When it comes to the chapter of spiritual cultivation, many Buddhists often have the misconception that they need to ditch their everyday activities and focus solely on all things spiritual such as chanting and meditation. In actual fact, this is NOT what we mean by a natural path to cultivation!
Let’s explore more on what it means to go on a natural path of cultivation, and how you can practice spiritual cultivation alongside your everyday activities.
What Is A Natural Path to Cultivation About?
A natural path to cultivation is the original course of any successful undertaking or cultivation, where there is no coercion or any forces interfering with our needs to practice our cultivation. We could perform with ease and relaxing without any pressure or hindrances to our daily training or creating any impediment to our activities.
This notion of naturalness is the main foundation in our harmonious living on this earth as well as the core of this universe tranquility pertaining to our spiritual development.
Implications of the White Stage Era Towards The Natural Way of Cultivation
Throughout the centuries of our constant evolution of this earth’s existence, the green stage of excellent flora and fauna gradually eroded into the Red Stage, which is beginning to change all our originality of existence into polluted forms and environment. Eventually, the decaying atmosphere accelerated further into the White Stage era, which is the period we are currently in right now.
This White Stage era of existence, also known as Kali Yuga, the age of Kali or the age of darkness, denotes the evil culture of mankind where cults and sects become the order of the day, and all the five true religions of mankind become more and more obscure in their teachings. Many people today turn to sects and cult teachings due to their easy and short ways of practice without any binding or responsibility.
In other words, everything is done freely without any fixed rule. Furthermore, the sects and cults’ teachings obviously are simple to follow and demonstrate a lot of immediate magical powers for everyone to witness, hence convincingly creating a craze for anyone to follow these sects and cults’ teachings.
With these evil and unnatural means, you can easily gain magical powers through artificial means of communicating with spirits. Many become evil charms masters and spellbinders, causing havoc to a lot of innocent people. And this is an extremely sad situation we are facing in today’s world.
How to Practice Natural Spiritual Cultivation?
Inculcate good habits
Good habits are one of the natural ways to achieve successful cultivation in our life. We are often influenced so much by all the rigid steps of practicing meditations, mantras chanting, listening to the Dhamma and the Art of Giving. However, most have overlooked the basic important step of cultivating good habits.
Good habits are the key to all successful undertakings in our life. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failures. Therefore, before anyone thinks of procuring any solid path to cultivation, we need to ensure our good habits are in place first before we proceed to train our mind, heart and body to the purity of attainment.
So what are the good habits you should practice? Good habits include having proper times to sleep, rest, exercise, work and do other recreational activities. We should always refrain ourselves from all vices of smoking, gambling, gossiping, drinking and overeating. Idling away our time is another common bad habit to avoid while loitering in coffeeshops and malls is equally bad in behavior.
Good habits can only be upheld in our character if only we could master the art of discipline. Discipline is the backbone of practicing good habits. Without strong discipline, we could never possess good habits.
Discipline is key
This is the reason in all religions of mankind, discipline is very much emphasized to ensure we have the correct condition in practicing our cultivation.
Sadly, most people today lack discipline and hence we tend to observe more and more people being absent of good habits.
Discipline needs to be procured from our informal education at home from young where our parents enforce strict adherence to procedures and orderly manners, such as morning greetings, honoring all our elderly people and paying due respect to all our seniors as well as obedience to all laws and orders.
This way, you will be able to pick up and maintain good habits while making it easier for you to cultivate spiritually the natural way.
Go for activities that train the mind
Another means of practicing our natural way of cultivation is that we train our mind to undertake any spiritual observations without any coercion or unnatural movements of our physical training, such as morning exercises or daily chanting of our sutras and mantras.
We must also have the ability to read any Dhamma books or listen to any Dhamma sermons in consonant with our time schedules smoothly, and do constant pondering and contemplations in tandem with our free time.
With such a practice in place, everything we do daily is a natural process and becomes part and parcel of our living yet they are our spiritual provisions to our mind, heart and body of blissful attainment. This is the natural way to our spiritual training.
Keep the mind worry-free
Lastly, the important observation in our daily movement is our capability to maneuver ourselves towards a clean and clear mind free from all kinds of encumbrances such as debts, installments, hires and purchases.
We should also do our best to stay clear of all kinds of addictions in gamblings, smoking, drinking, womanizing, overeating or laziness of procrastination.
These are the last vital steps needed to prevent ourselves from creating any unnecessary hindrances to our natural cultivation.
Without a clear and peaceful mind, nothing of any sort can further develop our spiritual training into a natural and successful emancipation across the ocean of Samsara which is the cycle of rebirth and death.
No doubt, we must first lay the foundation of practicing good habits and maintaining good discipline as the basic, golden ingredients that enable us to adopt a natural cultivation path. In fact, cultivating our spirituality isn’t and doesn’t have to be difficult but it is only our rigid mindset that keeps telling us that cultivation will limit our freedom or is too difficult to get started.
The only hurdle to walking a natural path of cultivation is our determination to take the first step forward towards it. Once we set foot with a willing mind, heart and body together with our sincerity to pursue our spiritual progress, rest assured everything will fall into place naturally.