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Steps to Openness and Freedom
By:Glyn Edwards and Santoshan

Short extracts from Glyn Edwards and Santoshan's Unleash your Spiritual Power and Grow:

Openness is an essential part of spiritual unfoldment.
It encompasses freedom from past conditioning and everyday entanglements, allowing the heart to open, healing our wounds, discovering what is inherent within us, finding our true spiritual nature, and embracing and connecting more with ourselves, others and the vast ocean of life that surrounds us. It is an inner journey that leads to resolving conflicts, developing the will, awakening to beauty and compassion, and manifesting creative and intuitive powers. But there is no actual point where a traveller can say he or she has arrived at the journey’s end, as the search is a continual and ever-evolving process in which there are many awakenings and openings along the way.

Develop honour, respect and reverence for all life and regard all people equally.
Many people’s lives are hard, which may determine the way they are and how they act. To judge another without realising this can display a lack of understanding on our behalf. Therefore, we need to develop some patience and a wider understanding of, and respect for, all people and not be too quick to judge others by their actions, no matter how small or great an incident may be. This includes honouring and respecting ourselves and not being too judgemental about our own weaknesses.

The way to transform our imperfections into good is first to acknowledge them, then accept and use them to awaken compassion for ourselves and others. Cultivate kindness, friendliness and humility, as well as honour and reverence for all. We should never forget that every living thing and person has the self-same sacred spark of life within.

Be receptive and open to the present.
Life is an eternal ‘now’. The past has gone and only exists in our memories; there is nothing we can do that can physically change it. If we hang onto the past we will not be open to experiencing anything new. This does not mean we should deny or not learn from it. By being aware of how past events and experiences affect us, we can change the way we view them and make the present a time for growth, healing and transformation.

If we expect the future to unfold in a manner that we desire, we will probably be constantly disappointed and miss out on new possibilities unfolding in our lives. If our heads are in the clouds we are likely to lose our way. It is where we are now and what we do with our lives in the present that is important. If we are not happy with anything in our life or development, we need to discover why and find ways in which we can constructively deal with any problems we may have. Through this we find our lives taking on more meaning and purpose. It means waking up to the wonder and beauty of life, to our own unique selves (the human brain alone is perhaps the most complex mechanism in the universe), realising there has never been anyone on this earth like us. It is about being right where we are and allowing the mind and heart to open.

Nothing could be simpler and, at the same time, such a sea of trouble. The mind is like a constant thought factory keeping us from knowing ourselves, whilst our emotions invariably carry us to places we feel we ought not to visit. Yet this is all grist for the mill and part of spiritual unfoldment, for learning how to be aware of these things is a crucial step towards change and positive growth. To live fully is to be open to every minute of our lives – to see life as it is and experience it as if for the first time, unprejudiced by any spontaneous reaction or restrictive view. There is potential for growth in every moment if we are prepared to awaken to it.

Investigate and welcome all lines of thought that will inspire and help you to grow and develop.
We should not limit ourselves only to one view, but realise that growth is brought about by acquiring receptivity to new knowledge and experience whereby we look into the mysteries of life and the secrets of nature, and begin to live and understand the implications of a spiritual life. Knowledge that we possess today might be right for where we are now. But we need to guard against holding on to views that may eventually stop us from developing further and seeing life from a wider perspective.

Truth often unfolds and changes us gradually; we would probably not be ready to accept its implications otherwise. If we are open to investigating life and new ideas and discovering what truths can be found within them, our development will unfold naturally and lead us onto higher ground.

Seek the company of those with an open mind and sound knowledge of spiritual development, and let their influence encourage you in your search. If you cannot find such people in the flesh, then search for them in the many books that have been written on development.

Those who live the spiritual life to the full can inspire us to be more spiritually aware and persistent in our search whereas others who have limited understanding of such matters can weaken our commitment. This is why reading spiritually inspiring books is beneficial as they remind us of our goals. It is only once the student has strengthened his or her spiritual will that he or she will be less affected by negative company. But it should be noted that our judgements about others may be more of a reflection of our own minds and characters rather than of the people themselves.

It is not uncommon for individuals to start out on a spiritual path without knowing anyone to turn to for advice, but as they continue in their search, good people often appear and point them in the right direction. The synchronistic law of attraction comes into play and often draws those of like minds together. There are, however, people who can mislead others, individuals who may have closed views or wrong motives. This is where one has to rely on one’s own wisdom and intuition and make decisions about one’s personal growth, for responsibility for it lies in one’s own hands.

Discernment is required in order to discover what is right for one’s needs, nature and development. This applies not just to people one may encounter, but also to one’s environment and life in general, as well as any knowledge that one discovers. There will be times when things seem to strike a chord. Something inside us often recognises and responds to truth when it is found. It may be simply a feeling of wanting to unfold better qualities.

Develop a compassionate heart for all – a compassion which knows no boundary or prejudice.
True compassion is unconditional and reaches across all boundaries. It is a quality of the heart that is limitless and can have a transforming effect upon all who are touched by it. We cannot force ourselves to manifest compassion; it must arise as a natural response to connect with and feel more for life – to wish all peace, love and contentment in their lives and do whatever is within our power to help others when they are in need. Yet we can work towards uncovering compassion and finding it within. This can be done by opening to an all-embracing awareness of ourselves and others, by practising positive affirmations which help awaken finer qualities, and by regularly meditating, practising prayer, contemplation or breath awareness. These will help us to slow down and transcend any limiting perceptions.

The more open we are to ourselves and others, the more free-flowing compassion will function, and the greater our capacity to love and receive love will be. When we can do this, we will naturally reach out and embrace others. If we persist in our search to discover the good that is in us and overcome anything that separates us from others and our true nature, we will find our hearts opening automatically. We discover a well of unconditional universal love from which we can draw.

Through awakening our lives to compassion, we heal any barriers that we may have created around our hearts. When the heart is firmly rooted in compassion, there are no boundaries left to limit our capacity to love. Kindness and non-harm go out to all.

Avoid resistance to change. Welcome it as a means for growth and understanding more about life.
All things are subject to change. Life is never static, but continuously moves in new directions, unfolding and transforming. Yet only when it appears that things are not changing should we be concerned, as it may indicate that we are stuck in a groove and in need of moving on. When faced with disappointment because events have changed beyond our control, we should question whether it is caused by our own mind’s craving for circumstances to be different from what they are. Is it because we are trying to impose our own notions about how things should be? Are we perhaps putting up resistance to change and the opportunity to grow?

Be thankful for any acts of kindness shown to you and repay them by doing good for others. Let goodness flow from you naturally. Perform good deeds purely for the sake of doing them, without seeking praise, recognition or reward.

If anyone has been a good friend or shows us some form of kindness, we must always be thankful and return it whenever they are in need. We should also expand the good we do by helping others whenever we can.

Some become disillusioned with human nature if people do not show appreciation for the work they have done. But seeking reward for any good we do is the wrong motive. Serving humanity is about giving oneself without personal gain or interest. It does not necessarily imply taking up a public cause, which in some cases can mean performing acts and imposing views on others for the wrong reasons.

Sometimes, it is simply a matter of being there for others when they are in need. Yet no action is without consequences as there is joy in giving and good always returns in some form or another. It may not necessarily come from the people we have helped, but from someone or somewhere else.

We could simply wake up one morning and find that something has changed for the better. Potentials may unfold that we did not know we had, or we might catch sight of a flower or hear the song of a bird that opens us to the experience of universal love.

This is why receiving and being open to good is as important as doing good, otherwise we are stopping good from entering our lives and denying others the opportunity to manifest any kindness. If we continuously push good away, it will eventually do as we command and our lives will be less rich because of it.

Being open and receptive to good can be like opening our lives to miracles. Things may happen just at the right moment. A book or a person might come along when we need them, or an experience could open us to a greater understanding of life just when we thought of giving up.

Have the humility to apologise when you are in the wrong. Accept other’s failings when they appear to make mistakes.

We need to take responsibility for our actions and be mindful that others have feelings too. If we are too proud, we can hurt others without even being aware of it. Our faults should remind us that we are not perfect and make us more accepting of other’s failings.

It does not imply that we do not make a stand when peace and justice are being threatened. Just as we take steps to restore peace in our lives, whenever it is in our power to do so, we should also take actions to preserve peace in the world. Sometimes, simply apologising can heal years of conflict between ourselves and others who may have become our enemies. Everything we do is interconnected. If there is friction in one part of our life, it will affect the quality of peace we have in other areas just as when we experience love in one area, we encounter better relationships in other areas.

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Edited extract from Unleash your Spiritual Power and Grow - Reflect and Learn to Trust the Power Within, by Glyn Edwards and Santoshan. Published by Quantum Books.

SANTOSHAN (STEPHEN WOLLASTON) is widely known for his deep-rooted knowledge of transpersonal and inspirational wisdom. He is one of the founding fathers of the Gordon Higginson Fellowship and is the author of Realms of Wondrous Gifts and The House of Wisdom, written with the revered Yoga Master Swami Dharmananda.

GLYN EDWARDS has worked internationally as a medium for over 35 years, has appeared on television and radio in numerous countries around the globe and is considered as one of the finest mediums and teachers of psychic and spiritual science in the UK.