Each path provides a distinctive vehicle for self-discovery and realization. Some may choose one, others may explore multiple paths simultaneously; there are no absolutes or set rules for discovering your path. What matters is that it feels right for you and serves as an appropriate vehicle for growth. No one can or should tell you what path to follow; only your own intuitive heart can guide you to what method or vehicle will suit you best. At this stage you would do well to remember the wisdom of the Hindu proverb that states:. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.
The next stage calls you to be a spiritual seeker. Having found your path, regular practice, study, and discipline serve to take you deeper toward the greater vision of expanded awareness. The Sanskrit term for the discipline of spiritual practice is sadhana.
Sadhana is the spiritual routine that takes your practice from an isolated exercise to a way of life. You are dedicated travelers on the path, familiar with its twists and turns, up and downs. As your practice deepens, you become increasingly more adept and more knowledgeable, not only of the tradition or practice you follow but also of yourself. This stage is marked by the birth of self-referral , the process in which your identity begins to shift from external references such as positions, possessions, and ego satisfactions to the internal reference of stillness, intuition , and higher guidance.
You know yourself as a spiritual being living a human life while fostering the progressive growth of your consciousness. As you travel their path to expanded awareness, there are two markers, two clues that hint spiritual progress is underway. The spiritual path is not without struggle, however.
By its very nature, the path of awakening confronts you with your shortcomings, self-deceptions, cognitive biases, and resistance to change. Growth can be an uncomfortable process at times. As your chosen path challenges you to change thoughts, emotions, speech, or behavior to be more expansive, compassionate, forgiving, or kind, it is not uncommon to struggle with being in this world but not of it. Worse yet are the external influences that assault the spiritual seeker with temptations to give up the quest for awakening and return to a conventional life.
The most formidable challenges on the path come in the form of what Joseph Campbell called threshold guardians. Threshold guardians are the barriers literal or symbolic that stand in the way of important turning points in your life. These antagonists can repeatedly knock you down, test your resolve, and make you question your chosen path. Such setbacks make you doubt yourself and your commitment and may even persuade you to give up the quest.
At this stage, you may feel lost or helpless, as if you have succumbed to spiritual blindness. At last, the seeker breaks through to a new stage; visionary, transcendent, and sight beyond sight. At this level you have gone beyond sadhana ; you have become the practice.
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No longer striving to see, you exist in a state of unity in which seer, scenery, and that which is seen merge. A permanent shift has taken place and you awaken fully to your true identity—the infinite, immortal, unbounded, God-force existing everywhere and in everything.
You wake up fully to being the divine observer—the ever-present witness-self of the entire universe. This is the sign of spiritual awakening. The path of spiritual awakening is the grandest adventure you can ever undertake. You are deeply privileged just to recognize the truth that such a journey stands before you. And embracing it is nothing less than following the heroic call of your life purpose and destiny.
Books - By James Baraz
Learn More. Search form Search. The 5 Stages of Spiritual Awakening. By Adam Brady. The Vision of Your Spiritual Journey One of the most useful metaphors for describing the stages of spiritual awakening is that of vision. According to Vedanta, there are four paths or yogas back to the unity you seek: Bhakti Yoga : The path of love and devotion Jnana Yoga : The path of science and the intellect Karma Yoga : The path of action and selfless service Raja Yoga : The path of meditation and all its related disciplines Each path provides a distinctive vehicle for self-discovery and realization.
Seeking: Following the Path The next stage calls you to be a spiritual seeker.
Books - By James Baraz
The first is an increasing sense of lightheartedness. With consistent spiritual practice, happiness and joy become your ground state. You take life less seriously.
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Hysteria and melodrama have less influence over you. Carefreeness and detachment flow from you spontaneously and you feel much more at ease in life. The Long Road Turns to Joy. One of the few books focused completely on mindful walking and walking meditation. This revised Making Space. Find peace and calm amid the busyness of your life with this new book by A Handful of Quiet. A Handful of Quiet presents one of the best known and most innovative meditation practices Not Quite Nirvana.
Rachel Neumann. This book is a memoir of how a skeptical, fast-talking New Yorker became Thich Nhat For a Future to Be Possible. The Five Mindfulness Trainings — to not kill, steal, commit adultery, lie, or take intoxicants Ten Breaths to Happiness. Glen Schneider. Zen teacher Glen Schneider has developed a series of simple practices to help us cultivate How to Sit. To sit is to restore ourselves, to become fully present and fully alive in the Is Nothing Something? In Is Nothing Something?
10 Steps to True Happiness
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh answers heartfelt, difficult, and funny questions How to Eat. No Mud, No Lotus. The secret to happiness is to acknowledge and transform suffering, not to run away from How to Love. How to Walk. Nothing To It. Brother Phap Hai. The Mindful Athlete. George Mumford. Michael Jordan credits George Mumford with transforming his on-court leadership of the Bulls, helping Jordan How to Relax.
The Other Shore. The Art of Money. Bari Tessler.
Drawing Your Own Path. John Simon. Puppy Mind. Andrew Jordan Nance. In this picture book for children and adults, illustrated by Jim Durk, who is adored Happy Teachers Change the World. Thich Nhat Hanh , Katherine Weare. At Home in the World. Peace Library. How to Fight. Learn how to relax the bonds of anger, attachment, and delusion through mindfulness and kindness toward ourselves and others.
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