This wise advice comes from The Mystic Heart by Wayne Teasdale. It’s aimed at the young in particular, but contains truths and guidance everybody can embrace no matter what stage of the journey they’re on.
7 ways to support yourself on the spiritual path:
1. You are responsible for your own spiritual path
“You must stand up on your own two feet in the spiritual life. You are responsible for this process; it cannot be shifted to your parents, your friends, or your teachers. You have to embrace the spiritual journey, and you are the one who has to be transformed.
Don’t concern yourself with what others are doing. Most have run their lives long enough in that way. You must find your own way, and you must be faithful to the truth you know or discover.”
2. Seek only an authentic spirituality
“As you look to your parents or friends for guidance, ask yourself: ‘Are they good examples of the spiritual life? Are they serious about their own development and transformation, or are they wasting time on activities that distract them from the work of life?’
If they are serious about the spiritual dimension of existence, learn what you can from them. If their commitment is to a religious tradition, then respect it; try to integrate it. But if it doesn’t include authentic spirituality, and it isn’t open to other traditions, then discover your own path and find your own spirituality.”
3. Be guided by wisdom regardless of tradition
“Look to all the traditions of the spiritual life and adopt an attitude of interspirituality. Claim the wisdom dimension of all the traditions for yourself, and let wisdom guide you.
If you find your parents’ approach lacking, don’t reject it; rather, build on it. If their position is wanting, approach them with compassion. Perhaps you can teach them something!”
4. Use discernment over the influences around you
“Bracket the negative influence of your culture in your attempt to gain perspective on life and ultimate meaning. Attempt to transcend the influences of culture in making free decisions about your own inner life. If you reduce the stimuli of the surrounding society, you will acquire precious perspective on this matter, and it will put you in a position to embrace a healthy and viable spiritual life that will transform you.”
5. Beware despair and reject cynicism
“Don’t give in to the temptation of cynicism and despair, especially as you look around you and see so many reasons to capitulate. Cynicism and despair are diseases of the spirit. They reduce our inner freedom, plunging us into moral, intellectual, and spiritual inertia, freezing our development and any hope of discovering ultimate meaning, direction, and belonging in life.”
6. Be who you really are in your deepest soul
“Always leave the door of hope wide open. Cast off scepticism, and be a radiant presence of depth, compassion, love and kindness to others.
Dare to be different! Dare to be yourself!
Be who you really are; be who you know yourself to be in your moments of greatest clarity; don’t allow others to determine your identity for you. Don’t give away your power of self-determination.”
7. Embrace stillness and listen to silence
“Cultivate a love of quiet; learn to appreciate it. Gravitate toward silence; rest in the stillness. Avoid noise, confusion, chaos, and needless tension. Make time each day just to sit and listen to the quiet. It’s restorative and revelatory…
As you become more proficient with the stillness, let your spiritual practice revolve around it by adopting some form of meditation practice.
Watch what will happen; it will transform you!”
>To find out more about Wayne Teasdale, visit his page on Stillness Speaks which includes links to some great videos.