November 13, 2018

6 Ways of Figuring out which Spiritual Teachings are the Real Deal.

As spiritual seekers, we are always looking for answers—the truth—the teachings that will inspire an aha moment in us and help us see the light.

We hope and pray that there are, indeed, secret teachings out there that are just waiting to be uncovered, and then everything will make sense.

But, does what we are waiting on really exist?

Are there really secret teachings out there? Well, there’s a complicated answer to that question: yes…and no.

In today’s digital age, teachings that were once shrouded in secrecy can be accessed within a few clicks. Teachings that were previously reserved for those with years of practice and study are now accessible at the click of a mouse.

Amazingly though, the secrets still exist as secrets, patiently waiting for the seeker.

The fact that all the secrets—the good ones and the junk—are out in the open, makes them even more of a secret. Why? Because it’s hard to know which are the diamonds in the rough.

We are likely to think:

It’s all valuable. If you believe this, you’ll end up wasting time, money, and energy pursuing empty promises.

It’s all garbage. If you believe this, you’ll end up overlooking and rejecting the teachings your soul longs for.

So, how can you separate the real teachings from the fluff?

Here are a few guidelines:

Seek out lineage.

The most telling sign of a “real” teaching, is if it’s worked for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Teachings and techniques that popped up last week may be amazing, but I wouldn’t count on them. Look for the enduring practices, the ones that have proven their worth over many generations.

Explore your expectations.

If you’re looking for a good deal, whether in terms of price or taking a shortcut to spiritual bliss—pause.

You can’t skip steps on the spiritual path.

The value you exchange should be equal to the value you expect to gain. If you’re searching for a cheap, effortless way to leap out of your current situation into the enlightenment of your dreams, you’re investing in false promise.

These practices have deep roots and provide nourishing fruits.

Teachings and techniques that have stood the test of time, have been vetted, refined, and validated by thousands of practitioners. If they’ve been cared for and passed on person-to-person, they’re trustworthy.

Give it a trial run.

You ought to be able to check out the method before you make a huge commitment of energy, time, and money. Spend time experiencing the teachings and the teacher. Try the practices yourself. Listen with your mind. Discern with your heart.

When you have the feeling of home, you will know you’ve found the right teachings.

You will feel this is right for me. Even when you find your spiritual home, I can’t guarantee that it will be easy. There will be a natural discomfort that arises as you shed old ways of being and open to a more awakened life. But, even in the midst of discomfort, you’ll know if this is your true path.

When you’ve sought lineage, checked your own expectations, done a bit of testing, and stuck to the path—even when the growing gets tough—then the secret will be revealed.

Yes, there is a secret, and it will be revealed.

And when it is, you will laugh, cry, and bow in gratitude. You’ll see how habitually and reactively you’ve turned away from receiving the blessing that is ever-present.

That’s the secret within the secret: what you seek is already here. Your life is part of—and not apart from—the sacred, holy, divine life.

Turn toward your life—even, or especially, the hard bits. Don’t turn away. Infuse whatever arises with loving awareness. Of course, you really can’t run away, because you and life are one.

Which means, as you reveal your heart to life, life will reveal deeper layers of the open, ever-present secret.

Love & Shanti,
E & D

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