Treat your mind to something it will love. Help it see through the boundaries your beliefs keep in place. Love your mind enough to provide it with tools to expand the mind.
Enhancing Observational Skills
Our ability to perceive is in direct relation to our observational skills. So, by enhancing observation, you will expand your ability to perceive reality. Your mind is going to love this. It will change the way to view and value life.
When you expand your ability to observe, you also enhance your thinking ability. In turn, this results in a significant change in perception. The first step of observational change is inward, not outward. We must clean the lens of perception before we enhance the senses. It seems like an impossible task, but You can do this.
Before we get to the skills, let’s talk about what gets in the way. We need to identify and remove the roadblocks before adding the new skills. Otherwise, we are wasting our time.
Your Beliefs Are the Problem
Our beliefs are boundaries that limit our perception and affect our observational powers. We only perceive what we expect, and our beliefs filter perception. Our preconceived ideas about reality filter out anything that doesn’t fit what we expect. If you cannot accept things that don’t fit your current reality, then the mind ignores them.
The more boundaries you have, the more difficult it is to “perceive” what is there. So, those who entrench themselves in religious dogma are subject to selective blindness. Defining your reality becomes an impossible goal because you are blind to the possibilities and opportunities that arise.
Some are comfortable being blind. Awakening these people is challenging. That’s because religious programming prevents them from considering anything outside their worldview.
Deleting these boundaries isn’t easy, but it is necessary. It requires courage to “get past” the current paradigm. However, your paradigm isn’t like a set of Legos. You can’t take it apart piece by piece. Your paradigm is like a piñata. You’ll need to smash to bits before you see what is inside. Seeing inside gives you clarity. Once you break the boundaries, you’ll see the negative bias and prejudices within. At this point, you have the choice to keep the harmful programming or delete it.
In the 1970s, people began using a process to confront and remove the cultural narrative implanted by Western organized religion. This process was known as deprogramming. It involved kidnapping and forcing a subject to psychological tactics that confronted their beliefs. Although this type of interrogation worked, it was illegal. It made them face the inconsistencies and fallacies of their beliefs head-on.
This process works, but most people don’t want to be tied to a chair or confined to a room to undergo this type of intensive inner work. Doing your own deprogramming takes more time, but it’s worth it. It’s like taking off a band-aide a little at a time. Our hats go off to those who are brave enough to confront their religious beliefs voluntarily. That’s like breaking the piñata.
The fact is, many spiritual warriors have walked this same path. They have freed themselves from religion. Defining your reality is a goal worth the effort.
Observation is a skill set you can improve, and this path starts with learning to observe your inner world. Many people make the mistake of working on external methods first. But before you can see the possibilities of the outer world, you need to learn to observe your inner world.
You’ll need to clean the lens through which you observe. All observation takes place in the mind. Sorry, there isn’t any simple way to do this because you’ve likely accumulated some beliefs and expectations that prevent you from seeing reality. So enhancing observational skills begins with the inward journey, not the senses.
The first step is learning to “see” through what you “believe” should be “there.” It’s the programming in your self-talk and values. Moving beyond these expectations is essential. Thankfully, several spiritual technologies help us move beyond the boundaries of belief.
Next is a list of all the ancient technologies that can help you break through the programming and enhance your internal and external observational skills.
Tools for Defining Your Reality
The catalog of methods for developing and exploring consciousness is what we call Spiritual Technologies. They are processes that can alter, change, or expand our awareness. Some of these methods open doorways to higher states of consciousness.
These processes come from eons of research by cultures around the world. We use the term spiritual exploration to describe these powerful methods.
We select the best of these ancient methods for our blended learning process. These processes are time-tested by generations of use, and they stand up to the rigorous tests of science. Several of these methods produce measurable changes in our physiology. These physiological markers differ from normal waking, sleeping, and dreaming states.
Spiritual exploration is not about faith or belief in a religion. They are processes that anyone can use. All you do is follow a process. We like to think of it just like baking a cake. When you want to bake a delicious cake, you follow a recipe. If you use the right ingredients and follow the directions, you get something delicious. The processes of spiritual exploration are formulas or ingredients for exploring consciousness.
