When you’re at a loss for the next step to take on your spiritual journey, it’s important to practice the basics. Ask yourself, Why is this important to me? What do I gain from mindfulness, meditation, or prayer?
Depending on your end goal, you should pay attention to the changes you see in your everyday experience. Whatever you spend your time on, that’s where your practice lies. Your practice is ingrained right there in your busy schedule. So, the first thing you need to incorporate into your daily life is a simple check-in.
Every now and then, stop thinking and just observe. Observe your thoughts streaming in and out on their own tides, your emotions rising and falling like great waves. Notice the sensations in your body, all the little aches and itches that wash over you. Observe the world around you, the landscapes and cityscapes, the people ebbing and flowing in and out of your life.
There is nothing that you need to do with anything you observe. That’s your practice. Witness the world as it is. Don’t try to change it, and don’t try to not change it. Exist exactly as you are without trying to change yourself.
Watch the natural ease of your thoughts and feelings when you allow them to be. It’s only when we cling to thoughts or emotions that they cause us grief. It’s only when we shove thoughts and emotions away that they persist.
Everything in life follows this natural cycle, and you can gain insight into this simply by watching it happen. In each moment, you find peace, and maybe you don’t feel peaceful for very long, so you check in again.
By taking quiet time to simply observe your mind, you can allow the wily distractions to do their thing and hold fast to your natural peace, which is inescapable. Once you’ve begun this process, you can look for other people with whom to share your understanding.
2. Find community
Regardless of the sect you are in or the beliefs you hold, you will be able to find people with similar values and motivations. Always, you want to find groups that are dedicated to empowerment and the benefit for all. That is the golden compass for navigating any new community.
How do people talk and listen to one another? How do they contribute to the cause and offer their services? Your gut instinct can tell you a lot about a group, so listen in. You’ll know you’ve found your people because you won’t have to hide yourself from them.
You want a community that could listen to your deepest, darkest secrets and still see the light that shines within you. It is a lie that we can fold ourselves to fit our clan. We need openness and patient understanding. We need people who desire benefit and clarity above all else. That clarity begins with the teacher.
3. Take it from your teacher
Learn what spirituality is from someone you can trust. If your leader talks about outcasts, demons, heathens, or the unworthy, then get out. No true teacher would segregate their people from the rest of the world. That is simply not appropriate. No true teacher will ever tell you that you are damaged goods.
A teacher will enlighten and enliven you. They will build you up, not because you are something they can mold, but because they reveal to you your innate perfection. You are innately wise and power born, and you must listen to the teachers that tell you to go easy on yourself.
Listen to the teachers that remind you of your greatness and your responsibility to the world. Listen when they give you mantras or prayers, and feel what power their transmissions carry. Review the readings they give you and reflect on the potency within. Do the service and volunteer work they suggest and find out how you can benefit yourself and others.
All along, treat your teacher with the utmost respect and ASK QUESTIONS. If they are offering something you find confusing or incongruous, then ask for clarification. If their answers do not lead to more clarity and stability, well, you may have outgrown them, or perhaps, you may just need to ask more questions.
4. Practice being your own scientist
Just like you want to ask questions about your community and your teacher, you also want to ask questions about reality itself. So, treat your practice as an experiment.
Find out what happens when you start to incorporate meditation into your daily life. Discover how it feels to be at peace with death. Find out the importance of prayer or chanting or service.
Your personal journey will take you through thousands of laboratories, and you want to have a method for discovering the most easeful and rewarding way to live. Return to your purpose. Are you trying to live a happy life? Are you aiming to be more peaceful and understanding? Do you want to feel prepared for the end?
Do your research. Regard the effect of your contribution through time/talents/treasure. How do you want to spend your energy? Where do your skills lie? What do you value above all else?
Each time you answer these questions, you’ll know if you’re on the right path. You’ll feel the worth of your spiritual education because you’ll have the results right there in front of you.
5. Reflect and Repeat
The full cycle of our spiritual life is never cut and dry. There will never be a day when you say, That’s it, I’m fully realized. And yet, every day, we have the opportunity to know that this is already true. You are already a buddha, an angel, a saint.
We move through life at the crux of awareness, both all-knowing and ignorant, both empowered and oppressed. Reflect on what choices you’ve made and accept that they were the right choices. Always. Acknowledge what you would do differently next time, but drop the shame.
Drop the blame you’d normally place on yourself or other people when something “bad” happens. Revel in the chance to respond meaningfully and magnificently to misfortune and misdeeds.
Whenever you feel farthest from your power, return instantly, just by reminding yourself of who you are. You are the universe’s favorite shape to take. You are the center of attention in the best possible way. Your commitment to your practice shows in the way you treat yourself and others, and that is all that matters.
If you can be kind, if you can be trustworthy, if you can be reasonable and rational and fair, then you’re already there. You’ve done it. What’s more, though, even on the days that you feel miserable and foolish and alone, you are still the creator’s greatest treasure. You are worthy of a strong community, a brilliant teacher, and endless opportunities for growth.
Check-in, reflect, rinse, and repeat.
Spiritual Center of the Desert, Palm Desert
The Spiritual Center of the Desert, Palm Desert serves the entire Coachella Valley from Palm Springs to the Arizona Border at Blythe California.
As a spiritual center, our focus is not to teach you what to think but how to think. Because our thoughts, when emotionalized and put into action, become form.
We are online serving the global community seeking a new thought, a better way to live their best life.
We may be contacted directly – 760-346-4649. Online @ cslpalmdesert.org or by email @ email@example.com
Please join us for our daily live shows @cslpalmdesert.org/2020-live-videos, Monday thru Friday.