When I first started Sahaj Marg in Chennai under my spiritual guru Chariji, and later Kamlesh Patel, I was under the impression that spiritual growth would be easy. Relax, close your eyes, give the supposition divine light is in your heart, and you would be all set!
Science has shown incredible benefits with spiritual growth, but how many of us realize that your spiritual growth can be hindered severely if you don't maintain your material life?
I meet a lot of people that neglect their material life because they are focusing on "spiritual success." I never realized that your spiritual process and growth could be dependent on your material life. After this realization, I took a stronger stance to understand more regarding my spiritual growth, and here are five things that can dampen your process in spite of daily meditation.
1. Mindless spiritual practice
In Chennai, we would get up at the crack of dawn and meditate. Even though I used to love it, I learned that I would dive deep into my meditation sessions, and not take a step back and analyze what was truly happening during my practice.
In other words, I learned that I would wake up and just meditate for the sake of meditation.
Let's try to relate this back to business. If you are running a company just to make money, you will burn out. My suggestion to overcome this is to be aware to observe and be committed to personal growth -- all you have to do is be 1 percent better each and every day.
And this doesn't need to be with just personal growth, but with improving your health, stopping smoking, arguing with your spouse, etc.
Another thing that can help is to put your heart in your work, and focusing on having the correct long-term strategy regarding attitude.
Attaining the goal is 5 percent practice and 95 percent attitude.
Most people read this point and think "the moment I am born there are millions of desires that exist." After being in a meditative state, I have learned that the reality behind desires is that we all have desires, but focusing on them leads to sorrow.
An example can be losing weight. Through the GOQII program, and my wonderful coach Leah, I have learned that losing 50 pounds may be your desire, but after you reach it, you will be dissatisfied.
An easy solution for fixing desires is to be conscious of your needs vs. wants, and abandon desires and greed. It can be hard at first, but the reality is to be truly blunt to oneself about what you need and don't need.
Attachments are also major causes of spiritual growth because they cause misery.
An example of attachment is if I buy a Rolex, and wear the Rolex with everything, and not leave the home without it -- this affects your being because you cannot operate without it.
The easiest way to fix this is to completely let go the attachment all together.
4. Not listening to your heart
We can naturally have a lot of thoughts when we don't listen to our hearts. A solution to this is to simply listen to what your heart is telling you.
How do you listen to your heart?
Any easy fix to discover whether you are just listening to your head or heart is the after affect is negative feelings or emotions. Every decision you make that comes from the heart never has a side thought or after thought.
5. Lack of decision making
One of the major impacts since starting meditation has been my affect on decision-making. Successful decision-making should come down to listening to the heart. At times, in spite of everything seeming positive, you have to take a step back and see are you resisting to take the positive step coming mainly from resistance from your heart.
Let's say you just received a fantastic job offer in Silicon valley, you will be making twice as much as you would have in your past job, at a fantastic company.
This is clearly a positive direction in your life from a professional development standpoint, but you are still facing resistance -- your heart says no.
In my experience it is best to not go against that. All the money, fame, prestige, ego will never be as positive as peace of mind and satisfaction from the heart.