There are a lot of benefits that people can enjoy from a long-term spiritual practice. A lot more than 5 to be sure.
But I felt like highlighting a couple of the benefits as added encouragement towards maintaining your spiritual practice.
Your spiritual practice is much like many other things; if you do it regularly, you benefit. If you workout regularly, your body stays in shape. If you sleep regularly, you stay rested and energized throughout your day. If you practice good nutrition, your body tends to stay healthy and feel good.
So too, your regular meditation, yoga, inner work, and other spiritual tools that help you to dissolve the ego bring about amazing benefits over the long-term. To be sure, you have to use these tools right. If you use a tool wrong, you won’t benefit. If you use a hammer to paint your walls, you’ll be very disappointed by the results.
And I have lots of posts you can dig into on this spiritual awakening blog to help you with learning how to use spiritual tools correctly. For the sake of this post, let’s talk about some of these benefits that almost seem to arise on their own.
Our ego selves react unconsciously to so many things. It can make us feel out of control of our own minds, hearts, and bodies. Fortunately, we have a choice. In making that choice and breaking down these unconscious ego responses, we become less reactive to life. This means that even when things are difficult, we don’t really get that upset about them. The more free of the ego we are, the less we ever get upset.
This is different than not caring. The ego that attempts to be disinterested in things is very different than resting in the spaciousness that embraces all things equally. Furthermore, this openness allows for very intelligent and practical responses rather than an egoic reaction. Consider when a tragedy happens such as a shooting. Many people’s egos want immediate retribution. The person resting in spaciousness takes their time to fully understand the whole situation, and then they respond as and when it is necessary. This neutrality in action is very powerful, and so along with not having your emotions dragged in five directions by your ego, you become a much more powerful agent of intelligent change in the world.
#2 Easier to Return to Your Inner Peace
With all that said about reactivity, when someone does react, it tends to last for shorter durations. It also tends to feel awful the more at peace someone naturally is. Certainly a reaction can be exuberance and excitement, but as someone matures on the path, they see how emotionally and physically depleting those reactions can be. They really are only enjoyable for a very short time. So the benefits of a spiritual practice help someone more quickly and easily return to their inner peace.
#3 Greater Clarity
When a person isn’t constantly reacting, they tend to become very clear about themselves and about life. It’s like being a lake when there aren’t waves and currents muddying the waters. This clarity makes perceiving reality possible.
That last sentence probably shocks a lot of people. People want to believe they see reality and have always seen reality, but mostly, people see life as they want to see it based on their ego beliefs. Pessimists see darkness and problems everywhere. Optimists see light and possibilities everywhere. You can pick any “type” of person, and they’re lost in their ego beliefs. Those illusions mean that what they see is not usually what is actually happening in front of them.
Long-term spiritual practice breaks down these beliefs and ego illusions. People learn to see both the light and dark of life, and from that clarity, even more conscious and considered actions are possible.
#4 More Patience
One thing about sitting with yourself in regular meditations over the years is that they inherently cultivate patience. Furthermore, letting go of ego issues and its many reactions make it easier to be with whatever situation is in front of you. In the past, your ego might have had an aversion for whatever was going on, and/or it was impatient to get somewhere, get this over with, or otherwise have the present moment change to something else. But the deepening of surrender to the present moment means we learn to be with any moment. That naturally builds our capacity for patience with any difficult, boring, or otherwise distasteful present moment.
Further still, as you develop, the ego judgments that something is difficult, boring, or distasteful drop away. There is just this present moment, and when someone is truly dissolved in the present moment, not even patience is necessary because there is no other moment to get to.
#5 Emergence of Natural Talents
I know a lot of people go searching for all kinds of spiritual gifts, but that’s usually twisted up in ego desires to be powerful, special, validated, and other unconscious concerns. Natural talents can be anything that is innate in a person. It could be good listening skills and a general calming presence. It could be psychic talents. It could be the ability to create beautiful art. Lots of great talents emerge.
From this emergence, a person can cultivate different talents or not. It’s not necessary. If someone feels strongly called to do develop a talent, they do so whether or not it offers social recognition, money, or anything else. The maturing spiritual person only does something because they are called to. There is no other agenda.
These things have nothing to do with having a purpose or needing to prove something. The mature spiritual person doesn’t care. They cultivate a talent because they feel called to, or they don’t. It’s that simple, and this kind of easeful simplicity is yet another benefit of a long-term spiritual practice (So technically this is benefit number 6).
Spiritual Benefits That Stick
The nature of a long-term spiritual practice is that these benefits tend to stick around. They aren’t short-lived as some people’s initial experiences with thee benefits may be. For example, a person who goes to a retreat center for a 10-day meditation retreat may experience many of these things, but then they return to their old ways of acting. The meditation retreat was just a vacation, not a part of their lifestyle.
But if we want such benefits to remain with us and to flourish, then we need to include our spiritual practice into our lifestyle. In that way, we can mature with it, and through this practice, other opportunities for spiritual growth become possible.
Too Many Benefits to List
I haven’t scratched the surface of benefits of a long-term, regular spiritual practice. I didn’t mention love for one, and that has so many different manifestations that can inhabit every corner of someone’s life. Truly, the benefits of practice is vast.
Which leads me to the main point of this post: be dedicated in your practice. Make your spiritual practice a part of your regular life, and it will reward you in many ways.