Spiritual Fulfillment through Kriya Yoga

Spiritual Fulfillment through Kriya Yoga

What does it mean to be fulfilled? Fulfillment is defined as, “being happy or satisfied because of fully developing one’s abilities.” To be spiritually fulfilled indicates that one has fully developed one’s spiritual capacity.  

“Empower your activity with feeling. Give it freely in the same way that you give true love without wishing for anything in return.”

What is our spiritual capacity? Life itself is energy and movement and transformation. Spirit is a field in which life moves and expresses. We use the term field, only because there is not a better word. Spirit is like a field. It holds everything and nourishes everything without becoming anything. It is very abstract. Although it is experienceable. Any action, or Kriya, that develops our ability to experience the field of spiritual experience encourages the development of our spiritual capacity. The extent of our spiritual capacity is demonstrated in our ability to recognize that our source and our being is Spirit. 

To be spiritually fulfilled is an enjoyable experience. Some have described it as existing in a state of oneness. Others have described it as an ever-new joy. To many it is freedom and unending well-being. It is a feeling, as if one is connected to and supported by the wholeness of life. It is a very attractive experience compared to all the stress and hardship we may experience when we get lost in the tedium of repetitious living. All the religious practices of the world aim to reveal this experience. That is the purpose of prayer, chanting, church services, kirtan, and all spiritual activities no matter the faith or the tradition. 

The ancient yogis dialed into methods and techniques that effectively and efficiently revealed the reality of Spirit. Through contemplation and practice the ancient yogis experienced a way to rise beyond the constant changes of the world and to rest deeply in the source of all life, Spirit.  In fact, the underlying mechanisms of yogic meditation are the essential principles that give life to all the spiritual practices of the world’s religions. When one prays, one is turning their attention away from the distractions of the world and concentrating their attention on divinity. This is like the practice of yogic meditation. When one attends a religious service, they are choosing, for a time, to honor and acknowledge their source as Spirit through listening to the words of a priest, minister or holy figure. This is like the practice of satsang, (gathering for the purpose of cultivating an experience of what is true). This cultivates one’s spiritual awareness.  

As our spiritual awareness develops our life takes on a sense of wholeness. Without spiritual awareness all we see is one senseless, meaningless experience after another. If we are lucky, we have enough good fortune in our life that we are not too disturbed by the lack of deeper satisfaction. If we are unlucky, life can feel like a relentless slog that we can only endure. The reason the development of greater spiritual awareness provides upliftment and inspiration is because it directs our attention to the bigger picture. It lifts our gaze from the mud from which everything grows to the atmosphere above that holds the space for the flowers to bloom and the sun to shine.  

The development of spiritual awareness does not eradicate the mud and the difficulties involved with living in this ever-changing world, but it does show us that the mud and difficulties are a necessary part of the infinite tapestry of experience which is enlivened by Spirit. Our hearts can become lighter during difficult times because we feel how those trials are a part of a much larger experience of life. Just as there is night, there is day. Just as there is the valley of a wave, there is also a crest. We begin to see the cycles within our human experience. In order for this awareness to dawn, we do need to cultivate awareness of the greater field of Spirit. This occurs by purposefully taking actions which direct our attention to the reality of Spirit.  

Technically, any action we take to cultivate our spiritual awareness is Kriya Yoga. Kriya is a word that can be translated as “action/activity”. Yoga is a word that indicates “Union/Integration”. If you can take time in the morning or at night to acknowledge that you are surrounded by, permeated by and given life through the reality of Spirit this will help. This is Kriya Yoga. You can do this through formal prayer. You can do this by practicing a meditation technique that calms the mind and allows your awareness to flow to the stillness within, behind your thoughts, emotions and imaginings. Throughout the day you can take moments to be still or to let your thoughts go while being fully present with what is. Each time we consciously take a moment to acknowledge, feel, experience or invite the recognition of Spirit into our life and activity, we are encouraging the reality of oneness and spiritual fulfillment. 

Taking action to cultivate spiritual awareness cannot be done without enthusiasm. It does not work if we only half-heartedly try. In the Bhagavad Gita it states, “An offering made, or a practice performed without faith is false, and is as nothing in this world or in the hereafter.” In the Bible it states, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Any time you pray, meditate or take a moment to acknowledge the reality of Spirit as you know it, you are making an offering. You are confirming your choice to recognize the holistic picture of life, rather than a sense of isolation and separation. This requires enthusiasm. It requires energy. When you tell someone you love them, and you mean it, that statement has power. If you tell someone you love them without meaning it, it is an empty waste of breath. Whatever you do to cultivate spiritual awareness, mean it. Empower your activity with feeling. Give it freely in the same way that you give true love without wishing for anything in return. If you can engage your spiritual life in this way, it will grow and thrive. It will result in wisdom and ever-increasing spiritual awareness.  

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