What does Spiritual Mastery mean to you?
What are the signs of living in spiritual mastery?
This article takes up the 8 spiritual powers of the soul and personal mastery based on the ancient teachings of Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga is a form of meditation, also called ‘remembrance’ of our divine nature & of the One, above. It is accompanied with divine knowledge which guides the soul back to its birthright of self sovereignty.
These eight powers are essential and are latent within every soul. They become active when the soul awakens from the limitations of perceiving it’s self as a body. and becomes conscious of being an unlimited soul. Until this happens, these powers remain backstage and are unavailable as long as one is living a life dominated by the senses of body consciousness.
As you familiarize yourself with each power, imagine what the power feels like, sounds like, and what your life would look like if you had access to each of these powers. Reflect on how you will feel when you are in command of each power. See yourself walking comfortably and confidently in the light of each of these eight powers. They are yours to claim.
Firstly ask yourself:
Do I have faith that I have full rights to these powers?
Are there limiting beliefs in my subconscious which have conditioned me otherwise, such as a belief that says spiritual mastery is reserved for the fortunate few who are mystics, saints, and sages, or other “advanced” beings?
Then ask your Self, the unlimited you, to reveal all your limiting beliefs, conscious or unconscious, that you have about self-mastery. Know that you have picked up these beliefs from the world around you and that they are not true, they do not belong to you, and it is time to release them.
Asking and waiting for a response will reveal the conditioned assumptions that you have taken on board about how attainable or unattainable you believe self-mastery to be.
Your next step is to allow letting go of them to be easy. This is an important step in freeing yourself to achieve your highest state of consciousness.
How will you know when you’ve become a master of your spiritual power ?
Here’s one definition of spiritual power:
I am in my spiritual power when I am able to respond to life with my original consciousness of unlimited love, peace, purity, joy, and truth. These qualities define who I really am; they are my original and eternal truth and my original state of being.
Knowing who you are makes all the difference. Then you are able to take full responsibility for how you interface with people, circumstances, and situations. As you use your original qualities and your spiritual powers, you realize that you are no longer living as a victim at the mercy of the inconsistency of the world and people around you. Instead of being stuck in ‘victim consciousness‘, your awareness is of yourself living as a soul in your original state of spiritual mastery. This is called soul consciousness. The ego is not part of the soul and its influence will diminish as you, the soul, shines through.
“The more you review the knowledge of each of the eight powers, the more easily you will be able to realize them…
If you experience any power for even one second, your happiness increases so much.”
Murli (Raja Yoga Teaching from the Divine Source) 11/17/94
The teachings about the soul are for all souls
- As you become stable in the awareness of being a powerful soul, it becomes easy to free yourself from old conditioned patterns of behavior. You become free from the behaviors and unproductive habits that controlled you before you realized who you are.
- You are able to surrender negative, sorrowful, and traumatic impressions that have been left upon the soul– to the Highest on High.
- Your original soul qualities of love, peace, purity, spiritual power, truth, joy, and bliss emerge and now guide and influence your life and the way you respond to people, situations, and circumstances.
- Ego and attachments are no longer running the show.
- You become detached and loving and are able to take yourself and others lightly.
- This is what spiritual mastery looks and feels like…detached, loving, and light!
The 8 Main Powers of the Soul
The first power is called ~ The Power to Withdraw. Like a tortoise, moving to a position of safety, you are able to withdraw from the senses and are no longer controlled by them. With this power, you are able to disengage, when necessary, from negative or hurtful situations around you. You become the detached observer, calm, cool, and contented.
This power, when praticed, allows you to return to peace and find your internal focus by withdrawing your attention away from everything external for short periods of time every day. To build this power, give yourself time to be quiet and reflective and to contemplate upon your original nature and the nature of Supreme Goodness. Imbibe power from the Supreme Goodness.
As you cultivate this ability to withdraw, you experience how beneficial it is to retreat from the pull of the world, other people, and the five senses on a daily basis and to nurture and fortify your Self in the remembrance of the Supreme Being, also called the Ocean of Love, Ocean of Peace.
As your sense of freedom from the outer world grows and the pull of peace from your inner world increases, your meditative time and the desire for it also increases.
The power to withdraw is possible even while engaged in activity. Even though your thoughts must be involved during most tasks, withdraw every so often and return to your inner state of peace.
As you practice this, your thoughts will disengage when not absolutely necessary. Your mental energy will be saved. This is called true controlling power and brings great strength back to the soul. The soul begins to take its rightful place as the one in charge, the sovereign being. As you become the master of your senses and incoming stimuli, you no longer feel like a slave to emotions or to the body. You are no longer being knocked around by external circumstances. You have become comfortable and at home in your inner sanctuary.
