Student: Guru Tua, I have some questions. Does enlightenment occur without spiritual practice? Or does it require the use of methods 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 your journey’s goal, you probably haven’t started down the path. Here are some common questions for those interested in the topic 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 experience the first time I use Japa meditation or use the Sutras of the Siddhis?
“It’s natural to have questions about enlightenment. The content of your questions tells me you have already begun your journey. The tools of seated and moving meditation expedite our natural growth. These are the processes that open the doors of awareness. Many Sages believe the reason we are here is to progress on the path toward greater awareness and enlightenment”. ― Guru Tua
“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 is more often small, almost imperceptible steps. Your teacher talks about what you could expect as a range of possibilities. They should never promise a particular experience. Otherwise, it sets up expectations that could hinder your ability to learn or use the technique.
It is also very important to test your path regularly. Do not be afraid to change your path or your teacher if you find you are on the wrong path. Focus on finding and using processes that expand awareness or lead to higher states of consciousness. People who don’t have questions about enlightenment aren’t on the path. Keep questioning the narrative of your thinking and beliefs.
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 cannot see the small incremental changes of presence in our lives. We can also 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, many of 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 the 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
The key to self-development is in our daily practice. Spiritual retreats are opportunities for eureka experiences. But, most of our growth is incremental and takes place due to our daily inner work. As we awaken, it will make our spiritual gifts more available. So it is important not to discount the normal day-to-day activities as wasted time. Find the lessons and be on the lookout for synchronicities.
Questions As a Sign
Enlightenment is a never-ending journey. You never “get there.” There will always be another level. There will always be more questions to ask and more lessons to learn. Everyone has different gifts that are with our DNA. 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 which is the essence of spiritual exploration. Curiosity and the desire to explore are the driving forces of human nature. The creativity and experimentation of these early pioneers result in a suite of tools to expand awareness—some of these techniques open doors to higher states of consciousness.
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 tools improve observational skills and help us identify the roadblocks that get in the way.
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 exercises 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.
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