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The Body

3 Ways to Stay on the Spiritual Path

Botanical Garden, Estée Preda

Inner transformation coach Patti Montella shares three practices for overcoming busyness and staying the course.

In this life, most people don’t think about or have the desire for liberation. Even fewer have the good fortune to find a spiritual path. And fewer yet will remain on the path in their quest for the highest expression of life: total equanimity.

It’s so easy for the mind to get caught up in the chaos and distractions of the world. When worldly matters are your constant priority and you don’t take time each day for spiritual practices such as meditation, your mind and emotions will soon have their way with you. Running around bombarded with too many thoughts while caught up in day- to-day activities is a surefire way to diminish your quality of life altogether.

I’ve taught tens of thousands of people worldwide how to live life with greater ease, happiness, and clarity of mind through the wisdom of the ancient Yogic sciences. The benefits of walking the spiritual path are obvious and the results are cumulative. Yet, the one question almost every- one asks is, “How do I continue when life is so busy?”

Striking a balance between the outer world of activity and your inner world of silence is the greatest skill in life. We all need strategies to avoid getting knocked off the spiritual path. With this in mind, here are three tips to help you to stay the course in spite of life’s distractions.

1. A Sacred Vow

If you’re struggling to make a habit of your spiritual practices, take a sacred vow—an agreement with yourself. Whatever time you set aside for meditation, for example, becomes quality time for your own self-care and development. The important thing is to make the agreement.

In order to maintain the sacredness of the vow, you want to keep it to yourself. Once you begin sharing it with other people, the intention gets diluted. What was once a sacred agreement with your higher self becomes more about fulfilling the expectations of others, which diminishes the power of your vow. If you happen to break the vow, remain guilt-free and simply start again. Eventually the new habit will become your nature.

2. Shake Hands with Laziness

Like anything worthwhile, walking the spiritual path requires self-discipline. Laziness doesn’t allow your life-energy to flow and prevents you from living life in an expanded state of yourself. Without a sense of commitment, you’ll be tossed around by your feelings and your practice can falter or fall away altogether.

But as the wise old saying goes, “What you resist, persists.” So the next time you feel too lazy to sit for meditation, don’t resist the feeling; just let it be. By agreeing to be with the laziness, you’re shaking hands with it. Feelings of resistance will dissolve, allowing you to move forward with commitment.

You will also find that eating too much food, food that is too spicy, or food that is difficult to digest will lead to many thoughts and inertia. A diet that is light, organic, and vegetarian is best for maintaining discipline with your spiritual practices.

Regular practice of breathwork and meditation allows your energy to rise, which helps to keep your commitment intact.

3. Satsang

Satsang is a gathering of spiritual seekers. In Sanskrit, it means “in the company of truth.” Often when we meet in social groups, we share gossip, worries, and complaints. But in satsang, you’re gathering to meditate, to learn higher truths, and to sing songs to uplift consciousness. When you sing in a satsang, the rhythm brings balance to the left and right side of the brain and helps you to reach your inner self. The experience of satsang cultivates a peaceful, calm, and blissful state of mind.

Research outlines many ways that a social support network contributes to our health and wellness. Satsang is an ideal social gathering for a spiritual seeker and it supports your progress on the path. If you’re struggling with distraction, satsang will clear your mind. If you’re feeling lazy, satsang will inspire you. If you’re discouraged, time spent in satsang will help to restore your faith. And if you’re feeling lonely, satsang will gently bring you back to your true nature, which is a sense of belonging with yourself and others.

Regardless of what kind of day you’ve had, satsang will shift your perspective for the better. The result is that your load will feel lighter and more manageable—fueling your resolve to move forward with commitment, creativity, and a genuine smile.