Tips For Rapid Spiritual Growth

HugoZyl

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Dearest Readers, Friends, and Brethren in God

I humbly thank the merciful Lord that we can share with each other on this wonderful forum. As a young seeker of God, my most common obstacle is that spiritual growth is slow, and finding ways to make it go faster are hidden away among masses of other information in books and on the internet. Therefore, if it be the loving God's will, I would in humility ask that we share our own tips for things we should or should not do which has helped each of us to love and long for the Sweet Lord of Compassion more and more. Every now and again, if we have mind to, we can help others by posting what methods God gave us in His Grace...

Tip: Reading the Lives of the Saints
How glorious are the Holy Beings who have walked the highest way and shown it to us in mercy that we may now walk barefoot over convenient roads that the Saints have chopped open for us! How They inspire us to daily exert ourselves, while remaining as humble as an insect in excrement! (''Did not our hearts burn within us as He spoke with us on the way?'')
Every religious path caters without fail;
...if Buddhist, read of Milarepa
...if Christian, read of St. Francis of Assisi
...if Muslim, read of Tajuddin Baba
...if Hindu, read of Sri Ramakrishna

Tip: Add More Kinds of Devotion to Your Daily Routine
One devout person might pray daily, another may sing God's glory, or write songs or poems about the Lord... - why not do all 3?
Other forms;

  • Repeat the Name of God according to your birth religion either vocally or mentally
  • Bow down flat on the ground in surrender to God
  • Circumambulate a Divine Symbol reverently
  • Visit other devout people and talk about God only
  • Tap a joyful rhythm on your knee to God's glory
  • Share spiritual knowledge with those around you
  • Live like a beast for a day to appreciate the human life more
  • Draw pictures of the Forms or Symbols of God reverently
  • Decorate your home's walls with these pictures
  • Individually thank the merciful Lord for everything that you see
 

Ella S.

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For Gnosticism I recommend:

  • At least 30 minutes a day of meditation on the One; sit in silence and darkness and try to let go of (not repress) your thoughts and emotions
  • Try to remind yourself that we are all merely a part of the collective whole of the One, and that each of us are equal; material values and concerns are the domain of the Demiurge, not the One
  • Practice asceticism, with your mind always towards the One as much as possible; practice the heavenly virtues, avoid the deadly sins, keep only what you need and give the rest in compassion to others; various Gnostic sects might add veganism, honesty, pacifism, and poverty to this list
  • Attribute the virtues you have only to God's grace that he has blessed you with them, rather than taking pride in them yourself, as pride leads to division
  • Try to learn to let go of prescriptivist labels and to take in your raw experience without any sort of ontological or linguistic breakdown; this can not only make you more observant, but more objective
  • Accept what you can't change, including your spontaneous thoughts and your emotions, and let them go; don't thank God for the good and blame the Demiurge for the bad, but accept things as they are without calling them either, as the concepts of "good" and "bad" are themselves a product of the Demiurge
  • Contemplate, reflect, and meditate on the fact that we are One throughout the day. Eventually, you will learn to internalize it enough that you will have a breakthrough in meditation, which is the mystical experience sometimes referred to in the Gnostic texts as "illumination." You will have several more of these if you press on; the work is never complete and this is just the beginning.

It's really tough work. A lot of negative emotions might surface the first time you just let yourself sit. Don't fight them. Listen to them and process them. It's a long journey ahead and everyone progresses differently.
 
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Cino

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What I am working on in my life currently:

* Self care. Getting physical exercise. Getting positive intellectual input, spiritual and "mundane" alike. Cooking meals for myself even when I'm alone. I'm good at caring for others, but caring for myself is a challenge, and a daily practice.

* Being mindful of my patterns of avoidance, and remembering I have friends and am not alone facing such patterns.

* daily meditation.

* being a parent, which is challenging in several dimensions.

* contributing to society in constructive, pragmatic ways.
 

Unveiled artist

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A good morning run and meditation. I've been jotting synchronicities and signs lately. Some are little reminders and others warnings. I'm learning forgiveness but don't know quite how to see a change. Reading encouraging poetry and a good book on spirituality helps. I've heard it said that people get signs as a means of god talking to them. Their prayers and actions are a mysterious reflection and dance with our external environment. Different religions and religious define the experience differently. I say they are from deceased loved ones. Regardless, I'm not religious and not a theist in any regards though I do find it helpful to have practices to align yourself with what keeps you alive.
 

HugoZyl

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Dearest Posters

May you be eternally benefited for having the will to want to improve yourself, and help others do the same. I bow to the holy Feet of the Lord in gratitude for such mercy. Indeed, may it...
...be bountiful in posts.

Tip: Using the Words ''I'' and ''my'' as Little as Possible
One of the main manifestations of ego is, ''I am Hugo. I am typing a post. I have a computer. It is in my home.'' By rather saying, ''People say Hugo. A post is being typed. There is a computer in the home,'' a strong blow is struck to cripple the great impostor known as ego. It also then strengthens the intensity when we pray to God, ''I surrender to You in my humility.''


