In order to change the situation above, all you have to do is to begin to want to change it. Taking into account the place where we are starting from, desire is the only thing that can give us a chance to begin moving towards the transformation of our existence. Each of us, at least once in a lifetime, has felt the urge to break free from the emotions and desires that bring us everlasting sufferings. If it’s just a onetime occurrence, such as an aspiration, it is of little help because it has insufficient power. If, on the other hand, it comes and goes and grows stronger in between, we may start seeing a glimpse of hope for improving our plight. The stronger the desire you have to change your life, the more effort and energy you can devote to this task. That is the law, and there is no way around it. The first challenge one faces on this path is to understand what flesh to put on this desire. There are a lot of spiritual practices out there promising all sorts of solutions for personal problems. How to make the right choice? And once the choice is made, how do you know whether it serves the purpose and leads you toward the desired goal, or is it just a waste of time?
Tough questions and, at the beginning, there are usually no quick answers. Keeping in mind the circumstances when one starts their journey, it is easy to pick the wrong answer at the very beginning, during the goal setting; namely, the ultimate state of being to aim for. More information on mistakes of the sort and possible consequences can be found in the series of my articles entitled, “The Dark Side of the Search.”
Another challenge comes from the fact that it is not always clear how to choose an exercise that better suits your current needs. Where to begin? Should you follow ancient scriptures, or purify your body, or silence your mind, and how exactly are these actions supposed to be performed? Contemporary spiritual coaches at times provide such absurd instructions that a sapient person has hard time following them.
As the first challenge was discussed elsewhere, let’s turn to practices and exercises.