Is it time to start your spiritual practice? Do you know how to start your spiritual journey? Where do you start? Here are the four steps you should take.
Religion makes choosing a spiritual path more difficult. So the spiritual explorer must learn to be vigilant and avoid the common detours. The internet gives you access to many resources to make a more informed decision. You can learn everything from Animism to Yoga. The question is, which path is best for you?
How to Start Your Spiritual Journey
You are here because you have an inner desire to seek the best path. Consider yourself lucky if you have the choice to decide. Many people don’t have a choice. A lot of people are subject to indoctrination into their family’s religious beliefs. Some people live in oppressive cultures where they must align with the state religion or suffer horrible consequences.
Spiritual Explorer Guidebook
Here are the four critical steps when beginning your spiritual quest.
- Choose Your Path
- Connect with Your Intuition and Use a Journal
- Assess Your Resources
- Start: Do it!
1) Choose One of Two Basic Spiritual Paths
What should you do first?
“Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?” ― Garth Nix, Sabriel
It’s easy to get confused in the arena of spirituality. There are several choices, but there are only two primary roads. The first option is to join an organized religion. The second is developing a spiritual path that you design. More and more people are choosing the second option and forge their path. This latter option is what we recommend.
Many people think religion is their first choice because of family or cultural tradition. There are two main paths for the spiritual explorer, with or without religion. Knowing how to start your spiritual journey is the most critical decision. If you have the freedom to make this choice, that is great. Many people do not get to choose.
Children often have no choice about their spiritual path. They learn the religion of their family. Religion also preys upon those in need. Religion wants to make you a paying customer and make all kinds of promises. They sell the afterlife and prosperity. If you complete your study of religion and still want to take this road, we also have an article to help you sort out the good from the bad.
The first step is sometimes the hardest one. If you are interested in religion for some reason, please do your research first. Don’t buy what any religion is selling; get a second unbiased look at the facts outside their control. We have a process for this investigation we call comparative analysis. It’s a scientific approach to comparative religious studies. It will uncover the facts hidden within the superstition and mythology of religion.
If you make the wrong choice, that’s okay. It’s all a learning experience, regardless of what spiritual process you use. You can learn how to start your spiritual journey even if you live in a religion-dominated culture.
2) Connect with Your Intuition Use a Journal
Regardless of which road you choose, learn to listen to your intuition. It is an important asset, especially as you begin your spiritual quest. The easiest way to connect is by writing. The first tool we recommend you get is an inexpensive composition notebook. It’s your spiritual journal.
“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Some call it a book of shadows because it contains all of your inner hidden thoughts. Your handwriting reveals your modes and emotions. You will probably fill several of these and use them as a troubleshooting tool.
“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.” ― Albert Einstein (2)
Your spiritual development will differ in speed and trajectory. Sometimes you will leap ahead; other times, you will plateau. We often overlook the patterns and trends unless we keep a record of our thoughts. That’s why your journal is your best coach. Your journal will help you to spot any roadblocks as well as pointing out your incremental growth. A journal is a place where you can see subtle changes. It helps you spot the roadblocks.
If you are ready to take a deeper dive into the psyche, you can use your notebook with automatic writing techniques.
3) Assess Your Resources
Assess your resources—Research the spiritual teachers and sources close to you. Find out which provides quality instruction in the above list of processes. Then check out their reputation and validity.
Use unbiased resources that have first-hand knowledge about the teacher or organization. Don’t get sidetracked by the most trendy thing. You want concrete tools and techniques that you can use to forge a spiritual path. Build a spiritual explorer guidebook of your own.
Our recommendation is a multidisciplinary approach to spiritual exploration. Ideally, one that includes as many spiritual processes; it’s the goal of our mission and vision. There’s a shortlist of these tools below.
Advances in distance learning make this a viable option for many. For example, we provide both virtual learning and face-to-face instruction. One-on-one instruction is still the most effective for advanced levels. That’s because these intricate spiritual technologies require personal feedback. Others may disagree with this assessment, but that is our experience.
Everyone has unique talents and gifts. Awakening is a process that differs. We will find some spiritual techniques that are easier than others. However, you should not just practice those that come quickly. Continue to work with technologies that don’t come naturally. Over time, most people see at least some subtle changes in areas of experience that are their wheelhouse.
It is not uncommon for students to discover they have hidden gifts. For example, you may not feel drawn to the healing arts. But after awakening this talent, you realize you like it and are good at it. These types of “eureka experience” are common. It’s these experiences that prompt you to move beyond your comfort zone. If you only study what you are comfortable with, you will not discover all of your gifts. Therefore, we recommend a multidisciplinary approach because you don’t know what tool or talent you need.
Develop your schedule for spiritual practice, but don’t make it a routine where you practice without mindfulness. Mindless ritual is just that, and it serves no purpose, and your way will yield less and less the more obsessive-compulsive you become.
4) Start: Do it!
Do you want to know how to start your spiritual journey? Start small, but start. If you quit, then start again. You may make a mistake. If you make a mistake, learn from it, and try not to make the same mistake again. It’s all part of the journey as a spiritual explorer.
Every day allows us to begin again. Don’t let decision paralysis keep you from starting your spiritual quest. If you are here, then you are ready to start. You can use our website to learn many of these tools for exploring consciousness.
Spiritual Explorer Guidebook Tools
The catalog of ancient methods for exploring consciousness is what we call spiritual technologies. They are a collection of processes to develop the potential of the mind, body, and spirit. They offer us ways to expand awareness and reach higher states of consciousness.
These tools differ significantly from religion. They do not require faith or belief in any religious doctrine. Anyone can use these processes to develop their full potential. All you need to do is follow the process, and it’s just like following the recipe for baking a cake. If you combine the right ingredients in the right way and you get something delicious.
We select the best of these ancient methods for our blended learning method. These processes are time-tested by generations of use, and they stand up to the rigorous tests of science. They are repeatable processes, and several produce measurable effects on our physiology. These changes include increased brainwave coherence, lower heart rate, and increased skin resistance. Changes like this prove these partitions of consciousness differ significantly from waking, dreaming, and sleeping.
We divide these tools into four major categories:
Everyone can use these methods to create their unique spiritual path, and you can begin with any of these methods. The more of them you use, the faster your progress.
Chances are, if you are here, you are an explorer looking for help or resources. We are here to help you with your spiritual quest. If you want to learn how to start your spiritual journey or are a seasoned explorer, we are here to assist. We can help you design your spiritual explorer guidebook.
Are you 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 (1). Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission.
(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
(2) Albert Einstein, On Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms