment and harmonious interaction of mind, body and spirit that demonstrates understanding of life from a divine (Higher Mind) perspective; Individual awareness, experience and expression of things of a God-like nature; Consciousness of the fullness and inclusiveness of life.
God; the absolute embrace of life; our divine nature or essence;
that which exists above all else; the ultimate healer, a deep and profound emotional experience;
Master of spiritual knowledge; teacher of spiritual matters; spiritual guide; messenger
Part of God animated as physical living form; Inner guide;
Aspect of physical life that is authentic/real; that which never dies; Energy attached to the mind in order to experience physical life.
Energy and essence of life; Presence of God animated as life; The one force of life that moves in, as and through everything living; How we feel/experience and express the connection to life.
The sum total of everything held in the mind; How we understand things and behave accordingly; Expression of spiritual understanding; How accurate/close we are to what we want to be or experience.
Similar to consciousness, the expression of where we are in understanding and experience of the spiritual journey; the depth of clarity and understanding one has regarding things of the spiritual nature.
Presence and expression of God; depth of spiritual awareness and understanding; purified consciousness expressed at the physical level.
Communion/communication with Source/Universe/God; process and practice of connection to Divine.
When is the best time to pray?
When you need to.
What is the best prayer?
Whatever is in your heart, whatever is troubling you or if you wish to express gratitude or praise. If you cannot find the words, read something that has been written in a prayerful manner.
How often should I pray?
For prayers of peace, sharing love or gratitude, as often as you like or desire.
For requests to remove pimples from your face or get an A+ on your exam, once should be enough.
For prayers to help you improve yourself for the betterment of others, to give strength or to find God, as often as you wish.
How will the answer come?
Usually intuitively, however, there will be physical manifestations of the thing you have prayed for and about. if you’re not accustomed to listening or recognizing the answer, you may hear/see/recognize it when you are reading, watching television or listening to a friend. When the prayer is sincere, you will see the answer and, it may take time.
An answered prayer will benefit you and others. God always gives the perfect answer for everyone’s higher and greater well-being. The deeper your connection to the universe, the more light that is present in your consciousness, the greater is the possibility that you will recognize when the answer is presented.
Quieting or stilling of the physical, conscious mind; focusing on the inner life and presence of Spirit; the way to increase “light”, awareness, knowledge within the consciousness.
The ultimate purpose of meditation is to reconnect us with our soul. It requires concentrating on a point within in order to go beyond the body and mind to where the soul resides. It is the process of going inward to connect with All that is.
Meditation is any form of Spiritual Practice undertaken to achieve inner peace by quieting the “monkey mind” (a spiritual analogy is used since monkeys like to jump from branch to branch, just like our mind; jumps all over the world, past, future and everything in-between).
The primary objective of meditation is to:
Calm the physical mind creating a greater amount of alpha brain waves (young children naturally have alpha waves, even when playing or learning. That’s why they are considered like a sponge…absorb things quickly) giving us serenity, greater learning abilities and intuitive skills.
Reduce stress, stabilize blood pressure and bringing the mind into balance.
Gain wisdom and the energy needed to continue living in the physical world reality with peace and balance.
People meditate on all sorts of things such as money, property, career, women, or what others have. On the spiritual path, you are encouraged to begin by focusing on something higher; your spiritual growth, healing and evolution as a human being.
Anyone can meditate and anyone can experience the results of meditation. Meditation the way back to connect to our real selves, and utilize the dormant talents and energy within us.
- Brings a certain calmness into your mind and thus into your life
- Helps to relax, reduce stress, anxiety and hypertension
- Improves health and wellbeing
- Strengthens the immune system
- Improves wisdom by tapping into intuition.
- Improves intelligence and enhances memory faculties
- Improves the percentage of the brain used & how it functions
- Improves energy and strength
- Rejuvenates cells and reduces impact of aging
- Connects us with our true self, the soul
- Builds self-esteem and self-confidence
- Creates inner peace
- Builds our love and compassion for all beings
- One of the steps to enlightenment
and much more.
A greater purpose of meditation is to reconnect us with our soul, by focusing on breath and life beyond the body and mind to where our soul resides.
DAILY SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
Activities engaged consistently to deepen awareness of and connection to God; process and practice of using spiritual techniques and practices to elevate consciousness; Prayer, meditation, affirmation, mantra chanting or any other practice designed to elevate consciousness, awareness, experience of and expression of God, Light, Love, Spirit.
The beauty of a spiritual practice is that everyone can be right, and no-one is wrong. You are the one that must decide what is right for you. Find something that resonates (feels right and good) with your being; find a teacher that you have an affinity/connection with and then devote yourself to their philosophy and method. You will know when it is time to move on to the next teacher and method.
There are some general guidelines to look for when considering the things and teachers/people that interest you.
You have some proof or evidence that the method works. This could be the testimony of others, an inner experience, or strong feeling.
The method should be in-line with past teachers of the same or similar method, and in-line with your own truths about what you want from it.
Whatever comes from God is free. We were each born with everything needed to achieve/obtain what we want; so look at what you are being charged for. Obviously classes, workshops, books, recorded music, etc. need to be paid for – they are not the method. These things are tools that facilitate your practice of the method. The method is how you do, what you do. Like a mantra, initiation, ceremony, technique or, a blessing, etc. A teacher can show you where your forgotten treasure is, lights the way so you follow the right path and perhaps carry you a little when you need help; in the end, you are the master of your own path. Be mindful of being charged “for” the path.
Finally, God’s love is unconditional. We are perfect where we are and what we are, so any method which asks you to dramatically change your way of life should be considered carefully. In many cases, a method may ask you to keep precepts such ‘no-killing’, ‘no-stealing’, ‘no-adultery’, etc. These are rules of the universe for all to live a harmonious life, so a method may ask you to do this to pull you back into balance.
What are the types of Spiritual Practices?
When the longing starts and you feel the need to heal and/or grow in the experience of yourself and life, chances are you will seek a spiritual practice. Since you are seeking something “spiritual” it is wise to allow your spirit or inner voice guide you. There are many options available. You may begin by reciting affirmations or mantras or, you may be drawn to read a particular book or sacred text. Your spiritual quest may even begin with a walk in nature or along the beach. Some may seek a teacher and method that changes their perspective of life. Know that there is no formula or specific way to walk your personal spiritual path. Ask, believe and allow your spirit to guide you. As long as what you choose feels right in your heart, causes no harm to you or anyone else, is aligned with the nature of God and the laws of the universe, chances are your Spirit will take you to exactly the practice and/or path that is right for your evolution.