In examining the very nature of our existence, what we usually see is the idea of spiritual development. As a matter of fact, we are one of the beings in this world lucky enough to not only experience change, but also spiritual development itself.
Like trees that grow and blossom, the meaning of who we are and why we are here is never stagnant. Instead, it is supposed to be a colorful one. After all, we are the artists of our own existence, only waiting to paint the blank canvas with images and ideas that we seek to actualize.
As such, this quest of pursuing one’s existence requires us to go beyond our animalistic tendencies. If we think of it, looking for food, earning enough, needing shelter, having desires for pleasure, and sex, all these things are non-exclusive for us.
Instead, we share them with lesser beings like animals. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we don’t need them; we do. But are these things all that there is in the brief moments that we get to be alive in this world?
If your answer is no, then perhaps, you are indeed worthy of this quest for spiritual development. After all, you can only embark on this journey of exploring your higher self if (and only if) you yearn for it.
Otherwise, like many of us, you’ll simply fall on towards the façade of consumerism, meaningless pleasure, and purposeless material things. With that, join us as we explore 5 proven and effective spiritual development methods!
Spiritual Development Method #1: Expand Your Consciousness
In approaching your spiritual development, the key lies in that desire to constantly learn new things. When you are stuck with the same old set of practices, your whole approach can possibly become stagnant.
For instance, if you are too focused on crystal healing, it is likely that you’ll become good at it, even to the point of being capable enough to teach others. However, overly immersing yourself in one practice alone bars you from seeing the value of other practices.
Particularly, in this case, you’ll fail to see how crystal healing can be applied to a good number of relevant spiritual practices such as chakra meditation and reiki healing.
While you may have perfected the art of crystal healing itself, your application can be quite limited not because you lack skill, but because you need a better perspective.
As such, the point here is for you to realize that spiritual development is never a straight line. Instead, those small pitstops and U-turns that you make are part of the journey itself.
In order to truly expand your spiritual development, you must have that inner desire to push further. And this can only happen if and only if you desire your own spiritual growth.
When you do so, any qualms that you have against new practices will be toned down, as you’ll realize that an expansion of one’s horizon necessarily involves accepting new boundaries.
Spiritual Development Method #2: Ask Life’s Biggest Questions
In a world where we are partially slaves to the system, our sense of meaning and spiritual development is often compromised.
As we reach that point wherein we are trapped within our own devices, it is almost impossible to get out.
It would take a miracle for us to push through the much of insignificant yet dependable resources in front of us.
For instance, when we submit ourselves to the comfort of technology, we allow it to pattern our lives. Instead of cooking stuff, we take advantage of a pre-cooked set of ingredients. And thus, we think that we are saving time, but are we really?
To ask a similar kind of question takes a lot of courage. After all, doing so means that you’ll be distinguishing yourself from the crowd, from the secure and familiar.
However, a larger horizon lies ahead of you as you decide to break your monotonous existence. By asking the biggest questions in life, you allow yourself to go on a journey, instead of being a passive passenger.
If we look at someone who takes on life’s questions seriously, we see them flourish. And that’s not because they are born more talented or gifted than us. No, they are the same kind of human beings, with flesh that will one day rot and decay.
But if we examine closely, what separates them is their pursuit of life’s biggest questions. Is there life after death? What is the meaning of my existence? Where am I headed to?
By asking these major questions, they’ve shaped their lives in ways that go beyond our superficial pursuits. Thus, it is easier for them to develop spiritually and unfold their spiritual sense of self.
Spiritual Development Method #3: Knowing your Raison d’Etre Helps Spiritual Development
Popular amongst philosophers of existentialism and phenomenology, the phrase raison d’etre, which literally translates to “reason for living,” is the core of our human existence.
By knowing your reason for living, you allow yourself to become alive instead of merely living. After all, to live means that your mortal shell is yet to rot and that you are still here and now.
Yet in most cases, a lot of us are physically present but mentally absent. Why are you here? What brings you forward? What pushes you further?
