How do I progress on my spiritual path?
This is probably the question that I receive the most.
We live in a time when spirituality is so accessible. We can all get beautiful, deep, spiritual teachings that can greatly contribute to more joy and fulfillment in our everyday lives.
At the same time, there are way too many possibilities: too many workshops, YouTube videos, retreats, courses, and events.
In short, at the same time that we have access to so many things, we also have difficulty committing to anything and being consistent in our practice. In that sense, yes, it is tricky to progress. We find ourselves trying different things, but still stuck.
Here are three keys for your spiritual development.
#1 Commitment a.k.a Devotion
Spiritual growth requires consistent commitment and depth: showing up day after day, not just once a week or one thing here and one thing there for spiritual growth.
In this path, we want sustainable shifts and expansion in your energy field and consciousness.
Experiencing different things can support you, but there’s so much they can do. Going for instance to a breathwork workshop is a tickle in your field. Even if you feel a lot then, there won’t be any sustained shifts without ongoing practice.
To create this self-sustained and direct connection with the Divine, we need to shift: we nurture ourselves and keep expanding our field on and on, which requires work. We show up, day after day.
I know many people are allergic to anything that requires them to do even more in life. Living in a stressed and busy society, who needs more things on their to-dos? That’s normal, that’s human.
Consistency and commitment are huge challenges for us, yet they are requirements for many things in life when you want to grow, and that includes, yes, spiritual growth.
Words like discipline and commitment emit a harsh energy for many. Personally, I prefer using the word devotion.
The spiritual path requires devotion.
Devotion to yourself, devotion to the path, devotion to life. It is heart-centered. It is from that place of devotion that we have this commitment and will to show up day after day. We do it out of devotion to ourselves because we want to develop.
This devotion to ourselves is the number one thing that we need to grow spiritually. We need devotion to the path, which leads us to commitment, discipline, and consistency in this heart space.
#2 Learn to Observe Your Ego
Practices Increase our will. The will is an attribute of the soul, and it is strengthened as we keep committing, as we keep being consistent and disciplined. That is important to overcome the ego.
So number two, for spiritual growth is to learn to watch your ego. Learn to see what your ego is telling you that is not allowing you to show up for the practices, to show up for yourself.
Watch it, observe it, and start de solving it by overcoming it. It is the ego that wants to keep you going for different things every week and never commit to anything because the ego knows that if you commit to something and show up day after day, it will dissolve faster and the ego does not want to be dissolved.
It will tell you, “this is boring”, it will tell you “this is too simple” because it doesn’t want you to do it.
Can you watch what your mind is doing to you? Spiritual growth is the path of dissolving the ego, and we start that by watching the ego, by seeing the games that the ego is playing.
“Too Easy” & “Too Boring”
Many spiritual practices that are extremely powerful might look very simple at first. For instance, meditate on a very specific image or point for 30 minutes. It’s quite normal to hear people thinking that this is too simple or too boring, but that is a game of the ego. Let’s explore this.
Here’s the thing. In a way, practices should be simple so they are accessible for anybody to get started, because spiritual growth is for everybody.
Also, it’s not because something sounds simple that it actually is simple. When we sit for those 30 minutes, we start experiencing many different resistances within us.
The boredom that I don’t want to do this, the restlessness of the body, all of those things are ego, and spiritual growth is the path of dissolving the ego.
The fact that we actually show up consistently, committed day after day is what allows us to start dissolving the ego in itself. It is not about having an out-of-this-planet experience all the time: it is about overcoming your inner obstacles, especially at first.
It is about dissolving those traces of the ego that are blocking us from being ourselves, from doing what matters, and what we really want.
Because the mind will tell us “get out of here”, it gives us things to be worried about, or it simply thinks about something else (and not be present). Those are the biggest obstacles that we want to overcome because overcoming them is a big part of dissolving the ego itself.
In other words, the practices may look easy or boring at first, but going through this, conquering this resistance is the spiritual path itself.
From there, as we actually do the practices, the practices start shifting our energy field in different ways. Depending on the practice that you’re doing, depending on what object you’re meditating on, what image, what kind of breath work you’re doing — each practice works with a different energy.
Pathways start being forged in your energy field, according to practice, which is not something we get to do in a sustainable way after just once or twice. We have to keep repeating it, crystallizing it.
That’s how we create the shift that can anchor this new energy in our energy field and start transmitting energy and transforming ourselves. Expanding ourselves.
Layers and Layers to Peel
Even the “simplest” practices are extremely powerful because they can have so much depth. If we only allow ourselves to keep showing up, they will reveal to us new layers.
Practices are not just one simple thing, it’s like an onion. And every time we do the practice, we are peeling another layer and allowing the practice to show us what lies in the core of the onion, going deeper and deeper. Consistency, repetition, dissolving the ego, and forging new pathways within us.
#3 Discernment on What Practices You Should Do
So you are committed, but the practice you are doing is not a good one for your specific path and blockage.
A friend mentioned something, you watched a YouTube video, or you read about a practice in a blog post. Many people do random practices that are not necessarily connected to what they need. They just thought something sounded fun and started doing that without assessing their energy field and their blockages.
On top of that, many people change practices too fast. Before the practice was actually due with its lesson, they already go to another one. Again, out of boredom, out of ego conversations, whatever it is.
We also have a third scenario which is people who stay with the same practice too long. The practice had already given them what they needed for that specific blockage, and it is time for them to move on to the next blockage, the next step in their path.
How to solve this?
They needed to know the new practice for that. Discernment of what practice to do is key so you don’t get stuck while putting so much energy into the wrong thing.
Having the right practice can highly catalyze your spiritual growth. Knowing what practice to do is not so easy to do on our own. It is not that easy for 90% of us to know when to change practices, what our blockages are right now, and what we need for them.
This is the importance of being in a spiritual lineage, being part of a tradition, or having a spiritual guide because these resources are there to help us catalyze our spiritual growth.
If we feel that there’s a specific lineage, there’s a specific tradition that we belong to, then trust and work with it for a while. Surrender to it and take in the teachings.
You can also work with a spiritual guide like myself who assesses your energy field, and what is going on with you, and gives you tailor-made practices. This is another way of working.
Discernment of what is asked of you to take your next step in your progression is crucial.
Otherwise, we can keep stuck in the same place for way too long.
All in All…
- Devotion to your path. Commit, commitment, consistency, discipline depth.
2. Learn to watch your ego. Don’t let your ego hinder you from showing up. See what games it is playing on you.
3. Discernment in your practices. Doing the right practices for the right amount of time, knowing when you’re done, and it is time to start with a new one.
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