Do you consider yourself spiritual? If so, would you say that your spiritual practices are bringing you the inner peace and calm that you would like to see in your life?

Are you able to consistently apply what you are learning from your spiritual studies in your daily life?

If these inner changes are not really happening, do you know why?

Perhaps your practices are becoming repetitive and aren’t as inspiring anymore? Or maybe, you’ve just reached a plateau phase and need a boost?

Something seems to be missing…but what?

4 Qualities of a fit spiritual seeker

The masters of Vedanta, the science of spirituality, have explained that if you feel that you haven’t really progressed in spite of being on the path for some time, there are some tweaks that you need to make within yourself.

They have recognized four inner qualities that you can cultivate to ensure success in your spiritual unfoldment.

If you have these qualities, your spiritual pursuits will reward you with spectacular growth and great fulfillment in life.

Quality 1: Discrimination or Discernment

The first quality is a keen sense of discrimination or discernment. It comes when you’ve examined life closely and reflected deeply that the world is constantly changing and temporary.

Since nothing stays the same, and nor can it remain permanently, you realize that no worldly situation, object or relationship will satisfy you completely.

All experiences invariably end in sorrow: unwelcome changing conditions or circumstances, painful separation, a nagging sense of incompleteness, and the ever-present desire for more happiness.

Having discriminated in this way, you choose to look beyond the surface of things and people and seek out a more meaningful connection to them. Things that used to bother you no longer disturb your mind as before.

You put your spiritual growth and inner satisfaction ahead of worldly goals and concerns.

You constantly use your sense of discrimination to stay alert and be mindful that the choices, thoughts and actions that you make are in alignment with your spiritual goals.

Quality 2: Detachment

A sharp and well-tuned sense of discrimination gives rise to a sense of detachment or disinterest in the small pleasures and petty concerns of the world.

Detachment empowers you with the strength and wisdom to make higher choices in life. Your peace of mind and holding a strong connection to your true Self is paramount.

And so, any attachment to a thing, idea, situation or person that agitates your mind is carefully analyzed, rectified with right actions and readily dropped.

Quality 3: Group of 6 qualities

Next, there are a group of six qualities that appear to be different from each other, but are interdependent. The development of one promotes the development of all the other five.

They are:

  1. Control or mastery over your own mind.
  2. Control over your senses.
  3. Self withdrawal
  4. Forbearance
  5. Faith
  6. Single pointedness of mind.

Control or mastery over your own mind: Your mind is a tool to accomplish many things in life. Like any tool, it needs to be under your control.

To have mastery over your mind is being able to make it do what you want it to do.

And so, if it starts to spew out negative or worrisome thoughts for instance, you should be able to able to control the flow and re-channel it to higher and positive thoughts.

Control over your senses: The five senses are the sense of hearing located in the ears, touch located in the skin, sight located in the eyes, taste located in the skin and smell located in the nose.

Sometimes, when you’re not able to control your thoughts, controlling your senses can be very helpful. For example, even though your mind wants another helping of cake, you are able to rise above the temptation by moving away from the dessert table.

The spiritual masters tell us that the senses are our instruments that should be used with care and moderation. Overindulgence brings fatigue and weakens them.

Self-withdrawal: This is being able to withdraw from external objects and indulgences at will. The ability to withdraw from outer distractions helps to keep your mind steady and peaceful.

What are you supposed to do when you withdraw? The spiritual masters recommend that you channel your energy into doing your everyday duties.

Forbearance: This is the ability to endure the little inconveniences, annoyances, aches and pains that are so much a part of daily life.

Without this capacity, the mind would chatter and complain at every small thing, making you and others miserable.

Faith: Faith is putting in efforts to understand the words of the spiritual masters and the teachings found in religious and spiritual literature.

It is believing the truth of the teachings and doing your best to apply and experience them in your own life.

Single-pointedness of mind: This is the capacity to stay focused on the task at hand. Single-pointedness of mind will help you gain any goal in life.

When you are able to cultivate this quality for your spiritual pursuits such as contemplation and meditation, you are using it for its highest purpose.

Quality 4: A burning desire for liberation

As the first three qualities take root in you, you will begin feel impatient with worldly goals and concerns.

You will understand the futility of worldly pursuits and long to free yourself from the mental sorrows and agitations caused by them. This desire will take your spiritual practices to a higher and more serious level.

There will arise a burning desire to focus solely on your spiritual growth. This intense desire will take you to the rediscovery of your true spiritual nature.

You already have what it takes

If you feel intimidated with this list of qualities, don’t be. The truth is, you already have them, but perhaps not in full measure.

For example, when you are buying a car or a home, or figuring out where and how to invest your money, you are using discrimination. When you drop unimportant activities to meet a deadline at work, you are exercising detachment and single-pointedness of mind. When, you choose not to complain about the weather or get annoyed with the long line-up at the store checkout, you are practicing forbearance.

All you have to do now is to cultivate these qualities by exercising them more often, and importantly, holding the intention to do this to advance your spiritual growth.

When you do this, you will never get tired or bored of your spiritual activities. Growing spiritually will become an exciting challenge that will bring you ever increasing inner peace and happiness.

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Manisha Melwani

Manisha Melwani is a teacher and the author of, "So You're a Spiritual Being–Now What?" She offers spiritual and wellness solutions for life and stress management. She teaches classes in personal growth, stress management and meditation. She is based in Richmond Hill and Markham, Ontario. Contact her for more information or to have her speak to your group or organization. She also offers private counselling sessions in person or on-line.
Manisha Melwani

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