six steps to develop a spiritual practice

Listening to what's in your heart and feels right in your cells

In this very busy and technological world, teaching how we are all interconnected requires a sense of knowing the sound of truth.  When we hear truth our cells respond.  It sounds like a note sung perfectly in key.  This sound aligns our cells so that spirit, mind, and body are connected – similar to how you see beads of magnets line up.  From the inside it is a feeling of immediate comprehension and knowing. 

You feel both solid and ephemeral at once because you experience your spirit and physical body aligned in time.  This cues your entire being that you are in sync.

This feeling of truth is different than being compelled toward something through propaganda.  Propaganda is alluring and seductive.  The energy of truth in this scenario is through the mind and it can have a visceral emotional almost reactive quality to it.  Propaganda lulls you into a sense of righteousness or patterned behavior that is not connected to spirit.

Advertising and politics are masters at using partial information – or emotionally laden perspective to guide you to take action that may not be inline with what is truth or rings true within.  So you feel propelled to take action but it is from this non-centered place.

Due to this confusing process the best action is to use mindfulness, compassion and lovingkindness to guide your actions.  This will allow the righteousness and emotionality to be removed from the conversation – through detachment – then understanding, connecting and compassion guide the journey.

The best way to encourage this is the use of optimism, gratitude, kindness, compassion, and nurturance of ideas and growth.  Being flexible and using present moment response creates the space to open to truth in various forms through sound, word, and information.

The more you have a practice of mindfulness and meditation, yoga, breath and prayer, the more open you are to the internal spirit-self-communication – this process has a lightness to it and a waiting to understand before jumping to conclusions – open-mindedness – overtime through this practice you will experience truth in all your interactions.

The best form of teaching is through modeling.  Our brains are hard-wired to learn through modeling.  Living in a way that is consistent with what you value can go far to teach.

Many roles incorporate guidance, teaching and strength building – managers, parents, coaches, all, have the foundation of teaching at their base.  Highly effective coaches, managers, and parents share the skill of meeting their students where they are, defining their strength and limitations and then building their strengths and transforming their limitations into strengths using compassion and frankness.

To develop these skills I have developed the following steps:

1. Practice noticing what works.

2. Practice looking for how you agree and connect with another.

3. Practice flexibility and paradigm shifting, allow the other person’s meaning to connect with you even if how he says it is different from how you say it.  Think here of the issue of recognizing that having different names for god isn’t having different gods.  The connecting point is that both parties have a deep belief in god even if the story about how to be connected to god is different.  Connecting to the elements that agree is the best starting point for understanding and teaching or relationship.

4. Be grateful for what is great about what is happening rather than sorrowful or even sullen about what isn’t.

5. Practice turning things on their head, thinking the opposite, and just saying thank you.   This is the attitude of gratitude

For example if you just lost your job – being grateful is to look for how that loss allows for something new and better to come into your life.  Maybe the loss of the job allows you to learn something about yourself that is negative that you have to change so that you can be successful.

The attitude of gratitude is when you have to define what is great about something that feels negative or is a loss – simply looking from the perspective of asking the question how can this be good allows you to open your eyes to see the positive aspects. 

Sometimes the attitude of gratitude is using your thinking skills to put the issue in perspective – for example if you are unhappy with a habit of your partner’s – consider what else you love about him so that you can view the frustrating habit within context.  You may find it is less bothersome or you may be able to communicate about what you don’t like without making it into a big fight.

6. Reframe the energy of your student or the person you are guiding.  If he is willful guide his strength to help him be stronger internally rather than get into trouble.  Of if he is rebellious support the innovation rather than reinforce the reactivity.

Relationships don’t require work because there is something wrong with them – relationships require work because we all live in our separate universes that are in constant need of interpretation and definition.

Effective guiding requires care and willingness and a compassionate practice of viewing, connecting, interpreting, and translating.  Knowing yourself while allowing the dynamic process of evolution within yourself and the dynamic process of evolution in the other is the best way to create clear boundaries surrounded by love, care, and compassion.  Allowing you and the other to be as they are first through compassionate understanding increases you capacity to connect and guide.  That is the essence of effective guidance and ultimately the essence of loving, honest relationships.

The divine spark of spirit lives in our truthful capacity to see and love one another.

Namaste, is a Sanskrit word that means My soul (spirit light) within me bows to (sees or acknowledges) your soul (spirit light) within you. If you are willing to meet others from this place of reverence then you will have developed a practice of compassionate interaction based in truth.

Develop a practice that allows you to acknowledge in all your actions your connection to spirit and to integrate your spirit-mind-self.  This will increase your opportunities for health and prosperity.  The practice of Yoga allows you to practice communicating with your self – mind, body, and spirit – through breath, being present and in a way surrendering to divine spirit within you.

As part of that practice teach yourself the difference between how something feels right that is false and propaganda and how something feels right that is truth.  This will be easy to detect as you allow yourself to become acquainted with what it feels like to be centered and aligned – spiritually and physically as spirit-humans.

Any practice that is done with breath, compassion, lovingkindness, open – mindfulness, and meditation or prayer will increase your spirit-human connection so that you can align with your true self and create health and prosperity.

The idea of managing your body and mind integrated with your spirit is what is your most primary work for health and prosperity because it aligns you with your true purpose and true self, not only individually but also as a community of human beings.