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The 5 Rules of Spiritual Seeking
1) Spiritual Truth is Found Within
While a good spiritual teacher (or teachers) can help along the way, every bit of spiritual truth is found within. No single person can introduce you to God / Universe / Truth / Buddhahood / [insert your word here]. Jesus: “Those who have found themselves, of them the world is not worthy.” Lao Tzu: “He who knows himself is enlightened.” Muhammad: “Whoever who knows himself knows God.” The Buddha: “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” Inscription at the Oracle at Delphi: “KNOW THYSELF”
2) Seek Within Regularly
It does not matter which meditative discipline you choose, but choose and practice a meditative discipline regularly. The path to awakening and liberation is an internal one, and if you don’t get to know your own mind in a way you never have before, you will never know yourself in the way that allows for your spiritual growth. Seeking within for truth through meditative practices is required for growth. Every major religious system in the world has a meditative practice. If you want to read about various styles of meditation, click that link.
3) Listen To Teachers, But Listen To Yourself Most
Are you sensing a pattern here? While it is true that we can receive nuggets of wisdom from the world’s spiritual masters, it is important to remember not to hold onto any one teaching or master too tightly. And it is critical to always check what you are learning against your inner compass. Even the Buddha said to his followers, “Don’t blindly believe what I say. … Do not give up your authority and follow blindly the will of others. This way will lead to only delusion. Find out for yourself what is truth, what is real. Discover that there are virtuous things and there are non-virtuous things. Once you have discovered for yourself give up the bad and embrace the good.”
4) Forgive Everything Always
Regardless of where the discomfort has come, it is the churning within our minds on that discomfort that causes all our life’s suffering associated with it. So if we remember to forgive everyone and everything of every unwanted action or influence in our lives, we can go into our seeking of Truth with a clear mind and open heart, free of any chains that might hold us back. It is then that whatever has happened in the past that could distract us can be forgiven and forgotten.
5) This Is a Long Game
The record of a student finding these teachings and progressing to full awakening is 54 hours. That said, many spiritual journeys can last a lifetime, so if you’re expecting immediate results, you may want to choose another hobby. Even those who have attained complete spiritual enlightenment continue to learn how to integrate it into their daily existence on an never-ending basis. The mind never ceases to attempt to derail us from our spiritual path, and so even if our learning is only from the wisdom that comes from within, always vow to never stop learning on this path. Never stop learning.
Rule 6… of 5 Rules) There Are Always More Rules If You Look for Them. Quit Looking for Rules.
The difference between religion and spirituality are the rules that have come about with the development of religion. Abandon as many rules as possible that are not sourced from within.