The secret for success in yoga and spiritual life is the degree of dedication and consistency with which we apply ourselves. It is necessary to have a practical approach to these matters in order to experience real progress. Just by reading and discussing spiritual matters we are not able to transform our lives. We become more like parrots repeating what we hear from the gurus and the scriptures, without converting the intellectual knowledge into our own experience.
In order to convert the book knowledge into practice, it takes some effort on our part. As a yoga teacher, I come across some students who complain about the techniques they are learning. They become frustrated and say it doesn’t work rather than analysing the way that they are practicing them. Many times I have found their degree of interest to be faulty, giving more importance to other activities in their lives. I hear comments such as, ” If I have time I will practice” The time never comes unless one makes their practices a priority. It is not possible to receive the real benefits of the powerful spiritual practices, when other things always come before the practice. The yogic experience remains a concept that we never experience. There are many people who are able to deliver discourses on spiritual topics, like the famous pandits of India, some Christian priests in the west, or some so called new age healers. However, many of them are not able to translate the book knowledge into action.
In order to firmly establish oneself in spiritual life, it takes time and dedication. However, we seem to be allergic to processes. The ripening of the fruits and the blossoming of the flowers are all a result of a slow and steady process. If you try to fasten the blossoming of a flower by opening it with your hands, it will not work. Due to an impatient mind, we try to jump the steps of spiritual life in order to obtain a quick result. As we know from material life, fast food is not the best for our body. In the same way the fast spiritual tract can lead us astray and then we may not reach the goal. The ambitious and fast way of life in which we have been involved, pushes us to run after quick achievements. We want to impose this habit on all the activities of our life, causing us to approach yoga and spiritual life with the ‘fast food’ mentality. This often causes disillusionment. Some people, who have experienced small psychic currents, believe that their kundalini has reached the top chakra. Their ego blossoms and they present themselves as enlightened to others, degrading the whole tradition of true awakening.
The true spiritual masters will not make miracles for you. They will simply provide you with certain methods or techniques and it is up to you to practice and develop them. The spiritual masters can also help to inspire you to move successfully through the process of growth and they can guide you when the going gets tough, but nobody can walk the path for you. If the master walks the path he/she will receive the benefits. In the same way you must walk the path yourself and then you will receive the profit from your spiritual investment. Once some people asked Jesus, ” How will we be able to recognize a true disciple?” Jesus answered, ” By their actions you will recognize them.”
It is very important that we trust the path that we have chosen, but before choosing it we should see properly and feel that it is the right one for us. In this life there is a way for every body. Since we are born with this physical body, it means that we have been given an opportunity for spiritual growth. Our duty is to find the path and start walking it. How long will it take for us to find the right shoes size so we can walk comfortably? This depends on several factors, but the most important and most determinant aspect is our degree of interest. I am sure that if we have a high intensity and eagerness to find our inner treasure, the universe and God will guide us on the way to find it.
A little bit of effort every day is enough. We do not need to be in a hurry in the path of life. Rushing makes us tired and then we make mistakes. We should move slowly and steadily just like the famous tortoise in the tortoise and hare story. We can go according to our own capacity and then we will be able to walk further. The fast ways and short cuts most of the time become a long and painful experience. When we move too fast we are prone to lose our awareness and then we will end walking in darkness. Every day brings new lessons and we should digest them properly in order to avoid constipation. Let’s move with serenity in this path and try to find the balance in each action that we perform. Soon we will be able to transform our lives into a great celebration.