Life's challenges are essential to our spiritual growth

Self-discovery consists of two parts: the theoretical understanding and the practical application of that understanding, which can be done in controlled conditions like meditation at home or in real-life situations.

Without practice, understanding is often used by the ego to strengthen itself. For example, without the experience of humility, one may imagine oneself as humble and, by extension, as superior or better than others, which is paradoxical, but this is how the ego operates within the realm of imagination.

Studying self-discovery topics, reading articles, or watching talks by spiritual teachers is an essential aspect of the journey. However, true understanding always leads to practice. This also indicates that one is on the right path and has not been misled by theories and teachings that promise things to gratify the ego but cannot be realized.

Self-discovery is not about developing special skills or fixing oneself, although that may often be the initial motivation. Changes occur because the state of consciousness transforms. It shifts from the identified state to the disidentified state.

These changes happen internally in a subtle manner. External changes, whether minor or significant, follow these internal shifts. Anyone who tries to achieve external changes without undergoing a transformation in their state of consciousness, as an Indian proverb says, is akin to attempting to reach the ocean without passing through the shore.

Throughout our lives, we encounter both minor and significant challenges. Our evolution as human beings is proportional to proper understanding and practice, starting at the level of consciousness and then manifesting in our interactions with others, how we handle losses, emotions, thoughts, money, etc.

Meditation, resting in the state of I Am and cultivating awareness, is the initial and essential step in learning to live consciously. It involves a shift in our inner attitude. Subsequently, we bring this attitude into our daily lives through self-observation, whether during interactions with others, while walking, washing our hands, cooking, and various other activities.

By training ourselves in controlled conditions and simple experiences, when challenging situations arise (where many unconscious conditioning patterns are triggered), we will not become engulfed and lost in them. 

Big challenges are often unexpected or result in significant changes, leaving little time to remember and apply what we have learned in theory. Automatic reactions and deeply ingrained beliefs are triggered. Therefore, a conscious attitude is a powerful state to become familiar with, starting in more controlled conditions and through simple experiences.

Nikos Batras