What obstacles to your spiritual growth are you facing?

Just like a tree is called to grow, we are called to spiritual growth. But there are barriers to overcome.

Spiritual growth is natural.

And it has its own seasons of timing. When the tree is young, its focus is different from when it is mature. The soul is the same — a young soul has different priorities to the mature soul.

When a soul reaches a point of maturity, it naturally longs for truth. This can be a gentle curiosity or a strong urgent hunger. It becomes more and more difficult to ignore this call to spiritual growth.

Here are 3 obstacles to spiritual growth, together with teachings for you to help overcome these obstacles.

  • #1 “Life is in the way of my spiritual growth.”
  • #2 “My mind is too busy and distracted mind.”
  • #3 “How do I know what is true?”

#1 “Life is in the way of my spiritual growth.”

  • Do you sometimes feel that you just can’t find the time to focus on your spiritual path?
  • Do the demands of life get in the way?
  • So busy working, looking after relationships and family, that you just can’t put attention on your spiritual growth.

Many of my students experience this challenge.

Follow love and interest rather than discipline.

Firstly, instead of thinking that you need to be more disciplined, thinking that you need to schedule in time for your spirituality – please place your focus on what is the most important to you right now.

Instead of feeling frustrated by having to work, and care for your life instead of being able to focus on your specialty, ask your heart “what is most important right now?” And then use your spirituality, to support you in facing what is most important.

Make decisions, take action and live your life from perspective of the peace, love and truth of your being.

In every given moment we can see life, along with all of its challenges, from the perspective of the limited mind, our fears and our egos, or we can look without true eyes, which is our true “I”.

We place attention on what we love. We are interested in what calls to us.

Honoring this is important. If you love your spirituality, your attention will naturally go on to spirituality.

But what is real spirituality? It’s not dogma or theory.

Real spirituality is the discovery of your true self.

Place attention on you. Use self-enquiry to discern the difference between the false limited separate self, your false eyes and the false “I” and the true self, your true eyes and true “I”.

If you believe that you are anything, then you still have work to do, for you are not a thing. You are open, pure, unlimited, formless, ordinary awareness. This is the true self. All spiritual growth is meant to prepare you, to prepare your mind and soul for this realization.

Break down the wall between spiritual and material.

Secondly, it is important not to divide our spirituality from our physicality. They are not separate.

The mind is designed to divide. It is the wall builder.

This is important when it comes to functional living, the mind helps us to know the difference between left and right, blue and red, the letter E and the letter A. But under ignorance, the mind makes it appear that we are separate from what we long for.

The mind, thoughts, beliefs, make it seem that you are divided from peace, love and happiness. And then you seek these things believing that a spiritual path will help you to attain lasting peace, love and happiness.

But the very seeking for these things tells us that your mind is in charge and that the mind has you convinced that the wall is real.
Meanwhile, the truth is that you are the peace, love and happiness that you are seeking.

So we need to break down the wall between what the mind labels as spiritual and material.

From the perspective of the true self, there is no difference between spiritual and material. From the perspective of the true self, there is no material. If spiritual is a word for your true self as open pure awareness, from the perspective of awareness there are no walls. There is only pure awareness.

The songs of life rise and fall in awareness. There are made of awareness. The songs are temporary, but you are not, you are unchanging pure, open awareness.
When this is truly seen, and the mind is enlightened by this seeing, the walls dissolve, become transparent.

Like the classical Zen saying, “before enlightenment carry water, chop wood. After enlightenment carry water, chop wood.”

Except that after enlightenment wood and water are seen for what they truly are, songs of life arising in and of the self, made of awareness.

Life is your spiritual growth.

Lastly, life is not in the way of your spiritual growth, life is your spiritual growth. With all of its grime and grit.

Use your life to further your spiritual growth.

Every moment, every frustration is an opportunity to bring enlightenment to your body and mind. Lovingly notice what is contracting and causing suffering in your body and mind. Lovingly seek the truth, not as a lofty concept but as a living medicine for your life.

Everything seeks enlightenment. Every painful thought, every false perspective. It all calls for the truth that will set it free.

life gets in the way of my spiritual growth

#2 “My mind is too busy and distracted mind.”

Do you want the good news or the bad news?

The bad news first then okay?

The bad news is that you cannot get rid of busy in your mind. Sorry to disappoint you, this is the truth. And in fact, trying to get rid of a busy mind will make things worse.