There are many ways to list these methods. We divide these tools into four major categories:
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Modalities for Healing
The study of spiritual things seems like an odd place to find analytical tools, but these analytical processes are vital to our spiritual quest. Their use enhances our ability to use common sense and logic. These are tools for enhancing observational skills, and they are essential for identifying the roadblocks that get in the way of our development.
We recommend you incorporate emotional checks in all of these processes. Keeping your feeling in check helps us think more clearly.
These tools help us think more clearly and make better decisions, which helps us avoid many of our path’s everyday obstacles. This group’s primary tools are Logical Reasoning, Comparative Analysis, and The Enneagram of Personality.
The study of logic is the first tool we use in our group practice, but these methods help anyone seeking the truth. We encourage our participants to create a reminder on their smartphones to review these tools every month. It’s essential to keep them fresh in our minds, and that’s when they become helpful in spotting ploys and deception.
We use a set of three related tools. The first tool is Logical reasoning, which summarizes the essential use of logic in language. It shows how people misuse language 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 truth-seekers axioms, ties everything together by contrasting how science and mythology differ in their approaches to presenting the truth.
Comparative Analysis is a systematic approach to comparative religious study based on the scientific model. It is a method of comparing ideas and beliefs from different worldviews, and it is another tool we recommend for the new spiritual explorer.
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 cognitive science tool that helps us understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct. The best authors and researchers write in easily understandable language so the layperson can understand it, while it is deep enough for any clinician. It makes the Enneagram a powerful system available to almost everyone.
You will find 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 personality profile. 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 help you understand the source of our “personal power.”
When you say spiritual practice, many people think of meditation. Seated and moving forms of meditation are the centerpiece of spiritual exploration.
Meditation is a mind hack that often uses mantras, sutras, and affirmations as tools. These mental devices open doorways of consciousness. You could easily categorize them as awareness expansion tools, the same with Yoga since it contains a range of meditative processes.
Seated meditation is the heart of the spiritual practice for many people. Meditation is an essential tool for exploring consciousness. Seated meditation includes everything from a primary two-step method, Mindfulness Meditation and Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM). This modality also has advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali.
Moving meditation is an action with a heightened level of awareness. To perform an activity while simultaneously holding a meditative state involves a high level of mind-body coordination and skill. This modality improves mind and body connection. In turn, this has a positive effect on our health and wellness. This progression includes energy collection modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi. Grounding techniques focus on our connection with nature, such as Sun Gazing, Forest Bathing, and Tree Grounding.
Awareness Expansion Tools
This category has a diverse mix of tools dealing with awareness and perception. This group includes the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation, lucid dreaming, third-eye awakening exercises, and techniques to improve memory (learning how to learn).
Another essential tool is the spiritual journal or book of shadows; it’s your personal life coach. This modality also includes exercises like automatic writing and exploring memories. 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 technology for exploring consciousness. This traditional method is at the core of many indigenous cultures, and it serves as evidence of the historical importance of the inner quest.
There are many variations on this theme, but essentially the same formula. Rhythm is a crucial 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.
The Shamanic Journey has been renamed or rebranded in Western cultures. They do this to make it more marketable. You will see it marketed as “guided meditation” or “creative visualization.”
Modalities for Healing
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. We teach Vedic medicine, along with other traditional healing forms. Self-care is a vital part of this group. Because to help others, we must be in optimal health. 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. They find it an enjoyable way of giving back and helping others.
Defining your reality seems like a great idea. But are willing to do the inner work necessary to achieve it. You must first identify and fix the programming of your self-talk and values. Enhancing observational skills requires inner work. People shy away from the path of self-observation. But those who create their new reality say it is worth the effort.
Thanks for reading this article. We welcome your opinion, so don’t hesitate to comment or email us. We hope it provides some food for thought. You can find more mind-opening topics on our blog.
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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia