What does it mean to grow spiritually?
In its simplest form, to grow spiritually is to expand your capacity to be more loving, caring and compassionate with yourself and others. This is the essence of what Jesus, Buddha, and Krishna taught.
In their sacred writings, all major spiritual traditions refer to the human heart as the true center of love, wisdom, and power. Keeping your attention on your heart is, therefore, the key to continued expansion and growth.
“And whosoever believeth in God, He guideth his heart. And God is the knower of all things.” – Quran
“For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” – Proverbs 23:7
“The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.” – Buddha
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” – Matthew 5:8
“Our religion is not one of paint and feathers; it is a thing of the heart.” – Handsome Lake
If you’re someone who is fully committed to growing yourself personally and spiritually – because all spiritual growth is ultimately personal growth, here are five proven things you can try.
1) Practice Heart-Centered Meditation
In my experience, heart-centered meditation or any meditation practice that focuses on the heart is the fastest way to improve your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
Here some resources you can look into include:
- Heartfulness Meditation
- The Quick Coherence Technique
- Heart Rhythm Meditation
- The 12 Virtues of the Heart
Any of the above three practices, especially when combined with iAwake Technologies’ HeartWave Meditation Audios, will have a deeply transformative effect over time.
2) Learn to Pray from your Heart
When it comes to prayer, what matters most is the emotional energy, intention or power behind the words. Therefore, it’s important that you pray ‘from’ the feelings of care, compassion, gratitude or appreciation for your prayer to be effective.
Here are some recommendations you can find on my website:
3) Study the Teachings of these Spiritual Masters
All you need to learn about spiritual truth has already been written. Therefore, spend time learning from those spiritual masters and teachers who transcended the human condition through the power of love, compassion, or wholehearted devotion.
Study the teachings of Jesus, Buddha, and Krishna widely available today. Other teachers or books I’m familiar with and highly recommend are:
- A Course in Miracles (workbook)
- Paramahansa Yogananda
- The Heart Sutra
- Sri Aurobindo
- Saint Theresa of Avila
- The White Brotherhood
- Thomas Merton
- St. John of the Cross
If you chose to learn from a living teacher, choose someone you connect with, who has the spiritual wisdom you seek, and who radiates love and uplifts you each time you visit them. Remember that, as spiritual teachers, they themselves are not the truth. They are merely way-showers pointing you towards the greater truth that lives inside your heart.
4) Embrace a Non-Dual Devotional Lifestyle
Devotional Non-Duality, as taught by Dr. David Hawkins, is a type of lifestyle where everything you do is an act of service or devotion to God. This requires that you transcend the duality of the mind (good vs wrong) and begin to see the inherent perfection or Divinity in all persons, situations, and events of your life. In my experience, this can only be done through the heart.
Whatever you do for work, cleaning your house, how you take care of your body, raising children, your next gym workout, etc. you do it in the name of Love or dedicated to the Greater Good of all humankind.
5) Become Part of a Spiritual Community
Find a group of people or community where you can open your heart, feel supported, and share your unique gifts. A community where you can learn from others, give and receive unconditional love and share your journey and progress with others.
Some of these communities may take the form of a religious group or spiritual church. Some may take the form of non-affiliated support groups such as AA where individual members receive compassion and love. If you can’t find a group that feels right to you, consider starting your own.
Finally, bear in mind that spiritual growth is not a destination, but a journey you embark on. A journey filled with all kinds of experiences, each one designed to ultimately help you expand and discover more of yourself, and the awesomeness you already are.
Therefore, be patient, flavor each experience, and enjoy each step along the way!
Feel free to leave your comments below.
From my heart to yours.
Photo by Ben White