Withdrawing or ‘going within’ creates the reward of new perspectives based on clarity and a cool head. This opens up possibilities for change. With clarity, the need to speak so much decreases and over-thinking is reduced.
Clarity strengthens the power of intuition. As you experience success by following your intuition, the feeling of self-mastery begins to accumulate.
These are the many benefits of the Power to Withdraw.
The second power is The Power to Pack Up. It is the ability to stop all wasteful thinking about past, present, and future events, in a second, and to remain positive, lighthearted, and free of burdens and worries. This power is connected with the Power to Withdraw.
When withdrawing from the external world of the senses becomes natural and easy and you’ve made friends with your inner world, you will begin to notice that you are met by 3 obstacles: a chattering mind, an analytical intellect with an endless list of questions, and a memory full of images of past impressions and experiences. These 3 obstacles are your greatest challenges, but can be turned into your most valuable allies or advisors.
However, because these potential ‘advisors’~ the mind, intellect, and sanskaras have gone unsupervised and accustomed to too much freedom for too long, they now mistakenly think that they are in charge. This is not their fault; it is simply the result of what has happened to you, the soul, over time. Now is the time, to take back the reins.
The Raja Yoga Teachings tell us that the human journey upon the earth has consisted of playing various roles in different lifetimes. All these experiences are imprinted upon the soul. The impact of these experiences may be active or dormant. Traumatic and repetitive experiences make a deeper impression upon the soul and usually have a stronger impact upon our present life. Inadvertently, your past-life experiences can overshadow your present perceptions and influence and cloud your thinking. This occurred during the lifetimes in which our consciousness of being a soul was dominated by the consciousness of the 5 senses and their influences upon the body. The presence or awareness of being the soul, the master navigator of the ship had become eclipsed by the mistaken identity of the physical parts we were playing. Compare this process to an actor, who forgets he is playing the part of Hamlet and at the end of the play is completely traumatized by the final scene in which blood and corpses dominate the stage floor. The director of the play notices the actor’s reactive condition and steps in to remind him that it was only a play and that now it is time to take off the costume and return to the peace of his own home and get some much needed rest.
As you come into the awareness of being a peaceful, loving soul, you are freed from mental and physical tiredness, trauma, and malaise. As you become the master of your life, your mind, intellect, and memories will stop creating problems based on past associations. They will be sustained by the soul’s growing ability to guide and support them positively.
Your advisors the mind, intellect, and sanskaras (impressions and memories) welcome the intervention of the soul whose presence brings truth to the forefront- this is restorative to the mind and intellect, who have been deeply influenced sometimes positively and often negatively by all the comings and goings of the parts you have played. This shouldn’t become a power struggle between the soul and its advisors; make friends with your mind and treat it as a mother would care for a child who had gone astray. All this can happen through meditation and contemplation. With the kindness of a mother or a friend, encourage your mind to relax and to slow down the production of thoughts. Guide your mind to indulge in the luxury of silence.
When your inquiring intellect asks why it should be quiet, help it to realize that the understanding it desires only comes through listening and observing, not through relentless questioning and searching. Invite it to relax, detach, and be a loving observer.
As you learn to slow down and enjoy the silence, you won’t be tempted to jump on every train of memories that races up from your memory-bank. Let the memories come and go. Past is past. Refuse to get on the memory train and these interruptions from the past will become less frequent.
This second power to “pack up” is crucial to keep you the soul, in the driver’s seat, in the present moment of awareness, moving in the direction of your choice.
The 3rd power is the Power to Tolerate~ with this power you become like a fruit bearing tree that remains unaffected by the storms, the floods, and droughts of life and you respond to challenges with a positive frame of mind. Be like a mature, fruiting tree which when pelted by stones, drops its fruit in return. Have no irritation or annoyance… nothing will disturb your light frame of mind when you invoke the power to tolerate.
This ability comes with ease when you stay seated on your internal seat of the soul as the detached observer. You are loving, involved, and detached at the same time. In this light frame of mind, you can tolerate all types of situations and people, and the feeling of having to tolerate doesn’t even arise! Instead you easily maintain your equanimity, your neutrality, by understanding and accepting that everyone has their own unique part to play, and is playing it as best as they can. This attitude will develop the virtue of mercy for others, and yourself, too!
