UNLEASH YOUR SPIRITUAL POWER AND GROW
Reflect and Learn to Trust the Power Within
By Glyn Edwards and Santoshan
Published by Foulsham/Quantum Books (ISBN 978-0-572-03319-4)
£9.99. 127 pages
“Our true nature is forever trying to tell us how we can be; all we have to do is listen.”
Deep within each of us is the wish for peace, happiness and freedom from everyday entanglements. The search for this can be traced back hundreds of years. Through self-development we open up to greater possibilities and allow all levels of our being to interact in a less inhibited way. A holistic approach would involve harmonising every part to form a more integrated and balanced whole, including a healthy understanding of our individual self – our individual sense of ‘I’.
Steps to Openness and Freedom
Openness is an essential part of spiritual unfoldment. It encompasses freedom from past conditioning and everyday entanglements, allowing the heart to open, healing our wounds, discovering what is inherent within us, finding our true spiritual nature, and embracing and connecting more with ourselves, others and the vast ocean of life that surrounds us. It is an inner journey that leads to resolving conflicts, developing the will, awakening to beauty and compassion, and manifesting creative and intuitive powers. But there is no actual point where a traveller can say he or she has arrived at the journey’s end, as the search is a continual and ever-evolving process in which there are many awakenings and openings along the way.
Develop honour, respect and reverence for all life and regard all people equally.
Many people’s lives are hard, which may determine the way they are and how they act. To judge another without realising this can display a lack of understanding on our behalf. Therefore, we need to develop some patience and a wider understanding of, and respect for, all people and not be too quick to judge others by their actions, no matter how small or great an incident may be. This includes honouring and respecting ourselves and not being too judgemental about our own weaknesses.
The way to transform our imperfections into good is first to acknowledge them, then accept and use them to awaken compassion for ourselves and others. Cultivate kindness, friendliness and humility, as well as honour and reverence for all. We should never forget that every living thing and person has the self-same sacred spark of life within.
Be receptive and open to the present.
Life is an eternal ‘now’. The past has gone and only exists in our memories; there is nothing we can do that can physically change it. If we hang onto the past we will not be open to experiencing anything new. This does not mean we should deny or not learn from it. By being aware of how past events and experiences affect us, we can change the way we view them and make the present a time for growth, healing and transformation.
If we expect the future to unfold in a manner that we desire, we will probably be constantly disappointed and miss out on new possibilities unfolding in our lives. If our heads are in the clouds we are likely to lose our way. It is where we are now and what we do with our lives in the present that is important. If we are not happy with anything in our life or development, we need to discover why and find ways in which we can constructively deal with any problems we may have. Through this we find our lives taking on more meaning and purpose. It means waking up to the wonder and beauty of life, to our own unique selves (the human brain alone is perhaps the most complex mechanism in the universe), realising there has never been anyone on this earth like us. It is about being right where we are and allowing the mind and heart to open.
Nothing could be simpler and, at the same time, such a sea of trouble. The mind is like a constant thought factory keeping us from knowing ourselves, whilst our emotions invariably carry us to places we feel we ought not to visit. Yet this is all grist for the mill and part of spiritual unfoldment, for learning how to be aware of these things is a crucial step towards change and positive growth. To live fully is to be open to every minute of our lives – to see life as it is and experience it as if for the first time, unprejudiced by any spontaneous reaction or restrictive view. There is potential for growth in every moment if we are prepared to awaken to it.
Investigate and welcome all lines of thought that will inspire and help you to grow and develop.
We should not limit ourselves only to one view, but realise that growth is brought about by acquiring receptivity to new knowledge and experience whereby we look into the mysteries of life and the secrets of nature, and begin to live and understand the implications of a spiritual life. Knowledge that we possess today might be right for where we are now. But we need to guard against holding on to views that may eventually stop us from developing further and seeing life from a wider perspective.
