These nine elements are the foundation of a well-balanced spiritual practice. They are also the nine elements of a well-rounded health and wellness program. So, spiritual practice and wellness go hand-in-hand.
Nine Elements of a Healthy Spiritual Practice
These are nine tools or elements that make up the tools for spiritual practice:
- Clean Air
- Clean Water
- Adequate Sunshine
- Proper Diet
- Exercise Tailored to you focusing on durability
- Analytical and intellectual training of the mind
- Seated Meditation
- Moving Meditation
Above all, we must tailor each of these tools or elements to our own needs. One size does not fit all. Where you start with each element depends on a variety of factors involving lifestyle, time available, resources, environment, and general health. Leaving out one or more of these elements will have an adverse effect on your delicate instrument of consciousness and your spiritual exploration. Balancing your path is key to the best results.
The six foundation elements are Appropriate Sunshine, Fresh Air, and Water, Sleep, Proper Exercise, and Diet. To these six basic elements, we add the two categories of spiritual technologies, seated and moving meditation. The ninth tool is the use of the intellectual and analytical abilities of the mind.
The category of moving meditation includes all the variations energy collection, martial arts, Gurdjieff type movements, Qigong, etc. The seated meditation bucket includes virtually everything that can be done sitting with the eyes closed. This includes all brands and forms of transcendental, exploratory, contemplation and concentration.
Shamanic journeying could be, or both seated or moving. The various forms of the eightfold path of Yoga, or practices in other traditions that mirror the same attributes also often fall into several of these categories simultaneously. Similarly, natural healing practices like Reiki could be in both categories.
We can further define the spiritual technologies within this practice. We call the practice of these ancient tools spiritual exploration.
Balancing Your Path with Spiritual Technologies
Spiritual technologies are tools for exploring consciousness. They result from generations of research by cultures around the world. These processes stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable and measurable. They do not require belief in religious doctrine. So, everyone who can follow a process can use them. We call the practice of these processes spiritual exploration.
You can list these tools in several ways. Some fall into more than one group. We like this simple method.
- Tools to enhance critical thinking. This study of basic logical reasoning along with spotting logical fallacies and logical axioms. Then we also use a comparative analysis. This is a step-by-step way of comparing beliefs between different worldviews. Above all, these tools will help sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction.
- The Enneagram Personality Profile. This is mostly an analytical tool. It provides insight into the mechanisms of ego, personality, and instinct.
- Seated meditation is often the heart of your spiritual practice. This includes a range from Beginning Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation through Japa Meditation and more advanced Siddhis of Patanjali.
- Moving meditation helps us strengthen the mind-body connection. It is also an important key to our health and wellness. This progression includes several methods of energy collection, such as Forest Bathing, Qigong, and Tai Chi.
- Pathways for expanding and exploring awareness. This progression includes a range of processes from lucid dreaming, the Shamanic Journey and Guided Meditation to third-eye awakening and soul memory awareness. Practical tools to guide your path, a spiritual journal, and automatic writing.
- Healing practices are the final group. This branch includes Pe Jet, Reiki, and Shiatsu. Self-care is also a part of this group and is vital to our overall health and wellness.
Developing a plan that incorporates all nine elements of a healthy spiritual practice is the best strategy. Using the right amount of each element will give you best results. We are talking about the outcomes of both spiritual and consciousness development, as well as, increased health and wellness. This approach is what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey.
Balancing your path is something that will accelerate your development. Since we are constantly changing, you will need to make adjustments in your practice to compensate. There are some common obstacles as well.
What are the Tools and the Obstacles
If balancing our path was easy everyone would do it. There are obstacles to using the nine elements of a healthy spiritual practice. So, we need to identify those things that are in the way.
By far, many people find proper diet and exercise are the two most difficult elements to incorporate into their schedules. The right diet is different for everyone. We all have different needs. However, we can recommend an exercise routine that incorporates strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular exercise. The focus should be on durability.
Our exercise routine is separate from our practice of moving meditation. This would include all forms of martial arts and physically oriented Yoga Asana. Adding as many forms of physical exercise will improve your ability with many spiritual technologies. This practice increases mind-body integration.
View the body and your consciousness as an intricate and delicate instrument. It is designed for the refined study of this realm. Then you will tend to make decisions about your practice based on refining and improving these instruments of exploration. This will yield the best experiential results.
There are also psychotropic compounds some use to directly affect the consciousness and none-ordinary states of reality. However, these compounds should only be used with the guidance of a knowledgeable and well-informed guide. They are not for the novice. Only an experienced spiritual explorer should consider their use.
Other than failing to incorporate all of these elements into your practice, the most common obstacle that impedes progress revolves around mistaking being involved with or in a “belief system” for the proper use of the intellect and analytical prowess of the mind.
That is, having too many beliefs about spiritual reality can hinder one from benefiting from many of the spiritual technologies that exist. The appropriate intellectual technology should lead you to or through the use of one or both of the meditative categories listed above. The focus should be on learning to think and analyze rather than memorizing data.
These nine elements of a healthy spiritual practice are critical elements of mental, physical and spiritual health. Find your own mix for balancing your path.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their own path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s Book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
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