As you begin to practice the power of tolerance, you’ll realize that the first thing you’ll need to tolerate is your own inner reactions and triggers, as buried negative memories and emotions emerge. Tolerance becomes possible when you detach from the thoughts and feelings by remembering that you are not your thoughts and feelings; you are the creator of your thoughts and feelings. This awareness frees you to take charge of them and to create thoughts that are positive. It really is a game of awareness!
As you become adept at tolerating yourself, it is easier to tolerate others. You appreciate your role in this world drama as a vital one. You realize that you are a conscious being tolerating the actions of others by accepting their energy and returning it with a higher quality of energy. (like the mature fruit tree giving its fruit to the one who threw stones at it)
Mastery of this power gives you the attainment of radiating love in the face of insult, ridicule, ignorance, rejection, criticism, and even hatred. As a master of tolerance, you become a transformer of energy and are crowned with one of the highest values of life.
The fourth power is ~The Power to Accommodate. Like the ocean which receives all rivers that flow into it, you accommodate all in a state of equanimity and remain unaffected by past situations. You accept and encourage the presence, ideas, and wishes of others, easily.
Visualize yourself as a master of accommodation who like the mighty ocean, accepts every river that flows into it, whether clean or polluted. Yes, this is a big one!
Affirm: I am able to adjust myself and transform all that is happening around me with the power of accommodation and good wishes. I’m able to accommodate relationships and circumstances when I leave the past in the past. As I embrace this truth, that past is past, the future appears clear and bright.
This doesn’t mean that you adjust to an atmosphere that is weakening or compromising. Rather through your broad outlook you transform negatives into positives, defects into virtues. You are able to transform any scene that shows up into something beneficial.
The ability to accommodate others is a major challenge today. It means accepting and adjusting to someone else’s flow, working with another’s ideas, understanding another’s needs, being flexible, and tuning in. For example, let’s say symbolically you are faced with a person who is ‘dying of thirst’. Somehow you are not aware of it and instead of giving water, you offer diamonds, gold, great advice, everything and anything, but a glass of water. What the person wants is so simple, yet until he or she receives the water, it is difficult to value anything else that is offered.
Being accommodating requires a sense of fearlessness, which gives you the capacity to flex enough to allow a situation to develop naturally. Fearlessness, on your part, allows another to make their demands upon you.
Ask yourself: How fearless is my capacity to adjust and accommodate others to maximize the potential in each opportunity for the greatest benefit for all? The result of fearlessness is benevolence, a virtue that is god-like in nature and attracts more ot itself into life!
The fifth power is ~The Power to Decide. This is the ability to accurately assess all situations with clarity and confidence. The power to decide or to ‘judge’ allows me to know the quality of my own choices, decisions, and actions. It does not include judging others; no-one has that right. As I grow in this ability, I can make clear, quick, accurate, and unbiased decisions. For this I need to be above the influence of situations and the emotions and opinions of others. I also need a clear understanding of what is right and wrong.
As my power to tolerate and accommodate all people and all situations grows, I sense (judge) that I have matured into a wise soul who makes accurate, authentic judgments (decisions). I have gained the immense power to see myself, situations, and others for the sake of acting in accord with harmony. The power to decide or judge is the power to choose truth, even if I must stand alone in that truth.
The power to decide/judge is intrinsically connected with the power to discriminate; for to discriminate or discern is the ability to correctly evaluate the thoughts, words, and actions of myself and others as a benevolent empress. While the Power to Judge manifests outwardly, it relies on the Power to Discriminate, an inner process connected with the inner knowing and wisdom of the intellect.
When inner knowing is acted upon, it has great impact upon the world. The one who uses the power of discernment is making a statement that “I trust myself; I am clear that my actions are worthy and will bring success. I’m prepared to stand by my choices and be accountable for the consequences.”
I trust that I can accurately assess any situation with clarity and confidence and decide how to respond. In a detached, neutral state of mind, I judge my own thoughts, words, and actions to see if they are beneficial to the scene in which I find myself. I become the judge of myself, rather than a lawyer defending myself and judging others!
If I see someone moving outside of the divine laws, there are two possible attitudes to choose from, other than judgment. If someone is doing something wrong and doesn’t realize it, I adopt the quality or virtue of mercy to inspire him or her to make corrections by being an example.
If someone does realize they are acting against divine law and they are making an effort to overcome it, I maintain an attitude of respect and endeavor to empower him or her with my thoughts by seeing them as a ‘pure soul’. To accurately judge/access the needs of others and to assist them spiritually means that I must be free of self-interest.