Truth often unfolds and changes us gradually; we would probably not be ready to accept its implications otherwise. If we are open to investigating life and new ideas and discovering what truths can be found within them, our development will unfold naturally and lead us onto higher ground.
Seek the company of those with an open mind and sound knowledge of spiritual development, and let their influence encourage you in your search. If you cannot find such people in the flesh, then search for them in the many books that have been written on development.
Those who live the spiritual life to the full can inspire us to be more spiritually aware and persistent in our search whereas others who have limited understanding of such matters can weaken our commitment. This is why reading spiritually inspiring books is beneficial as they remind us of our goals. It is only once the student has strengthened his or her spiritual will that he or she will be less affected by negative company. But it should be noted that our judgements about others may be more of a reflection of our own minds and characters rather than of the people themselves.
It is not uncommon for individuals to start out on a spiritual path without knowing anyone to turn to for advice, but as they continue in their search, good people often appear and point them in the right direction. The synchronistic law of attraction comes into play and often draws those of like minds together. There are, however, people who can mislead others, individuals who may have closed views or wrong motives. This is where one has to rely on one’s own wisdom and intuition and make decisions about one’s personal growth, for responsibility for it lies in one’s own hands.
Discernment is required in order to discover what is right for one’s needs, nature and development. This applies not just to people one may encounter, but also to one’s environment and life in general, as well as any knowledge that one discovers. There will be times when things seem to strike a chord. Something inside us often recognises and responds to truth when it is found. It may be simply a feeling of wanting to unfold better qualities.
Develop a compassionate heart for all – a compassion which knows no boundary or prejudice.
True compassion is unconditional and reaches across all boundaries. It is a quality of the heart that is limitless and can have a transforming effect upon all who are touched by it. We cannot force ourselves to manifest compassion; it must arise as a natural response to connect with and feel more for life – to wish all peace, love and contentment in their lives and do whatever is within our power to help others when they are in need. Yet we can work towards uncovering compassion and finding it within. This can be done by opening to an all-embracing awareness of ourselves and others, by practising positive affirmations which help awaken finer qualities, and by regularly meditating, practising prayer, contemplation or breath awareness. These will help us to slow down and transcend any limiting perceptions.
The more open we are to ourselves and others, the more free-flowing compassion will function, and the greater our capacity to love and receive love will be. When we can do this, we will naturally reach out and embrace others. If we persist in our search to discover the good that is in us and overcome anything that separates us from others and our true nature, we will find our hearts opening automatically. We discover a well of unconditional universal love from which we can draw.
Through awakening our lives to compassion, we heal any barriers that we may have created around our hearts. When the heart is firmly rooted in compassion, there are no boundaries left to limit our capacity to love. Kindness and non-harm go out to all.
Avoid resistance to change. Welcome it as a means for growth and understanding more about life.
All things are subject to change. Life is never static, but continuously moves in new directions, unfolding and transforming. Yet only when it appears that things are not changing should we be concerned, as it may indicate that we are stuck in a groove and in need of moving on. When faced with disappointment because events have changed beyond our control, we should question whether it is caused by our own mind’s craving for circumstances to be different from what they are. Is it because we are trying to impose our own notions about how things should be? Are we perhaps putting up resistance to change and the opportunity to grow?
Be thankful for any acts of kindness shown to you and repay them by doing good for others. Let goodness flow from you naturally. Perform good deeds purely for the sake of doing them, without seeking praise, recognition or reward.
If anyone has been a good friend or shows us some form of kindness, we must always be thankful and return it whenever they are in need. We should also expand the good we do by helping others whenever we can.
Some become disillusioned with human nature if people do not show appreciation for the work they have done. But seeking reward for any good we do is the wrong motive. Serving humanity is about giving oneself without personal gain or interest. It does not necessarily imply taking up a public cause, which in some cases can mean performing acts and imposing views on others for the wrong reasons.
Sometimes, it is simply a matter of being there for others when they are in need. Yet no action is without consequences as there is joy in giving and good always returns in some form or another. It may not necessarily come from the people we have helped, but from someone or somewhere else.
We could simply wake up one morning and find that something has changed for the better. Potentials may unfold that we did not know we had, or we might catch sight of a flower or hear the song of a bird that opens us to the experience of universal love.
This is why receiving and being open to good is as important as doing good, otherwise we are stopping good from entering our lives and denying others the opportunity to manifest any kindness. If we continuously push good away, it will eventually do as we command and our lives will be less rich because of it.
Being open and receptive to good can be like opening our lives to miracles. Things may happen just at the right moment. A book or a person might come along when we need them, or an experience could open us to a greater understanding of life just when we thought of giving up.
Have the humility to apologise when you are in the wrong. Accept other’s failings when they appear to make mistakes.
We need to take responsibility for our actions and be mindful that others have feelings too. If we are too proud, we can hurt others without even being aware of it. Our faults should remind us that we are not perfect and make us more accepting of other’s failings.
It does not imply that we do not make a stand when peace and justice are being threatened.
Just as we take steps to restore peace in our lives, whenever it is in our power to do so, we should also take actions to preserve peace in the world. Sometimes, simply apologising can heal years of conflict between ourselves and others who may have become our enemies. Everything we do is interconnected. If there is friction in one part of our life, it will affect the quality of peace we have in other areas just as when we experience love in one area, we encounter better relationships in other areas.
Steps to Spiritual Empowerment
By Glyn Edwards
Spiritual empowerment entails awareness of who and what we are. It encompasses awareness of our everyday psychological and spiritual selves, finding ways of bringing both into balance with one another. The path leading to this is by no means easy and often requires perseverance and drawing upon a variety of creative practices and intuitive skills. Just as we need to practise and have a certain amount of discipline and skill to master swimming, driving a car or playing a piano, we also need them – and mo
re – in order to discover our true Selves.
But not all stages are about activity and effort. There can be times for rest and healing to take place. If we have recently been through, or come to terms with, a stressful period in our life, then our emotions may need time to heal. This is why awareness is so important, as it helps us to recognise our needs and see what is required at different stages in our development.
Know that you are an individualised expression of the eternal Spirit, and that It permeates all life in the universe.
If we accept there is a part of us that never dies, we should inculcate this knowledge into our lives, investigate its implications and establish greater awareness of its reality in our development. As we open up to our eternal Self (the spirit which we are that is an individual expression of the supreme Spirit) and to the Spirit that permeates all, various changes will begin to take place. We will become more aware of the invisible world of the spirit and its influence, and of various responsibilities that are essential for following a spiritual path. We will then find ourselves responding to the Divine with more receptivity.
Realise your mind has the power to bring you closer to the Divine, and to finding truth in all things.
Our minds have the power to bring about a deeper understanding of what the Divine is in relation to us, and how It functions as us. It is by refining our perceptions and opening our minds that the authentic
spirit-Self ’s presence becomes more noticeable and life takes on greater meaning. As we awaken to its influence, we open to our own innate wisdom and gain insight into the reality of the Spirit. We start to see the world and our place in it from a more positive and altruistic perspective, and awaken to the true ‘I’ Consciousness within.
This happens because of an increased awareness of our psychic sensitivity. We discover things – such as nature, beauty and everyday activity – beginning to have a more profound effect upon us, and find all life and experience drawing us to a deeper level of understanding. Through this we discover the Divine in all as well as the good in all, and our view and experience of everyday life shifts to a more harmonious perspective. All life and experience become the substance for growth and reflection, and part of spiritual unfoldment. We gradually awaken and take responsibility for what is happening in and around our lives, and make changes that bring us closer to a spiritual way of life and living.
Cultivate receptivity to the Spirit’s presence, and allow it to influence and guide you in your development.
