Over the years, one of the questions I have been asked most is how do I develop a stronger spiritual life? Most people tell me they spend a great deal of time praying but don't seem to get any answers, guidance or direction. In my experience I have found one sure-fire method of developing a stronger spiritual life and I will share it in this article.
Most people have been taught that reading, studying, prayer and worship are the keys to stronger spiritual development. Those things definitely have their place and should be done no matter what your chosen spiritual practice is.
However, reading, studying, prayer and worship will only take you so far. The key to spiritual development and growth is meditation. Prayer is us speaking to the universal powers, and is a one sided conversation. Meditation should follow prayer giving the universal powers the opportunity to speak to us and answer.
When speaking of meditation I am not referring to the practice in which the meditation itself is the goal. That type of meditation is great for stress management but won't do much for spiritual growth. I speak of meditation with intention and purpose.
The most effective way I have found to begin this practice is to get close to nature. Find a place out in nature that you can get to easily, is quiet and where you can remain undisturbed. Your home altar will work also, but out in nature is best. Go to your place every morning, sit and pray, then meditate with the intention and purpose of receiving the answers you seek. Then do the same every evening. Even 10 or 15 minutes twice daily will cause your spiritual life to grow exponentially.
Find a method of meditation that works for you. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) works well for some while Transcendental Meditation works well for others. There are many methods you can learn. As you continue your practice it will slowly become easier for you to achieve the inner silence that is meditation. It is in the silence that answers come and growth begins.
When you are able to achieve the silence easily you will then find you can enter that silence at will, no matter where you are. This is when your meditation becomes dynamic, as meditation should be. The only requirement for meditation is that you are comfortable and relaxed. I am comfortable and relaxed while taking a walk and therefore can enter the silence. Many times when I am creating or fixing something I take the time to ask how to do it, go to the silence, and get a very clear picture of how to complete the project.
As you continue this practice you will develop greater awareness of all that is around you. Your intuition will become stronger and you will have a greatly expanded sense of knowing. You will begin to understand the spiritual communications that seldom come in language but rather in pictures, dreams, emotions, symbols and waking visions. It is then that you will realize you were receiving answers all along but simply did not know how to listen.
Following this practice with dedication and commitment will open the door to unlimited spiritual growth and development as well as open two way communication with the spirit world. Don't be discouraged if it takes a while to learn. Be persistent in your practice and the rewards will be greater than you can imagine.