My understanding of spirituality has changed over the years. Course after course, books and surfing the internet all played their part. I have recently discovered that it is almost like a ladder, every step I took led me to the next one. Here is seven tips on the road to living your life fully.
So maybe you want to live your life to the fullest and enjoy your life once and for all? But you are struggling to make a living, you can’t find a good home/partner/car/coffee, life hurts more than that it gives you pleasure and you still have not won the lottery? You can make another choice in life, though it asks a different approach from you. I’m not talking about meditating on a hill in Nepal or Kathmandu. That is of a different order. I’m after living a life fully by you, yes you. In your daily life as it is now.
Tip one: Read Books
A good idea to get started on is the books out there on philosophy. They put a foundation in that is valuable in all areas of your life. References to the excellent ideas expressed before this time are used everywhere. There is so much more information available than say in the late seventies of the last century. You are no longer obliged to go looking for a book on ‘meditation while riding your bike’ or the latest Deepak Chopra- now you can improve your knowledge of the old philosophers and satisfy your spiritual hunger almost anywhere. No more renting books at the library or visiting relatives from the US to bring books for you. The new books and e-books on the internet let you have all the ancient knowledge sometimes even for free.
Recent titles that got many positive reactions are The power of Now, (Eckhart Tolle), The disappearance of the Universe, Course in Miracles, Children and the law of one, The Field (Lynne McTaggart), and all that I forgot about. See what you feel like reading and follow hints you get. May be you want to explore about the Tarot or Mystics. There is not on path, everyone has there one.
Exploring the classics is so easy with the internet and e-books are downloaded to your home PC within the minute. A good start is the etext library of the University of Adelaide. They display a list of E-Text Collections and Archives, many of them are classic works of literature. Next visit the Alex collection of Gutenberg that has many free e-books from philosophers of all times as Aristotle, Plato, and Kant. Also the online esoteric library covers everything from ancient myths and Kabbalah to Eastern Religion and Philosophy to Theosophy and Alchemy. While the Rudolf Steiner Archive and H.P Blavatsky Electronic Library focus on almost all the books of Steiner and Blavatsky. If you are into Nostradamus, look at his prophecies or explore Renaissance Magic and for ancient texts on astrology, surf to Deborah Houldings website. And perhaps you need to brush up your knowledge of the Bible as well.
Tip two: Explore spiritual principles
Books provide knowledge. You read the bestsellers and you think: Great. I can use that. Some ideas stick more than others, perhaps you like the Buddhist approach or perhaps you want it the Deepak Chopra way. There is so many different approaches to spirituality, there is not a one size fits all. This means that it might take a while for you to figure out which spiritual principles make sense to you.
But the good news is that while researching you already begin to practice spirituality on a daily basis. It is like working out in the gym, it takes an effort to go there, get dressed, pump it up and then feel good. A spiritual approach to life needs an awareness that you want it in your life. Why not consider a spiritual workout every day too? Next to pump it up, a sort of beam me up.
Where can you find spiritual principles? Explore the ideas of the Dalai Lama or Buddhism. Visit the area where (pseudo)-science and spirituality get together in the metaphysical or the quantum physical approach. A different path is the way of the self-realization with names from Paramahansa Yogananda and Sai Baba to the ladies Gaganji and Shanti Mayi.
There are also people that popularized spiritual principles and you might want to have a look at them. Check
Deepak Chopra, and Eckhart Tolle or visit the website of A Course in Miracles and the more approachable versions of it with Gary Renard or Marianne Williamson.
Tip three: look or listen to inspiring videos and dvds
Maybe you don’t like to read books or you want to see how principles work with real people in real situations. You could of course listen to most of the people mentioned under Tip One and Two since many books and principles are put on dvd. So you can listen to them on your i-pod as an interlude between musical streams. Imagine the Ipod shuffle, you just finished the Rolling Stones and here comes Deepak Chopra on the principle of success and how to approach it.
Some suggestions for movies and videos. Search for the rental DVD stores in your country and browse the categories. Best places to look would be Spirituality, Independent, Science Fiction or Documentaries. They are sometimes hard to find as the titles are not really Hollywood proof and they kid of get lost in categories where you would look. Recent films would be What the Bleep Do you Know, or The Rabbit Hole. And how about the Matrix 1, 2 and 3. List or websites of spiritual movies are hard to find. I did find some articles like this one on spiritual movies where people share their Christian movies and other titles as well. Beliefnet also features the 2007 Beliefnet Film Awards.
Tip four: Explore ways to meditate
Spirituality comes with listening to what you feel from within you. It is sometimes hard to distinguish between the voice of the ego and the voice of the spiritual you. There are many ways to meditate and how-to-meditate- guides on the internet. Sit and be silent is the one rule to begin with it. A good start could be a ten day residential course of Vipassana Meditation. You learn the basics of this method to observe your thoughts in silence. There are no charges for this Vipassana course. Another more famous approach is the method TM that Richard Gere promotes. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi created this method to enrich your life and as a key to clear thinking. Of course there are more ways, see what you can come up with yourself. Some people find yoga and tai-chi a physical meditation. They are always available locally at spiritual centers.
Tip five: Or spend time in nature
Perhaps you like to spend time outdoors and enjoy walking and looking at the beautiful scenery that the world has to offer? Why not book a trip to quiet areas where you can hear the silence? Countries as Peru, Nepal and Norway, sometimes called ‘the country of silent land and light’. The world has many hiding places to be quiet and enjoy nothingness. If you don’t want to spend money go out at night when everyone is sleeping. Best silence is at your doorstep.
Tip six: Online readings
Just because you are on the spiritual path doesn’t mean that you can’t be curious about yourself and why you act as you do. You can do this with using divination tools as the Tarot at Llewellyn Tarot readings with a choice from 11 different decks and 7 different spreads for your reading, the taroscope, the horoscope or read tea leaves that make symbols when your drink your cup of tea.
Tip seven: Listen to your intuition
Basically there is much in the world of spirituality that can improve your knowledge. But in this process of self realization and realizing what it is to be human there is really only one person that is doing the work. There is not any one or anything that can guide you so well. Begin using your intuition on a more than hourly basis. Every time you feel that you are drawn into a not so happy state, close your eyes and contact the inner you. This voice is hardly noticeable and very quiet. It is never speaking loud, always subtle and waiting for you to make contact. Some call it the sixth sense or intuition others refer to subconscious or higher self.
To do this you might like to go back to step 1 and begin reading on living in the now or tapping into your intuition. A small collection of articles: ‘How to be Happy?’ by Richard Carlson or ‘The Blessing of Becoming Real’ by Kathryn Hegarty or the article ‘Heaven or Hell? You Choose’ from William Whitecloud.
What other steps do you know of to live your life fully?