Is the amount of progress we achieve in our 'Spiritual Growth' or 'Personal development' dependent on our own resolution to grow and the effort we put forth, or are there 'shortcuts' to accelerate the process?
I've always been of the mind that the effort I put forth will be rewarded by the results I see. However, reading this question... http://www.inwardquest.com/questions/14939/anybody-tried-quantum-mind-power-cd made me realize that there are indeed many New Age teachers out there claiming to have a quick fix for spiritual growth. I think no matter what tool we use that ultimately we, as individuals, are the only ones who can determine our progress and actually enforce change within ourselves. I realize I've given my own opinion but I would love to hear some other opinions on this.
Since we all live in different worlds on different paths and different circumstances that lead to different results ( I think you get my point :))) I think it is safe to say that some people need to take the long way and some are lucky enough to stumble upon something very rewarding.
So I think I might agree with you in that we are the gaugers of the progress and only we know where we stand and where we think we need to be.
answered 13 Jun '11, 23:43
I think it’s a case of this and that rather than this or that.
Without our own willingness to allow ourselves to develop and grow spiritually, we’ll remain in a kind of mental understanding loop in which we cap our own awareness. As such, maybe we’ll just continue drinking with our friends everyday down at the bar or while watching sports on TV and thus, we’ll probably remain in a state where we’re oblivious to true reality or what’s really real.
However, once we have the willingness to go deeper and explore and we’re prepared to make the small daily efforts required to enhance our awareness; many paths which were formerly hidden or outside the scope of our awareness open to us and we may feel pulled towards them.
As an example, here’s a personal story: although raised as a catholic and having attended church many times as a child, upon becoming an adult I had zero interest in any kind of organized religion.
However, upon becoming more aware, Buddhism caught my attention. I wanted to know why many people in the west were Christian while many people in the east were Buddhist. I already understood that as humans we’re all equal, so why this seemingly different outlook on spiritual understanding?
Being a practical person who rarely believes anything at face value, I went into a temple in North Eastern Thailand and lived as a monk for two weeks I even had to shave my head and eyebrows to practice detachment :)
During my stay in the forest temple, I realized that the hierarchical system was no different from that of a corporation in the outside world and in that sense Buddhism was no different from Christianity. It was certainly not for me and I knew that first hand, not from someone else’s ideas or beliefs.
However, during my stay I was intrigued by the actual words of the Buddha and wanted to understand more and so I continued my inquiries during the following years. These days, I’m extremely grateful for the words of both Buddha and Jesus, but I have zero interest in either Buddhism or Christianity.
I don’t even care if those people were real or not, it doesn’t matter to me because those words were said by someone and, at least for me, they definitely serve as shortcuts to understanding what’s real. I met people who’d been monks for 25 years who know all of the dogma, but who do not seem to understand the words of Buddha.
In Thailand when you attend a funeral, the monks sit there holding up 4 lotus leaf signs on poles.
They’re confusing the words of Buddha for their belief system’s dogma and misunderstanding. Steeping oneself in dogma seems like a very long winded path to truth. I believe it’s better to contemplate the words of avatar’s yourself and skip all dogma!
So in that sense, from my viewpoint, yes there are shortcuts to personal development and spiritual growth. We don’t need to understand religion to be 100% religious in our personal inquires and to understand the truth that’s always been within us :)
answered 14 Jun '11, 07:01
Here's where we all are going to show our roots...
I have followed a 12-Step Program for 30+ years...the steps are there...the path is outlined for us...but each of us takes a different amount of time to travel the path...and there are many loops and re-starts along the way...My path branched out into Christianity and a touch of learning to heal people spiritually thru Reiki and Pranic Healing, etc., etc.
I have found that there is only ONE shortcut. Guess what it is??? HUMILITY.
If you are truly humble, and are willing to take the advice of others, and DO WHAT THEY SAY, well, then, you will grow pretty fast.
Otherwise, you get to grow at the usual speed of the normal spiritual person...which is perhaps not so bad, because...
AT LEAST YOU ARE ON THE PATH IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!
And this is my truth...for what it is worth!
answered 14 Jun '11, 09:50
I think this depends on your belief. Some people believe that you can only achieve something great thru hard work and toil.. Others believe that there is always a shortcut or backdoor way in. Both are right. But in the large scheme of things...I think it all balances in the end...the Universe has a way of doing that.
answered 18 Jun '11, 21:14
I used to listen to deep meditation CDs and before that tapes for hours on end every night. Maybe a three or four hour meditation listening to those tapes from Zygon international which are now called Mind-Tek. These are very deep CDs for experimental purposes I had listened to when I used to use these. These are called The Ultra Meditation series and the X series as well.
These really did help me a lot in my abilities and my awakening.
answered 19 Jun '11, 02:41
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