I was born and raised in a family that was extremely religious. I was taught that every morning I should go into the temple at our home and bow down to every single God and Goddess who either had a picture or a statue. I even had to touch every religious book that was kept in the temple. If I would not do this, one of the elders in the family would touch their hand on one of the statues and then place it on my head.
I was very young and did not question what was really happening. I simply accepted it as their habit and belief. I allowed them to touch my forehead, and then I returned to having fun.
I was taught that if I did not go into the temple every morning, I was dis-respecting the Gods, and I would not be blessed, on the contrary I may even be punished. Once again, I also accepted this belief as a fact; after all, it was coming from the elders in the family, wasn’t it? However, have you considered the idea that someone without an ego cannot be disrespected? All these Gods have moved beyond their ego, and therefore cannot be dis-respected no matter how hard you try. Furthermore, these Gods are also considered as the ocean of compassion, so can punishment and forgiveness be part of the same value system?
You see, when we are young (between the ages of 0-7) we are like a clear slate, completely open, and anyone we encounter is able to write on this slate (which is our mind). Since we are completely open, we do not have the ability to discriminate whether the information that we hear is a fact or simply someone’s limiting belief.
Neuroscience defines the state of the brain during the ages of 1-7 as alpha, which is a state of complete receptivity. This is also the state that we experience when we meditate. This is the reason why we are able to re-program the mind during meditation, because once again the slate is clear.
After the age of 7 the brain shifts into beta phase. From this point onwards it becomes a little more difficult to influence an individual because he/she has already created a database of beliefs in their mind.
For example, I was raised with the belief that I should not eat meat on Mondays and Thursdays, and if I did, I may be punished. This belief was so ingrained within me, that even when I was in college (away from my parents), I could not break this rule. There would be times when I would have no access to vegetarian food, and would simply eat white rice. This belief was so strong within me, that I was willing to starve myself. I would feel really proud of this, as if I had done something really great by not breaking the rules. Even though, the entire time I was eating white rice, I was thinking about the delicious sweet n’ sour chicken. One of the reasons for being vegetarian on Mondays and Thursdays was that these days are more “pure” than the other days, and on these days we must keep ourselves pure by refraining from certain activities. However, let me ask you this simple question, was I truly being pure by eating white rice while I was thinking about the sweet n’ sour chicken, as well as being frustrated as to why I had gone to that restaurant on a vegetarian day? Also, is Monday and Thursday more pure than a Tuesday or Wednesday, just because my family believes it to be so?
Many people have such beliefs, and I truly respect it. My intention is not to change your beliefs. Although, I will share an article very soon on how to transform your beliefs to experience true freedom.
My intention of this article is to help some of you upgrade your spiritualty. You see, the family I was raised in considered themselves very spiritual, and even today many of them do. However, as I interact with many people who are so called “spiritual” I often feel repelled by their closed-mindset and spiritual pride.
By closed mindset, I mean that they are not open to any possibilities of existence besides what they have been taught. For example, X or Y organization is the only path to enlightenment. Many of these individuals define themselves as following the path of “bhakti” or devotion, which according to them is the only way to enlightenment. With this mindset, many of them are simply not open to the other paths such as “gyan” (wisdom), “karma” (action), or “kriya” (energy work such as meditation, yoga, etc.)
Without a combination of wisdom (gyan), action (karma), and kriya (energy), along with bhakti (devotion), we cannot shift to a higher vibration of spirituality. Devotion, action, or energy work without developing wisdom can be extremely dangerous. This is when people become religious fanatics because their devotion is so strong, yet their wisdom and compassion is so weak.
This closed mindset is also another reason that many of these individuals do not experience higher dimensions within themselves.
I would like to offer you a few simple tips to upgrade your spirituality to experience higher dimensions within yourself.
1. Cultivate gyan (wisdom) through meditation and self-reflection. Singing the same religious songs and reading the same religious texts everyday will not bring about transformation.
2. Cultivate bhakti (devotion) by not only talking to God everyday, but also truly connecting and listening to God for a change. Cultivate love for not only a specific God, but for the entire creation, including that which you may consider as “impure”.
3. Cultivate karma (action) by practicing acts of kindness or generosity, and quit hoarding and preserving everything that you own.
4. Cultivate kriya (energy) by practicing some type of energy work such as reiki, acupressure, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, qi-kong, etc. This will open up the energy centers (chakras) so that you can be receptive to higher dimensions within yourself.
I assure you that if you start practicing these simple techniques, within a week you will experience shifts within yourself as well as synchronicities. Good luck, and I look forward to hearing your comments and experiences.