Now the good news.
The good news is that you don’t have to get rid of busy in your mind! Yes I know what you’ve heard, and I know what you might believe — but it’s simply not true. And I hope this is a relief.

You really don’t need to have a quiet mind. What you need is to understand the mind and to realize that you are not in your mind, your mind is in you. It’s when we identify with the mind that problems occur.

If you see your mind as functional software, like an app that is designed to serve you in your expression of life, then you will put your mind in its place as a good servant. The mind makes a terrible master, but a beautiful sacred servant.

When we realize that the mind is similar to the words that you are reading on the screen, we become more discerning. We question the mind. We put it in the right place.

Then we can call attention back from its obsession with the mind, to rest attention in its source, which is pure awareness.

You are aware of your mind – yes? You are aware of your thoughts – yes!

Thoughts are not aware.

Only you are aware. This is you as the true self. It is awareness.

Become interested in you as awareness. Let attention rest in you. Then whether your mind is busy or still is no longer a problem. You are tuned in to the true self.

The true self is the only source of love, peace and happiness.

mindfulness

#3 “How do I know what is true?”

  • How do we know which spiritual teachings are true?
  • How do we know the difference between the inner voice of ego and true inner guidance?

Don’t trust thoughts, rather use your body’s innate intuitive knowing.

Thoughts in the mind of only one source of information. Get a second opinion from your intuitive knowing.

Thoughts can only recycle conditioned past beliefs. Your intuition can access true insight, groundbreaking understanding and new seeing. Intuition is hardwired into the body.

The body can sense truth.

Truth has the effect of opening the body, of relaxing it. What is not true has the effect of contracting the body, of stressing it.

Use this opening and closing as a way to discern what thoughts you are focused on. Thoughts that cause contraction should be questioned if you want to be free of their suffering.

Thoughts that cause an opening should be welcomed and explored.

Use your intellect to discern based on logic and your direct experience

The mind is different to the intellect.

The mind is the sheep, the intellect is the shepherd.

Activate, using your intellect. Intellect is the questioning function of the mind. It can help you to question your thoughts.

Many people have a very strong mind and very weak intellect. The intellect is like a muscle that must be trained for it become strong.

Being interested, curious and questioning will all help to activate and strengthen your intellect. Don’t believe, rather seek knowing.

If somebody says to you, “sit down there is a chair behind you” would you believe them, would you prefer to check for yourself?

Beliefs can be dangerous, they breed dogma. Enlightenment in its true form has nothing to do with believing anything.

Enlightenment and true spiritual growth validated in our direct most immediate experience. That which is known and knowable.

Don’t trust teachings that reinforce that you are a separate or not whole.

Any teaching that reinforces that you are separate or lacking in any way is not teaching designed to bring true spiritual growth and enlightenment.

Teachings that encourage you to realize your self as non dual, whole and complete, is the very source of your own happiness love and peace, are potentially teachings designed to support your spiritual growth and enlightenment.

Find a teacher that resonates with you, that lives a good life and walks their talk

I have often found truly spiritual people working as farmers, running businesses in doing so-called “non-spiritual work” and I’ve often found many egos dressed as spiritual teachers, at esoteric fares, in the spiritual marketplace.

Your highest teacher, the Satguru, your inner teacher.

There are some beautiful, wise spiritual teachers in the world who are living lives of integrity, but there are also many more that are not.

Find a teacher that resonates with you, that speaks to your heart and intellect, and also look to see how that teacher lives their life. If you wanted to find a teacher to teach you about investments and wealth building – would you trust the teacher who was in debt? If you wanted to find a teacher to teach you about happy relationships – would you trust a teacher who had only broken relationships?

Find teachers that are truly living the reality of what they teach.

They don’t have to be perfect, there’s still a personality and human life, but integrity and honesty, love and compassion are key.

This website, these courses, in this blog, are filled with articles to support your spiritual growth and path to enlightenment — presented with love, in a real down to earth way.

 

belief vs truth

Summary

Consider these 3 common obstacles to your spiritual growth path.

  • #1 “Life is in the way of my spiritual growth.”
  • #2 “My mind is too busy and distracted mind.”
  • #3 “How do I know what is true?”

See life as your spiritual growth path. See the mind as software that need not interfere with your spiritual work. Use your intellect, your intuition and your discernment to seek and find truth.

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