Inward And Outward Spiritual Disciplines for Personal Growth

Effective Inward And Outward Spiritual Disciplines for Personal Growth

Effective inward and outward spiritual disciplines for personal growth are tools for spiritual exploration.  Find out which of these tools will accelerate your personal and spiritual development.  Also, find out which ones are counterfeits to avoid. 

There is more to life than gaining material possessions.  Our spiritual nature prompts us to direct our attention to the inner world, of the spirit and the soul.  Many ancient traditions use the terms spirit and soul to describe this element of the psyche.  Today, the word consciousness is used to describe the inner observer of our awareness.

What are Spiritual Disciplines?

The arena of spirituality can be confusing.  It includes so many different points of reference.  For that reason, we will define how we use the terms in this discussion.

The word spiritual relates to the human soul or spirit.  The soul or spirit refers to the observer of our awareness, our consciousness.  We have a natural desire to explore.

Exploration is one of the primary drivers of human nature.  It helped humankind migrate and populate every part of the world.  We’ve only just begun to explore the ocean depths and outer space.

We even explore when we sleep.  Dreams are an exploration of our subconscious mind.  So, these are the tools that help us fulfill this inherent need for exploration.  (1) Effective inward and outward spiritual disciplines for personal growth are tools of consciousness.

Disciplines of a spiritual nature are methods that help us delve into our soul and spirit.  The conduit through which this is done is awareness and consciousness.  We can explore the spirit with internal processes that involve the mind, such as meditation.  Or, we can use the body to explore our spiritual aspect as well, such as Tai Chi.

The term discipline is also used to describe a branch of knowledge.  It also means doing something in a particular way.  To be disciplined is to be obedient.   This latter point, obedience, is the main objective of Western religion.  We’ll talk more about this in a moment.

How Many Spiritual Disciplines Are There?

How Many Spiritual Disciplines Are There? What are spiritual disciplines. effective spiritual disciplines for personal growth, effective inward and outward spiritual disciplines

There are essentially two ways to look at the subject of disciplines of the spirit.  The first way is by organized religion, and the second is by looking at processes that change consciousness.  Let’s start with religion.

Organized religion has Eastern and Western counterparts.  Buddhism, Hinduism, and the other Chinese regions are the Eastern branch.  These religions make up about 2 billion members.  The Western branch of this tree is the Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.  Christianity alone has over 2.5 billion members, making it the largest religious entity on the planet.  Islam is close behind with almost 2 billion, and Judaism is a distant third place with about 15 million.

How many spiritual disciplines are there in organized religion?  Some religions have thousands of disciplines that involve almost every waking moment.  For example, Hasidic Jews have laws or Chabad, which spell out every activity in the daily routine.  Every moment of the day is governed by some rule or regulation of their religious discipline.

What is the purpose behind all of these regulations?   That’s easy.  It boils down to control, and good control starts with obedience.  Look at the practices and behaviors that it promotes, and you’ll find a common theme.  It’s part of the brainwashing tools known as groupthink manipulation.

The concept is simple.  Get people to obey small things, and it will increase their obedience to larger things.  For example, get people to repeat a specific phrase or a prayer at a specified time.  It’s a small thing.  But it builds obedience.  Then, you can get them to give you money.  You get them to obey more and more, and soon, you can get them to commit violence.

These tools fall into two categories: pretending and memorizing.  Neither of these promotes intellectual or spiritual growth.  None of them are effective spiritual disciplines for personal growth.  They serve as glue, which cements you into the sect.  Some of the common spiritual practices promoted by religion include:

— The act of prayer and praying specific things and at specific times.
— Worship and singing.
— Fasting or eating specific foods at designated times.
— Paying to support the religion.
— Participating in rituals.
— Promoting the religion or proselytizing.
— Attending retreats to receive more indoctrination.
Pilgrimages to sacred sites.
— Demonstrations to support religious policies.
— The Perpetration of violence in the name of God.
— Memorizing Texts.

The motivation behind these activities is to instill obedience.  This is done under the guise that they have some spiritual significance.  And, by doing these things, you gain favor with your God.  They pretend they are “chosen by God” to perform good and evil.

It is easy to get inward and outward spiritual disciplines for personal growth mixed up with the dogma of organized religion.  That’s because organized religion tries to claim everything spiritual.  We suggest that religion is not spiritual.  It is the belief in myths and superstitions.  Pretending that myths are real has nothing to do with exploring the spiritual world of consciousness.

Organized religion continues to prosper generation after generation.  This fact is a testament to the power of indoctrination.  Even though their membership is declining, they are maintaining control of the cultural narrative.  This is thanks to extremists that have infected the ranks of government.

What Are Inward Spiritual Disciplines

In the West, when people hear the term inward disciplines, they think of things like prayer.  In the East, people associate this term with meditation.  Prayer and meditation are not the same things.

Prayer is pretending that some divine force will intercede on your behalf.  Mediation is about using methods to unlock the doors of consciousness.  One is faith in things that don’t exist; the other is using a process to delve into consciousness.  So, they differ significantly in practice and intent.

There are other inward spiritual disciplines or techniques to explore the mind.  Some help us expand the bandwidth of our awareness and observational skills.  Others help us develop the capabilities of memory and analytical thinking.  You’ll find these inward techniques in all four of the categories of effective processes listed below.

