I want to focus on the Spiritual Master and 5 ways that it has helped me on my journey, so it is incredibly personal. Before I go into this, let me discuss with you briefly the difference between a Figurehead and a Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master has a personal relationship with your spirituality and the focus is purely on spiritual growth. The relationship has more compassion, forgiveness and love. The Figurehead is someone that carries on a tradition and is impersonal for the most part and has the danger of operating with fear and complete obedience. An image is created for them and the Figurehead follows this image accordingly. There are cases that some are a mix of a Figurehead and a Spiritual Master and each case is hugely dependent on the disciple or the follower.
My last blog post dealt with how we need to be self-reliant in our relationship with spirituality, if we are to be serious seekers. I mentioned that having a fixed framework that is a ‘one size fits all’ like a philosophy/ideology that all must follow and following a Figurehead was important for a casual spiritual aspirant. It offers structure, some practices that are not strenuous, and it will at least give us all the tools to make us decent human beings.
Let’s now look into the 5 ways a Spiritual Master helped me on my journey.
My Spiritual Master understood my approach with spirituality and responded according to it. My Spiritual Master guided me to carve my own way to understand the deeper realities. I was to pick myself up when I fall and remain grounded whenever my ego could soar to unnecessary places. My Spiritual Master was very quick in understanding and accepting that I didn’t belong to any organization/movement and that my Spiritual Master’s guidance is everything and would remain so. I would ask questions on what I was confused about and my Spiritual Master would give me answers sometimes. Occasionally, I would follow up with more questions. Then there were times that silence was the answer to my questions. Normally, a day or two later I would find the answer I was looking for. It was always within me.
Discovering the Inner Guru
My Spiritual Master through silence and the knowledge of the Self showed me the Inner Guru that was always residing within. I was to befriend this as much as possible. I was to ask this Inner Guru my questions, share my doubts and worries, and even my joys and feelings of bliss. Whenever I sat down to meditate, I was to focus on the image of the Inner Guru, who would then take me to the Formless, Impersonal, Ultimate Reality. So when I met my Spiritual Master, I could give a highlighted report about the progress of my spirituality and whatever answers I couldn’t find, I would ask those questions and would receive the answers accordingly. The more I connected with the Inner Guru, my Spiritual Master gave me a lot of love and we grew closer.
Return to the Source
The focus was always on returning back to the Source, the Origin, and the Formless Reality that is always there in the background. This doesn’t and has never disappeared. It is always there and I just had to focus as much as I could on it. My Spiritual Master would tell me to stick to the Formless, and don’t look anywhere else. If I would listen or read something, I could relate it back to the Formless. Explore and find the connection and then bathe in that Awareness. The more awareness I had, the better. This became the base of my meditation. I was blessed with some amazing experiences and this was because of simply following my Spiritual Master’s guidance.
Synthesis of Spiritualism and Materialism
My Spiritual Master laid great importance on connecting the spiritual and material. I wasn’t to live dual lives – one that is spiritual and then one of the world. I was to find the Spiritual in the Material World. I was guided that the Spiritual is very much present and that I had to lift the veil in order to see it. I did find that the more I focused on my spirituality, then I never had to worry about my job or anything like that. Somehow, life always remains smooth. I do my work to earn a living and I focus on my spirituality. Both have a beautiful relationship with each other because I was told to see the oneness between them.
Let the Heart Speak
This is something that is very dear to me. My Spiritual Master guided me to only share my best and that was through my heart. If I was to speak to a gathering, I was not to be prepared. It is funny but whenever I prepared something, I would forget it and deliver something totally different. I always enter a different state of being – very similar, if not the same, as when I meditate. I lose sense of my individual self, finding Awareness through the Heart and then I speak. For some reason, I can never remember anything I say verbatim. I can never remember lines of spiritual texts. I just seem to understand the essence.
The reality is that my Spiritual Master has allowed me to really develop my own spiritual path, according to my understanding. Being agnostic, this is very helpful for me. Even though, my Spiritual Master talks about God, I understood what was meant by that word. Although, I don’t like using the word but I know my Spiritual Master’s discourses reach a wider audience. But in private conversations, the word ‘god’ was seldom used. Only Formless, or Awareness was used with me.
The Spiritual Master understands you and works with you to excel in spirituality. The focus is on your own improvement alone as a spiritual disciple. One of the best moments during a conversation with the Spiritual Master is whenever you come to a realization or you discover a beautiful insight and you share it with the Spiritual Master. They will listen to it as if it was completely new to them as well and you will see wonder glowing through their eyes. In that, they teach true listening along with keeping an attitude of wonder. The Spiritual Master is the truest advocate of mystical experiences and their aim is to create a Mystic.