How to Empower the SOUL
I. Developing a Spiritual Sentiment
The purpose of SOUL empowerment training is to experientially understand all realities, so that they can be transcended for abiding into the ultimate unconditional reality: the enlightenment; the egoless state of being. The scope of such training involves developing-
1.Soulful Attitudes 2.Soulful Lifestyles 3.Soulful Body 4.Soulful Breath 5.Soulful Senses 6.Soulful Mind, and 7.Soulful Consciousness
The above purpose and scope only can pave the way to the end-result of the training: The eradication of unwholesome mind and the establishment of wholesome mind leading to the extermination of ego. SOUL empowerment should be thus understood in terms of its purpose, scope, and end-result. Whenever we hear or say the words “SOUL Empowerment,” we should recollect the entire spectrum of its purpose, scope, and end-result in a flash so that we develop a spiritual sentiment. Simply training for developing Soulful attitudes, lifestyles, etc as a matter of moral or personal development does not result in empowerment. Developing a spiritual sentiment is the key.
II. Self-Teaching and Internalizing
SOUL empowerment is about teaching and instructing oneself in an active as well as passive manner. It is neither about blindly following some instructions given in a book, nor about blindly doing and performing various exercises, rituals, or meditations as a way of showing loyalty to some Guru or to some religion; because, in such following, doing, and performing, there is a strong sense of a follower, doer, or performer. This sense is subtle and not easily realized by the beginners, because of which, it becomes unwholesome at deeper levels of training. If not detected, it can lead to religiousness, self-labeling, self-imaging, cult-ism, and trendiness. Therefore, in SOUL empowerment, the perspective of “active-passive-self-teaching” is critical. Such a perspective can only facilitate the internalization of all learning activities. Without such internalization, there is no transformation, no empowerment.
What exactly you mean by internalization of learning activities?
It means learning is done within the mind by the mind, and not by you or by some outside individual (such as a guru or a teacher). It also means learning is done for self-transformation and not for the sake of developing an image, strategy, or a tactic.
If you say, “I will be honest from now on” and try to be honest, it doesn’t mean you are training for empowerment. Or, if you follow some “tips” on developing honesty given by a self-help guru, you are still not training. For honesty-training to happen, first, there has to be basic understanding of honesty and dishonesty, the awareness of personal tendencies for dishonesty, non-reaction to those tendencies, conscious and passive removal of those tendencies, and, finally, its substitution with acts of honesty. This is possible only through transformational tools such as meditation and understanding which facilitate learning within the mind by the mind. This is a subtle phenomenon of pure learning which becomes unmistakably clear to an advanced practitioner.
Can we not do all this by positive thinking, neuro-conditioning, etc?
If we want a transformational or permanent change, then the answer is, “no.” Positive thinking, neuro-conditioning, autosuggestion, etc are somewhat cosmetic, surficial, and temporary processes rather than transformational processes. Nonetheless, they are helpful if we use them with the understanding of their very limited scope.
Empowerment training is never meant to just develop some skill or ability. These are all mundane in nature. The training is ultimately meant to awaken the wisdom or to realize the truth. The training is never complete until this happens. For example, the training for developing “honesty” is never complete until a state arises where honesty is internalized, meaning it becomes your nature and not just a strategy or a tactic.
If meditation and understanding are the tools of empowerment training, then what are the seven practices that you mentioned earlier?
The seven practices are ways to support, train, strengthen, develop, sharpen, and perfect the faculties of meditation and understanding. Meditation is generally possible only if we live a virtuous, healthy, energetic, inwardly, non-attached, and a contemplative life. The seven practices are essential for living such a life.
The seven practices can also be viewed as mutually synergetic actions that ultimately merge and end into perfecting the mind and consciousness. They can also be viewed as different preparatory levels, graduating levels, or maturity levels for effectively eradicating unwholesome mental elements and establishing wholesome mental elements which eventually leads to the eradication of ego.
Please review the list of practices in the right column. For details, click on links below: