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In today’s world of instant satisfaction and quick, short content for learning and entertainment, created specifically for a fast-paced society incapable of commitment and perseverance it’s a great idea to stop for a moment. Step out of your needs and obligations and contemplate the bigger picture of your spiritual development. Step out of your yoga class, pause the latest audiobook about attracting whatever it is you desire, and set some real spiritual goals.
Spiritual goals are objectives that support your spiritual growth with the intent to achieve the ultimate spiritual goal of all living beings; enlightenment. Thus, anything that aids this ambitious target can be considered a spiritual goal.
Not many people care about their enlightenment and I get that. It’s so intangible and it doesn’t seem to add anything to the way you experience life right now. But enlightenment is inevitable for everyone in the long run, albeit in this or a future life, you will eventually become enlightened. And the conscious path toward enlightenment will make your life more satisfying and worthwhile. And who doesn’t want a more fulfilling life?
What is spiritual growth?
The achievement of any kind of goal usually requires an improvement in certain skills and an expansion of knowledge and experience. The same can be said for spiritual growth.
Spiritual growth is the development of mental abilities to be able to experience more inner peace, regardless of the circumstances in the external world. This growth comes with an increased capacity to control the mind and direct it toward peaceful, loving, and compassionate thoughts and feelings.
Automatically this, more often than not, leads to behaviors in the world that by most people are considered to be caring, respectful, and generous. And people that are spiritually more mature are usually perceived as steady, calm, confident, and humble.
People who have experienced considerable spiritual growth understand the universe is a reflection of who they are and how they perceive themselves. They know there is an underlying Oneness in everything and everyone. A Oneness that unites all living beings and that consequently invokes true compassionate thoughts and feelings.
This doesn’t mean those thoughts and feelings are directly reflected in the behavior and actions in everyday life. This only is for the enlightened beings under us, which have only been a handful in known human history. But it does mean that you will allow yourself to reflect on your internal experience as a reaction to the events that occurred throughout your day. Release any negative, resentful, and separating emotions and align with the natural peace within you.
Spiritual growth can come with many spiritual experiences. Some of them could even be considered paranormal. As you break down layer by layer within yourself, you get closer to the core of that Oneness. Whenever you are wholly aligned and one with everything there is nothing about the universe you cannot know. You have access to every little detail of your many lives and everyone else’s alike. This is why, for example, clairvoyance is more common among spiritually advanced people.
What is the main goal of spirituality?
Attaining spiritual powers such as clairvoyance or other psychic abilities should never be a goal. Although these powers are more common among people who are more spiritually developed they can also occur naturally in people who have not consciously worked on their spiritual growth. And they are not a direct indication of someone’s spiritual maturity either.
On the contrary, a spiritually mature person might not develop any spiritual power besides a steady and expanding inner peace. And only in the later stages of the path toward enlightenment can he or she have the capacity to access these phenomena.
The end goal of spirituality for everyone is enlightenment. But for most of us, this is not something we actively want to pursue. Enlightenment is the last phase of our dualistic experience. Once you become enlightened, you have come to the full conscious awareness of your Oneness with God, and the illusory separation that kept you in a body life after life. It’s your last stage of life in a human body before you live on in eternity, in Oneness, as an inseparable part of a whole. A drop in the spiritual ocean.
What is the goal of spiritual development?
Since for most of us, this is not even something we actively think about, let alone wish and desire for at the moment, a good goal for your spiritual development is inner peace. I don’t mean the kind of inner peace you experience when your external circumstances allow you to slow down, enjoy your surroundings, breathe deeply, and experience a calm and soothing moment. I’m talking about the kind of inner peace that you can only achieve by working on yourself for many years. So it becomes the foundation of your human experience and inner peace will be your natural response to anything that occurs in your external environment that threatens to disturb that peace.
From my experience, this is a much better and more pleasant goal to work with than focusing on enlightenment. Enlightenment is the outcome of a very laborious conscious effort spanning many different lifetimes. True inner peace can be obtained much easier, for most it can be done in this life.
And that is something much more attractive for everyone. Especially in a world where mental health issues are more widespread than ever before. And it looks like it’s only the beginning.
So, spiritual development has the focus inward. Anyone who concentrates on obtaining certain spiritual powers has been fooled by the egocentric standpoint of today’s society where status and the showcasing of a particular skill are the centerpieces of our distorted reality. Yet, if these spiritual powers are attained along the way as a result of the inner work you’ve done to align with your essence that is filled with everlasting inner peace they can be of great benefit to the world around you.
What are spiritual goals examples?
To reach a place of conscious permanent inner peace you can set some more practical goals for yourself. It’s still okay to call them spiritual goals, as they are helping you to reach a much bigger spiritual goal.
In the end, we all like to accomplish things. It feels good to reach milestones we set for ourselves now and then. Setting some smaller goals that can help you to obtain more inner peace is a great way to start.
You can do whatever helps you to recognize the reality of the Oneness of the universe, it’s not a determined list of things that works for everybody. But in general, some practices have proven to be useful for many people on their spiritual journey. All these things have a few things in common, they support you to gain control of your thoughts, and quiet and fortify your mind, enabling you to reach a more stable mental state of inner peace.
Examples of spiritual goals are:
- Meditate daily for 30 days
- Practice yoga 5 times a week
- Complete daily breathing exercises for 21 days
- Practice gratitude every night for a month
- Write in your journal daily for 2 weeks
These are some examples of things that have helped many people to organize their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. And with consistent practice, they can lead to a more peaceful existence.
Consistency is a crucial element for any objective you want to achieve. Just like a professional athlete needs to train for many years before they can reap the success of all their hard work, so will you have to make these practices a habit before you see any real results. These spiritual habits have to become a part of your life, a routine that fits perfectly in your day-to-day and has priority above most other things in life. Because… what is more important than your inner peace?
How can I develop my spiritual life?
A great way to start is to make some time either at the start or the end of your day (or both) to implement these new spiritual habits in your life. These are the moments that are most likely to be the easiest for you to fit into your daily schedule. But be aware that these moments are also the easiest to skip.
If you want results you need to be consistent and persevere in your newly adopted practices until they have become a habit. So, take your spiritual development seriously and trust that the impact your actions today will make a much greater impact on your future self than you could ever imagine.
Every time your thoughts start to wander and you feel like skipping or aborting your meditation or your breathing exercise, stand up and go do it now. The more you hesitate and procrastinate the more likely it is you will indeed give in to your weak and spoiled mind. These are the moments you can make a difference for yourself. And you will thank yourself for it not too long from now.
But you have to do it, you have to dedicate that time every day. To make it easier on yourself, try to eliminate all external distractions. Leave your phone in another room, make sure you cannot be interrupted, and you don’t have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the session. Avoid any feelings of thirst or hunger. And once you’re at it, be there, be present, and allow yourself to be with you. Your full attention has to go to the practice you’ve chosen to make a habit. Your problems can wait, your obligations and responsibilities will still be there once you’re done, and they will not change.
But you will change. Your mind will be clearer, stronger, more creative, and more capable of dealing with the challenges of your life. And over time, you will look back in amazement at how far you’ve come. How strong you have become, how confident and calm you are. Maybe you’re not enlightened yet but, you’ve built a strong foundation for further spiritual growth and surely you are much closer to that final lifetime when you will reach the complete awareness of your spiritual nature.
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