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Discipline and Consistency
When a person adapts a spiritual practice of any kind, consistency is required to start noticing the effects. Consistency requires discipline and commitment. By committing to a daily practice, one will develop and strengthen their ability to be both disciplined and consistent. Once these skills are cultivated, they can be crossed over into many other areas of life, outside of sadhana. If you can be consistent with your spiritual practice, you can be consistent with anything you apply your will towards! To develop consistency through spiritual practice is extremely beautiful to behold. It not only strengthens the power of will, the inner fire, but also combines it flawlessly with the currents of love and devotion. When love and devotion are combined with willpower to develop consistency, the entire body becomes nourished. One without the other is out of balance; neither can last long term in the psyche alone. Together, a synergy is formed which expands both, an individual’s core primal power of the third chakra with the infinite energy potential of the heart center.
Transmutation of Energy
Surely you’ve been interested in alchemy, right? Alchemy is the science of turning something into a substance that it is not, like changing lead into gold. Sadhana won’t literally turn lead into gold (unless you cultivate that siddhi), but it will turn the denseness and inertia of your mind and body into an inner elixir more precious than gold. On a practical level, this happens very quickly and can be noticed even after only one practice. One of the most awesome things I learned from a Kriya yogasana practice is how to channel energy into something else. Thoughts can be spun out of the mind through action…literally. Moving the body moves stored energies, emotions and thought forms out of the body. Mantra japa will do this for the emotional body and meditation will do it for the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious minds. The stored energies, whether they are emotions or thoughts, get transmuted through the action of spiritual practice. As this transmutation process occurs, the energies and even their karmic seeds are used as fuel for the inner fire of aspiration; your aspiration to take you further into yourself as God. This greatly ties into surrendering of problems, so keep reading. Through this surrender, the energy can be changed into something useful. If not changed, it can at least be dispelled. This is like taking out the trash. Daily practice filters out the garbage we carry around, allowing the inner gem to be more easily accessible, without sifting through the trash to find it!
Learn to Surrender Problems
Through having a daily sadhana practice, an individual can cultivate the ability to learn the art of surrender. Surrender is the opposite perspective of will power; they are not really different, just spoken of differently. Surrender to your higher Self is no different than cultivating the will power necessary to take you towards your higher Self. The surrender is a letting go of the ego attachment to desire and a letting go of those thoughts and actions which don’t serve the highest calling of the soul within. Every time we allow ourselves to let go of problems, to relinquish worry, doubt and fear, we are taking another step closer to our soul. Learning to let go of the junk of the day is crucial for cultivating peace of mind and tranquility of heart. Since we are exposed to unwanted feelings and thoughts on a daily basis, learning to release them on a daily basis through sadhana is a terrific way to stay healthy, positive and at peace. The longer a person is able to stay positive without concern for the obstacles of life, the more love and devotion for God will build inside the heart. This brings us to our next topic.
Cultivate Devotion and Gratitude
As each of the previously mentioned practical effects of spiritual practice is experienced in your own life, a natural deepening of love and devotion to God will occur. God is whatever you conceive as God; it does not matter your spiritual path, religion or belief system. Whenever you are able to deepen into the flow of the divine mystery with love, surrender, faith and devotion, all of life will change. This ability to let go of problems and to trust in the universal current of love is a sure recipe for victory in all aspects of life.Here is the thing with spiritual practice.If the divine consciousness was completely separate from the world, no part of any spiritual practice would be able to have an effect on life. But it does. Not only sometimes, but all of the time. Every single thing we do as humans, whether it is for God or not, will have an impact on our life. Why? Both matter and spirit are part of the sea of consciousness in its multitude of forms. Matter and God can never be fully separated from each other: in fact, they rely on each other for their full expression. God needs prakriti to manifest through (without prakriti, God remains unmanifest) and prakriti needs God to exist. Even when we do not see or feel the interconnectedness of matter and divine consciousness, it is there. The effect that sadhana has on daily lifeis perfect evidence of this.
So the next time you do your spiritual practice, remember this perfect interconnectedness of all. Remember that God loves to give back a thousandfold everything that you offer from a place of love and devotion. Try it and see for yourself. Learn to reap the benefits both inwardly and outwardly in life and find out first-hand how your spiritual practice helps you live your day-to-day life.