Student: Guru Tua, I have some questions. Does enlightenment occur without spiritual practice? Or, does it require the practice of some spiritual technologies like Japa meditation and the Siddhis? You may have other questions. Come and see.
Questions About Enlightenment
If you are not asking the right questions, you won’t get far on your spiritual journey. If you don’t have questions about the goal of your journey, you probably haven’t started down the path. Here are some common questions for those about the path and the goal of enlightenment.
Student: Can we reach enlightenment if we only use meditation? Or do we need to practice something else like Qigong, Reiki, and the Shamanic Journey? Next, could I expect to have a life-changing enlightenment experience when I first learn Japa or the Siddhis?
It’s natural to have questions about enlightenment. Your questions tell me you have already begun. Above all, the spiritual tools of seated and moving meditation expedite our natural growth. These are time savers. Many Sages believe the reason we are here is to progress on the path toward greater awareness and enlightenment. ― Guru Tua
And, although it is possible to have a eureka experience the first time you learn these powerful techniques, that is not always the case. Enlightenment does not always come in giant leaps. It often comes in small almost imperceptible steps.So, your teacher talks about what you could expect as a range of possibilities. Otherwise, it sets up expectations that could hinder your ability to learn or use the technique.
So, this is also why it is important to test your path. Don’t stop practicing. People who don’t have questions about enlightenment aren’t on the path. But, be sure you are on practicing those things which are expanding your awareness. One of the best tools to help with this is keeping a spiritual journal. This simple but effective tool is your best coach. If you are honest in your writing, it will help you see how you are progressing. Likewise, it will show you any patterns of thought or actions that are unhealthy.More often than not growth is incremental. Therefore, a spiritual journal, or book of shadows, is important. We do not see how far we have come unless we see the progress in our thoughts, experience, and practice. We often fail to see the small incremental changes of presence in our lives. And, we also can spot trends in thinking or behavior that will help us adjust our practice. Having a hand-written document of our experience is an invaluable tool. ― Guru Tua
Everyone Has Unique Gifts
Second, learn as many spiritual technologies as you can. These processes work together. For example, someone comes to learn Japa meditation. But, while in the learning process they are also taught Qigong, and the healing arts. They did not understand that they had a natural inclination for these gifts. They enhance their experience of Japa by practicing these other arts. The presence they gain from Japa along with energy collection of Qigong provides energy to help others through the healing arts. The Shamanic Journey gives insight into the use of all spiritual tools. Each technique enhances the other. ― Guru Tua
Questions As a Sign
Enlightenment is a never-ending journey. As a result, you never “get there.” You are always on the path. Yes, more questions and more lessons. Everyone is different. Hence, everyone needs to find the best way of awakening. There are a variety of spiritual tools or technologies for this specific purpose.
People have been investigating and exploring consciousness for eons. This is the essence of spiritual exploration. Curiosity and the desire to explore are the driving forces. Their creativity and experimentation result in tools to expand awareness. They create doors to higher states of consciousness.
Spiritual technologies are methods 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.
Moreover, the 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.
To emphasize, spiritual exploration is not a belief in religious dogma or doctrine. So, anyone from any background can use them. They do not require belief in any religion to use them. 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.
There are many ways to list these methods. One simple way is to divide them into four main groups. You could list some of these tools in more than one group.
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Healing Practices
The study of spiritual things 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. In turn, 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 especially helpful for those new to the spiritual path. And, we also 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 with religion, politics the 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 was and remains a common practice. For instance, Jungian psychology parallels the structure of the Enneagram with its 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 our personality. Furthermore, 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 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. This includes a range of tools from basic Mindfulness Meditation through Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM). And, also includes more advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali. It also includes more contemporary processes for grounding, like Tree Grounding and Sun Gazing.
Moving meditation is action together 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.
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 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. And, so, it serves as evidence to 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 from Indonesia, or Reiki, and Shiatsu 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.
If you have questions about enlightenment, it means you are awakening. Follow your intuition and use common sense.
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 path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia