On the path to God Consciousness there are many deviations that cause you to wander off, only to finally find the way back to the main path.
The spiritual journey is a long and difficult one.
To tell you that this spiritual journey is easy would be false, yet it can be easy, much easier than you realize. Here are a few stories and some advice that may help you understand why this is true.
A spiritual journey story #1
The main spiritual journey story takes place in ancient Egypt during the rule of the Pharaoh Ramses II. He was a very just ruler and had many children, who were educated to be fine leaders.
One of these children was named Ova. Because he was a child by a mistress of Ramses, Ova was not considered royal and, therefore, lived in a house with his mother outside the royal palace. Ramses saw Ova frequently, as he was particularly fond of this child, and was planning to give him, when he grew up, an excellent post in his government.
Like many children, Ova was full of energy and loved to play, but he was also very good at his studies. He trained in the diplomatic field, and was being groomed to be a counselor who would be in charge of certain sections of the kingdom.
One day when he was sixteen, he was walking through a small village near his home and entered the village’s temple to make an offering to Osiris. Ova had received very thorough religious training from one of the palace priests. Although he was not religious, he had a deep devotion to both Isis and Osiris.
The temple he entered was made of baked clay. It was dry, hot, and very stuffy inside. Oil lanterns were burning, and there was only a small statue of Osiris because it was a temple for the poor and they couldn’t afford a grand statue.
Sitting in meditation, Ova felt immense joy. The devotional vibrations of this temple were very strong, and they penetrated his whole being, bringing him into a state of bliss. He had never felt this before, and he sat there for several hours just breathing it in.
Finally, he arose and asked to see the priest of the temple. He was shown into a small room adjacent to the back of the temple. The priest was a humble man, very devoted to his God and full of love. He immediately recognized Ova as a special man and told him so.
What followed was a strange outcome. Ova, who had no spiritual ambition, decided after one meeting with this priest that his life was to be in the priesthood. He asked the priest to be his teacher, and he went home and told his mother that he was leaving to study for the priesthood.
Ova’s mother quickly informed Ramses of this event, and Ramses personally came to see his son to dissuade him. Ova confronted his father and said no, this was his calling.
To say no to the Pharaoh was considered a sacrilege, but Ramses, seeing how determined his son was, forgave him and said that he would support this calling only if Ova promised to study with the priests in his palace.
Again Ova said no, his teacher was the humble priest who knew the Gods more intimately than any other priest he had met; but he did say that when he had completed his training he would teach at the palace for a time.
In the years that followed, Ova became a great priest, knowledgeable in all the rituals and full of wisdom that came from an inner knowledge and connection with his Higher Self. His character was unblemished, and his striving was full of devotion. He not only taught the wealthy families, but was also the main priest for the royal children.
Once a week he would go back to the small temple and his teacher, and there he would minister to the poor and needy and train young boys who also wanted to become local priests. Ova’s spiritual journey was easy, and he strove with determination to reach the Gods or Masters and become one with them.
The spiritual path is always likened to the spiritual journey, the journey is always likened to the way, and the way is likened to one’s dharma.
The Good & The Bad
In most esoteric religions there is always something that represents the spiritual journey, because the journey indicates movement, the movement of traveling from one place to another. It also indicates that in most spiritual journeys there will be difficult times and good times.
This last chapter is going to explain more about the actual spiritual journey and what is expected on this journey of the neophyte, student, or disciple.
No matter what religion, the student begins the spiritual journey or path with very little accomplished and ends the path having achieved the Highest.
Karma and your Spiritual Journey
Naturally, many more students start the spiritual journey than ever finish it. They leave along the way, having achieved some, but not all, of their destiny. Why is this, you may ask? Why can’t it be easy, an easy journey without the blocks and hindrances that can throw a person off? Why can’t you begin and end the journey knowing that you, indeed, walked the path and finished your dharma for a given life?
To tell you that it is easy would, perhaps, be the truth for some of you and not the truth for others. Since everyone is an individual with individual karma that has to be dealt with, how can anyone know whether or not the journey will be easy? The only ones who know this are you and your Master.
You can find this information by asking your Higher Self, and your Master can verify it for you. So, why not ask? But before you ask, do you really want to know?
If your karma is such that your journey will be very difficult, do you really want to know that? And even if your journey is to be easy, do you really want to understand that when you may be going through an inner struggle?
Before you do the following exercise, ask yourself if you really want to know, or if you are ready to know.
Since this journey is very individual, do you want to know that others may have an easy time with it and you may have to face many more difficulties, or vice versa?
Do you want to know that you can do it more easily than you have been doing? Just because your spiritual journey may be easy doesn’t mean you will perceive it that way, and, in fact, you may be struggling more than necessary.
If you really know what your dharma is, can you honestly accept it and do it? That is the main question.
First ask the Higher Self the following questions:
1. Am I ready to know if my spiritual journey is an easy one or a difficult one? • If the answer is no, ask: When will I be able to know if it is easy or difficult for me? • If the answer is yes, then ask: Is my journey an easy one or a difficult one?
2. If the answer is that your journey is an easy one, ask: Are the obstacles I encounter ones that I am meant to encounter? • If the answer is yes, ask: Can I move through them more easily? Ask for a process. • If the answer is no, ask: Why do I encounter obstacles that I am not meant to encounter?
3. Going back to the original question, if the answer is that your journey is a difficult one, ask: What karma is causing my journey to be more difficult? • When you have an answer, ask for a process to ease the karma.
4. In the future, when I encounter obstacles, how can I best go through them without being stuck?
5. Is there anything else I can do that will help ease the spiritual journey for me?
Connecting with your Higher self is the best way forward
Read more about The Higher Self
The spiritual journey can be a long one, taking many lifetimes, or it can be a short one, accomplished in one life. It depends entirely on you.
Your Desire for God Consciousness
Even if your journey is a difficult one, it can be completed quickly. The key is your desire for God Consciousness. If the desire is strong, you will strive and accomplish it, but if other things pull you away, then it will take longer.
These other things are all the attachments of the mundane world as well as all the skandhas that you come in with. Even one small skandha can limit your achievement.
Spiritual Journey story #2
The following story illustrates this. In the early days of Byzantium, there lived a young man who came from a very wealthy family.
This man, Leros, had some very interesting karma to pay off. Leros was the eldest of seven children, and he had to take care of them all, as his father had died when Leros was still a boy.
Leros was very intelligent and worked very hard to keep his family well provided for. While still young, he became a strong administrator of a province that fortunately was under the jurisdiction of his relatives.
As his siblings grew up, he gave them good jobs in the province and helped them learn any skills needed for their positions. Most of Leros’s time was spent working, so much so that he had the reputation of never having any fun. His only recreation was horseback riding in the woods, or hunting deer and rabbit.
One day, when Leros was in his late twenties, he stumbled on an old hermit living in a cave in the forest. The hermit was a wise man who devoted his life to God, living with little but a loincloth and berries as his food.
When Leros sat and talked with the hermit, he felt that he had come home, and he immediately asked the hermit to be his teacher. The hermit said he would teach him, but only if Leros were willing to give up everything he had, even renouncing his job as administrator.
Leros said that he would have to meditate on this and return. When he meditated, he saw that none of his siblings were as yet capable of taking his position.
Leros went back to the hermit and asked him if he could return in a year after he had properly trained a brother to take over his position. The hermit said no, it had to be now or never. Again, Leros thought about it, and he was full of anguish about leaving his family responsibility. He knew that everything would collapse if he suddenly disappeared.
Even though his heart longed to be with his teacher, Leros chose to stay and complete his work. Several more years passed, and Leros had trained two brothers to handle all his responsibilities. When he felt they could take over, he announced that he was leaving on a long journey and did not know whether or not he would return.
The whole family protested, cried, and made many scenes, as they loved him and did not want him to leave. Leros saw that he was breaking their hearts, especially that of his mother, who was now old and not well. So, he stayed a few more years until the death of his mother and then once more told his siblings that he was leaving, that he had given them many years of his life, and that now he needed to go his own way alone.
This time he left. He was now forty. The first place he went to was the cave where his teacher had lived, but the hermit was no longer there.
Leros thought that perhaps the hermit had died, as it was at least fifteen years since he had seen him. He sat in the cave for several months trying to meditate, doing religious practices, and living as the hermit did on berries from the forest.
One day in his meditation he saw the hermit, who told him to leave, that the cave was not his destiny, and that he needed to travel and find his teacher who would then guide him on his spiritual journey.
So Leros wandered through the forest, into towns, and even into other countries looking for another teacher. He met many hardships along the way. Sometimes there was not enough food, and begging brought him very little. Other times a kindly person would lavish food and clothing on him, and he would be all right.
Every place Leros went he asked if there were any spiritual teachers in the vicinity. On several occasions he was told yes, but when he met the teacher he knew in his heart this was not the one.
Leros would ask each teacher where he needed to go next to find his teacher and was given many directions. One day he met a wise one sitting by the side of the road. Leros knew this man was not his teacher, but again asked for advice, saying that he had looked for several years with no luck and was feeling sad and distraught about not finding him.
The wise one said, “Have you asked your heart?” “No, what do you mean?”
“Just put in your heart your longing to find your teacher and your heart will guide you.”
So Leros found a solitary place and placed the question in his heart and waited. One day he awoke with an image of a statue, and the statue pointed to a map, and on the map was the name of his home. The statue was pointing to his home. But how could that be, he wondered.
The hermit in the cave was gone. Could he have returned? Should he return home? He put this question in his heart and felt his heart respond. It took Leros several months to make the journey home.
The first thing he did was to go to the cave in the forest, but it was empty. When he approached his home, he saw that it looked dull and decayed. At first, none of the servants recognized Leros, as his hair was down to his waist and his skin was dark and leathery from the sun, but when he spoke they recognized his voice and let him in.
What he saw saddened him; everything looked uncared for. There were fewer servants, and he soon found out that his brothers had split up and divided the province, quarrelling about who received what.
As a result of the years of fighting, many of the administrative duties had not been done, and the whole province was suffering from lack of direction.
Leros immediately fired his brothers and took back his holdings. For the next three years he worked very hard to restore all that had been before. Everyone was filled with joy at his return.
Most of the family was still there, and even his brothers, when they were again under his supervision, settled their differences.
Leros again had no time to continue his spiritual journey, and he realized that the statue pointed to his home because he was very much needed there.
This time Leros set up a governing team of people, not just his family, who would be in charge of the province. This way, when he died he could be assured that things would be carried on correctly.
Leros led this team for several years before retiring. By now he was fifty-five years old. After he retired, he remained another five years to be certain that everything ran smoothly, and then, feeling assured that he was no longer needed, he again set out on his journey to find his true teacher.
This time Leros remembered to ask his heart first and was given an indication to go north to the mountains.
There, in a monastery, he found his teacher and spent the remaining years of his life in a spiritual practice.
Leros achieved God Consciousness at the end of his life even though his spiritual practice in the monastery was only for seven years. He was able to do so because his decision to follow through on his responsibilities was the right one.
He spent his life putting others before himself, and on his journey he followed the right path, which involved work in the world, thus achieving his dharma. He then followed his heart to the Highest.
This story illustrates that the journey is different for everyone. It is not just about living in a cave, or creating one of your own making.
The spiritual journey needs to happen in the world, being part of it, but having in your heart the true understanding of what is the most important thing you have to accomplish.
Attitude Always !
Leros always knew that his quest for God was most important, but also that his other work had to be completed because he was born into that responsibility.
Holding the quest in his heart helped him throughout those years of hard work, for he knew that someday, whether or not it would be in this lifetime, he was to fulfill his spiritual dream.
His journey was a difficult one, yet he never failed in his goal or gave in to the difficulties. He fulfilled all his responsibilities, and even though his work took him away from his dream, he never complained or felt burdened by it.
His attitude was a constant one of following his path, whatever direction it took him. In following it, he returned to the “main road” and realized he had traveled farther than he expected.
Because of his attitude the difficulty was lessened, and had anyone asked him if he felt his journey was difficult, he probably would have said, no, it was easy. This was because he followed his heart and looked on life as a constant learning process.
How does a person achieve this attitude? How do you see life as a learning process and not become burdened by the difficulties but instead see them as challenges that can easily be overcome?
It is all about attitude.
This website has focused on attitude in many of the articles, and it will end with some exercises that will inform you more about your own attitude toward life. Do you see life as a drain on you? Do you want to learn from your mistakes? These are some of the questions that inform you about your basic attitudes.
First, let’s do an exercise to determine whether your attitudes tend toward the negative or the positive:
Ask yourself the following questions. Be careful in the way you answer these questions, and be honest. Take your time in determining the answers, and try to think of situations that could have provoked an attitude.
Take each question and rate yourself from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest. For example, if your answer to question 1 is that you become depressed when confronting a problem, rate yourself from 1 to 10 in terms of how depressed you get; if you approach a problem as a challenge, rate yourself according to that response.
1. When you have a problem, does it make you depressed or is it an exciting challenge?
2. Do you see yourself as a positive person or a negative person?
3. Do others see you as being more positive or more negative?
4. Do you have a strong worry pattern?
5. When something happens to you that is a hardship, can you overcome it quickly, or do you stay in it longer than necessary?
6. When you are alone, do you sometimes think of life as being too difficult?
7. Have you ever wanted to die?
8. When you look at your friends, do you see their positive characteristics first?
9. When you look at your friends, do you give them praise for the positive qualities, or do you always see something wrong in them?
10. With each day, do you give thanks for being in the teaching?
11. With each day, are you aware of all the beauty around you?
12. With each day, can you honestly feel happy to be alive?
13. When you visit others, do you feel good to be with friends?
14. Are your relationships happy ones?
15. If you are in a club or organization, does attending meetings make you happy?
16. As you age, do you feel your life has been full and mainly a good one?
17. At the end of the day, can you honestly say you have had a good day?
18. With each loved one, can you feel what it means to simply have love and give love?
You should fluctuate on these answers. Obviously, if all the answers are close to a 10 on the positive questions and very low on any questions indicating a negative attitude, then you have what is called a Pollyanna pattern and are not being honest with yourself.
Generally, you should be in the 5 to 7 range. If most of your answers are below 5 for positive items, then you see things more in a negative than a positive manner, and if you see things higher than 5, then you generally are more positive about life.
If any of the above has a rating between 1 and 3, then you definitely need to work on that question.
Take each one of those negative responses and ask your Higher Self the following questions:
1. Why am I so negative about this?
2. Does it come from my childhood conditioning?
3. Does it come from a past life?
4. Do I have a core belief around this? If so, what is it?
5. Give me a process and a first step to change this attitude.
Work daily with the answer you are given, and also do a nightly review and honestly see how a negative attitude can affect your thinking and therefore your life.
Negative attitudes are major blocks on the spiritual journey.
They keep you from experiencing the joy of life and the beauty of nature. They take away your inspiration and creativity and hold you in the lower self.
Be Realistic And Honest
Sometimes it is important to see things in a very realistic manner. If your ratings are too high, then you live in a dream world and cannot see the reality around you. As part of the Pollyanna pattern, this attitude can block you on the spiritual journey, because you cannot deal with life at all levels.
For example, if you have a genuine psychological problem and think it will just get better on its own, you are deluding yourself.
The same is true if you have a physical problem and choose to ignore it, hoping it will change.
It is normal to have mood swings and have days when you feel a little down, but it is not good if those days become a week or more. Then it means that you are in a state of depression. Such depression needs to be changed either by outside help, or, if you have a chemical imbalance, you may need some drug therapy.
Spiritual people have a tendency to avoid any outside help, believing that Hierarchy will make everything all right. Hierarchy and your teacher can send healings and help, but if a person has a chemical imbalance, then chemical help is needed.
The same is true if someone is suffering from psychological problems stemming from childhood.
Psychotherapy, if it is with a good therapist, can really change a person’s attitudes and make one more balanced and, therefore, happier.
The spiritual journey is full of surprises.
Some can be negative and some positive. The way to approach these surprises is with an open heart. Then if they are negative, you can contain them, and if they are positive, you can accept them with joy.
Let’s look at some of the things that can occur suddenly and reflect on whether any of them have happened to you, starting with the negative.
1. You meet someone with whom you have difficult karma and that person does something that is very hurtful.
2. Someone you love ends the relationship.
3. You are afflicted with an unexpected illness.
4. You are disappointed by the actions of someone you respect.
5. In general, there is a cloud over you that looks as if it’s not going to lift.
6.Your work goes through a difficult stage.
7. Everything you value gets shaken up.
8. When you want to proceed with a good plan, everything seems to impede it.
9. People you care about are going through difficult crises and you can’t help them.
10. When everything seems to be going well, something happens to change that.
11. There is a sudden death in the family.
12. Weather conditions stop you from doing something important.
13. Your spiritual practice can’t be followed because of a sudden crisis that takes your time.
14. You have wonderful meditations and suddenly they are terrible.
The following are examples of the positive surprises. Again, take time to reflect on whether any of these have happened to you.
1. You meet someone with whom you have very positive karma.
2. There is a sudden new love relationship.
3. When you meditate, you suddenly see or hear things.
4. At the end of the day, you realize it was an exhilarating day.
5. Your work takes a positive and very exciting turn.
6. When you visit friends, there is a deep feeling of love and compassion.
7. Unexpected gifts come to you.
8. You find yourself in a place where others look up to you.
9. Decisions happen that make your life easier.
10. Your teacher gives you another initiation.
11. Your Master sends you a message.
12. When you work with your buddy, you reach a deeper place of co-measurement.
13. Someone you respect compliments you.
14. You suddenly feel joy.
15. You come to a deeper understanding of the journey.
16. You find your knowledge of the teaching has reached another level.
17. You understand yourself and come in contact with the true sense of Be-ness.
There are other surprises that happen on the journey, surprises that relate to your individual progress.
For example, you are always going through spiritual tests, and some of them you pass and others you do not. Some tests that you would normally think impassable you pass easily, and others that seem simple may stop you.
These tests help you to come to a better understanding of your striving and your devotion as well as helping you to see areas of your lower nature that need to be confronted and transmuted.
The spiritual journey requires discipline, striving, devotion, acceptance, co-measurement, discrimination, and, most of all, the willingness to change and be flexible.
Long or Short Spiritual Journey?
It can be a long journey or a short one. It always depends upon you and the way you walk the path.
Do you deviate and get caught up in mundane distractions?
Do you lose focus and become too undisciplined in your spiritual work?
Do you feel devotion some times and other times forget?
Are you grateful for the help that is given?
If you have a teacher and she suggests something, do you follow the suggestion?
Have you remembered to always be linked to your Higher Self?
Is the quest for God Consciousness the most important goal in your life?
Can you handle change?
And can you, most of all, accept your karma, whether it be negative or positive?
All of these factors and many more determine your ability to make the journey a long one or a short one.
Examining them brings you to a deeper awareness of who you are and a deeper understanding of the teaching of Higher Self Yoga.
May you walk the path and make the journey one that is full of joy, full of compassion, and, most of all, full of heightened awareness of the goal.
Let your heart be open to all that happens on the path, let your mind be open to new knowledge and understanding, and let your body be strong to withstand the up-and-down terrain.
The journey has an end. Believe that. The journey has a beginning. Know that. The spiritual journey is the only way to reach God Consciousness.
Understanding Your Spiritual Journey
Understand that, and in that understanding realize that it is a journey you can finish. Others have gone before you; let them guide you. Trust and respect them, as they have succeeded. Use their wisdom to help you realize the true meaning of the path. Believe in their love, for only they can give you the ability to change and grow spiritually.
When the spiritual journey is ended, only then will you understand its full meaning. Trust in your heart, in your mind, and most of all, trust in your Higher Self to always be there leading the way.
You will find the Higher Self in all your fellow travelers. Reach out to them as your true family and know the importance of those relationships.
Someday you will all stand together as one and experience the meaning of harmony.
Take the Steps Don’t look back
The Masters await you and pray that you will be steady on the path. The Masters will always guide you, but you have to take the steps and strive toward the goal.
Remember, it is your journey, and each one’s journey has to be taken alone. You will meet many on the path, and many will walk by your side, but each step comes from you alone, and each step changes you.
Make the steps small ones so they do not require more effort than you can give. Small steps will achieve the goal as quickly as big ones. Sometimes on the path you will run, and sometimes you will rest. Try to keep the rhythm of movement always present, even when you sit for a while.
Never look back on the spiritual journey except to see the lessons you still need to learn.
Never judge yourself or others you encounter, as judgments stop or impede progress.
Let your hearts be aflame with love, let your minds be open to wisdom, and let your bodies be renewed with energy, and, most of all, let your Higher Self operate more and more in your consciousness throughout your Spiritual Journey.