When examined impartially, a spiritual life is reduced quite easily to a consistent state of awareness. This is the one constant you will notice as you learn about spiritual practices from around the globe. It is the same constant that is integral even when cultivating more intuitive sight or stress management techniques.

Adherents often inquire about their Master’s final teaching words as they ready to depart from this plane of existence. The word “awareness” is the main teaching. Great Masters understand that awareness is the most important principle of spirituality. This may be simplistic, yet so elusive at times.

If you keep this concept in mind, it will be easier to cut through all the ambiguous inconsistencies that are often taught. Awakening is at the heart of awareness, and if pursued, enlightenment is the result. That is why ancient Masters like Buddha along with today’s philosophers recognize the importance of mindfulness meditation.

We are enigmas to ourselves. We think and behave and have no idea why we act the way we do. We want to better ourselves yet we don’t understand the potentially endless resistance that keeps us mired in our dis-comfort zones.

Awareness at all times and in all places is the answer to spiritual growth. It is through the most basic practices of awareness that you can develop; though slowly almost invisibly at times. Movement happens however most do not notice it. Your movement becomes a part of the landscape like so much of what takes place within nature; seasons change, flowers bloom, we do not see the exact moment of transformation.

The enormous challenge that most face is trying to equalize our desires for personal and spiritual development with all of the daily practicality of life. We live in such a, oh so practical world, with its numerous expectations on us and our energy. However there are things that can be done to engage our growth: There really is no distinction between the spiritual and mundane existence. Any practical occurrence can be used as a possible chance for spiritual and personal expansion. Take it upon yourself to find opportunities to develop who you are with every situation, each day.

I often suggest to my students, several, small breath breaks throughout the day- close your eyes, breathe slowly and fully; simply get grounded. Prioritize using a specific place/time where you may have a quiet and a calm environment.

Allow yourself to have more faith in you and use your inner guidance. Consider that all of the teachers and spiritual traditions exist only to guide you to the wisest teacher, your higher self, found within. Cultivate awareness of your inner promptings and be willing to listen and follow their lead.

Maintain your perseverance, determination, and encouragement. It is very easy to become discouraged when doing personal work and believe you are not making any progress. There is no such thing as wasted effort when it comes to spiritual or personal development. Make no comparisons, have no requirements, simply allow. Permit your development to take its natural course, at its own pace. Each person’s needs are unique, as is the speed at which they grow. All that is required is perseverance and a commitment to higher levels of performance.

All that is ever necessary is you and your enthusiasm to learn and grow. The right teacher can be of great assistance and spiritual traditions can help you to stay focused and grounded. Nurture your own awareness, allow it to nurture you and it will.