These nine elements are the foundation of all well-balanced spiritual practice. They are also the nine elements of a well-rounded health and wellness program.
Nine Elements of a Healthy Spiritual Practices
It’s not a surprise that our spiritual practice and our wellness are connected. These nine ingredients to a healthy lifestyle and spiritual practice. Everyone will have their own unique mix:
1) Clean Air
2) Clean Water
3) Adequate Sunshine
4) Proper Diet
6) Exercise Tailored to you focusing on durability
7) Analytical and intellectual training of the mind
8) Seated Meditation
9) 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 depends on a variety of factors. It involves lifestyle, time available, resources, environment, and general health. It’s important to include all elements to some degree. Leaving out one or more will have a detrimental impact on your health. 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 seated and moving meditation. The ninth tool is the use of the intellectual and analytical abilities of the mind.
We can further define the spiritual technologies within this practice. We call the practice of these ancient tools spiritual exploration.
Healthy Spiritual Practices and Processes
Spiritual technologies are tools for exploring consciousness. They are processes that can change or expand our awareness. Some of them are also doorways to higher states of consciousness. In short, spiritual technologies are methods of change. These processes result from eons of research by cultures around the world. Using these tools is what we call spiritual exploration.
These tools stand up to the test of science. That’s because they are repeatable. Several produce measurable changes in our physiology. It’s important to realize what spiritual exploration is not.
Spiritual exploration does not involve belief in a religion. This means they are available to anyone that can follow a process. It’s like baking a cake. If you use the right ingredients and follow the directions, you get something delicious. The processes are formulas or ingredients for exploring consciousness.
There are many ways to list these methods. One simple way is to divide them into four primary groups. You could list some of these tools in more than one of these groups.
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Healing Practices
The study of spiritual practices seems like an odd place to find analytical tools. However, analytical processes are vital to the spiritual quest. This is because their use enhances our reasoning ability. This helps us to think more clearly. This helps us avoid many of the common obstacles. The two tools in this group are Logical Reasoning and The Enneagram of Personality.
The study of logic is the first tool we use in our group practice. It’s beneficial for those new to the spiritual path. We come back to review them regularly. This keeps them fresh in our minds.
We use a set of three related tools. The first tool is Logical reasoning. This article summarizes logic. It shows how people misuse logic to sell us ideas and beliefs. Next is spotting logical fallacies. This module provides practical examples of the most common logical fallacies. The last module, the logical axioms, ties everything together.
Comparative Analysis is another valuable analytical tool. This is a systematic approach to research based on the scientific model. It is a method that compares ideas and beliefs from different worldviews.
This process introduces the challenge of comparing their beliefs to other worldviews. Here we also learn why it is so important to use emotional checks. It helps us research with the least amount of bias and prejudice.
Above all, the use of logical reasoning and comparative analysis will sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction. So, these aren’t just for research. You’ll find a use for these tools every day. Besides their use in religion, politics, they are also helpful with TV and Radio newscasts.
The Enneagram of Personality
The Enneagram of Personality is a tool that helps us understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct. Modern psychology and the Enneagram share many of the same concepts and authors. Borrowing and then building on the work of others is a common practice. For instance, Jungian psychology parallels the structure of the Enneagram. It has nine processes of consciousness.
The core of the Enneagram Personality Profile is a series of questionnaires. If you provide honest answers, you will get an accurate profile of your personality. The scientific method of testing verifies the accuracy of this tool. The system goes beyond identification into deeper thought processes and beliefs. It integrates spiritual and psychological understanding. It will lead you to an understanding of the source of your personal power.
When you say healthy spiritual practice, many people think of meditation. Seated and moving forms of meditation are the centerpiece of spiritual exploration. The practice of meditation is now common knowledge. Both seated and moving meditation bring many health and wellness benefits.
Seated meditation is the heart of many spiritual practices. Meditation is a range of mental tools for exploring consciousness. It has everything from Mindfulness Meditation through Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM). And also includes more advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali.
Moving meditation is an action with a heightened level of awareness. So, this includes a range of activities involving the mind-body connection. Using these modalities helps improve our health and wellness. This progression includes energy collection modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi. It also includes Forest Bathing and techniques for grounding, like Tree Grounding and Sun Gazing.
Awareness Expansion Tools
This group is a mix of tools dealing with awareness and perception. This group of processes starts with the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation. It also includes lucid dreaming, third-eye awakening exercises, and techniques to improve memory. Another important tool is the spiritual journal or book of shadows. This is your best coach. It also includes exercises like automatic writing. You could list these tools among some groups. However, we like to list them separately because of their importance to awareness.
The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first spiritual technology. This traditional method is at the core of many indigenous cultures. It serves as evidence of the historical importance of the inner quest.
There are many variations on this theme, but all use essentially the same formula. Rhythm is a key element that regulates heart rate and breathing. Then the mind projects an inner world providing the lucid journey. A Shaman is a person who guides people through this journey in the spirit world. However, you can take this inward journey by yourself. This tool for changing awareness uses a range of seated and moving forms.
This is one of the ancient technologies that people have tried to rename or rebrand. They do this to make the Shamanic Journey more marketable. So, some people know it as guided meditation or creative visualization.
The last group is healing practices. This group includes a diverse set of tools such as Pe Jet, which comes from Indonesia, and Reiki and Shiatsu come from Japan. Vedic medicine is also available, along with other traditional healing forms. Self-care is a vital part of this group. Our overall health and wellness affect every aspect of life.
Using any healing method is a natural outlet for our positive energy. Many people come to the healing arts as a secondary interest. Then they find it is an enjoyable way of giving back and helping others.
We recommend a plan that uses all nine elements of a healthy spiritual practice. Using the right amount of each element will give you the best results. This approach is what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey.
Balancing your path is something that will speed up your development. Since we are constantly changing, you will need to make adjustments in your practice to compensate. There are some common obstacles.
What are the Tools and the Obstacles
If balancing our path was easy, everyone would do it. There are obstacles to using these elements. So, we need to identify those things that are in the way.
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. Regardless, we recommend an exercise routine that incorporates strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular exercise. The focus should be on durability. We see durability as the ultimate health goal.
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. As your practice evolves, you will need to refine and adjust depending on your results. Keep your plan flexible. This will yield the best experiential results.
Some use psychotropic compounds to achieve non-ordinary states of reality. 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.
Outside of failing to use all these nine elements, the most common obstacle is belief. Don’t allow your beliefs to be a barrier to your development. The focus should be on learning to think and analyze rather than memorizing data.
The nine elements of a healthy spiritual practice are vital for our physical and spiritual health. Find your own mix for balancing your path.
We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking. You will find more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the search option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or category.
Does spiritual exploration interest you? If so, we offer both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. We use a blended learning process to get the best learning outcomes. This blended approach aligns with what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey (1).
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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia