I believe as men, maybe because of testosterone, maybe because of the Human Evolution (after all, guys, we were all hunters a few thousand years ago), we have this deep desire to achieve, to attain, to succeed…in something! Whether this is to support your soccer team, to make millions, provide for our family, build more muscles or living your mission, there is always something that makes us go for the next thrill.
And what about Spiritual Mastery then? Well, for most, this question is placed in the category “useful, but later”. Because it feels complicated to reach something, or you might not know where to start, or it takes time and “you don’t have time”, this question is often put aside.
It doesn’t have to be this way, so let’s have a look at a simple way to consider your Spiritual Development.
What is Spiritual Development anyway?
When you don’t know something, ask your wife! This is what I did before writing this post, and she says that for her, Spiritual Development is “re-centering from head to heart”. She’s good, isn’t she? Personally, I would have said it’s to recognize your truth, to live your truth. Some people call it your deep Self, some say it’s you’re higher Self. Some would say you’re True Nature, and your nature being love. Some would say it’s to find peace and harmony within, like the idea of Yoga meaning union. In any way, it’s to recognize that you are a spiritual being that has a body, and honor this in your daily life.
Ok, you might say: “it’s easy to say to live my true nature, and how to I do that?!” Read on.
Your Goal: unlearning!
Spiritual masters like Eckart Tolle and Mooji, insist on this principle; we are all enlightened…behind the clutter, the illusions or Maya, as they call it in yoga. These illusions have names: ego, addictions, fears, issues or other challenges that often come from our childhood (or even past lives). So the goal is not to gain something here, gentleman! It’s instead to release and remove from what you have built before, so that you are not run by them. Instead, you recognize them as they pop up in your life and you play with them. For example, I had an addiction for sugar and fully recognizing that what I was looking for was some comfort and sweetness and nurturing myself differently made me move beyond it.
“What should I learn to become silent, to know myself?”
Ramana Maharshi: “For reaching the inner self, you need not learn anything. You need unlearning. Learning won’t help-it helps you move without. Unlearning will help.”
“Fight and you will be defeated-because there is no one to fight with! In the inner world, let-go is the way to be victorious, surrender is the way to be victorious, allowing the inner nature to flow, not pushing it, is the way to be victorious.” (both quotes from Osho. Yoga: The Science of the Soul)
Moving beyond your ego
Our ego wants to do better, be better than others. It has to function at times, and for Spiritual matters, this is not, as my friend Sebastien Henri likes to say, to be in the driving seat, and instead to be in the passenger seat, back in the car!
Moving beyond your issues: we all have had challenges in our lives, in part that what has made us grow, in part this has let some scars heal within ourselves, and their painful memories. Think of moments of shame or guilt, and probably your energy level drops instantly. The idea here is to make peace with them, to recognize them, learn from them – and let them go.
Moving beyond your addictions: like my example, realize there is a deeper calling than the addiction itself, something that your heart wants to nourish. Think of what you’re looking for with them, whether it’s sugar, smoking, drugs, alcohol, video games, work, masturbation or sex.
Moving beyond your fears: yes, you do have some fears, mister big man! Recognize them as well, and go beyond your comfort zone, without harming yourself, to remove them. It’s time for your courageous self to come up! A simple thing like jumping from 5 or 10 meters in the water, walking with eyes closed for one minutes nonstop, negotiating with your boss, dating the woman of your dreams and raising kids – all these examples can be considered helpful to reach your spiritual mastery.
Ok, so what about Meditation then?
Meditation is a tool that is made for us to pause our busy mind and reconnect to our inner voice. And one misconception is that there is one kind of meditation only – you know the one where you sit in the lotus position, eyes closed, doing your best to remain silent within – when in fact there are thousands of thoughts! For me, meditating is pretty much asking questions, and letting answers emerge from a deeper wisdom. Finding the voice within my intuition, and following the guide!
The Path of Spiritual Mastery
There is no one path. Only your path. The first choice is to decide and commit to it. Then allowing yourself to set a time every day to listen to your inner wisdom. 20 minutes when you wake up, and maybe 20 more in the evening – and in-between living your uncovered truth; this is all what is necessary! Be aware that life is not simpler once you commit for this path though. Challenges come up in our lives anyway. The difference is that by following this path you are opening your eyes to what really happens, inside and out. Your awareness of yourself grows, and so it does for others and for life in general. And this one becomes even more an adventure.
En-joy the ride!
Following Video of Ray Dalio, successful businessman, and the benefits of Meditation