Lectures, workshops and books are wonderful but deep transformation is a process. We call it a spiritual path because you commit to a journey and just start your walk. It doesn’t matter in which faith you feel called for there are many roads that lead to spiritual liberation.
A spiritual path is a process that provides teaching, direction, emotional support, a chance to have one’s ego greatly reduced in influence and ultimately real transformation. The transformation comes through the devotion and discipline of the individual walking the path.
A spiritual path always involves a spiritual teacher as well. The teacher represents the one who has walked further along the path. The Teacher doesn’t claim that they have finished the path however at certain points, students can become teachers when that authority is given.
I have never heard of a real spiritual teacher NOT include meditation as part of spiritual training. The reason is that an initiate who wants to explore the mysteries of the spiritual realms must be able to navigate inwardly. Spiritual experiences are accessed by going within.
Why do people seek out a spiritual path? The reason people want a spiritual path is that it is very difficult to see your way to clearly progress when it comes to navigating the mind, the ego and your emotional wounding. People need the objective guidance of a teacher to help them sift through their own beliefs and limitations.
The number one thing to look for in a teacher who presents a path is love. Granted, one may not know what real love is if they are looking for a teacher that is always affectionate and encouraging.
A loving teacher balances the encouragement and soft guidance with the austere and direct teaching that can sometimes chafe against the ego. We will discuss how to identify a loving teacher in another post. For now, spend time getting to know a teacher and getting a feel for their motivation.
Real teachers who have been transformed and have love in their hearts want the students to progress. They don’t clamor for followers. They don’t use students sexually nor do they demand large sums of money.
If you want to know what is possible as a soul, you’ll need to find a spiritual path and a teacher that you respect and trust. This is when you stop being a spiritual seeker and you accept that you have found something. Commit to following the guidance of the teacher and see where things go. This is what it means to be a spiritual student.
The path will lead you into greater states of enlightenment and this is amazing. Along the way, there will be discomfort as your old habits are examined and laid to rest. As we were always taught, get comfortable with being uncomfortable! In time, the new you will relax and rejoice.