Five Ingredients for Effective Spiritual Practice
Shambhavi talks about the five ingredients we need in order to get the most fruit from our seated practice. The satsang concludes with a Hiranyagarbha (golden egg) meditation. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi
Podcast First Words
I thought it would be a good idea to go back to some basics and talk about the components of an effective beginning practice. What’s most important in terms of your approach to it? In terms of what you bring to the cushion when you sit down to do things like meditation and mantra? Of course the basics are also the basics for experienced practitioners. But hopefully most of the experienced practitioners in the room already know these things!
The first ingredient that’s required if you want to have an effective practice or if you want to get the most fruit from your practice is consistency. Consistency is more important than how much time you put on the cushion. If you practice one hour a couple times a week, that’s not going to have the same impact as practicing for half an hour seven days a week. Every single day you’re practicing your karmas 24 hours a day. Probably even in your sleep you’re going over your karmic fixations in your dreams. So you need to do something every day to begin to redirect that energy that’s driving those karmas, aka those patterns of limited vision and limited experience.
Of course it’s best if you do quite a bit of practice every day. But if you aren’t going to do an hour plus of practice every day, choose an amount of time that you can do, and do it every day. Number one: consistency.
Number two is start from where you actually are. You can’t have an authentic spiritual practice if you’re trying to act spiritual. I mean, it’s funny, but lots of people don’t follow this advice. You can’t have an authentic spiritual practice if you’re trying to be further along than you actually are. You can’t have an authentic spiritual practice if you’re unwilling to look at where you actually are, if you are unwilling to see where you actually are, if there are things that you refuse to feel because you don’t like feeling them or you think it’s somehow shameful or humiliating in some way. So whatever condition you’re in, that’s your rich treasure chest of material to begin an authentic spiritual practice with. We have to be willing to start from where we actually live.