Tips For Rapid Spiritual Growth

Thomas

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Just stumbled across this, posted here in 2008!

St Maximus the Confessor:
"It is not a question of suppressing the senses or the objects of the senses, but that of changing the inclination of the soul towards them."
 

Cino

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I am critical of the pursuit of mysticism, as it's a pursuit of experience ... and the great mystics seem to be non-experiential.

Now that it's sitting there, all spelled out, I wonder how you deal with the contradictory views you simultaneously hold of mysticism? Holding space for paradox is an old time favorite of mystics.

I mean ... (gestures wildly)
 

Ella S.

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I read a comment somewhere that people who are 'spiritual but not religious' have been put off by people who are 'religious but not spiritual' :rolleyes:


And, as ever, I wonder what 'disorganised religion' looks like?

Something like European Polytheistic Reconcstructionism, I'd guess. They have numerous communities and local groups, but no centralized authority.

But is there not a common aspect to its shape and form ... and I rather think many religious people are private within the communal aspect.

Many of them. I think there is a huge overlap between this definition of religion and this definition of spirituality.

I am critical of the pursuit of mysticism, as it's a pursuit of experience ... and the great mystics seem to be non-experiential. It's a big topic, but if you've comes across Denys Turner (for example), you know what I mean.

I would love to have an entire conversation with you on this, but, personally, I disagree. I don't see mysticism as the pursuit of experience. I see it as the pursuit of altering one's consciousness. There's a big difference there.

Indeed, and not knocking that, but it has given rise to shops selling fetishes and dream-catchers and trinkets ... and often the SBNR means 'I do my own thing" which is problematic from certain standpoints.

Suffice to say I see spirituality in the Orthodox sense, as "the everyday activity of life in communion with God." and the doing of it is religion.

So, perhaps, spirituality is the interior disposition, religion its outward form ... but to say SBNR too often means "I like to think of myself as ..."

As for the communal aspect.

There is no greater test of love of neighbour than going to Church! :D And having spoken to monastics about the nitty-gritty of living in community ... man, that is tough!

As ever, it's a big thing and as per my organic approach, it's never black-and-white, never just this-or-that.

Even Thomas Merton was told by his director that really, deep down, he wants to be a hermit in the middle of Times Square!

I'm curious what your problem with "I do my own thing" is. I think that's the big argument underlying these semantics.
 

HugoZyl

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Interesting. Thanks for sharing about your practice.

What do you associate sacredness with in mirrors? Amaterasu's mirror, reflecting the light of the sun? St. Paul's mirror, reflecting "darkly" a part of perfection? Or the White Queen's realm as in "Alice through the looking glass"?

Dear Cino; I appreciate your gratitude, and thank you for starting me off with some example answers. If only our teachers at school could have used this method.

According to the instructions which I have been given, there are only 3 objects in life. Yourself (both body and mind), not yourself, and beyond yourself. For example: I, the computer, and God. 'God' being not attainable by the senses of the body or the thoughts/feelings of the mind. The 3 objects are sitting on the Supreme Lord. The Supreme is Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. The difference between the Supreme and God is that the Supreme is always attained by all 3 objects at all times in all places. A table has reached the level of Existence. A chicken has reached the level of Existence + Consciousness. Objects like humans, heavenly citizens, Divine Controllers, etc. have the potential to reach the level of Existence + Consciousness + Bliss. At that stage They merge into the Supreme Lord. God has already reached that level but out of unimaginable compassion and love He has not merged but stayed behind to help other objects reach the Supreme.

The mirror. As a mirror can become any object but is not truly that object, so the Supreme Lord is the only reality which carries all the objects. Objects come and go, but the mirror is unaffected and always the same. The Supreme Lord can also be compared to a stage where actors are performing or a TV screen were pictures are showing, but sticking these things on your ceiling is dangerous. Hence, the mirror.

May faith and patience bring you unending serenity


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Actually, the etymology of the word “religion” remains unclear.

Dear RabbiO; may the merciful Lord be with you.

I hope that is not the only thing you have thought about after reading through this thread. :-D


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I don't think it's unusual. I was calling them by their full, proper names, like you would with any famous human. Tom Cruise? Mahatma Gandhi? Martin Luther King, Jr.? George Bush? Bob Ross? Samuel L Jackson?
I think it's more unusual to just call them by a heavily Anglicized version of their first names or, in Siddhartha Guatama's case, just their title.

Dear Ella S.; may mercy and peace fill your heart.

And yet, here you are not using your full, proper name. :-D


I'm curious what your problem with "I do my own thing" is. I think that's the big argument underlying these semantics.

In all humility, many who say ''I do my own thing'' do not just do their own thing. They also tell others about it, make groups, start movements, write books, and thus become exactly the thing they did not want to be part of because ''I do my own thing''. So many years have been robbed from a person's life where they could have just stayed with the existing organised religion and made the spiritual progress but now that time has been lost. Just think how many millions of man-hours were used to start some new religious movement which could have been better spent in spiritual growth (which is a natural process as you taught me).