Knowing your reason for living is at the core of your existence. As you identify your “why” in life, you’ll be able to surmise almost all challenges that life throws at you.
Just like in the words of Friedrich Nietzsche himself, “He who has the why to live can bear with almost anyhow.”
Thus, though harsh winds and mountainous waves may try to stop your boat from rowing, your sheer willpower and determination will propel you onwards.
More importantly, knowing your ‘why’ will also translate into your own flame as you embark on your spiritual development.
Though you may encounter instances in spirituality that is absurd, to say the least, such grounding will give you a pillar to rely on.
Spiritual Development Method #4: Find Meaning in Things
When we are too focused on the end goal, we sometimes forget that things, in themselves, are also meaningful.
Because we’ve become attached to what we want to happen, it can be quite a challenge for us to go further, especially when something has no practical value.
For instance, at the age of 48, you’ve decided to pursue your long-lost passion for playing the piano. Now, you might ask: is it still the right time for me to do so? Or should I start reconsidering things?
If you are someone who only looks at the practical value of things (as what this world subtly inculcates in us), then you’d most likely give up on your pursuit of the piano even before you’ve begun.
However, if you’ve seen the meaning of such a pursuit, then you’ll be able to see something beyond practical value. And as you learn how to play that piano, you’ll be able to express yourself in ways that you’ve never imagined.
By seeing the meaning in things, you learn to appreciate life at a deeper level. Instead of going for a shallow approach that seeks validation from others, finding your own meaning is freedom itself.
And thus, such will lead you to become freer compared to someone who can buy all that he/she wants and yet is trapped in their own microcosm universe.
Spiritual Development Method #5: Live in the Moment
Lastly, learning how to live for the moment is also a good key to move further in life. By living for the moment, you are able to integrate all the other values mentioned above.
However, I would understand that by the moment you’ve read this, you’ll ask yourself: is it right to simply ‘live for the moment’?
If we go back to the internet lingo, living for the moment easily translates to YOLO or You Only Live Once. And sorry to say, but the way that people interpreted this acronym was generally shallow, to say the least.
Giving a wrong interpretation, people generally understood this phrase as something like, “I don’t have to worry about tomorrow.” With that, people sometimes use this phrase to justify their own drinking or gambling sprees.
And as they say, tomorrow should matter less because “we only live once,” they become blinded by their own lack of perspective. Such interpretation is definitely shallow, or even stupid.
Instead, living for the moment means that you are able to give it your best shot each time.
By knowing yourself, searching the meaning of your existence, clinging tightly on your raison d’etre, you are able to truly live in the moment. You are alive, you are not distracted, your mind is here together with your body.
In this way, you can almost surely unlock the deeper parts of your spiritual existence. Your increased awareness about the nature of life itself will lead you towards the end that you want.
Whether you want to know more about yourself or identify your overall direction, these things become easier as you get to live in the moment.
Your spiritual development has a lot to do with your ability to go out there and know yourself. Because spiritual development is found only after you’ve had a great grasp of who you are, it is ultimately necessary to embark on a journey.
And in doing so, you’ll take a lot of risks. One of which is giving up the familiar and the secure. Yes, you may have chosen a different life, one that’s comfortably becoming pre-occupied with the latest serial-killer/obsession themed drama on Netflix as you lie down on that comfortable couch with some soft drinks and pizza with you.
However, in doing so, would you say that you’ve truly lived?
When pursuing this quest of meaning and purpose, it is almost inevitable not to bump against spiritual development.
After all, it is only in our own spirituality that we get to take a step further in our journey.
With that, we hope to have given you some subtle points to work on. Although they may seem a bit general, such as part of the intention in writing this piece since we want to leave it up to you how you’d want such points to fit in your life.
And as you find your own groove, as you carefully place the pieces of your life’s puzzle, as you move forward on your journey, don’t forget that spiritual development will always bring meaning in your existence!