A: So the importance of everything that I’m telling you is for you and others to realize that your own best spiritual teacher is available for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. While it is extremely important to read the writings of spiritual masters such as Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, it does no good until we put their teachings into effect and learn to live them out. It’s all about practicing them. There is actually not that much you need to know to begin a spiritual practice. However, one of the things the ego loves is learning about things, the minutiae, the details. Experiencing things takes the ego out of its identification and weakens the ego. Therefore, it is much happier to read about things rather than practice them. Ideally, you should read the works of the spiritual masters and then practice them. You can practice what it says in the Didache, the Four Noble Truths, and the Noble Eight-Fold Path. That’s the most important thing about spiriuality. So these writings are an effort to get this information out to you and the rest of humanity, so that you can actually practice what has been taught milenna ago.
A: There are many great practices out there. The key to any practice however, is consistency. Part of the big problem with any kind of spirituality today is learning about the spirituality instead of practicing it. For instance, putting in fact, or practice, what it says in the Didache will help you make serious spiritual progress. The same can be said of the Noble Eight-Fold Path of Buddhism. But it must be practiced. And Ideal practice for anybody would be to take any spiritual principle, from the Didache, the Noble Eight-Fold Path, the Neti Neti practice, anything, and do it consistently, every day. It’s also a good idea not to skip around too much. Doing the Neti Neti practice one day, then looking at the Didache one day, and the Noble Eight-Fold Path another day, it’s kind of like starting a different project each day. It’s best to pick one project, and finish it before going on to the next. That being said, you don’t have to become enlightened before you switch spiritual paths. There’s a specific type of discernment that has to be learned. Any spiritual principle, if really practiced with intensity and earnestness, will reap huge spiritual benefits. Some of the most powerful spiritual principles to put into effect each day are ones that you were already aware of. Things like being as honest as possible with yourself and others as long as it hurts nobody are great spiritual principles. Another one is to try to see the world through another person’s eyes; this will help you develop compassion for other people. Compassion eventually leads to unconditional love. Another great spiritual practice is focusing completely on the moment, instead of projecting oneself into the future or the past. Another great spiritual principle is to focus completely on the sense of self. What that feels like, both mentally, and viscerally. All of these are great principles, and great paths that will lead two serious spiritual progress.
(continued from previous post)
There is meditation of ego consciousness. This meditation is not best done in a quiet space, unlike the awareness meditation. It is analogous to a meditation on the inner parent consciousness. It is actually best done while partaking in your everyday activities.
During this meditation, you watch your ego, as you go about your activities of daily living. You watch yourself eat breakfast, you watch yourself read the news, you watch yourself watch TV, you watch yourself go to work. In this way, you become very aware of your ego, and as you become more aware, you naturally align yourself more with your higher self, your witness consciousness.
This can become very automatic, and is a great meditation to perform every day. Most people know about sitting down or lying to meditate, but do not practice this type of waking, day-to-day meditation, and, therefore, their sitting or lying meditation is confined to the meditation cushion instead of filling their daily lives.
In this way, you can perform sitting or lying meditation for years with little to no change. Incorporate waking walking meditation into your life, consistently, every day, for a huge shift in consciousness.
It is important to note that the parent consciousness often does not accept the animal consciousness (inner child), or the adult consciousness (witness consciousness). It is often the source of criticism, prejudices, and strife, both inwardly and outwardly. Also, by not accepting its other parts, its keeps us stressed and limits our spiritual growth.
It is important to note that the parent consciousness (ego) is rooted in fear, and its biggest fear is losing control. It sees accepting the adult and child consciousness as losing control, and this is why it is constantly at war with them.
There is also a meditation of the animal consciousness, or what is known as the “inner child.” This mediation is best done by watching what happens when you are stressed, upset, want something, and so on. It is the part of you that wants what it wants, when it wants it, and if doesn’t get it, it will pout, be outwardly aggressive, inwardly aggressive, or passive aggressive.
It is important to watch this part of your consciousness when it arises, and not take action on its behalf. Taking action based on the feelings of the inner child will most often result in unwanted repercussions later on or immediately in life. This is also the most difficult meditation to perform. To watch your animal consciousness in the heat of an argument is a very difficult and advanced thing to do.
So, as you can see, all three meditations bring you back to the ultimate meditation, the meditation of consciousness. Perform the inner adult (witness) meditation during times of peace, the inner parent (ego) meditation during your daily life, and the inner child (animal consciousness) meditation during times of stress.
All three will strengthen your higher self, or witness consciousness, and ultimately allow for a more peaceful, happier life.
Q: How do I know if the spiritual work I am doing is working?
A: If your spiritual work is working, overall, you will feel less stress in life. You will be more truthful with yourself and others, and if you need to confront someone to be truthful, you will feel less stress about it, less anger, and more at peace with this person and yourself.
You will feel a natural tendency to replace anger and resentment with understanding and compassion of others and the world. You will feel a natural aversion towards stressful, divisive places and situations. You will be naturally pulled toward your practice, even if it temporarily causes upheaval. Things that used to upset you do not anymore. These are some good yardsticks.