Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spiritual Tools of the Trade

I've already set up some of the basics to understanding what I'm talking about in terms of spirituality in earlier blog posts. If this is the first blog post you're at, feel free to check out earlier blogs on this link to cultivating an awakening.

There Is No One Way...And There Is Only The Way
In a later post, I'll talk about the difference between higher Truth and truth of the moment, but this subhead is a good example of it. There are countless traditions and tools to use to deepen your spirituality. Prayer, meditation, communion, baptism, pilgrimages, Reiki, and so many more can be deeply helpful and healthful to you. In truth, just about any tool can be a path to the Way (the big W denotes this is the path that we're all ultimately on even when our individual paths may look very different). So long as your tools keep you in integrity and treating you with love and kindness (even when life is hard), you'll be okay. Let me outline a variety of spiritual tools that have helped me and others that I've heard about.

Energy Healing

Energy healing is probably not the most immediately accessible tool, but I've found that it's super helpful, and that's why I'm leading with it. Reiki is a popular energy healing modality, but there are others. If you explore into this topic, you can find out that you can also do your own energy healing. If you're brand new, I encourage you to find someone who can do this kind of work on you with great integrity. This is probably a good space to do research and ask around as well as to trust your own intuition, which I talked about in an earlier post.

To simply explain energy healing, someone moves divine light into your energy body--that's all of you by the way. A good energy healer will help to see your blocks and issues that are stuck in your body and are blocking your growth.

Journaling!
I hear from more of my friends after I've made the recommendation that this is super helpful for them. I know it's huge for me. It's huge for other people I've met on the path. It helps to continue your growth by giving all the experiences some kind of framework. Journaling uses the power of your mind in the way it's supposed to be used--in service of spirit. My methodology of journaling changes. Sometimes I'm just writing about the experience. This is simply recording the experience. This methodology is good for dreams especially when they don't make much sense. The next step is to start to write about what an experience means to you. The step after that is to take apart why you reacted and what you felt. If you held back, why did you hold back? If you opened way into an experience, what was that like?

As you go, you'll learn how to daisy-chain an issue. For instance, if you didn't buy a candy bar at a store, but there was an issue behind it, then you start to dissect that to release the issue into your deeper awareness. For instance, you didn't buy the candy bar because you didn't want to spend the money. Sounds practical, right? Then you dig a little deeper. You actually have plenty of money. Well, then you realize this is a pattern you do with rewarding yourself. You dig deeper. You figure out that whenever you get close to something you want that you pull away. You keep going. You remember when you were a child always having something you wanted held in front of you only to be taken away by your older brothers.

You see how this works now. You just journaled out that you're continuing a behavior from childhood all around a decision about a candy bar in a store. Undoubtedly, you're doing this behavior in many other instances of your life. Pretty soon you start making other connections with your past and current relationships in romance, work, and other areas. It gets deep fast. Be sure to bring your life preserver as you get out into deep waters.

Meditation
You knew this one was coming, right? Okay, there are a variety of ways of doing this. To get started just sit for 10 minutes and focus on breathing slowly. Search for meditation groups in your area to find some community support--which is great for starting out. You can also find books on meditation. Some meditations involving chants. Others don't. You just have to find what works for you, and every group is different.

Oh, and there are other kinds of meditations such as dancing meditation and walking meditation.

Prayer
I don't hear enough people talk about the importance of prayer these days. I think I'm around too many meditators. Prayer is huge. It helps you to put out your intentions to the universe. In a way, you can give yourself up to God for help and guidance in your prayers. This isn't the wishing-well approach to prayer, by-the-way. This is about genuinely asking for guidance and setting the intentions that you want to manifest in your life. Don't just whine to God that life is hard. Life IS hard. Welcome to life. But it can also be beautiful, and you can find a deeper grace and peace with it as you deepen your experience of prayer. The step after that is when you start to join groups of people to send communal prayers to others.

Spiritual Friends
Community support is so important. You are not doing this alone, and you don't have to be even when your entire world is crumbling...especially when your entire world is crumbling. You'll find them at meditation groups; online in spiritual FB groups like mine and many others; kirtan chants, and else where. As you become more attuned, you'll start to be able to find these people anywhere. But start with some of these mentioned groups so that you start to understand what spiritual people are and how they act. If you've been surrounding yourself with draining people (angry, depressed, fearful, etc.), you may not know what a healthy person is like or how to be with someone spiritually aware (and yes I equate spiritually aware with being healthy).

Countless Spiritual Tools
I'm not even scratching the surface. I'm offering you the door. You need to take it, and then you'll find all kinds of tools. Find the ones that work for YOU! Everyone has there favorite forms. I'm a writer; of course, journaling is a huge tool for me. But if astral projection gets you the connection you need for part of the path, do it. If fasting helps (and it's really an important tool), do it.

What's key is that you start to build a toolkit and learn how to build that toolkit by trying out different things and trusting when something does or doesn't work for you--here's the importance of intuition again. One tool will be good for one situation, and another tool will be good for yet another. Don't hold on to these too tightly. You're going to change. Your needs are going to change. And remember that this is the start. You use the tools to create the scaffolding around this new spiritual being you are re-creating in yourself. They will come and go as you need them and as you find out what your beautiful spiritual being truly desires to manifest into this world.

Namaste.

Next blog: The Purpose of Meditation in a Spiritual Practice
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