Drum, Rattle & Soul: My Journey into Shamanism by Phil

What is Shamanism? Phil, an enthusiastic shamanic seeker shares his experiences fresh from his journey into Shamanism.

I’ve always been intrigued by shamanic practices but never personally considered trying them for myself. However, I’ve also always wanted someone to be able to share their journey into Shamanism here, so that you as the reader could still learn more.

So it blew my mind away when Phil synchronistically reached out to me a few months, sharing that he was interested in writing about his experiences with Shamanism, to post the articles on My Spiritual Shenanigans.

What else could you and I have asked for, than a kindred spirit open to sharing their story and journey with us? I’m super grateful to him for putting this piece together. I hope you learn much from this and his future stories to follow.

Here’s Phil and his journey into Shamanism.

The Backstory

The calendar year was 2019 and I had hit the wall. I was sore, freezing and on the verge of becoming emotionally numb. Low vibrational energies and death surrounded me almost every day. How did I get here? The previous year, I had tried to manipulate and control every possible outcome in my life. How do you think this worked out for me?

I had been working at a pork processing plant and while I had plenty to be grateful for, in my ways I hit rock bottom. I was professionally dubbed a ‘hog-pusher’ and would push and store the carcasses in a massive multi-room cooler to chill overnight.

This was not the kind of work I imagined myself doing well into my 30’s. Previously I had been on my own spiritual journey of amazing discoveries and synchronicities.

Various practices like yoga, meditation, energy healing and books about spiritual development helped me navigate some rough waters. I overcame a lot of adversity to get to this point. I had no idea (or direction for that matter) how to get through this.

The Breakthrough

As winter had turned to spring of 2019 I took action and did a session with a spiritual counselor. Their work was thorough and something was repeated back to me that I deeply sense. My inner fire was burning low and was risking being extinguished.

silhouette of man standing near window, sadness, tired, burn out

Each day was blending together from one to the next and I was burned out on every level. In fact I had began to think the universe may have been conspiring against me.

Maybe, all the adversity I’d overcome was a fluke. Or even worse a sick joke played on me in an unjust universe. That is how distorted my vibration was and when things were beginning to look their most bleak…it called me!

It? An angel? An entity? An animal? It was a book and that book is called The Lost Art Of Heart Navigation: A Modern Shaman’s Field Manual by Jeff Nixa. Unbeknownst to me, it would change my life forever and get me back on the right path.

The way I saw him helping people touched me deeply. Everything about the story just appealed to me…I had to find someone who did similar work that was local to me. Thankfully, that didn’t take very long.

The Climb

Before I continue with my journey into shamanism, I would like to reiterate that I am still a novice at this point. I am but a conduit to get you connected to experts in the field like Michael Harner, Sandra Ingerman, Jeff Nixa or the late Kenneth Meadows.

My practitioners of past and present have made the decision to remain anonymous and I respect their privacy. But what I can do here is share some of my experience with them and intertwine it with wisdom from said experts.

I went through my first guided journey in May 2019 and it hit me right away. The setup, the visions and the aftermath were beyond description. On the drive home I had felt something that I thought eluded me. I felt complete and the fire was back burning stronger than ever.

I had gone through a process known as Soul Retrieval which is essentially reconnecting lost pieces of your soul that were lost through trauma and emotional distress over the years. In order for Soul Retrieval to work you need to understand the basics of Shamanic Journeying which I will describe for you right now.

In my eyes a Shamanic Journey is similar to a guided meditation. While many can practice meditation in silence I prefer to have what is known as a sonic driver.

I can deepen my own mediation through sound whether it be music, singing bowls or nature itself. You need a sonic driver that can either be a single drum or a rattle (in some cases both).

man playing percussion instrument on grass field near forest, journey into shamanism, shamanic healer

Other sonic drivers and even chanting can be included but usually the drum and rattle work best. The rattle and/or drum keeps a steady beat and can be performed by yourself, a practitioner or done through an audio track with headphones.

Many different modes of ceremony can take place before the journey including smudging, the lighting of a candle, creating an altar of crystals, blocking out all natural light etc.

Each expert in this field has their own variations and I recommend checking them all out to see which one works best for you in your journey into Shamanism.

When I journey indoors I prefer to be lying down under a blanket and if I am outdoors I prefer to journey sitting on a rock or with my spine erect against the trunk of a tree. Play around to find what works.

Once the sonic driver gets into a consistent rhythm you tune into your breath and relax like a meditation. You allow your mind and body to relax so you enter an altered state of consciousness.

One thing that has to take place before the journey is that you have to decide which of the three ethereal realms you will journey too and you will write down a question or declare the intent of your journey. Here is a brief description:

Lower World

Journeying to this world will connect you with your power animal who will guide you along with helping spirits who will show you the answer to your question in the form of a vision.

You will lower into this realm through a desired spot in nature from the physical realm. Where and how differs between each individual and don’t worry as the Lower World is not to be feared nor will it attract low-energetic beings and entities. It is a realm of inner wisdom.

Middle World

The middle world is the realm closest associated to our physical realm here on Earth.

I personally do not have a lot of experience journeying into this realm yet in my journey into Shamanism but it is used to communicate with spirits that live and connect to all things in our physical reality. It can be used to locate lost objects or to communicate directly with nature as a couple of examples.

Upper World

This realm has to be reached by journeying in the form of ascension. In my own experience this realm is above the Earth and space as we know it. It’s what we could call an ethereal realm like ‘the heavens’.

shamanic worlds, three worlds of shamanism, journey into shamanism

I personally climb a long tree trunk to reach this area on my journey. This is the realm that is home to celestial beings, angels and other divine spirits. It can be a great place to meet your Higher Self to gain wisdom of the highest good and to obtain spiritual healing. It is used to help out with connecting to your highest form of being.

The Return

The Real is the primary reality of the Universe. It is the way the Universe is. It is how the Universe works from the inside! No longer is it necessary for you and I continue the search for the mystery of who and what we are. It was here within us all the time. We just looked everywhere else but here. It is this recognition since ancient times that has been called enlightenment.”
Kenneth Meadows: 2002
Shamanic Spirit: A Practical Guide To Personal Fulfillment (Chapter: The Path of Love And Harmony Pg. 221)

If I hadn’t entered into the world of Shamanic Journeying in spring of 2019 I don’t know where I would be today. Not only did I regain my inner fire and eventually here in spring of 2021 sign up to a Shamanic training program but I was able to return to my heart’s path and navigate through these crazy times in the pandemic era.

My current teacher has said this profound quote more than once and I will gladly paraphrase. Basically life is a video game and your spirit is the controller. Your physical self is the avatar navigating its way through the game.

Shamanic journeying to navigating through life is like what the original Game Genie was to the eight bit NES.

I grew up in the late 1980s as a Nintendo kid. It was a borderline obsession of mine for a period of time. But I have to admit some of those games were super hard and took some of the fun out of gaming for me.

shamanism is like a video game

The Game Genie was this expansion pack with a booklet that gave ‘cheat codes’ to some of these Nintendo games. I loved it and made gaming so much more fun knowing that I had unlimited opportunities to get it right.

This device was somewhat controversial at the time as many said it turned kids into mindless cheaters and defeated the purpose of gaming. The reason I bring this up is that since I began Shamanic Journeying, here are some things I learned in the other realms that actually manifested in the physical world:

  • It navigated me to a job that kept me busy and paid during the worst of the pandemic.
  • It has repeatedly shown me people who to connect with, learn from and outright avoid.
  • Shamanism has strengthened my relationship with both my spirit and power animals.
  • I reconnected with two long deceased relatives and was able to give a final goodbye after gaining real world advice from them.

It brought me back to my purpose and has reignited my passion to eventually get fully trained and help others reconnect with their purpose and reason for being.

Shamanic work is sacred. There is so much more I would love to share about my experience and the wisdom I have obtained from other professionals and my personal instructors. However that is not for this time.