Brief Review of the first 5 Powers
I am able to rely on my judgments, assessments, and decisions only when:
(1) I withdraw and restore my inner power as a soul,
(2) I pack up and put a full stop to wasteful thinking,
(3) I’m able to tolerate the emergence of any negative feelings, and
(4) I can accommodate the ideas, desires, actions, and presence of others.
When I have mastered the 4 powers above then:
(5) I’m able to make accurate, authentic judgments and decisions and create powerful responses to life. I’ve found the balance of love and law~ spiritual love tempered by spiritual principles.
However, if I know the best course of action and don’t follow that ‘knowing’, it indicates that I’m not in command of the Power to Judge and Decide.
When I check in with myself, it is not to punish or shame myself, but to decide if my thoughts, words, and actions are consistently of the highest quality. Only by checking in will I be able to change and make the adjustments I wish to make. This is called the process of checking and changing!
While I don’t judge others, I do review their actions…for rightness, for quality, and for value. I’m an eternal student and learn from everything and everyone around me. I have no need to judge any person for I know that innately all are good, even if their actions may demonstrate otherwise.
The sixth power is the Power of Discrimination. Like the trained eye of the jeweler who discerns the real from the imitation, your clarity of mind discerns the beneficial from the destructive and truth from falsehood in a second.
This is the power to discern the subtle.
Discrimination is the art of seeing. This is not seeing through the physical eyes, but with the inner eye, the spiritual eye – or third eye. This is the power of clarity, to see with different eyes and to hear with different ears. It is about trusting yourself even in the face of opposing opinions. It is the power to listen to what is known deep within.
Discernment uses the capacity to see the three aspects of time: the past, the present, and the future to assess the best course of action. This power of the soul realizes that sometimes the best route is to take no action at all.
Discrimination supports the soul in not reacting.
The spiritual sight required to act from truth is only possible when there is an understanding of the laws and principles governing the course of human life. Knowledge of the laws of nature, both physical and spiritual, restore one’s sight and clear the ability to discriminate. Only then can the illusions of superficial beauty and falsehood parading as truth, be dispelled. Only then will things of temporary value be perceived and separated from those of eternal value.
Without the development of this inner ability to discriminate, one’s journey is a path of many dead ends and frequent mistakes.
A master discerns exactly where she is going and seldom makes the same mistake twice.
The seventh power is called the Power to Face. With this power, nothing seems like an obstacle, but rather like a stepping stone to victory. You have the ability to confront and resolve external and internal obstacles, test, and challenges. To lack this power means to be dominated by external dramas.
When your inner strength has been restored and fortified with knowledge and spiritual power from the Source, you are able to face and conquer all the inner dragons that emerge on your quest. In the symbology of the saints, dragons are slayed with sword and armor. In this case, you face your false dragons with truth and honesty and thereby put misleading beliefs, illusions, and destructive habits to rest. With the power to face, you know that nothing is too fearsome to handle. The soul is equipped with all the powers required to face whatever comes in front of it. This may take the form of overwhelming emotions, lack of self worth, attacks by others, or situations that seem impossible, insurmountable. The magic of the power to face is truth balanced by love; with the power to face intact, the soul will face the external tests of lies, corruption, fears, and hatred equally by walking towards them and seeing the true nature of each situation. This power looks deeply to find the hidden benefit and beauty within each circumstance and to respond only to that.
Tests can come in the silence of your meditations or dreams as ancient images and feelings emerge from the dark and distant past. Horror, terror, or simply error will test your power to look at them squarely in the face, forgive yourself, and move on. Remember past is past. The power to face will bring the light of the day into any darkness that threatens your positive destination.
A master thrives on challenge and there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Remember change and chaos are often inevitable companions on the spiritual journey. Since there is no better time than the present, your mantra as the master, must be ‘just face it, face it right now.’ A master knows that delay is costly. A master acts from the position of not being alone!
Last, but not least, is the eighth power of Cooperation. As you develop your ability to give your time, experience, and wisdom in service to others, you don’t feel that you are competing against anyone. Co-operation requires the surrender of the ego.
To truly see someone’s highest qualities of character and not their weakness is an act of profound co-operation. The offering of powerful, though subtle thoughts towards the success of another soul is incognito, but invaluable co-operation. The generous showering of good feelings upon a friend or foe when they are down is selfless cooperation. Co-operation is priceless when it comes in the form of inspiration and a constantly positive attitude regardless of the size of a perceived disaster!!!
To accept, acknowledge, and appreciate others is to co-operate with their journey, giving them the fuel of encouragement to spark their efforts. Co-operation is essential for unity and harmony. It’s the only way to fly for the highest good of all.