Awakening to spiritual potential is not always easy as it is experiential and often about noticing subtle changes taking place. It is, therefore, important to maintain awareness of how all things affect us and how we respond to life and everyday experience. We will notice as time progresses and we open up to our potential that the call of the Spirit – the Spirit’s influence interacting with our everyday thoughts and actions – will deepen and change. Because of this, it is important not to be inflexible or narrow in our outlook, but open to all possibilities. As we develop a deeper response to and understanding of our sensitivity and spiritual and psychic natures, we will allow the Spirit’s presence to manifest more fully in our lives, and guide us onto richer planes of being and consciousness.
Awaken to the infinite qualities of good within you.
As we start to open to spirit powers and abilities, we should also awaken to spiritual understanding, and manifest qualities such as love, respect, compassion and empathy. These are inherent within us and are expressions of the true Self. We may have exhibited them before, but will notice as our development proceeds that receptivity to the true Self can have a profound effect, if we allow it, upon the manifestation of these qualities.
Through manifesting and expressing them more purely, the gift of wisdom also starts to surface. Our wise and compassionate natures grow by responding to the true Self’s influence. We become more skillfully aware, begin to see life and others from a wider perspective, and empathise with others’ pains and struggles more naturally.
Embrace the whole of what you are.
We can often be in disharmony with different parts of our being instead of accepting our complete selves. By accepting ourselves, we embrace the whole of what we are: the positive, negative and indifferent, as well as the mind, body, emotions and spirit. This means recognising and embracing all aspects of ourselves, including parts we may not like or have previously been unconscious of. However, we should not condemn anything we find, but accept and work with it in order to achieve creative growth and harmony of the complete personality.
Through self-awareness and self-acceptance we become more observant and conscious of different levels of our being, and various influences that work around, within and through us. We begin to see, recognise and understand the sacredness of life from an emotional, mental, intuitive and spiritual point of view. Through awareness of our whole being, we see that our true Self endeavours to influence and guide us, so that we may grow and truly live a spiritual life, and express ourselves more openly.
People become unhappy not because they do not have joy and peace within themselves, but because they do not possess the knowledge of how to unlock them. It is by embracing the whole of what we are that we find the jewel of wisdom, which lights and leads the way to treasures of the spirit.
Realise that the one creative power in all life is God.
We live in an evolving universe governed by Creative Power and Divine Intelligence. God, which is both masculine and feminine, is the inner essence and cause of all life – the ground of everything and everyone. It is infinite being, bliss and consciousness – transcendent, immanent, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.
Because this power is creative and part of us, it responds to us at our individual level of understanding. To open up more to it, we have to let go of anything that limits our perceptions and stops us from recognizing it within ourselves, all life and all people. Through widening our spiritual receptivity, knowledge and consciousness, we awaken to the one-in-all and the all-in-one, and to limitless life, power, creativity and potential of our true spirit-Self. Once we are touched by these things, we must then learn to live by them.
Without self-conscious attunement to the all-pervading presence of the Divine, the practices of meditation, prayer and contemplation will be limited.
We must recognise that the one creative power and law that operates in the universe is God. Unless we consciously make the effort to attune to the Divine in all, we will never understand the spirit that we are and its relationship with everything and everyone. Without this, the practices of
meditation, prayer and contemplation will be limited.
We need to be aware that we live, move and have our being in God. We came from and are part of God. The very foundations of our lives belong to God. It is the substance, continuity and activity of all life. We derive everything from God. Our mind is God’s altar, our body is Its temple and our spirit Its home. All creative potentials and possibilities are within this spirit that we are. We need to recognise that it is through our minds, emotions and individuality that we develop the ability to be more Divinity-centred, and establish greater awareness of who we are and how we interconnect with all life. The more we are able to recognise this reality, the more receptive we will be to infinite qualities of good within us. This will give us the strength to free the mind and emotions, and embrace a greater Truth.
Recognise the higher Self and its relationship with the Creative Principle in all.