May the dear Lord ever be in your heart


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Tip: If we do What we Did, we Will get What we Got

A schoolboy who got a pass result for his grade 5 final exams would be foolish to think that if he continued to practice grade 5 knowledge, he will also get a pass result in grade 6. In the same way there must always be an increase in the quality and quantity of our spiritual practice as the years go by.
If in 2021, we only did 1 hour of chanting God's Name a day, try this year to do 1.5 hours a day.
If in 2021, we chanted verbally, try this year to chant silently in the mind.

 

Cino

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The mirror. As a mirror can become any object but is not truly that object, so the Supreme Lord is the only reality which carries all the objects. Objects come and go, but the mirror is unaffected and always the same. The Supreme Lord can also be compared to a stage where actors are performing or a TV screen were pictures are showing, but sticking these things on your ceiling is dangerous. Hence, the mirror.

This is a great example of interfaith dialogue, I think. "A mirror" as the answer to "which sacred object do you look at first thing in the morning", left so much open to interpretation - and misunderstanding, just think of the myth of the Nymph Echo and her unhappy love for Narcissus. This is why it is so helpful in what we are trying to achieve here, to give details and background about one's personal practice.

Have a good one!
 

seattlegal

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I read a comment somewhere that people who are 'spiritual but not religious' have been put off by people who are 'religious but not spiritual' :rolleyes:
I suspect this "spiritual but not religious" might correlate to introverts who are drained by being around large gatherings of people. Introverts are energized by solitude. Extraverts are energized by social gatherings.


<...>

So, perhaps, spirituality is the interior disposition, religion its outward form ...
Like introvert practice compared to extravert practice? ;)

but to say SBNR too often means "I like to think of myself as ..."
If they don't participate in any specific religious gatherings, then who else would be capable of labeling them?
 

Ella S.

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Dear Ella S.; may mercy and peace fill your heart.

And yet, here you are not using your full, proper name. :-D

All of the aforementioned names are celebrities who freely shared their names and are no longer with us. I am neither famous nor deceased, nor do I wish to freely share my name with you.

By revealing my actual identity, I would be risking death. I have already received death threats from Muslims for rejecting the divinity of their prophet and had other users maliciously try to dox me. There is no such risk for figures that have been dead for centuries.

Similarly, if I was with Yeshua bar Yosef in Gethsemane, I would not have told the Sanhedrin his name. Do you really wish to take the position of Judas Iscariot here?
 

RJM

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Even Thomas Merton was told by his director that really, deep down, he wants to be a hermit in the middle of Times Square!
With a sign outside his tent saying: I'm a monk
 

RJM

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By revealing my actual identity, I would be risking death. I have already received death threats from Muslims for rejecting the divinity of their prophet
During some quite heated debates a while ago here about the Quran and the Prophet (pbuh) I decided to remove all my information from my profile. It's not so much what you say, but what others decide you meant by what you said. The internet can be quite dangerous
 
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RabbiO

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Dear RabbiO; may the merciful Lord be with you.

I hope that is not the only thing you have thought about after reading through this thread. :-D

You made a comment concerning the etymology of the word "religion". I simply responded to it. Nothing more, nothing less.

I hope that your rude, ill mannered and tinged with sarcasm response to me was not the only thing you thought about after reading what I wrote.
 

RabbiO

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There is no spiritual harm in being the servant of other, but there can be great danger when others serve us.
It is better not to go to places where you are addressed as 'sir' or 'madam'. If the waiters in our cultures give us titles, better eat at home. If the sellers in shops do so, better buy from open markets.
Spiritual seekers should best not do titled jobs like doctors, religious leaders, or managerial positions.
If God gives us the job of being a teacher, for example, the first thing we can teach the students is to just call us 'John', or 'Mary'.
Judaism teaches that the righteous of all nations have a share in the world to come. One needn't be a Jew to be loved by G-d, to find favor with G-d. One needn't be a Jew to live a life of love, honor, honesty, integrity, mercy, kindness, compassion and healing. I try not to get into arguments simply because religious/spiritual/theological views, such as what you opined above, clash with Jewish understandings. My arguing tends to be limited to countering views that misrepresent Jews or Judaism.

So that you have some inkling as to who and what I am, let me say this - I am a Jew and I am a rabbi. I am an imperfect person living in a beautiful, but also imperfect world.

As a Jew I am mindful that I am responsible for working on "tikkun ha-nefesh", the repair of the soul and for working as a partner with G-d in "tikkun olam", the repair of the world. These are not mutually exclusive goals for work on one ripples through the other. I am mindful that I am a link in a chain that enables "am yisrael" the people Israel to strive to be a "goy kadosh" a holy nation.

As a rabbi I am mindful that I am engaged in what might be called an "avodat kodesh" a sacred endeavor. It is my duty to teach and to guide, to help others to find their paths to spiritual wholeness through the tools provided by the traditions that form the bedrock of Jewish living.