I've been jotting synchronicities and signs lately. Some are little reminders and others warnings. I'm learning forgiveness but don't know quite how to see a change. Reading encouraging poetry and a good book on spirituality helps. I've heard it said that people get signs as a means of god talking to them.

Dear Unveiled artist

May faith and patience be your eternal portion.

It is a great advancement to jot down our defects as you are doing. We can add to it by, when we feel a personality defect arising, recognizing it, and instead of reacting, pray, ''I am grateful that I can see when defect arise, and instead of acting on it, consider the Great Universe in all Its Glory, and say ॐ ten times. (Then say ॐ ten times). I express my thanks for this mercy given to me.''

Concerning ''signs''; do not think of that too much. Signs are normally given to those who are having their first incarnation as a religious human. For those who have walked the path in a previous birth, and are now continuing on it, there will likely be no arbitrary signs. (A miracle to save your life would of course be a different matter)

Let the Light of Truth ever fill you
 

Ella S.

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Tip: Using the Words ''I'' and ''my'' as Little as Possible
One of the main manifestations of ego is, ''I am Hugo. I am typing a post. I have a computer. It is in my home.'' By rather saying, ''People say Hugo. A post is being typed. There is a computer in the home,'' a strong blow is struck to cripple the great impostor known as ego. It also then strengthens the intensity when we pray to God, ''I surrender to You in my humility.''

I didn't even know what an "ego" was until @Bhaktjan II told me a little over a month ago. It's just not a major part of my worldview.
 

seattlegal

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LHP Buddhism:
Think for yourself. Listen to others and make an effort to understand, and have compassion for others, but maintain your own mind. Don't give in to groupthink.

Practice mindfulness in all you do, especially your routine chores. Mopping the floor meditation is a favorite. When you are walking, know that you are walking. You will then be more apt to recognize when you are not walking--when you are dreaming--which will trigger lucid dreaming. You can really make great progress in lucid dreams, due to the rich interface the conscious mind has with the unconscious mind during lucid dreams.

Pay attention to your senses, your intuitions, your feelings, and your thoughts. Know them for what they are. Meditation is great for this. Always take strong emotions to your meditation cushion, and watch the waves of emotion rise and pass away.

One of the most powerful things you can do for yourself is to transform anger into clarity of thought and Great Mirror Wisdom.
 

Unveiled artist

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Dearest Posters

May you be eternally benefited for having the will to want to improve yourself, and help others do the same. I bow to the holy Feet of the Lord in gratitude for such mercy. Indeed, may it...


Tip: Using the Words ''I'' and ''my'' as Little as Possible
One of the main manifestations of ego is, ''I am Hugo. I am typing a post. I have a computer. It is in my home.'' By rather saying, ''People say Hugo. A post is being typed. There is a computer in the home,'' a strong blow is struck to cripple the great impostor known as ego. It also then strengthens the intensity when we pray to God, ''I surrender to You in my humility.''




Dear Unveiled artist

May faith and patience be your eternal portion.

It is a great advancement to jot down our defects as you are doing. We can add to it by, when we feel a personality defect arising, recognizing it, and instead of reacting, pray, ''I am grateful that I can see when defect arise, and instead of acting on it, consider the Great Universe in all Its Glory, and say ॐ ten times. (Then say ॐ ten times). I express my thanks for this mercy given to me.''

Concerning ''signs''; do not think of that too much. Signs are normally given to those who are having their first incarnation as a religious human. For those who have walked the path in a previous birth, and are now continuing on it, there will likely be no arbitrary signs. (A miracle to save your life would of course be a different matter

Let the Light of Truth ever fill you

I'd say jot down your blessings not your defects.

May I ask, is this your everyday talk? I'm more of a to the point less religious jargon person to make the same point. It helps put experiences people have in a less divisional way (spiritual verses practical). Easier to follow what you're saying.
 

RabbiO

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Be still and know that I am G!d.
It’s a great line. It’s not a bad piece of advice. The one thing it is not, however, is a good translation of the Hebrew, especially given the context of the psalm. I’m assuming you are referencing Psalm 46.

The psalm is a battle psalm. The verse in question is a warning to the nations fighting against Israel that Israel is under G-d’s protection and that their efforts will fail. The verse is not saying that the nations need to put aside mundane matters, pause from the ordinary, and instead make and take quiet time for reflection and meditation. It is a warning/command to cease and desist battling Israel and realize that this imperative is coming from G-d.
 
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HugoZyl

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I'd say jot down your blessings not your defects.

May I ask, is this your everyday talk? I'm more of a to the point less religious jargon person to make the same point. It helps put experiences people have in a less divisional way (spiritual verses practical). Easier to follow what you're saying.

Dearest Unveiled artist

I greatly appreciate your question. In brief so as not to tire people, the reply is actually referred to in your question. Most of what people say is just talk. Talk is good, but talk which reminds us of God is better, I'd say. I am also of the opinion that using the Names and Titles of God is in itself a way to progress spiritually. Please forgive me if it makes the post harder to follow. You would patiently endure it more easily if I were your son. So please see me as your child.

