|photo: RANDY P. MARTIN|
The spiritual teacher Adyashanti describes his Five Foundations as the context within which spiritual teachings and lifestyle unfold. You may find them very useful.
1. Clarify Your Aspiration. What are you looking for when delving into spirituality? Some people aim too low and miss their true potential while others aim too high through egoic desires.
Above all else, be sure you want and are willing to be ready for the Truth. As Adyashanti points out, few people have Reality as a deep value in their life.
While peace, freedom, and happiness are essential aspects of the spiritual way, they are easily hijacked by the ego if you are not dedicated to Truth above all else.
At any given moment, acknowledge truth and clarity to be what is best for your inner awakening. This will allow you to be faithful to the best you know even while your ego may kick up a fuss at times.
2. Unconditional Follow-Through. Once you have clarified your aspiration, now you have to follow through on it.
It is not that you need to work toward some idealized version of yourself in the future but rather hold true to the values of peace and clarity which you are continually discovering within yourself each moment. Be total about this process and trust the old saying that “The truth will set you free.”
By truth and reality, we mean the preference to learn and abide as the truth behind reality rather than just the beliefs and desires your ego my prefer. Follow through and live your truth as you begin to discover it.
3. Never Abdicate Your Authority. This means take full responsibility for your life and hand it over to no one. No one can bring you to enlightenment for you. No special mantras or blessings or rituals can make it so. Discovering the reality of your existence lies within your own purview and no one else’s.
A truly enlightened teacher can clear away your confusion and help to create the space for you to discover the ever-present truth, but you must be there to allow it to happen.
When you are dedicated to this truth, you will make the time to do your daily spiritual practice and abide continuously in mindfulness.
4. Practice Absolute Sincerity. Some people find it easy to become contrived along the spiritual path. Certain spiritual identities appeal to the ego, be that the earth-loving flowerchild or the psychedelic modern monk.
When you try to be an image, you become stale and lifeless. One becomes inevitably more concerned with appearance than with feeling. Sincerity is the beautiful honesty we have with ourselves and the moment.
There is no need for perfection when you have sincerity. It is the only elixir that can turn shit into bliss. When you are sincerely sad or sincerely confused, then peace and clarity are only one step away. You aren’t struggling to uphold a sense of self but rather to make sense of the moment.
5. Be A Good Steward of Your Life. Spirituality is not a way to avoid the unpleasant aspects of life. It is not a way to shield yourself against the unpleasant, negative, or ignorance vibes of the world around and within you.
"Embrace every aspect of your life, both the pleasant and unpleasant. All of your life is your path to awakening, not just some moments to be enjoyed and others to be endured. Say ‘yes’ to life’s fierce, ruthless, and loving grace." -LazyYogi
Find Adyashanti’s free online PDF The Way Of Liberation