Spiritual Seekers Going Astray

Practicing the wrong way isn't the least liberating and may actually make you worse off. There are plenty of pitfalls along the spiritual path, as a result many seekers go astray. Here we'll explore the challenging reality faced by spiritual seekers.

But first, what is a healthy spiritual practice and the fruits there of?

The combination of meditation and morality form the very foundation of true spiritual practice. Meditation cultivates awareness while morality nurtures qualities like honesty and selflessness. This marriage is instrumental to succeed in any spiritual practice.

Progress is gradual, yet life-changing. When practicing correctly, your awareness will deepen and the mind will be purified, as in slowly cleansed from impurities such as anger and painful emotions.

The more present you are, the easier it is to let go of unpleasant feelings and thoughts. You will also develop what I call spiritual warmth, which is characterized by kindness and gentleness.

Once your mind is steadfast enough to be mindful throughout the day, you will dwell in soothing stillness. Continue to practice well, and you may even attain supramundane wisdom and complete inner freedom. Another word for it is enlightenment.

Common Mistakes In Spiritual Practice

Here is a list of pointers that will keep you from going astray on the spiritual path:

- Moral practice should be one of your top priorities.

- Give relaxed attention to your meditation object, trying too hard only builds up physical and mental tension.

- Don't just think about your practice. Make serious some effort.

- Do not limit your practice to the meditation cushion. Rather, strive to be mindful from the moment you wake up in the morning, until you fall asleep at night.

- Don't inflate your ego. Avoid boasting about your progress and insights.

- To have a spiritual name feeds the ego, but it's not of any true value.

- Don't blindly believe in any spiritual teachings. Put them to the test.

- Accept that you are still learning, so open up and take on a curious mindset.

- Cultivate discipline and endurance to keep the momentum going.

- Once you have understood the practice clearly, which may take a few years, cultivate independence. Don't be dependent on a spiritual teacher.

- Nurture both your body and mind; eat well, sleep well and minimize stress.

- Stop acting tough or cool; be yourself, admit your shortcomings and become aware of your emotions.

- Master one meditation technique, instead of swapping practices like a restless monkey.

- Having sex with an enlightened person will not benefit your practice in any way.

- An enlightened teacher would not put herself on a pedestal. Likewise, she would never take advantage of her students. Only fake gurus do.

- Holy sites may be inspiring, but they are not better suited for meditation than nature.

- Practice in the mountains, in deep forests, along rivers, in bustling cities, alone and in groups. Strive to become a versatile meditator.

- Meditating in a group boosts mental energy, which fuels motivation and concentration.

- Body work is not the same as meditation. Only when the mind is aware of bodily sensations or movements, can it be called meditation.

- Give up tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Commit yourself to your practice by letting go. Commitments are most empowering.

- The following is not needed for true spiritual practice: majestic mountains, golden temples, exquisite shrines, charismatic gurus, religious traditions, colorful rituals, sacred chanting, advanced meditation postures, spiritual clothing and accessories. Attaching to them is bound to lead you astray.

- Don't socialize with fools. That's a most negative influence.

- Common sense applies to spirituality, just like in normal life. Exercise it!

Best of luck with your practice.

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Related:   Fruits Of Spirituality   Morality In Meditation   Spiritually Torn

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