Have you ever noticed that we pay so much attention to nourishing our bodies and tastes? We rarely miss a meal. But it goes far beyond that. We attach great importance to enjoying our food and having the best culinary experience. Sometimes food is the ultimate epitome of celebration in our lives.
And there’s nothing wrong with that; Great experiences and comfort are, to some extent, part of a healthy and fulfilling life, no matter what aspect of our life they are associated with. But our attention is not proportionately used to enrich our life equally in all its facets. Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs states that our attention is focused on what our bodies need most and safety, i.e. the base of the Maslow pyramid. After those needs are met, it moves higher to meet our emotional and appreciative needs. After all, our spiritual needs or our higher purpose sit at the top of the pyramid. It’s not hard to see that the higher levels of the pyramid require more effort and energy, in part because they come much later in the hierarchy and are harder to reach. The other reason is that finding and searching for the best and fastest ways to meet our spiritual needs is not easy to find.
The good news is that you are now in good hands. In Sahaja there are many experiences and methods to nourish our souls with rich experiences, if not more. In our busy lives and in the midst of all the challenges, feeding our spiritual beings requires careful planning and insight into how experienced meditators do it.
Comparisons between the diets of our body and our soul can help us understand this better.
Spiritual hunger: seeking
Let’s start with the primary feeling that drives us to eat – hunger. The spiritual equivalent is the search within us for a higher goal in our life, the thirst for us to experience the highest and most desirable state of spirituality. If you are reading this article, it is clear that this thirst led you to something like Sahaja in the first place. But do we have the same intensity of hunger for self-improvement every weeks, months, or years after this first self-actualization? Are we eager to continually ascend to higher states on our spiritual journey?
Introspection makes us hungry to improve, and so does being together. Doing both exercises into a weekly exercise, possibly several times a week, will maintain appetite and fuel our self-improvement on our spiritual journey.
In our self-observation process we have to ask ourselves how we are devoting ourselves to the most important and final goal of our life and whether we are going in the right direction despite all the short-term challenges or detours. It has to make us question the quantity and quality of the time we spend, but more importantly, whether the desired results are being achieved. The most important result must be the gradual transformation of the inner self and our personality.
As for collectivity, Sahaja has many options to attend a group meeting, either online or in person, and there should be no thought or discussion about whether or why we need it. Just do it.
The food for the soul
Next is the equivalent of the food we put into our body. The soul and the spiritual inside need the divine energy of the universe. The best part about it, unlike food on this earth, is that it is an infinite source. Through practices like Sahaja we connect with this source as often as we want and can endlessly recharge our spiritual being. Therefore, when we feed our soul, the point is to have as much access to this energy as possible.
The feed line – the central channel and the connection
The food we eat passes through a relatively complex physiological system in our body and provides energy for our physical, mental and emotional processes to carry out. Likewise, our soul is fed by even more complicated and complex systems of Kundalini energy, the chakras and the energy channels. When the Kundalini energy rises and flows through the chakras, it opens or expands the central energy channel, rising through the 6th chakra in the forehead region and into the brain. Then it helps our soul or spirit to become one with the all-pervading divine energy of the universe. This energy then flows back into the system and nourishes all of our chakras and energy channels.
This life energy controls all of our spiritual, physical, mental and emotional functions and achieves a holistic balance.
Eating food gives us physiological and biological balance, but revitalizing our spiritual system with divine energy gives us a holistic balance in our life and harmony with nature. It nourishes our personality strengths and our innate transformation.
How do we give the spiritual system what it needs?
By being in the state of meditation or that higher state of consciousness. It is in this state that we absorb the most energy. This state also keeps the lines for the flow of Kundalini energy open and clear – the central energy channel. So the more time we spend in this higher state, the more energy we get. Therefore, more meditation and more meditation are our clear goals.
The quality of meditation is also important.
Just as both the quantity and quality of the food we eat are important to our health, the quality of meditation is just as important as the time spent doing it. The quality of meditation is measured by the extent of the absence of thought or the unthinking state of consciousness. A quality meditation session makes it easy and effortless for our attention to stay in the higher state.
But there is another longer term measure of the quality of our meditation. Over time, we become more patient, distant, balanced, mature, and happy.
Plan food for the soul
It is typical of us to focus on our three meals a day and how we are going to feed our bodies. Similarly, it is also, if not more important, to plan our meditation routine. Just as breakfast is king, morning meditation is vital and has tremendous benefits. It sets the tone for the rest of the day. A short session of introspection and meditation in nature during our lunch break or midday can go a long way towards nourishing our attention. And a nice session of footbaths and meditation around dinner can round out our plan for daily spiritual replenishment.
Special food – collective meditation
We look forward to eating out and trying exotic cuisines – the equivalent of that is collective meditation for our soul. It takes our meditative experience to a whole new level. It makes newer experiences and spiritual knowledge accessible that help us broaden our horizons in our spiritual pursuits.
Is there an equivalent to fasting in spiritual usage?
Fasting, when done correctly, helps the body cleanse our system of toxins and helps our digestive system restore its peak performance. While fasting, we avoid our typical heavy and rich diet.
A good analogy to fasting in meditation might be starving out negativity through attention control. This means that we could take time to divert our attention from all non-essential activities and just focus on clearing our spiritual system and deep meditation. There can also be times when we choose to interrupt all our involvement in other areas of our life where we tend to be influenced by negative forces. There are many of them around us – negative media news, debates and arguments, and even our materialistic aspirations. So we could start fasting and take a break from all of these sources that draw our attention down rather than energize it. Such “mind cleansing” can be a great way to overcome temporary obstacles and plateaus in our spiritual journey.
It is a well-known practice among Sahaja practitioners to take a few weeks or months off to have a simpler, calmer and more common life in a seminar or an offsite camp or retreat.
Become a connoisseur of the more subtle experience
Just as culinary experiences are beneficial to our senses, developing a sensitivity to powerful spiritual experiences over time gives us subtlety and appreciation for the finer aspects of life. Our lives and their paradigms are changing dramatically to correlate the quality of our lives with these more subtle, spiritual experiences. We will look for places, people and societies that are filled with positive energy and vibrations as many opportunities as possible. When faced with the choice between the most beautiful and most expensive vacation or dinner and deep spiritual indulgence, we will not hesitate to choose the latter. And it will probably cost us next to nothing. We will realize that money cannot give us the greatest and ultimate experiences in life. Our perspective on life changes and simplicity unfolds. This gives a great feeling of contentment and a feeling of being a free spirit but in complete control of ourselves.
More importantly, we know the art of feeding our soul and giving it what it needs. And we will have no doubt that this is what we have always wanted in our lives to nourish our souls.