Personal Growth

Personal Spritual Growth


by John I. Mosher, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, State University of New York

Other articles by Dr. Mosher are at Guidelines for Life and Effective Communication

The gateway to cultivating spirituality is a tranquil, peaceful, serene mind.

The uncultivated human mind has been likened to a wild monkey. Like a wild monkey the mind jumps here and there from one thought to another causing turbulence and confusion.

The serene mind, on the other hand, experiences tranquility and has focus and control of its thoughts.  Therefore the first step in developing one's spirituality is to quiet the "coarse mind" which is ego oriented and cultivate the subtle, intuitive mind which is spirit oriented.

There are many books and techniques available to help you quiet your mind.  At first all this information may seem overwhelming. Be still!  Take only one step at a time. DO NOT try to do everything at once!

Week #1
Each morning before eating and each evening before eating, practice the breathing techniques taught in class.   Have a quiet place (sanctuary) to do this.

Week  #2 
Continue the regular practice of the breathing medita-tion, and quiet in your "sanctuary"

Week #3
Continue as before, and focus on choosing quiet as much as possible. Make time for quiet: no radio, T.V. etc.  Instead contemplate ideas, statements, quotations helpful in transforming your thinking and perception.

In the weeks and years that lie ahead, continue regular practice of meditative techniques and add new supporting activities such as retreats, communing with nature, exercise (e.g. a 15 or 20 or so walk everyday), being in bed before 10:00pm, and the practice of positive thinking.  Try attending self-help seminars which emphasize spiritual growth and self-realization.

The well known French author and monk Teilhard de Chardin said, "Change yourself and you change the world."  By taking one step at a time we indeed do change ourselves and in fact change the world as we see it.  By continued regular practice of quieting techniques you bring forth more of your essential nature to express itself and thereby transforming your mind. The more awake the mind is to the reality of your true nature the less "suffering" there is in your life, the less attachment and aversion.

The following little "mini-sermons," as I call them, remind and help me to keep a perspective on things:

First of all, you are not your body.

Our job is to be loving and understanding, not one to judge, blame , criticize  or condemn.

Death is a good advisor. Compared to death, what is so important?

 When we are ATTACHED to things being a certain way we suffer, and often cause suffering to others

Every one wants to be loved, and everyone wants to be happy.

There is no universal law that says "things" must go the way we wish them to go, they go as they go.  If we are wise we do the best we can and take it as it comes, and not be attached to the action or the out come of the action.

When we act from the heart, and give love without expectation or anything in return, we grow in love, maturity and spirituality

These little reminders work only if you use them, and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.  The mind (ego and I) wants, me first, and righteousness is a formula for problems, pain, alienation and does not make for a happy loving life.

I think it was the harsh, rule-laden trip that was laid on many people while growing up that has caused no end of problems in later life. Be sure you do not do this to others.

It is so easy: all we have to do is practice what we know, and what we say.

1. CHOPRA, Deepak. (1990) PERFECT HEALTH. Harmoney Books, N.Y.
A practical guide to using the healing power of the mind, based on the principles of Ayurveda (a 5,000 yr. old system of mind/body medicine.  This is an excellent book to help you understand about keeping yourself healthy.

2.  CHOPRA, Deepak.  Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. An excellent guide on ways of thinking and being which reduce 'stress, touch your spirit and help with the awakening process.

3.  EASWARAN, Eknath. (1994)  TAKE YOUR TIME. Nilgiri PressTomales, CA The book outlines practical tools for slowing down our thinking. A very useful book for coming tothe quiet.

4.  GANGAJI. (1995) YOU ARE THAT. Satsang Press, Boulder, CO. An excellent book that answers questions about your real identity, who you really are.  Provides answers to questions about many life's problems and how they stem from one's ignorance of not knowing who they are.

5.  RAM DASS  (1979)  GRIST FOR THE MILL. Bantam Books.  A classic, it may be out of print, but if you can find a copy you will reach a greater understanding of what life is all about and how to live in relative peace and harmony.  Ram Dass is an American (former Harvard Professor Dr. Richard Alpert) who lived the "Hero's Journey" to awakening.

6.  WElL, Andrew (M.D.).  SPONTANEOUS HEALING.  An excellent book on how to help your body heal itself. Dr. Weil uses a natural foods, wholistic approach to healing, providing you with a easy program for changing your disharmonious eating habits, and life style.

"Each morning, if we commit ourselves to finding the truth of every situation, then miracles will come to us all day long." (Sujata)

(Copyright C 2001 and prior years John I. Mosher, Ph.D., Albion, NY 14411. Reprinted with permission of the author.)


Andrew W. Saul

AN IMPORTANT NOTE:  This page is not in any way offered as prescription, diagnosis nor treatment for any disease, illness, infirmity or physical condition.  Any form of self-treatment or alternative health program necessarily must involve an individual's acceptance of some risk, and no one should assume otherwise.  Persons needing medical care should obtain it from a physician.  Consult your doctor before making any health decision. 

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