When I started a spiritual life, I was super re-charged. This led to the creation of an abundance of happiness. I kept learning and applying everything to my new spiritual practice. I made a mind shift and started to see the world a lot differently. I basically practiced happiness for the first time. Happiness is a natural state of being, but in this society it seems to have a layer of crust on top of it. The practice of spirituality removes that layer of crust. A couple of years – I had a great run with my new spiritual practice.
But, a spiritual practice is not immune to the ups and downs of life. It’s not immune to disasters. My practice slammed into the wall one day. I got in deep with studies and I was kind of like in an elite group, and I could not keep up. The spiritual group I was in was dedicated to taking the practice up a notch, and I was all in – well, maybe not. Three children, a new baby, and a business tugged on me for attention. I realized that I was spending too much time on my spiritual practice and my family was calling out. So, I had to step back. And actually, I pretty much got kicked out of my group, you know, in a nice way, but I was not prepared for it.
Spirituality then became a negative thing. My mind loved that part – attaching to negativity. And it took me a long time to sort out of my spiritual journey.
Religions have structures and practices. They have lots of tools. These tools are very valuable and they are time tested. I think practicing spiritually helps develop your heart, it helps develops a layer to your soul, and it helps your soul or spirit become more recognizable. It becomes an integration – spirit/soul/potential/personality/energy/life force. Something like that all wrapped into one – you – the Knower or the Watcher of life.
These days my practice is very very easy. I maintain a Buddhist world view – mostly, with a nice dash of Christianity and spices from other traditions. This way of seeing the world makes total sense to me. So, when I interact with people, or look at society, and the things (good and bad) that happen, I am better able to make sense of it. It’s a calming feeling, I guess.
I keep open to new ideas that might conflict with what I believe. Let me give you a couple of examples.
Reiki. Are you familiar with this? It’s the practice of the transfer of energy. How it works is that you have the Reiki Practitioner conduct a Reiki session with a ‘Client’. The client lies down in a comfortable position and the Reiki Practitioner puts their hands over the person and starts to transfer their Reiki energy into the client. We all have knots of energy within our body. Anxiety, fear, depression, anger, and negative thoughts, create these knots within us – and the Reiki energy destroys the knots, leaving the client with a state of happiness and relaxation and calmness – for a little while. Its therapeutic and promotes health.
I was interested in exploring this, after all, it was a Japanese Buddhist Monk that created this whole system, so I was more receptive to the idea. My first level of learning was total skepticism. Open, but highly skeptical. I left my first training, with information – that was about it.
I tried level 2 and that changed everything for me. There is something called an attunement where the Reiki Master transfers Reiki to the student thus allowing the student to have Reiki within them so that they can pass on the energy to the client.
When I had my attunement, I had a mystical experience. They use symbols in Reiki and that was some of what I was learning. During my mystical experience I could see one particular symbol almost appear out of a puff of smoke. It just entered my minds eye, and then, for about 5-10 seconds my whole body resembled an Angel. It was crazy. The Reiki Master was writing symbols on my back with her fingers and I became an Angel with super Reiki powers.
Anyways – For about a year I gave people Reiki regularly, and I could see the benefits it gave to people. It helped the elderly, it helped the dying, and it even helped those with disease. I know, I was told, and I could see it.
Another example – I became receptive and open to the topic of death and the mysteries surrounding death. When I started learning about this, I became more connected with the earth, the land, and nature. I started to form a better, more appreciative relationship with the natural world. It’s almost like the planet is a placenta, in a way. We have completely run out of appreciation for our world. The individual ego trumps the planet.
It’s undeniable that we are connected with the earth, and I started to re-learn that nature is talking to us. We just have to tune in and listen. The connection with death is with nature. We come from it, we go back into it. I mentioned before the examples of animals that appear during an individual’s death. Google it. Look for examples. There is peace that comes with nature. There is a sense of home when it comes to nature.
In sum, what I discovered is that a spiritual practice takes time before it will fully integrate with you. A spiritual practice can help you get happy, but things do take time. Learn a system. Stick with one and really start making a mind shift, but later on, open yourself up. I almost wonder now, that when I had my ‘spiritual disaster’ if it was the environment talking to me, and telling me that I can maximize this life, this experience I have, by looking more at the mysteries the world has to offer.