First Steps on the Spiritual Path

If you have accepted that, as Rumi said, “there is a certain work to be done,” talked to friends and read up a little on spiritual paths, as well as considered possible dangers, perhaps you are ready to stick a toe into the spiritual waters.

All legitimate spiritual paths ask you to learn to observe your emotions and thoughts and learn to let them go, coming to understand you are not your thoughts. With increased experience, you will increase your interest in developing these skills and discovering these possibilities. You will find wow experiences, “So that’s why I keep doing this stupid thing”.

The easiest dogma-free way to start is a class on mindfulness. They are available everywhere. Although these exercises can seem dry at the beginning, you will learn important skills with perseverance.

Take a chance and try a weekend introductory meditation retreat. Maybe you will be inspired to establish a meditation practice at home.
Maybe you need more reading, more retreats, or a weekly group to make a serious start on meditation. I know I did.

If you become serious about this enterprise, please consider looking for a teacher. My belief is that it is extremely difficult to be objective about your own thought processes. At the same time, it is difficult to find a good teacher but worth it.

Carry what you learn from meditation into your relationships, your job, your interactions with friends and strangers. Be alert for those universal demons, anger, greed, ego in their infinite forms. In time, you will decrease their expression and cut down on their arising.

As you become less reactive, less cluttered with thoughts, new spiritual horizons will appear. You will be launched.

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