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How to know whether am I still on the spiritual path?

misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a HinduIndia Veteran
edited June 2016 in Faith & Religion

Hi All,

This question arose in my mind today - how to know whether am I still on the spiritual path? - because my sitting practice has gone for the last 5 to 6 months, since I last used to sit in the morning, so for the last 5 to 6 months, many days would have gone in which i would not have done sitting practice, and very few days in which i would have sit for just formality sake for 2 to 3 minutes - so almost no sitting practice on an overall level during the last 5 to 6 months - even hearing to dhamma talks on internet has reduced, since for the last few months, i am working in a new area at office, so since that software technology is new to me, so I am interested in acquiring that knowledge on how to work in that software technology. Just a thought at random arosed to me today - whether am I still on the spiritual path or gone back totally to materialistic world? Any pointers, or areas in which I can try to analyze my situation to know if am I still on the spiritual path? Please suggest. Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    'Spiritual path' is a lot more than just sitting. The way you think and interact with others, is part of your spiritual path. Life - is your spiritual path. Simply because you have stopped sitting, is no cause for you to be off your spiritual path....

    lobsterkarastiCinorjer
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said: Any pointers, or areas in which I can try to analyze my situation to know if am I still on the spiritual path? Please suggest. Thanks in advance.

    There is no need to be on a spiritual path, it's a personal choice.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited June 2016

    Tee Hee.
    @federica is right. We are all on 'the path'. Interludes are sometimes most of peoples lives ... ay caramba.

    Apart from the software technology, what you have learned is something for you to explore, understand and perhaps share ... o:)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @misecmisc1 said: Any pointers, or areas in which I can try to analyze my situation to know if am I still on the spiritual path? Please suggest. Thanks in advance.

    There is no need to be on a spiritual path, it's a personal choice.

    I was assuming that because he posted, he wants to be....?

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    Oi dunno. =)

    federica
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I think only you can answer that. I know when I stray too far off my path, I can feel it. Life becomes more rough, it's harder to see things more clearly, I fall into old habit and patterns of thinking. What keeps each of us on the path we prefer to be on just depends on each person. Usually, if you have to ask it means you are looking for confirmation of something you already know.

    But simply not doing sitting meditation doesn't necessarily mean you are off your path. My meditation waxes and wanes but sometimes I fall off my path even when I am meditating regularly. And some days when I am most "on" my path, I have not done much meditation. As @federica said, it is more about your daily interaction with the world around you.

    RuddyDuck9NamadaRatBoyCinorjer
  • RatBoyRatBoy St. Louis area New

    I notice the OP uses the term THE, rather than A.

    Many here seem correct to me in that they state that sitting on the cushions is only one aspect of a "spiritual" or Buddhist life.

  • How to know whether am I still on the spiritual path?

    Are you more peaceful? Do you feel that greed, hate, or delusions is being controlled, or are they still controlling you? I am also reflecting on this myself as I write this.

    Metta.

    misecmisc1
  • I started to make one of my pithy replies, and after several attempts realized I was just repeating what everyone already said. Well done.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    If not, would you care or even notice?

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited June 2016

    @misecmisc1 perhaps you should ask yourself, what does it mean to be spiritual ?

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran

    Somehow, i feel that the importance of spiritual path has decreased for me. Because I think, whatever is important to me, for that I can always try to have time for it. These days I was trying to learn a new software technology, as I think of heading my career in this direction, and so most of the time for the last 5 to 6 months, I am trying to learn that new software technology. So somehow I feel that spiritual path has become less important for me.

    Moreover, my notion of spiritual path is the path which contains in itself, maximum time trying to meditate by sitting - may be my this interpretation of spiritual path is not correct. But spiritual path, for me, feels the path which Mahavira, Buddha, Bodhidharma, Dogen etc travelled - the monk type path, but me being a married person is on a worldly path, in which I have to take care of my family and try to save money for them, so that after I die, my family could sustain and take care of themselves using the money I earned and saved for them.

    As for if any difference I find in myself, since I initially started (or may be started is a big word for it, as it may have been just faking myself that I started) the spiritual path nearly more than 4 years ago, hearing the many talks of Jain teachers and Buddhist teachers, these days I try to give very small money to beggars, when I have change.

    I still get angry easily and get carried away in almost all situations due to lack of mindfulness. In office, when I open a door, I try to look back to see if someone else is coming and try to hold the door for them, though I forget to do it most of the time, but sometimes when I remember to hold the door, I try to hold the door.

    But damn, without sitting practice, how the mind would become calm, how mindfulness would increase of trying to be mindful in here and now.

    For the last 5 to 6 months, I have not been sitting at all during most of the days and very few days, when I sat, it was more of a formality sake of sitting for may be 2 minutes in morning and then getting up for getting ready to office.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @misecmisc1 maybe you should look at working at it, a little at a time ....Don't bite off more than you can chew....so to speak...

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @how said: > The other direction offers a manifestation of
    greed or hatred or delusion.

    Would that still be a spiritual path though?

  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    I suspect you have gone off the path. Not because I know you, but because of what you have noticed. I do this too, from time to time. Different interests will wax and wane. And if I try to force it, it doesn't really work. I have learned to just notice, just observe.

    misecmisc1
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited June 2016

    @genkaku said:> @misecmisc1 -- Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no way you can be off the spiritual path ... any more than you can be on it. As a friend of mine used to say, "wherever you go, there you are" and where you are is, ipso facto, your spiritual path.

    Sorry but I don't get this, too koanish. You seem to be saying there is no difference between being on a spiritual path and not being on one. Or something? O.o

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @misecmisc1 said:> But damn, without sitting practice, how the mind would become calm, how mindfulness would increase of trying to be mindful in here and now.

    Yes, that's probably the point. Perhaps you need to weigh up whether the effort involved in maintaining a regular practice is worthwhile to you.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @genkaku said:
    @misecmisc1 -- Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no way you can be off the spiritual path ... any more than you can be on it.

    B) Tee Hee. Can it be true?

    Tsk, tsk, the god and hell realms are not going to listen ...
    Just when some of us thought we could escape karma and the Boddhisatvas determined to awake us ...

    Most of us experience and learn from experience that doing good is a more fulfilling life plan.

    Those of us who intensify our overtly 'spiritual' practice may lose points for being condescending towards the unsuperior [oops, seemed to have lost points there ...] :3

    As an un-Buddhist or worse, it is my practice to kick monks back into the 'hall of cushions', snog the Buddha, protect the slackers from the karmically righteous and support alternatives to dharma. o:)

    I iz hopeless! What a plan! Every step has a direction [think I read that in a fortune cookie]

    RuddyDuck9
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @lobster said: Those of us who intensify our overtly 'spiritual' practice may lose points for being condescending towards the unsuperior [oops, seemed to have lost points there ...] :3

    Have you heard of inverted snobbery? :p

    lobster
  • RuddyDuck9RuddyDuck9 MD, USA Veteran

    @lobster said:
    snog the Buddha,

    :love: :awesome: :winky: is he a good kisser?

    lobster
  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    There are many ways to practice, OP, and they don't require outward trappings of "spiritual practice", like meditating, listening to spiritual programming, or reading about spirituality. One important way is simply to practice mindfulness: monitor your thoughts and actions to see if your words and actions have compassion as a motive as you interact with others. How do you handle frustration or anger? What about that everyday crucible of challenges to one's discipline: the family, the household. How are you getting along there? These are the yardsticks by which you should measure your progress.

    I think the fact that this question arose in your mind is a good sign. As long as you think to ask the question, and have the awareness that causes it to arise, you're on the right track. :)

    lobstermisecmisc1RuddyDuck9
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