As a Jew I am required to be in this world and of this world because the repair of this world cannot be accomplished by outsiders. I am not required to do this alone. I am not expected to complete the task. Though the task may not be accomplished during my time, I am not free to walk away from that obligation. The hour is late, the workers are tired, the task is hard, and the Master is insistent.

As a Jew I am required to speak out on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. I am required to speak words of love, hope and joy, words of justice and healing, words of solace and comforting. I am required to stand against oppression and bigotry and evil in whatever shape it manifests itself.

As a rabbi I have a responsibility to help others meet the challenges of life and the world we live in from a Jewish perspective.
 

HugoZyl

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As a rabbi I have a responsibility to help others meet the challenges of life and the world we live in from a Jewish perspective.

I hope that your rude, ill mannered and tinged with sarcasm response to me was not the only thing you thought about after reading what I wrote.

Dear RabbiO; May God grant you a life of blessings and joy.

If anything I may have said, caused you to feel I was rude and ill mannered, then I humbly ask that you forgive me for this wrong. As I am not a westerner nor have I ever lived in a western country, I do not like to use sarcasm. Nothing I have written has contained sarcasm. I simply expressed my hope that reading this thread has helped you to also think more of God than you did before reading. This is my hope for everyone who looks at this thread, and the reason for starting it.

Concerning what I meant with ''Spiritual seekers should best not do titled jobs like doctors, religious leaders, or managerial positions;'' this was only directed to ''spiritual seekers''. There are some dear brethren who are content to only experience heavenly bliss after the death of the body (let us call them 'believers'), and then there are another group of dear brethren who are led by God to gradually experience bliss while the body is still living (let us call them 'seekers'). Both believers and seekers are very dear to God, and there need be no disagreement between them; however, they do have to walk different Paths.

A believer has to focus on following the Holy Scriptures of Almighty God. A seeker has to focus on reducing ego. There is nothing wrong for a believer to be a doctor, religious leader, or be in a managerial position, as there is no conflict of interest between these jobs and the Holy Scriptures. For a seeker it is not the same. If people are always calling a seeker Doctor so-and-so, or Mr. this and Mr. that, it does create a conflict of interest with reducing the ego. This view is supported by seekers' ''Holy Scriptures''. For example: In the Bhagavad Purana, the Lord Krishna says that earnest seekers, after their children are adults, have to live in the forest alone without any relations with other human beings, nor possess any property or even save up something for tomorrow. But that is not for believers; it is for seekers.

In conclusion, I thank God for devout Rabbis who help to lead the Jewish believers in faith and patience. Again, I pray that you will look upon me not as someone ill-mannered but rather as a son who just has some unusual ideas. Ideas which may sound strange but are at least
sincere. May the merciful Lord help all to have compassion and understanding for each other.

Mazel Tov!
 

Thomas

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I would love to have an entire conversation with you on this, but ...
Managing a domestic covid situation – not life-threatening, but there are 'we're not as young as we were' issues ... so I do off-the-cuff answers, but can't concentrate for detailed responses to good questions, so to @Ella S., @seattlegal, @Cino and others ... I am not ignoring, rather it would be no service to either of us to snap off an ill-thought out response ...
 

Ella S.

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Managing a domestic covid situation – not life-threatening, but there are 'we're not as young as we were' issues ... so I do off-the-cuff answers, but can't concentrate for detailed responses to good questions, so to @Ella S., @seattlegal, @Cino and others ... I am not ignoring, rather it would be no service to either of us to snap off an ill-thought out response ...

I greatly appreciate it. You are never under any obligation to respond to me and, when you do, feel free to do so at your leisure. I'm grateful to have well-thought out responses, even if they take longer to get to.
 

Aerist

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I like the Theosophists was of answering this question, giving three activities which together and separately, help rapid spiritual unfoldment.
1. Meditation or focused prayer. (to train and transform the mind)
2. Work without attachment to results (Charity or similar work, to work off accumulated Karma)
3. Study of inspired works. (to connect the aspirant with the forces creating those works)

To that I would (and did) add therapy , healing, and some kind of darshan.
 

yoglica

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Easy way to grow spiritually:

1) Grow from within. Dont say you are spiritual in words put words into action.
2) Be pure from heart all the time.
3) Show compassion towards everyone. I mean your friends, relatives, unknown people, dog, cat anything.
4) Meditate everyday 3hours and Do yoga
5) Practice Karma Yoga
6) Practice celibacy or bramacharya without which spirituality cant be done. This is most important step.

Just follow above steps i think it will be a good starter for rapid progress.
 
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Cino

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Practice celibacy or bramacharya without which spirituality cant be done. This is most important step.

What is the background for this belief?

Some religions, such as Islam or Judaism, have profound spirituality without requiring celibacy.
 

Cino

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@yoglica my previous comment was a genuine question, I did not mean to shut you up!

To rephrase: what are the advantages you see in celibacy?
 
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