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Level 1, Lesson 8 audio, What is necessary to succeed on the spiritual path, 224B
1-What are the main teachings brought out in the audio lecture recording? Explain in your own words.
Yoga and meditation can prevent what could be described as a “negative trance,” in which we lose control and find ourselves acting in a negative way. Furthermore, yoga and meditation can lead to purification of the guilt we suffer related to our past negative actions. The only way to rid oneself from the vices, and their consequences, is to transcend them through achieving higher understanding.
The source of negative actions is egoism, or having personal desires. These ultimately degrade the mind. Release comes from recognizing that one is not actually the ego-personality that engaged in the negative actions.
While it is important to speak only the truth, we should never speak the truth in a way that intentionally cause others pain. Hurting others causes mental agitation that prevents understanding of higher wisdom. We should only take actions with the intent of serving God. When we take actions with the intent of serving God, we realize that God is acting through us, and eventually, we realize that we ARE God.
Essentially, our spiritual practice must include both informal and formal activities. Our informal spiritual practice should consist of applying the wisdom teachings to our everyday activities, practicing good association, and so on. Our formal practice should include the 3-fold daily worship practice including prayers, chants, meditation, e.t.c. We should be punctual in following a regular spiritual practice schedule.
Additionally, we should recognize that not all of our efforts in moving along the spiritual path will be successful. If we do find ourselves caught up in the world, we should forgive ourselves, and continue with our efforts; we should continue regular contact with our spiritual preceptor, and ask for any additional guidance as needed. We must remember that with continued effort, we will eventually succeed on the spiritual path.
As purification increases, our ability to focus also increases. Teaching others is a good way for us to develop spiritually, and there are others who could use our help at this very moment.
We should recognize that every positive vibration we make has a positive effect on ourselves and others.
2-Are you currently implementing the teaching given in the book and the lecture? If so, which one(s)?
I am implementing all of the teachings to the best of my current abilities.
3-If not then how will you implement the teachings you are not currently practicing, in your life and spiritual practice?
I sometimes find myself caught up in personal desires. In an intellectual way, I realize how futile it is to pursue worldly achievements. But there are still times when I find myself questioning my motivation for pursuing certain interests or goals.
But overall, it’s becoming easier to base my actions on love and necessity alone. Reminding myself of my true goal of serving the divine/achieving Nehast seems to help. Being as diligent as I can about my meditation and divine worship practices also seems to keep me on the right path.