Spiritual Path of the
As has been relayed for each spiritual Path venue, various methods have been defined to organize and facilitate our spiritual journey within this planetary and systemic evolution. Most of these Paths were defined and documented during the Piscean Age of the World Savior (about 560 b.c. to 1600 a.d.). This is why they rely on the guru/chela, savior/disciple, teacher/student for the instruction, leadership and objective feedback for each of us in our spiritual growth.
The most important role of the guru/teacher/savior during the Piscean Age has been to provide a structured and ordered method of pursuing the Path. Now that we are in the Aquarian Age, we have the opportunity for a new, more individualistic method to complete our spiritual growth on earth. Rather than relying on our guru/savior/teacher as our guide, we can utilize the combination of a systematic process and a mentor to help us until we can fully self-initiate our own growth to Mastery. This is the basis for the seven Paths defined within the Living Spirit community. If you have been reading these articles on the various spiritual Paths embraced by our Living Spirit community, you understand that in this Aquarian Age, we can transcend the need of a guru/Master/teacher through a structured process supplemented by periodic mentoring. If so, you can skip these introductory paragraphs and move directly to the spiritual Path of the Eastern Mystic which begins below.
Path of the Eastern Mystic
During the same period as the western spiritual Paths produced its prophets and Messiah, eastern mysticism saw the emergence of two great spiritual leaders in Lao Tzu and the Buddha and multiple eastern mystical paths to peace and perfection. The Universal Integral Way and the Noble Eightfold Path both provide the means to return to our formless origins and complete our incarnation process, becoming one with the Tao and/or our Buddha Nature. One venue utilizes the four cardinal virtues of piety, sincerity, gentleness and supportiveness to vanquish death and complete the multiple levels of integration of yin and yang to a final Tai Chi. The other utilizes eight practices to identify, embrace and transform our suffering (all Matter) which leads to "Well-Being." Both of these spiritualizing processes require the love, wisdom and sacrifice which characterizes each and every spiritual Path.
The Universal Integral Way can also be called the Path of the Sage. A Sage is characterized by non-competitiveness, kindness and wisdom. This spiritual Path involves knowing the Tao, embracing simplicity and frugality, creating a non-dualistic mentality and living a childlike wisdom. Fundamental parts of this Path are accomplished through cultivating Te. Cultivating Te comes through virtuous and kind action, non-competitiveness and living with simplicity, integrity and peace.
The Noble Eightfold Path consists of eight practices or disciplines which will lead us out of our suffering and into Enlightenment. These practices include Right View, Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Diligence, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. Rather than in succession, we simultaneously focus on more than one until we accomplish all. Rather than viewing these two Paths as separate and distinct, we can integrate both in this Aquarian Age to provide a comprehensive Eastern Mystic Path. As it is with other spiritual Paths, the ultimate sacrifices, transformations and virtues to be embraced are the same. Methods and techniques from every spiritual Path can be of help regardless of which spiritual venue you choose.
After one has developed a Personality through childhood and young adulthood, this Path begins by undoing much that has been conditioned into us through childhood and adolescence. With the practice of Right View, we face our conditioning (samsara) while cultivating both patience and non-competitiveness. From Right Thinking, we become conscious of our habitual thinking and attitudes while we purify our thoughts through loving-kindness and empathy. Another part of this phase in spiritual growth involves transforming the flow of Chi (vital energy or life force) within ourselves. "This involves calming the desires the heart, abandoning the minding mind, stilling the confused spirit, and unifying these three conscious realms into one..." At the same time through Right Speech, we learn to transcend our anger, sarcasm and cruelty to express truthfulness, helpfulness and kindness toward others. Finally, we begin embracing Right Action through developing a "reverence for life" while learning sexual responsibility. We complete this phase in our spiritual journey by embracing two key aspects of becoming a Sage. These two key practices are cultivating Te and frugality. The part of cultivating Te in this phase is virtuous and kind action. Beyond this, we also learn to recognize and change our self-indulgences (also part of Right Diligence) as part of living with frugality. From the Buddha's life, we further complete this phase by beginning to embrace Right Mindfulness through facing our feelings with love, affection and nonviolence; learning to live in the moment with attention and lucid awareness and learning to open and activate our heart. In addition, we're asked to embrace one of the three roles that the Buddha lived as part of our spiritual service.