Through awareness of our thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions we understand ourselves more fully and see what positive qualities lie within. By acknowledging and cultivating our good, we allow it to affect our development and bring about changes and conditions that are in tune with its influence. This is all part of the law of cause and effect. By having a creative approach to development, we face and overcome our negatives, and bring our lives into line with the higher spirit-Self, for our higher Consciousness and spirit are part of the creative Principle that governs all life. It is only we who limit our abilities, finer qualities and awareness of our life’s true nature and purpose.
Realise you have within you infinite possibilities and potential.
If awareness is maintained correctly, it will open up new doors in our development. By using it to investigate and increase our spiritual and psychic knowledge, we can grow in wisdom and understanding, and awaken our lives to wider possibilities. In the beginning stages, the mind may be more familiar with everyday knowledge and thought rather than spiritual perceptions of life. We may feel like a stranger in a strange land and be unsure about our creative abilities, as we often limit ourselves and underrate what we can truly achieve in life and development.
A way of helping us to overcome our self-imposed limitations is to embrace the power of the spirit within. This power is ours by right. By recognising and manifesting it correctly we find ways to face, rise above
and overcome difficulties or obstacles, and start to acknowledge, accept and work with the limitless potential we have.
We must realise that every emotion is the result of either positive or negative thinking. It is only through awareness of, and creatively working with, our thoughts, feelings and emotions that we manifest more positive qualities within. Through being increasingly aware of our actions and reactions, we become more spiritually responsible. Until we have awakened to self-awareness, we can never truly know who we are and fully trust ourselves. We see that self-awareness is not just about spiritual and psychic development, but the whole of what we are.
By being aware of how we act in everyday life, we can grow into more centred and loving individuals, and by cultivating our minds and looking after our bodies, become more active forces for good. All are part of the process of discovering who we really are, and can be used as vehicles for transformation and expressing the true Self. With spiritual gifts, the more open and cultivated the mind is, the more receptive the individual will be to higher and refined influences.
Seek to understand and live life from the higher spiritual viewpoint, and harmonise your life with the Spirit.
If we truly wish to develop and manifest all that is good within us, we must endeavour to harmonise our lives with the Spirit. When we restrict our view and understanding, our world splits into subject and object
(seer and seen) reality, with no visible relationship binding it together. Like waves rising from an ocean’s surface, we see the world made up of individually distinct and separate parts. By deepening our understanding, we realise that all is interconnected and part of one great ocean of life.
Do everything as an act of selfless service and for the manifestation of the eternal Spirit.
We have within us infinite qualities of good, love and compassion. Every act, thought and expression can be reflected upon and used to unfold these qualities more purely. By doing this, we make our lives a constant meditation and uncover a sense of the inherent universal Self in everyday life. We become less self-centred and more in tune with life and our spirit.
All life is sacred and ultimately derives its existence from God. Therefore, we should seek to become one with this sacredness that exists in everything and everyone, and respect and care for all life, including ourselves. Anything that separates us from others means separating ourselves from life and the creative Principle in all.
Living by spiritual law means going beyond ordinary laws, taking responsibility for every area of our lives – our thoughts, our feelings, our actions – and being respectful of everyone and every form of life we come into contact with. We may not be able to accomplish this overnight, but it is in the trying that we become more caring, loving, centred and responsible human beings.
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Along with an extensive and informative introduction and two essential sets of points by the authors, ‘Unleash your Spiritual Power and Grow’ includes an insightful questions and answers section and an inspiring collection of quotations from many contemporary and past teachers of spirituality.
GLYN EDWARDS and SANTOSHAN are widely known for their deep-rooted knowledge of transpersonal and inspirational wisdom. They are founding fathers of The Gordon Higginson Fellowship (www.ghf-web.com) and have worked with some of the world’s most respected practitioners, including the revered yoga master Swami Dharmananda Saraswati Maharaj.
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