Signs of Progress

Spirituality, yoga, self-realisation, and all the other ways we describe walking "The Path," has one, overarching and specific goal.

To heal division. That is, to move you from duality to oneness. From seeing the world in relative opposites, to seeing the world (and being) one, undivided whole.

Being so, one of the biggest items on the agenda is the work of shedding your dependencies and attachments. To people, to things, to books, places, teachers, self-concepts, stories, etc. You cannot be whole as long as you believe there is something else with something you do not, yourself possess.

It is natural and necessary to have these dependencies and attachments — as you would not fault a baby for needing its mother — so they are shed slowly, one by one, as night turns to day.

You find, after awhile, The Path turns isolating and lonely. You must learn to rely on yourself and your own instincts, and you might wonder from time-to-time if you are alright, or if you are moving in the right direction.

An athlete has an external coach he can physically observe, who gives constant guidance, support, and can easily inform the athlete how he is progressing by certain measurable indicators. What a gift!

The dhak or bodhisattva or spiritual aspirant, if she is lucky, might have such an external source of support but, as she will come to see, a teacher becomes a hindrance to progress and the two will inevitably part ways at the right time. In the majority of cases, no such coach is there to guide the way for the simple reason of not creating attachment and dependency to an external, temporary source.

You are left to rely on your own intuition, practice, and intense amounts of trial and error to figure things out. The result? You become OK as you are.

Though nobody can tell you how you are fairing and how you are progressing on The Path, there are a few telltale signs.

Brighter, clearer eyes. Wisdom and spiritual attainment shines most notably through the eyes. The eyes become like gemstones.

Loving indifference. You start seeing all as the same and so preferences and neediness diminishes.

High morality. You start observing Nature's laws, which you find impossible to break. You will rescue even a drowning ant from a toilet bowel.

Stillness. Movement becomes slower and much more deliberate.

Understanding of necessity. You can only act according to inner sanction, which will entail the removal of doing anything not in agreement with it.

Transcending story. It becomes harder to categorise and identify yourself. If I am a this, then I am a not that. This understanding is counter to oneness.

Effortlessness. As trying to diminishes, effortlessness increases, which is one of the clearest signs of oneness there is.