The distinction between that which is spiritual and that which is material is advantageous for the beginning seeker to note. Due to the conditioned influences of living in a material world, and the consistent enabling of the identification to the ego, the references that we use in our language plays a large part on how we see the world and how we see ourselves.

For greater understanding I prefer to create significant differences in these dichotomies such as the distinction of material actions and spiritual actions. For those who feel attracted to pursing a spiritual path, the roles are usually divided into that of the seeker and that of the householder. For the latter, those who have taken to adopting social responsibilities and civic duties, the challenge is that the actions labeled as spiritual are usually considered unimportant. Often times spiritual intentions are referred to as less valuable or even invaluable in accordance to the role of the householders participation in society.

In the infancy of my personal spiritual path I was a householder working a 40 hour a week management job with a sole proprietor business on the weekends. The intention I had set for myself as a seeker was to practice, study and meditate everyday in balance with my daily responsibilities. Naturally, I had to be mindful of time management and proper organization to achieve my short term and long term goals. Depending on the day, I would either wake up and meditate for an hour in the morning, divide my meditation into two 30 minute increments during the day or my main preference was to meditate for an hour at night before sleeping. The meditation that I practiced was a silent, sitting meditation before an altar that I had allocated as a sacred space.

Despite having no guru or spiritual advisor every time I had come to an obstruction on my path I had to investigate possible solutions and take the initiative to adjust my practice accordingly. As I was conditioned and raised to identify with a belief system, I was confronted with the fact that I can either stay in this system, confined in the beliefs that left with me with more questions than answers or transcend them entirely. Riddled with feelings of shame and guilt, I had to confront myself as I was faced with a crossroad. I had to decide if I was leave the faith of which I had been adorned with since my birth. This was the biggest obstruction I would have to overcome. With appropriate contemplation I decided that I wanted the Truth more than anything and I took to taking the first steps upon my path, the path that would change my life forever.

“Every seeker has their own unique path, no two paths are alike. While some paths may be short, others may be long, but regardless of the length, every path ends with the same realization.”

Obstructions upon the spiritual path are natural elements and they can be quite varied dependent upon the uniqueness of the individual seeker. Whether you are confronted with a previously adopted belief system, or whether you have past traumas, psychological, physical, emotional or otherwise or whether you come from a social background that criticizes the spiritual pursuit, every obstruction offers an opportunity to transcend and discover a new part of yourself. With the acknowledgement of every obstruction you continue to forge the path as you rise into your power and fulfill your destiny to awakening. While seeking external guidance from another to assist you is beneficial, it is also necessary to take the appropriate time to contemplate all of the choices that are presented to you and to also explore the direction and pace of which you will proceed forth. Everyone has to walk their own path, and all the choices that you watch yourself make on your path can only be completed by you, as the seeker.

As I continued to advanced on my spiritual path, I started to incorporate different meditative methods into my daily duties, such as silent observations, reciting verbal and non-verbal mantras and consistently reminding myself to be completely present in the moment no matter the frequency of which my mind was constantly roving about playing with thoughts and ideas. There are several methods to practice upon the path to awakening, the truth is that all methods are not only traps but all methods are filled with traps. Absent of true clarity upon my own path I found myself in a myriad of traps pertaining to the use of specific methods but as my devotion was paramount and my conviction was unwavering, I took to finding a way out of every trap that I inevitably encountered.

One evening as I was sitting on the floor in front of my altar for my daily silent meditation, with my eyes closed I could see the faint glow of the candles cascading in the darkness, the flickering light cast their shadows as the encapsulating fragrance of sandalwood incense decorated the room. As I sat for an hours time, the first fifteen minutes would be the introduction to the meditation, getting acquainted with my body and my intention. The perception of time became quite distorted when in deep meditation and I went deeper and deeper within myself I felt as thought I was flooded with rapturous lights. I could feel my body convulsing, shaking back and forth as my breath seemed to stop and I was immersed in an ecstasy I had never known before. I felt myself letting go, going deeper and deeper into the void, as though I was disappearing into pure nothingness. As the pleasurable sensations continued to pulse and heighten I felt as though I was existing no more and just as the peak arose to sweep me away I had to open my eyes so that I could see that I was still here.

As I felt my body with my hands, I regained composure and I remained once again with my eyes closed. I continued my meditation and afterwards as my meditation ended, I took the time to processed my experiences and acknowledging the fact that it was quite difficult to comprehend. Despite my best attempts to find an answer to what had happened, I desired to recreate this experience and alas this was my first trap. It took some time but I soon realized that I did not specifically intend to bring about this ecstatic, rapturous state of meditation, indeed it came about spontaneously, without any effort on my behalf. After this recognition I had learned through my own trial and error and as I continued with my meditations I was no longer bound with the trap to recreate such pleasurable states. In past retrospect if I had a guide it would have been a great benefit in bringing understanding so that I could overcome this trap.

Coupled with the sincere devotion of the seeker, the offering of having an external living spiritual guide is not only considered a blessing but also a great asset. While the path must be walked alone by the seeker, the living guide can offer insights which are often overlooked by the perspective of the seeker. Each seeker has their own path, there are no two paths that are alike. While some may be short, others may be long, but regardless of the length, the end of every path always comes to the same realization.

As you advance on your spiritual path, recognizing material actions, as the intentions to acquire the necessary resources needed to sustain shelter, clothing and food for your body, and recognizing spiritual actions, as the intentions that will encourage your destined path to awakening, it will no longer be necessary for you to create such distinctions. In observing yourself and the world around you, you can be passionately engaged but also detached from the outcome of any and all actions, as you will come to the realization that all actions are the same. The recognition of unity will be perceived in all actions and non-actions, for it is the nature of the mind that creates these distinctions, as all actions are derived from the source, all consequences are dissolved into the source, the source that You Are.  ~ ༺ 𝓖