What Is Spiritual Development?
|Spiritual development is simply focusing on the full awareness of life. Most people spend their days focusing on their immediate problems, challenges or temporary satisfactions. But focusing on your spiritual side of life doesn't discount these other aspects of your life. In fact, it encompasses all aspects of your life. |
Someone that practices this level of development knows that there is no difference, spiritually, when meditating or when running on the treadmill, or even when taking out the garbage. The awareness in which all of life's activities are done is the measure of our spiritual growth.
Choosing Spiritual Development
The act of choosing to have awareness is the process of spiritual development. When we act from automatic response this is usually from social conditioning or from past fears and traumas that have conditioned us on how to respond to situations.
Choosing awareness is seldom the easy path. We must be willing to see the parts of our own Self that we don’t want to see. We must learn to accept past hurts, traumas and even past violent actions done to us so that we can finally begin the process of releasing the stuck energy that holds us hostage to these past events.
By choosing to fully accept yourself, you can then see the shortcomings of other people in a new light. You will see how they are only reacting to the pain coming from within. And when you are able to fully see these actions for what they are, forgiveness becomes much easier.
Levels of Spiritual Development
As with all types of personal development, there will be times of steep learning and there will be times of plateaus. And there may even be times when it will seem that you’ve made giant leaps backwards in your development.
My own spiritual teacher would often say, “The times when you best know that you’re on the Spiritual Path is when you’re not on it.”
This is to say that if you can recognise that you are not consciously choosing awareness then you have been on the spiritual path all along. Now it’s time to once again choose the actions that will bring you into higher states of consciousness.
When we first start to focus on our spirituality it’s normal to try to learn what to “do”. We seek out Spiritual Groups, alternative teachings, Meditation Groups, religious organisations and possibly listen to the teachings of Gurus.
And for some people the journey continues by diving deeper into spirituality or by reading religious books or spiritual texts. We try to then apply these principles into our daily life.
And then journey continues with learning to hold your own self accountable for your own development. You begin to live in accordance with your beliefs and in harmony with yourself when you stray from your own path. In other words, we move from learning what to “do” to learning how to just “Be”.
Being in unity with yourself is the greatest lesson of our spiritual development. As my teacher would say, “Ultimately, Nirvana is Samsara.” That is to say that that which we hold as the ideal state, is ultimately just one more illusion. Therefore be present in the moment and all of life opens up to you.