I am here to share what I feel is important for someone reading who was at my stage in the journey in 2019. Before I conclude I want to briefly identify some things that Shamanism is not.
  • Shamanism is not a traditional religion.
  • It’s not exclusive to indigenous people only – anyone can learn and journey.
  • It is not a permanent substitute for psychotherapy and western medicine.
  • Also, it’s not all a figment of your imagination when you see visions in your journeys.
  • And it’s not necessary to journey with the aid of psychedelics or hallucinogenic drugs.

I share my personal journey into Shamanism not out of ego or vanity but as an example of how one can find their way back home from the wilderness. Even if that wilderness is behind concrete walls and steel panels.

I am a novice yet I feel like I’ve learned so much and I look forward to bringing you further writings from each stage of my journey. In due course of time, I’ll return to write again in this forum when I am more deeply immersed in my training.

I can be Super Mario trying to defeat Bowser;
I can be Link trying to defeat Gannon;
and, I can be Megaman trying to defeat Dr. Wily.

And you can be on a similar path of the hero’s journey; slaying your dragons and living your best life to be in service of yourself and others. Only if you explore and take the leap.
Phantom Phil
Phantom Phil

Phantom Phil hosts the mysterious, paranormal and spiritual podcast Unexplained Inc. and his show is a member of the Void Podcast Network. Phil has experience blogging on his site The Phantom Hub. He is also currently in the middle of Shamanic training and while is nowhere near being an expert is thrilled to share his discovery and journey into this mystical healing modality with you

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The Untold Truths About The Law Of Attraction, By Kingsley

Can you really manifest your reality? What are some LOA myths? Here are some untold truths about the law of attraction, shared by Kingsley.

I’ve always moved in and out of the idea of using the law of attraction to create my reality. The love-hate relationship comes from battling between what’s true and what’s not about this theory. Kingsley was really kind to reach out and volunteer to share with us some of the untold truths about the law of attraction. Here’s what he says.

We all have the ability to MANIFEST whatever we desire. The TRUTH is, we CAN create ANY reality for ourselves—either deliberately (consciously) or by allowing (unconsciously).

One thing I have grown to learn and appreciate is: EVERYONE is practicing Law of Attraction—consciously or unconsciously. This is not reserved for some “special people.”

Even before I’d heard of it I had been manifesting things—my diving deep into Law of Attraction is just a bonus!

Before now, I used to think that the “experts” had it all to themselves and that it was all peachy-keen for them! Upon closer inspection, I found out that they too had their own challenges. The only difference that counts in manifesting is your “tool.”

The sharpness of your tool determines the speediness of your manifestations. By tools, I mean your “beliefs, thoughts, attitude, feelings and choices.

Those whom we call Law of Attraction “experts” have “sharper tools.”

There are those who are not experts; but are manifesting maven on their own right; they know how to work the magic of “behind the scene” to get what they want. And I fall into this second category.

One of the most important yet untold truths about the law of attraction is that NO ONE is excluded from the hiccups of this 3D!

Here is what Katy Perry said:

“When I am in between records, sometimes I doubt myself. I’ll be like ‘Did I just get lucky, or did I mass-manipulate the world into thinking that seven songs were worth a number-one position?’ And then I go back into the studio and I start writing, and the true essential oil of who I am comes bubbling back up and reminds me that it’s always been inside of me, that nobody can take this away no matter what comment anyone makes.”

record, music, life coaching

Now, when it comes to manifesting our dreams, we face barriers. Sometimes, it’s not about the money. It could be a barrier from the energetic aspect: beliefs, thoughts and subliminal whatever… we are all from the Stars; and made in the image of God/Source/Almighty of which are Highest Vibrations all-round.

Why can’t we always be reflecting and radiating the Higher Vibrations?

Why do the gremlins and gargoyles trip us up with unworthiness philosophy, negative thoughts and such when we are on our way to manifest our dreams?

And why do we have to contend with the gremlins and gargoyles in order to be in a place of Higher Vibrations which makes it easier for our dreams to manifest? I wonder about this.

For example, a lion gives birth to a lion and the young lion reflects 100% the characteristics of its source of life without deviating; why then is it hard for us humans who are higher in intelligence than animals not reflect, manifest and radiate vibrations of God/Source/Universe.

Sometimes, we battle with self-sabotage and limiting beliefs just because we are aiming to manifest a dream or thinking big to sprout the life we love.

The TRUTH is Source Energy is all-encompassing. It’s the “all-that-is” and so naturally, all must include everything… yes including the gremlins and gargoyles!

We are part of Source or the Universe. We are Infinite Spirit Beings, and part of our infinite experience is playing this Earth Game as human beings.

As physically incarnated human beings, we have free will to create our reality here.

A distinguishing characteristic of this Earth Game (as opposed to many of the infinite games or experiences we can and do have as infinite beings) is FREE WILL.

Naturally, with all this Free Will in the Earth Game, we experience a wide variety of results. Some behaviours we consider to be bad or even horrendous, understandably so. But from the perspective of Source Energy, it’s all part of our growth.

When you encounter someone behaving in a way that does not feel loving, how do you respond? It takes a solid spiritual backbone to respond with love to someone who has strayed far from love. And yet, this is our challenge in this very challenging Earth Game.

support, love, community, spirituality

Yes, we are all here co-creating together in the same reality sandbox, and yet… each being’s reality is personal to them. It’s a paradox. Embracing paradox is a fantastic skill that allows you feel more peaceful, not pushing for resolution.

Acceptance and Love are higher vibrational states that ripple outward and give other people permission (if they’re wanting it) to choose Love over Fear to manifest whatever their desire is! All we can do is be the ideal versions of ourselves, and by doing so, we can inspire other people who are ready to be inspired.

About the gremlins and gargoyles within—the negative thoughts, limiting beliefs and such… it’s our entanglement with others, and that’s part of what makes the Earth Game so challenging.

All these thought-forms exist, but are not necessarily our own! They are not actually personal to us. They are part of the collective consciousness.

We can embrace each thought as “truth” for us, or let it pass like clouds in the sky. It takes intention and practice to cultivate sufficient awareness of the mind’s contents. The challenging nature of this Earth Game is what makes it so popular! We come here with a sporting attitude, as spirits. Finding your way back to what’s true; to let your true self BE and shine through.

Our Higher Selves know all about all of this stuff and they’re totally fine with it. Though we suffer greatly while inside the Earth Game, when we leave, it’s just like stepping off a crazy rollercoaster. So the sooner we adopt that laid-back Higher Self attitude, the happier we can be in the Earth Game, right here and right now.

If we can view ALL experience through the eyes of Source/Universe, rather than through the filters of human “judgmentality”, then we see only beauty and spiritual expansion, and we experience acceptance and appreciation of all of it. Not that it’s easy to do so 100% of the time. It’s to be expected that we waver and pop in and out of these different perspectives, because that’s part of the game too!

A lot of time, we hear Law of Attraction “experts” tell us “Ask. Believe. Receive,” but I want to let you know that it does not always happen that way!

It is really difficult to describe what has to happen in the Etheric Realm first before our dreams can manifest here on earth physically.

dream interpretation, untold truths about the law of attraction

And I remind you that the Intangible PRECEDES the Tangible! “Everything, every moment is a manifestation of something…”

The art of manifestation of our dreams and desires into reality is Alchemy. It cannot be measured.

For example, if someone set their intention and uses a vision board with the necessary vibrational alignment; in the end he manifests his desires. It is the same as someone who sets his intentions and submits the request to the Undines or someone who sets her intention and puts the request to the Gnomes. What matters most is that in the end, they all manifested their desires!

Different approach; same result—hence the old saying: “there are many ways to kill a rat. As Ikkyu (the Japanese philosopher) so eloquently puts it: “Many paths lead up the mountain; but at the top, we look at the same bright moon.”

The Universe is unlimited! And it can deliver our “goods” in different ways.

Whenever you set your intention you MUST always use this affirmation to close it up: “I accept this_____ or something even better.”

For instance, you set the intention to buy a Lexus Jeep. Don’t just focus on that Lexus Jeep; close it up with the above phrase. Now, what if the Universe wants to give you a Ferrari? I am sure you certainly will not reject a Ferrari!

Even if you don’t have the means. Remember the Universe works in diverse ways. A relative or an uncle in a faraway land could just be nudged by the Universe to shower you some love and he could wake up one morning and say “Ah! My dear cousin let me send him Ferrari!” Anything is possible!

If you have set your intention to manifest anything, please DETACH from the outcome.

“Manifestation unfolds in PERFECT Divine Timing; everything is in God’s clock.”
-Sarah Prout

Be grateful for what you have first. Don’t tell the Universe how it should come! The Universe knows better than you. Desperation, neediness and attachment are REPELLANT energy.

You must also remember Divine Timing. When you have set your intentions and your “goods” has not yet arrived, understand these points:

  • Maybe you are not well aligned vibrationally. That is where the “tools” comes in.
  • The Universe wants to give you something even better and it is cooking and conspiring it from the Etheric Realm where the magic starts. Remember, if it does not happen in the Higher Realms first, there is NO WAY it can happen here physically
  • Maybe not yet time. Due to the fact that there are some sorts of resistance preventing you—maybe karma, negative (family) patterns, etc which you must clear so that you can manifest your dreams.

As you go about manifesting your dreams, remember to take inspired action and surrounding yourself with likeminded people who will support you in manifesting your dreams.

No one has achieved success without the mentoring, support and wisdom of others because it takes a village to raise a child.

“A person is a person through another person.”
-Brenda Fassie.

divine intervention, ask god for help, ask and ye shall receive, untold truths about law of attraction

The Secret did not cover all the fact about manifesting. I have read it. It only presented Law of Attraction as the be-all-end-all of creating our reality and manifesting our desires. But I am putting it to you that Reality Creation/Manifesting is a two-way process.

You decide what you want to manifest and your Higher Self/God/Universe/Angels decide how and when it will come.

Here is what Abraham said (a non-physical entity channeled by Esther Hicks) “You cannot make anything happen. Universal forces have been kept in place for all of that. Your job is to determine what you want.”

Now, don’t get it wrong. Abraham is not saying we cannot create our own reality. Rather he is saying that WE MUST co-create with the Universe to have the reality we want.

And how will you be able to manifest without the help of the Universe?

For you to be able to manifest your desires or sprout the life you love; you must BEFRIEND your Higher Self, Angels, Spirit Guides, Universe, God or whatever name you want to call it. They dwell in the domain of the “how.” The how is where the power is and they KNOW the road more than you do!

Concluding Thoughts

I loved Kingsley’s heartfelt reflections above, and to add to the untold truths about the law of attraction, I would like to remind you this:

We are all headed home. This Earth life isn’t our permanent abode. So invest only so much energy in trying to create your physical reality. Focus more to heal yourself internally, to manifest growth at deeper levels. So don’t just manifest a condo in Miami, manifest the right people to party there with and the right lifestyle to flourish.

The most beautiful way to create your reality, is to no longer have the need to do so. And the only way to reach that stage, is to go inwards and reconnect with your infinitude. Remember dear one, you are the creator, whether you know it or not. 🙂

More by Kingsley: Developing the Eyes of Kwan Yin


Kingsley Osajie is an emissary of light passionate and determined to raise the consciousness of Planet Earth and Humanity to a Higher Dimension. His mission is to heal and enlighten the world through his
writings. Kingsley is an Inspirational, Spiritual, Personal Development and Life blogger.

The Four Paths to Enlightenment & Why Meditation Is NOT Your Only Option

What are the four paths to enlightenment? How can you practice each spiritual path and become more self-aware? Here are tons of examples!

This has to be one of the biggest concerns that people have, when they talk to me. That they can’t meditate, and so, something must be wrong with them. The very simple explanation to counter this argument, is talking to them about the four paths of enlightenment.

I want to share this with you as well, because you can’t limit your spiritual journey to meditation only. Meditation is just a small tool, amongst many other methods, to experience a deeper sense of internal peace.

Let’s talk about what the other tools are, explained through the ancient, eastern philosophy, called the four paths of yoga.

The Four Paths to Enlightenment

As first described in Vedantic texts like the Bhagvat Gita, there are multiple paths to enlightenment. They can be used in combination, or walked on in isolation, to reach our ultimate goal of self-awareness.

Here is what each of these four paths entails for us, and how you can apply it to your modern life.

The Path of Knowledge (Jnana Yoga)

This is where my own journey began – by reading lots of books on spiritual topics. I have slowed down with the reading, but the learning has been continual.

The purpose of this path, to approach enlightenment by becoming more knowledgeable about our true nature.

As you gain more knowledge and awareness, the shadow aspects and darkness which come from lack of knowledge disperse.
focus on the light, walk on the path of wisdom and knowledge, disperse the darkness

Jnana Yoga is the way to eliminate the fear of the unknown, by stepping into your all-knowing nature. There are many topics to help you with that, such as –

Note that the more time you are spending learning, you should also be spending reflecting. I always encourage people to practice embodying their truths, by using simple internalization practices.

The Path of Prayer (Bhakti Yoga)

While the first path was based on logic and using our left-brains, the path of bhakti yoga is all about trusting the process and building a truly powerful connection with the Creator.

That’s not to say to have blind faith. Rather to have some acknowledgement of the bigger picture. And then, to be willing to accept it, even if it’s not what we personally believe should happen.

Of the four paths of enlightenment, this may be the trickiest because it can be easy to mistake it as becoming passive. Or thinking it’s okay to step away from one’s duty towards the expansion of the collective consciousness, because everything is “perfect anyway”.

The more you walk on this path, the more you realize you are able to surrender easily and let go, when the situation calls for it. And then you are able to have a dialogue with the Universe, and set the right intention, instead of feeling like God hates you.

Here’s an example of what it looks like to hold a conversation with the Universe.

Prayer is a ritual, only if we don’t understand why it is being done.

So, focus on finding the underlying meaning of the different prayers you were taught, while growing up. You will find the one that truly resonates with your path forward. And then, every time you say that prayer, be more intentional with it.

I’ve shared some of my favorite prayers and their deeper meanings in this post.

The Path of Right Action (Karma Yoga)

This one came as a reality check to me, when my healer reminded me that just because my parents don’t meditate, doesn’t mean they’re not spiritual. And it’s true!

The whole point of being a Karma Yogi, to walk on the path of right action, is to work towards the greater good. To not limit yourself to your personal agenda, but to be able to spread the most amount of joy possible, with your one action.

If the whole world only sat down to meditate or pray for wellbeing, who would actually do the work to make it happen?

The other paths of enlightenment are a means to help us feel grounded and connected with the truth. And then this path is the final nudge to get the ball rolling on all your “good” intentions, and create the manifestation in real life.

charity, be of service, karma yogi, help the world, humanity, four paths to enlightenment

There are so many reflections that I’ve been putting together around what it’s like to be a modern karma yogi. Maybe someday, it might be worth writing it in a book? 🙂

But until then, this is the crux of this path.

When you understand that you are a conduit of the Universe, it is no longer about taking credit or sitting around and waiting for the reward. You will find joy in simply being of service.

As you heal, and help the world around you, your light will spread and automatically grant you bigger opportunities to be of service.

The Royal Path (Raja Yoga)

This is the most intricate of the four paths, because it contains eight steps to be a true Raja Yogi. Interestingly, it was actually introduced to the other three paths at a later point.

Here are the eight steps, and some examples of what they mean in modern times. They are interlinked, but some of the steps can be practiced independently of another. While others occur in a sequential order.

Self-restraint (yama)

Not to be associated with celibacy only. But think of more practical uses, like building self-control and NOT binge-watching TV shows late into the night, because you know you need to wake up early.

Or to NOT indulge that extra piece of cake, just because it’s sitting in your fridge.

indulge, eat, niyama, raja yoga, mindful living, four paths of enlightenment

Essentially, it’s about practicing moderation and refraining from over indulgence. It’s about taming the mind and becoming more mindful. And one of the best ways to step into the practice self-control, is to ask yourself this fundamental question.

Have I been over-indulging in any area of my life?

Discipline (niyama)

Most of us wait for the inspiration, or motivation to come, to do something. But this step asks us to remain persistent and do things that are good for our wellbeing and future, regardless of how we are “feeling” in the moment.

By practicing niyama, we are not only discouraging our inconsistent and moody tendencies, we are building our grit.

One reflection question that comes from niyama, is this.

What do I know is good for me, but I have been avoiding doing for myself?

Poses (asana)

What we, in modern times, loosely call yoga. As you can see by now, yoga isn’t just about poses. In actuality, the poses are a small (albeit essential) part of the many possibilities and paths of yoga.

meditation, asanas, poses, mindfulness

The purpose of learning and practicing asanas isn’t to become more fit, or become more strong. Those are actually the byproducts.

Rather, the purpose is for us to become more mindful in our bodies, and to feel every movement. As a consequence, also stilling our minds.

Breathe work (pranayama)

I think the book, Breath, has been a game changer for me, showing me how important our breath really is. Breathe work is quite intimate, allowing us to feel safer in our bodies, and expanding our lung capacity, as a starting point.

And then, going deeper and healing the subtle body, as your awareness grows.

Withdrawing inwards (pratyahara)

Something to the effect of minimalism and internalization. The two approaches where you stop consuming as much, and start tapping into the wisdom already within.

Or in other words, moving beyond the five primary senses. To move away from distraction.

But don’t be mistaken that overthinking or being checked out from the present moment means you are practicing pratyhara!
thinking, overthinking is not good for your spiritual journey, four paths to enlightenment through raja yoga

It means focusing more deeply on our inner needs. To move above the energy of the primal, root chakra. In fact, much above. To move into a more spiritual view of the world. And then, to investigate yourself through deep inner work and find what your soul needs for its evolution.

It may not always be clear, what it looks like to shift your focus beyond the five senses. If you’d like to talk about, let’s get on a call. No obligations, just set some time up!

Concentrate (dharana)

Concentration is the looser translation actually. The better way to look at this step, as explained in the book, The Heartfulness Way, is “something that holds”. As in, to be fully supported and held by our own Heart.

And you can only achieve that state, once you have withdrawn from the world’s materialism, and stepped into your deeper needs. When you focus on your spiritual development long enough, you will find yourself at ease. You will experience contentment.

This step is about moving past the emotional turbulences and becoming more calm. I’ve shared some ideas about finding this peace, through emotional intelligence here.

Meditate (dhyan)

This is the very thing we’ve been trying to do, and beating ourselves for not doing it. But it is the seventh step to happen in a series of many.

And meditation isn’t a tool that you use. It is a state of consciousness we are training ourselves to reach, by following certain practices.
woman practicing yoga

It is a natural outcome that happens if you are still for long enough, withdrawn of the material tug-of-war, centered in your inner nature.

I recently created a guided walking meditation that you can take with you on your introspections, and tap more into the three steps of raja yoga that we just talked about.

Self-realization (samadhi)

In other words, enlightenment. It is the state where all desires are suspended, or transcended. Even the desire to do good for others!

The state of self-realization becomes deeper and deeper, as we practice stillness and being present.

I share some powerful tools to help people quieten their mind and enter deeper states of meditative thinking. If that’s something you’d like to learn, come find me here.

Concluding Thoughts

So you see? Meditation is NOT your only option.

You could walk on all four paths to enlightenment, in a single day! And then, on some days, you might only feel like meditating – then just do that.

On other days, you might not have the time to do actually do any rituals or practices. But you can still have the intention to be true karma yogi, and be at the service of the Universe.

There is no right or wrong way to go back home – we are all headed there in our own unique ways! So, the only thing you should remember, is to remain intentional and put in some kind of work every single day, to attain enlightenment.

In doing this, you will not only learn how to love life, and show up with more energy than ever. You will also become closer to your truth, and glow inwards out!

The journey is neither about being passive, nor being a renunciate. It is simply about shedding the parts of ourselves that aren’t really who we are. And in that, discovering that our infinite Self was here all along!

Related read: 10 Spiritual Practices Worth Trying If You Can’t Meditate

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