There’s a constant debate on whether you should focus on inward or outward techniques.  Everyone is different.  Some people are drawn to the internal aspects, while others are more comfortable with the physical.  Everyone has different preferences.  We recommend you strive for what you feel is a good balance between internal and external techniques.

What Are Outward Spiritual Disciplines

Outward methods are behaviors.  The things people do outwardly have spiritual significance.  Whether it is positive or negative depends on their worldview.  Actions also create changes in the body, mind, and spirit.

Internal martial arts like Tai Ke and Tai Chi develop the mind-body connection.  Many healing practices, like Shiatsu and Pejut, use therapeutic touch.  All these practices teach us how to generate and direct internal energy.

Outward actions can also be the result of inner changes.  These are the fruits of what we plant in the mind.  Such fruit includes a vast range of things, from being friendly and showing compassion on one side to genocide on the other.

So, how many spiritual disciplines are there that promote health and growth?  Actually, you have a number of different tools that will match any level of spiritual explorer.  If you are a beginner, you’ll find tools in each of the four major categories that will provide a foundation for personal growth.  There are also tools for the experienced seeker.

Many of these methods you can learn on this website.  There are tools to help overcome the common obstacles in life.

Effective Inward and Outward Spiritual Disciplines

If something is effective, it is successful in producing the desired result.  We have identified several spiritual technologies that are effective tools for personal growth.  They are the result of eons of research by cultures around the world.

Modern civilization shunned these tools because they were associated with ancient cultures.  But, in recent years, attitudes have changed.  Many of these tools have been investigated and tested using stringent scientific testing methods.  They determined these tools are effective inward and outward spiritual disciplines for personal growth.  These tools stand up to the test of science, being repeatable and measurable.

That means anyone who can follow a process can use them.  These methods are not confined to any one belief system.  They are similar to a recipe for baking a cake.  If you follow the directions, you get something delicious.  It is these processes that make up the toolbox for spiritual exploration.

There are many ways to list effective inward and outward spiritual disciplines for personal growth.  We like this simple method.  And it’s important to note some of these tools overlap and could be in more than one category.  We just group them this way for easy reference.

The important thing is to start.  If you are just starting, there’s plenty to choose from.  So, where do you start?   We have an article to help out with that common question.  Have reservations about doing something spiritual without personal instruction?  We can help with that as well.  We offer a personally designed virtual learning event.  If you are in a hurry, just scan the list of methods below and pick one that resonates.

1.  Analytical Tools

The first group of inward spiritual disciplines enhances critical thinking.  Three articles in this category help promote sound thinking.  First is Rational thinking, which summarizes how the argument is used to sell things.  The 10 Common Logical Fallacies help us spot the common misuse of argument and logic.  The last module is the Spiritual Axioms, which outlines the way to avoid common pitfalls on the path.

The Enneagram is an analytical tool that provides insight into our psyche.  It helps us to understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct.  Comparative Analysis is a structured form of comparative religious study.  This tool helps us understand our beliefs by comparing them with others.

2.  Meditation

The second major group of tools are progressions of seated and moving meditation.  Seated meditation is the heart and soul of effective spiritual disciplines for personal growth.  It includes a range from basic to advanced.  It starts with a basic two-step meditation process.  This is the basis for mindfulness meditation through Japa meditation.  It progresses to advanced forms such as the Siddhis of Patanjali.

The practice of moving meditation helps us strengthen the mind-body connection.  It is also an important key to our health and wellness.  This progression also includes several energy collection methods.  Here, you’ll find Forest Bathing, Tree Grounding, Qigong, and Tai Chi.

3.  Awareness Expansion

The third group of tools is for expanding and exploring awareness.  Awareness is the bandwidth of capacity for thinking and perception.   You’ve heard the expression, narrow-mindedness.  This is someone with a limited bandwidth of awareness.  Whereas the expression, open-minded describes a person with a bandwidth of awareness.  This results in better memory, problem-solving skills, healthier relationships, and many other things.

How many spiritual disciplines are there that affect awareness?  There are dozens.  This list is probably the largest number of tools available.  Many of the other tools overlap with this group.  It covers processes from lucid dreaming to the Shamanic Journey.  Some of the most popular are the third-eye awakening and memory enhancement techniques.

4.  Natural Healing Modalities

The fourth group is the tools that enhance our natural healing abilities.  This branch includes healing modalities like Pe Jet, Reiki, and Shiatsu.  Holistic healing goes hand in hand with personal growth.  Healing modalities play a crucial role in our life journey.

Acupuncture, aromatherapy, and herbal remedies also enhance our physical, emotional, and spiritual health.  By embracing these modalities, we honor our body’s innate wisdom.

Inward and Outward Spiritual Disciplines for Personal Growth

These tools provide a spiritual toolbox for personal growth.  They facilitate self-discovery, emotional well-being, and spiritual nourishment.  Creating a plan that integrates all four of these modes into your lifestyle will help you achieve your goals.

Focus on finding tools, not beliefs or teachers.  Learn as many of these methods as you can.  You never know when you’ll need them.


(1) The Spiritual Disciplines as Practices of Transformation.  Research Gate Net.