Level 1 Lesson 7, 224A- What is neccesary for success on the spiritual practice, 30:05
1.What are the main teachings in the lecture
a.Opened with Kemetic Chants.
b.A brief talk on a successful spiritual practice because there is so many ramifications for this topic. This topic will be broken down into a few essential and easy points.
c.Shedy = allows one to gain insight into self and the teachings, to penetrate the mysteries. Sheti= Corpse, that which is going to be transformed/resurrected. Shedy is form of resurrection in our life. As a normal human it is as if being dead, spiritual self-discovery (awakening) represents the resurrection of a true human being. True human being means a spiritualized human being, without this the human is no different than an animal or insect. This leads to being worse then an animal or insect when human ignorance leads to deeply wrong thoughts and actions. When a human lives correctly they can be better than animals or ignorant human beings.
d.What does it take to be a successful spiritual practitioner?
i.Cultivating Virtues: Ultimate virtue is Truthfulness.
ii.Bringing the Virtues into ordinary day-to-day life
iii.Continuous spiritual practice.
e.acquiring material objects does not lead to true happiness. Truthfulness, living in accordance with truth, is true happiness. Truth as we know it today is not the same as ten years ago, and this will be the same in ten years from now because your understanding will become deeper and more profound.
f.Why should a person not make changes in life while trying to learn and implement the changes? Because the desire to get out of the world will be done in a wrong and egoistic type of way and will lead to fanaticism and blind actions. yoga philosophy is not fanatic or faith-based, it is the serious search for truth that leads “ever higher in the search for yourself.” You are not asked to be faith-based but to search for experiential realization. Many come to spiritual lectures and want this to bring profound change, but the profound change comes from the personal purity achieved through the application of the virtues and teachings.
g.Each virtue has to counteract a vice. The vice will cloud the intellect and not make it possible to understand the teachings, even if the teaching is taken tell blue in the face. When purified by the virtues, when pure, the teachings will immediately lead to super-consciousness.
h.A paradox of spiritual practice. The lower levels are left behind when higher levels are attained. Initially the application of disciplines and devotion to a singular tradition or scripture is necessary and it is true that it is necessary for attainment, but this does not mean that any specific scripture, practice, or person is the truth. The ultimate truth is attained by using all things as guides including one’s own tradition and Shedy, and we must be humble in order to receive insight from life including from a child, etc. The personality should be ever-humble even at the great heights of realization and attainment.
i.Misconception of spiritual practice is you have to travel somewhere. These are concepts of the mind that tie us to ignorance because they act as fetters and obstructions. The idea that we must do something such as traveling will hinder our attainment in the present.
j.All the great spiritual figures were like us once. They looked at the same stars, breathed same air, and the remnants of these beings and their life is still here because of the recycling process of the earth. The belief that these personalities were the only ones who could achieve enlightenment is wrong.. These concepts of the mind that hinder us are impurities of the mind.
k.Mental instability is unnatural and is caused by vices, seeking after sense pleasures, being angry hateful and jelous. This leads to depression, psychosis, etc due to the degrading of the mind, nervous system, and personality. The personality is like a machine or appliance and works according to natural laws. If you put in low quality energy or have a surge, it will damage the machine. This emphasizes that our spiritual practice should be steady and balanced. Virtues help this process by creating balance in mind, relationships, and experiences. Maintaining mental balance involves reducing mood swings, not indulging in mood swings. The ordinary person cannot have stability because they stir things up just to have excitement, this is a product of how they have been living.
l.Flexibility in our spiritual practice. Have to be able to overcome the adversities of life. We have the have the vision that all difficulties/adversities are challenges to our mental instability and resolve. We have to meet challenges with this vision to act with virtues even when adversities challenge us. If you cant get what you want, you made effort, that is the discipline
m.Spiritualizing our life. Bringing the virtues into every aspect of life. On a higher level, seeing yourself as a conduit for divine action. Seeing god(higher self) working through you in all activities including cooking, talking to others, working in the world, or doing our formal practice. In Prt M Hru, chapter 25…I have given to the needy, i have done selfless service. Selfless service is the way to bring humility and purity into our life.
n.When you get the idea you want to follow spiritual practice. Initially all the old mental concepts and ideas about spirituality will distort the understanding and practice, and it takes time for this to lead to clear understanding to support serious and balanced shedy. We have to come to understand what enlightenment and spirituality is, readjust it, and this will lead to getting better and better. You have to learn to forgive yourself, all wrong actions have been engendered by our past. As we cultivate virtues our actions will start changing but challenges will continue until purity is attained, and this failures are worsened by repudiating ourselves. The mind will tell you that you cant do this, its too hard, and we should give up. Positive thinking is necessary to overcome these parts of the challenge. Positive ideas include asserting that you can purify yourself.
2.Are you currently implementing the teachings given, if so which ones
a.I am implementing this teaching by continuously seeking to understand and practice Shedy properly. With this I am also putting emphasis on properly understanding vices and virtues, how virtues can counteract vices, and most importantly learning to see body-mind and actions as manifestations of my higher self (god.)
b.By seeking to understand the virtues I am also seeking to bring them into my ordinary day to day life. This has been a process, as mentioned, because past impressions arise and challenge new understandings and higher pursuits. The purification process of Ra-Neb truly helps this, and most importantly seeing difficulties as challenges instead of failures.
c.Continuous spiritual practice is something I really desire and am working at. I have seen progress from 1 session of Ra Neb a day to two sessions and I really hope to do three sessions a day with virtue and consistency as I can see how powerful that is.
d.Another very important key that I am trying to implement is to not repudiate myself too bad when I act un-virtuously because I can see it makes the process of “getting back up” longer and more drawn out. Lately I try and really do my daily Shedy and let go of all the setbacks that come up day to day or even minute to minute whether in the form of just thoughts or physical action.
3.If not then how will you implement the teachings you are not practicing into your life and spiritual practice’
a.I will reinforce the practice of the 3-key points of spiritual practice by writing them down, remembering them, reflecting on them, and working to implement them into my understanding of my Shedy.