What does your spiritual practice say about you? If you view it through the inner eye of discernment, it says a whole lot. Newcomers to a spiritual path often are not thinking of the practical benefits of a spiritual practice. In fact, even people who have had a daily practice for years may not totally understand the impact of their practice in their day-to-day life. God is mysterious and often times elusive. How God interacts within the material plane is even more difficult to understand! “What am I really getting out of this? Will I connect more deeply with God? What does that even look like?” These are common questions that come up when looking deeper into the mystery. Keep looking and keep asking; you will definitely find yourself living your way into the answers.
While the individual benefits of spiritual practice vary greatly based on an individual’s karma, heartfelt aspirations and individual needs, there are some extremely practical results that absolutely will be seen by all people who develop a daily sadhana practice and stick with it. Sadhana can be defined as your spiritual practice to take you closer to your higher Self and God. It’s personal, unique, and ideally comes from your heart. Let’s take a closer look at the practical benefits of your spiritual practice, whatever it is.
Discipline and Consistency
When a person adapts a spiritual practice of any kind, consistency is required to start noticing the effects. Consistency requires discipline and commitment. By committing to a daily practice, one will develop and strengthen their ability to be both disciplined and consistent. Once these skills are cultivated, they can be crossed over into many other areas of life, outside of sadhana.
If you can be consistent with your spiritual practice, you can be consistent with anything you apply your will towards! To develop consistency through spiritual practice is extremely beautiful to behold. It not only strengthens the power of will, the inner fire, but also combines it flawlessly with the currents of love and devotion. When love and devotion are combined with willpower to develop consistency, the entire body becomes nourished. One without the other is out of balance; neither can last long term in the psyche alone. Together, a synergy is formed which expands both, an individual’s core primal power of the third chakra with the infinite energy potential of the heart center.
Transmutation of Energy
Surely you’ve been interested in alchemy, right? Alchemy is the science of turning something into a substance that it is not, like changing lead into gold. Sadhana won’t literally turn lead into gold (unless you cultivate that siddhi), but it will turn the denseness and inertia of your mind and body into an inner elixir more precious than gold. On a practical level, this happens very quickly and can be noticed even after only one practice. One of the most awesome things I learned from a Kriya yogasana practice is how to channel energy into something else.
Thoughts can be spun out of the mind through action…literally. Moving the body moves stored energies, emotions and thought forms out of the body. Mantra japa will do this for the emotional body and meditation will do it for the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious minds. The stored energies, whether they are emotions or thoughts, get transmuted through the action of spiritual practice. As this transmutation process occurs, the energies and even their karmic seeds are used as fuel for the inner fire of aspiration; your aspiration to take you further into yourself as God. This greatly ties into surrendering of problems, so keep reading. Through this surrender, the energy can be changed into something useful. If not changed, it can at least be dispelled. This is like taking out the trash. Daily practice filters out the garbage we carry around, allowing the inner gem to be more easily accessible, without sifting through the trash to find it!