The Path of the Eastern Mystic focuses on utilizing the life and teachings of Buddha and Lao Tzu through the writings of various past and present mystics to facilitate us achieving the Tao or Enlightenment on our way to Buddhahood. The structure that will be utilized as an underlying guide is a combination of the Initiatory Process and an Aquarian astrology developed from the process-centered astrology of Dane Rudhyar. In it, the astrological mandala becomes our wheel of life and transformation. We self-responsibly focus to transform our lower nature and become a fully self-conscious Soul and Self. As a guard against creating an inflated spiritual ego and as a catalyst at those times of difficulty, the help of a spiritual mentor will need to be periodically present.
Transitioning into the next major phase in spiritual growth on this Path involves developing a deeper ability to meditate. This level of meditating is characterized by stopping, calming, resting and healing. It is looking deeply with understanding and empathy in order to transform ourselves. This ability for self reflection and transformation will be needed as we face the more arduous parts of our spiritual journey.
In addition to learning to meditating better, we utilize Right View, Right Mindfulness, Right Speech, Right Livelihood and Right Action to release and let go of our desires and need to control outcomes; to learn to live with generosity; to cultivate an inner solitude and silence; to focus on principles, not momentary conditions and to take our spirituality in our work. A major step in spiritual growth becomes realized as we face the limitations of our judgmentalness and pretentiousness and develop non-attachment to our ego needs.
This fundamental change in orientation, or “transfiguration,” highly assists in cultivating simplicity in life through Te. It helps us begin "doing genuine inner work with energy, love and discernment," and open our inner ear of listening. Through Right Action, we also focus on behavior to help others toward "liberation and freedom" from their suffering. Further, our Right Mindfulness now focuses on appreciating our body while resolving the physical effects of our past attitudes and behaviors.
Living ethically is further enhanced in this phase of growth through a number of powerful spiritual practices. Learning dream yoga (conscious dreaming) and to embrace the spiritual nature of Truth both fortify the reality of our objective and subjective spiritual beingness. The spiritual practice of qualification and living with intentionality further help us in developing Right View, Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Concentration, Right Action and Right Livelihood. Completing this intense phase of growth also brings us to a major step in spiritual accomplishment. This “crucifixion” is accomplished through developing a joyous humility and joyful mind. By removing our attitudes of self (Right Thinking), we embrace a whole new level of love, detachment and peace. Through a deep review of our life, we also develop a "second-level awareness of complex patterns and dynamics in our experiences." Finally, through Right Concentration we learn to "pray without ceasing" which is one characteristic of intuitive thinking from our Buddha Nature.
Even though the arduous part of our spiritual journey is not yet completed, living in bliss now provides an intensifying motivation to achieve Nirvana, Enlightenment and Samadhi. Much has been accomplished in becoming a Sage and in completing the Eightfold Noble Path. This next phase toward ultimately becoming a Buddha is where the spiritual rubber meets the road. First, as an Eastern Mystic we must embrace Faith. In this case, it becomes faith in the successful transformation of our suffering and the suffering in this world. As a part of Spirit, Faith is what heals us. A powerful way of embracing Faith is through charity. Charity is an important spiritual practice in developing compassion, the quintessential characteristic of the Buddha. As we have been cultivating Te through non-competitiveness, virtuous action, simplicity and joyous humility, we now focus on the last ingredient of Te, integrity. What integrity is for humans is not the integrity of Spirit we must learn to live. Without integrity, here is the part of the spiritual Path where most aspirants fail. This is why an integral part of this phase of spiritual growth is dealing with our ego, both personal and spiritual. In keeping with this phase of spiritual growth, fulfilling Right Diligence (Effort) becomes paramount. Most of the "six perfections" have been focused on, except effort and wisdom. Here the focus becomes equanimity. Although many of the elements of equanimity have already been spiritual practices, the intensity of Spirits influence takes them all to a whole new level. The characteristics of equanimity include non-attachment, non-discrimination, even-mindedness, a deep and subtle joy, a profound faith, and a freedom of mind and heart. A simple way it has been termed is "balanced effort." Through other spiritual practices in this phase including self-surrender, living purity and the transformation of our sexual nature, we become prepared to live with equanimity and move to the final components which will bring us to Adepthood (Sage) and Enlightenment. As a budding Sage, we learn to live with a childlike wisdom (meekness/benevolence). As an Adept, we focus in the present moment with compassion. We now learn the great effort: perseverance, courage, consistency, fortitude and balance. To complete Right Concentration, we also learn the "unification of spiritual intentionality, focus, mental discipline, energy and attention." Two more stages of growth are still ahead in order to finally become a Buddha and live in the state of Unity beyond Samadhi. The requirements and practices for these stages are today beyond our Living Spirit community’s Path of the Eastern Mystic. They will become a part of the "advanced study" program being defined as part of our community in the future.