Peace and love to you, Mother

Tip: Reducing our Preferences
When going to a cafe for something to drink, rather that ''I want a cappuccino,'' we can say ''Anything is fine.''
When buying apples in the greengrocer, choose the bruised apples so there are more good apples for others.
When the wife asks what we would like for dinner, the reply can be, ''O dear lady, your knowledge of what is best for us greatly surpasses mine. Please make what you know is right.''
 

Cino

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When the wife asks what we would like for dinner, the reply can be, ''O dear lady, your knowledge of what is best for us greatly surpasses mine. Please make what you know is right.''
You seem to assume very rigid gender roles.
 

Ella S.

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Tip: Reducing our Preferences
When going to a cafe for something to drink, rather that ''I want a cappuccino,'' we can say ''Anything is fine.''
When buying apples in the greengrocer, choose the bruised apples so there are more good apples for others.
When the wife asks what we would like for dinner, the reply can be, ''O dear lady, your knowledge of what is best for us greatly surpasses mine. Please make what you know is right.''

I'm all for asceticism and selfless humility, but I think there's a difference between asceticism and repression as well as between selflessness and self-destruction.

Some of the examples feel a bit more like self-destructive repression and a bit less like selfless asceticism, but I suppose that might depend on the person.
 

Cino

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General Question: what do you all think about the "rapid" in "rapid spiritual growth"?

What does it do to those of us who are Westerners? Our culture is full of "instant gratification" and success stories, how do we keep from viewing spiritual development like any other goal we must reach to be successful?

OTOH, spiritual practice without a sense of urgency and desire for rapid progress - is that even possible?

How do you toe this line?
 

Ella S.

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General Question: what do you all think about the "rapid" in "rapid spiritual growth"?

What does it do to those of us who are Westerners? Our culture is full of "instant gratification" and success stories, how do we keep from viewing spiritual development like any other goal we must reach to be successful?

OTOH, spiritual practice without a sense of urgency and desire for rapid progress - is that even possible?

How do you toe this line?

I'm not sure that spiritual growth can ever be said to be rapid or slow. It happens as it happens. It can't be forced to speed up or slow down by anyone's whims, you know?

My response to this thread originally had a remark about how I don't believe in "rapid" spiritual growth and how I feel like trying to speed up growth is, in itself, a grave mistake. I edited my response to delete that part because it came across a bit too snide and biting for me when that wasn't my intention.
 

Cino

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I'm not sure that spiritual growth can ever be said to be rapid or slow. It happens as it happens. It can't be forced to speed up or slow down by anyone's whims, you know?

My response to this thread originally had a remark about how I don't believe in "rapid" spiritual growth and how I feel like trying to speed up growth is, in itself, a grave mistake. I edited my response to delete that part because it came across a bit too snide and biting for me when that wasn't my intention.

I think it's similar to the debate over "works vs grace".

Speaking about my practice, it seems obvious to me that a regular practice of spiritual disciplines is not just beneficial in a general sense but also does something to drive a process. But said process, once in motion, or once it becomes evident (it might have been in motion before, unnoticed), has an autonomous quality to it, as well - it happens whether I like it or not. However, with awareness of the developmental process, I have to say it is much "better" - maybe faster, maybe smoother, maybe with more clarity, hard to pin-point - to be doing the practices than not, even if the process moves on regardless.

So yeah, ...
 

Thomas

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General Question: what do you all think about the "rapid" in "rapid spiritual growth"?

There's a no-doubt apocryphal story of a young samurai who seeks out a master – the young fellow in question actually existed, Yagyū Jūbē Mitsuyoshi, (1607-21 April 1650). He was a master in a family of masters, but makes no appearance until the age of 36, so his early years are the subject of a vast mythology.

Jūbē sought out a renown master of the sword, asking to become his pupil. After a drawn out courtship (doors slammed in faces, Jūbē standing days and nights in the rain outside) the master eventually resigns himself to accepting the precocious young man.

"How long will this take?" Jūbē asks.
"Ten years," came the reply.
"What if I train twice as hard, for twice as long, every day?"
"Twenty years."
 

Thomas

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Again, another lesson from the study of iaijutsu —

If you study seitai iai (制定居合) under the Japanese governing body, the Zen Nihon Kendō Renmei (全日本剣道連盟), when taking a dan-grade exam, you are to perform five 'forms' – these are your 'favourite five'. Sometimes, examiners will stipulate a given form to be one of the five, but usually the choice is yours.

It's a given however, that no matter how advanced the grade, one of the forms will be the first form you ever learned in the curriculum: mae (前). It's the first and simplest form containing all four elements: the draw-cut, the coup, cleaning the blade, sheathing the blade. It's understood that the first form is the quintessence of all other forms, and that 'the first thing you learn is the last thing you understand'.

One of my 'favourite five' is the 6th in the first set of 12, Morote-tsuki (諸手突き) a 'two-handed thrust'. In studying it, I had a bit of an epiphany, an insight and it must have shown, because I'd get called out to demonstrate the form. However, brilliant as I was at number 6, number 4 was really difficult, and I could never get the hang of number 9!

For me, spiritual growth is not linear but organic.
 
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