Is your spiritual practice effective at fulfilling your highest intentions? Though there are many different answers to this question, there are also some indicators of the progress one is making on a spiritual path. Consider the depth and expansion of your awareness of the divine. Are you aware of the perfect nature of existence on a moment-to-moment basis?
For starters, depth in reference to our spiritual practice refers to the quality of experience of clear consciousness and expansion refers to the increase in connection to the essential nature of the universe from the time you began your spiritual practice until now.
As you read through these aspects of an evolved awakened state, keep in mind that awakening is an ongoing process. It is not black and white, but exists on a spectrum. And, since we all have unique motivations and intentions for spiritual growth, contemplate how your personal sadhana (highest intention) applies to these ideas.
Intentions for Growth on Your Spiritual Path
- Progress on the path of awakening is reflected in an increase in one’s sense of centeredness. Feeling centered is experiencing inner strength and steadfastness and knowledge of one’s spiritual nature.
- The amount we have advanced in our practice can also be seen in the level at which we are able to trust in the great mystery of the universe; its ever-unfolding nature, called spanda, which is the pulsation of life, forever moving between expansion and contraction.
- When we are aware of a deepening in our understanding of the interconnection of all life, we know we are moving in the right direction. This can often be seen in the amount of grace and wisdom we apply to the more challenging situations in our lives.
- Our capacity to lovingly honor the sacredness in each other shows great advancement. It is important to note your capacity to find reverence and respect for people whose personalities may be very different and unpleasant for you and how this has changed over time.
- One of the most joyful rewards of advanced spiritual attunement is the increased ability to give and receive love. This includes love in all its forms: romantic/sexual love (eros), self-love, compassion (karuna), kindness (metta), unconditional love (agape), familial love, and many more.
- Our ability to celebrate the gloriousness, beauty and splendor in life shows the depth to which we have matured on our devotional path. We abide in a sense of awe of the immense luminosity in which the universe exists.
- As we continue to awaken, our overall happiness and feeling of full-heartedness increase. We are more and more light-hearted, letting go of small annoyances and resentments. Humor and delight have a greater and greater presence in life.
These concepts may sound grandiose and intimidating at first, so remember that where you are at right now is right where you are supposed to be. As Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”