Is it time to start some type of spiritual practice? Where do you start? Here are the four steps you should take.
Religion makes choosing a spiritual path more difficult. The spiritual explorer has many options. The internet gives you access to many resources. You can learn everything from Animism to Yoga. Which path is best for you?
You are here because you have an inner desire to seek the best path. Most importantly, you have the choice to decide. Many people don’t have this choice, they are indoctrinated into the religious beliefs of their family.
So, you are lucky. You hear an inner call to seek spiritual answers. This is what Joseph Campbell refers to as the Hero’s Journey.
How to Start Your Spiritual Journey
Here are the four critical steps when beginning your spiritual quest.
- Choose Your Path
- Connect with Your Intuition
- Assess Your Resources
- Start, Do it!
1) Choose One of Two Basic Spiritual Paths
So, what do you do first?
It’s easy to get confused in the arena of spirituality. There are several choices, but there are only two options or basic roads. The first option is to join an organized religion. The second is to develop your own path. More and more people are choosing to forge their own path. This latter option is what we recommend.
Many people think religion is their first choice because of family or cultural tradition. When you start your spiritual journey, this is the most important decision. If you have a choice at all that is great. Some people do not get to choose.
Children often have no choice. They are indoctrinated into the religion of their family. Religion also preys upon those in need. Religion wants to make you a paying customer and will 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 drawn to religion we caution you to do your own in-depth research. We have a process for this investigation we call comparative analysis. This is a scientific approach to comparative religious studies. This 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. And, regardless of what spiritual process you use,
2) Connect with Your Intuition
Regardless of which road you choose, learn to listen to your intuition. It is an important asset, especially as you start your spiritual journey. 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. 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.
These notebooks are invaluable in spiritual practice. They document your progress in black and white. Your spiritual development differs in speed and trajectory. It will leap ahead with a Eureka event. Then slow down. We often overlook the gradual increase or trends. A journal is a place where you can see the 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 that are close to you. Find out which provides quality instruction in the above list of processes. You should not be looking for the most popular or trendy thing. You want tools and processes that you can take with you.
Find out what resources and teachers are near. Then check out their reputation and validity. Use unbiased resources that have first-hand knowledge about the teacher or organization.
Our recommendation is a multidisciplinary approach to spiritual exploration. Ideally, one that includes as many types of spiritual processes. This is exactly what our mission and vision are all about. There’s a list of these tools for the spiritual explorer below.
Advances in distance learning make this a viable option for many. 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 different talents and gifts. Awakening is a process that differs. We will find some spiritual techniques are easier than others. However, you should not just practice those that come easily. Continue to work with the 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 be 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. So, you must move beyond your comfort zone. If you only study what you are comfortable with, you will not discover all of your gifts. This is why we recommend a multidisciplinary approach. You don’t know what technique or talent you need.
Develop your own 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 practice will yield less and less the more obsessive-compulsive you become.
4) Start, Do it!
Start small, but start. If you quit. Then start again. Every day gives us the opportunity to start again. Don’t let decision paralysis keep you from starting your spiritual quest.
Tools For The Spiritual Explorer
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. Everyone who can follow a process can use these tools. 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 of grouping.
The first group is several analytical tools to enhance critical thinking. The Enneagram Personality Profile is the first tool of our blended learning process. This tool provides insight into the mechanisms of ego, personality, and instinct.
The second group is the tools of logical reasoning. These tools help you to think logically and assess information using common sense. These tools are Logical reasoning, spotting logical fallacies, and logical axioms.
Next, a research tool we call Comparative Analysis. This is a process to help us explore and compare belief systems. This process is a scientific process form of comparative religious studies. Together these analytical tools give a solid foundation of common sense thinking. They sharpen your ability to discern facts from fiction.
Seated meditation is the heart of most spiritual practices. This includes a wide range of meditation techniques. It starts with Beginning Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation. It progresses to more advanced forms like Japa Meditation the Siddhis of Patanjali.
This is another foundational element that strengthens the mind-body connection. Moving meditation is another tool key to our health and wellness. This progression includes several methods of energy collection. Here we teach Forest Bathing, Qigong, and Tai Chi. It also includes more contemporary processes for Grounding, like Tree Grounding and Sun Gazing.
Pathways for expanding awareness include a variety of tools. This group includes practical tools like a Spiritual Journal and Automatic Writing. Here we introduce Lucid Dreaming, the Shamanic Journey, or Guided Meditation. There are also techniques for Third-Eye Awakening and soul memory awareness.
Healing practices are the last group. This branch includes Pe Jeut, Reiki, and Shiatsu. Self-care is an important element of this group. It is vital for normalizing our inner work and maintaining our health and wellness.
Chances are if you are here you are a spiritual explorer looking for assistance or resources. When you start your spiritual journey, or as you progress we are here to assist. If this article resonates, there are more on our blog. To find out more about our organization, see our page FAQ.
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.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia