Spiritual qualities are discovered within our self. They are realized from within, as they emerge from within. Ultimately we must find them within ourselves, and this is only possible when we are inwardly receptive to their birth from within and allowing of them to emerge, which is an allowing of our divine soul to emerge.
All the divine qualities emerge from within, and they do so most naturally when our habitual emotional and mental patterns are relaxed and quieted. We must quiet and let go of the habitual patterns of thinking, worrying, calculating, and emotionally reacting to the various struggles of life. This means not giving them energy, not giving them our usual attention, and releasing our mental and emotional attachments. This may not be possible for most of our time, but we need to let all this go at least during some designated time.
Such time is a time of meditation, of inner quieting and listening. It is a letting go of all that usually occurs in our mental and emotional life and being open to the sound and quality of our deep inner being. Here, one is in a receptive state, not receptive to the outer reality but receptive to the inner reality emerging from within. This is not a listening to the mind or to thinking, but a listening to the heart. Because our inner truth emerges from the heart of our being. It emerges essentially as feeling, and then we recognize a certain quality or integration of being. The mind and the body are involved in this feeling and recognition, but it is centered and revealed from the heart.
Two basic preliminary steps are involved before being centered and receptive in the heart. First, the energies of the body must be relaxed, with the breath in a relaxed, easy rhythm. To reach this one may need to take a few deep breaths, slightly stretching the diaphragm, and then release the breath in a relaxation of the body and emotions. Then, allow the breath to gradually come into a harmonious easy rhythm. Attention should first be placed in the area of the solar plexus and belly, letting the breath relax and release any tension or emotion there. One’s vital energies should soon accumulate in the belly area, through this attention and relaxation, and one should feel a sense of personal power, though relaxed and non-directed.
Next, attention can rise up to the head, where we can relax our thinking and come into a receptive state, not receptive to thought but to light, while remaining conscious of the breath. The body and mind should be gradually coming into ease and peace. One’s personal power should be purely directed to remaining conscious of the breath and the mind should be purely receptive to light emerging and flooding the consciousness. Now, one is ready to place attention in the heart and feel the sense of just being who you are. Relax in being who you are, without having to think or analyze it. Concentrate on the feeling of pure being, being purely yourself, and allow the breath to easily rise and fall from this center of being. Remain conscious here, in this breath and in this center of being. From here the qualities of Divine Being will arise and emerge into consciousness now centered in the heart. Now, the mind and the heart are one. Consciousness is in the heart. And the heart is revealing itself through consciousness. And the vital energies of the body are sustaining the energies of consciousness, breath and feeling.
From here emerges the soul of the Divine, the individuated realization and expression of the One Divine Being. This is the true beginning of conscious spiritual life. It essentially comes from the heart, the center of our being. It does involve the mind, and it may involve thought, but this thought comes from the heart and not from an analytical or calculating kind of thinking. It does involve the body, and may involve sensations, but it is the body conscious, the enlightened body, and not merely the body reacting in conditioned ways. It comes through feeling, but this feeling is an understanding and recognition, and not just a sensation of the body. The beauty of feeling is that it is much more real to experience than mere thoughts or images. Thoughts and images don’t have much sustaining substance, unless they are accompanied by feeling. Feeling is important in tantra philosophy and practice, and mere abstract thought and psychic experiences are viewed as insufficient in spiritual transformation. Our inner feelings tell us the truth. They reveal who we really are. And they make spiritual reality real to us.
Also Note that along the path of life, we can be helped by others who have already allowed this divine emergence and who may reveal some of the divine qualities for us to recognize and acknowledge. The world is a great mirror, a mirror of possibilities. In the mirror we may find ugliness and ignorance, or we may find incredible beauty. We may find very enlightened persons with wonderful spiritual qualities, and the recognition of these qualities in certain people can catalyze and resonate those qualities within our own self-potential. In this way we each have the possibility of helping each other realize and unfold the many beautiful spiritual qualities. We may find in the animal kingdom certain distinct qualities, each spiritually beautiful in their own ways, and these too can be catalysts for those qualities emerging from our own self-nature, that is, if we recognize, appreciate and find value in them. So the world can be a wonderful mirror reflection of divine qualities, all of which are reflections of our own spiritual potential.