Are you really participating with your spiritual evolution or are you lying to yourself?
Some of us have this notion that going to the temple or church will be good enough to take care of our spiritual evolution. It's like going to the dentist once in a while and then not cleaning our teeth after that event, there is not a real improvement to our teeth. After hearing some things a person close to me mentioning, I begin to think about it; so here I am exploring this idea..
Many go to the temple or church and they do their prayers and listen to the priest or monk and agree with everything and participate with activities. Also they do their spiritual practices at home, meaning, they have a separate place to put their deity and the flowers, the lamp and the incense etc., then they go there morning and evening to do their chanting or prayer and come out of it feeling all happy. It is a good thing to keep a spiritual practice and when possible go to the temple or church to participate with the activities.
From a certain point of view, all these supports the person in reminding them that they are part of something and they have a connection to their Eternal or grater self or the Athma. We can also look at it as going to the stream and taking a shower so they get all cleaned and feel good from. This is good maintenance work for sure, that keeps them aligned to a source that they believe in and remind them that there is something greater than their 3D lives. From another point of view some one can ask, Why are you giving your power away to some outside source?
But is it enough? Do they really practice a spiritual teaching or are they just doing it because others are doing it or they do it because it feels good?. What is the intention behind it? Also for some it supports their ego where they say I go to the temple every day and do this and that and look at all the donations and support that I have done there, so I do not deserve this kind of life or that kind of situation. They say, they deserve more.
When this happens, we have to ask, What intentions did you have when you did these activities at the temple or at church? Do you do this just to please others and your ego which gives you a good name among others when you give a bigger donation than your neighbour.? Is competition involved in this? Is ego involved? Are you really doing a good deed or are you using the temple or the church to give your ego another boost?. What intentions we have when we participate with these activities does matter as they show us what we really do with our ego in the front seat and if we pay attention to our activities they are an eye opener.
Next thing that comes to mind is, Are we really practicing in these teachings that we have learned? or Is it just a mind trip?. If we are not living whatever the teachings that we've learned in our daily lives then there is no use for these teachings. Learning and practicing them in our lives is how we really understand the true meaning of these teachings and know them in our heart otherwise they are just talk and that does not serve our highest good or our spiritual evolution.
This must be the same with new teachings that we are finding and practicing as we are awakening.
Also through our prayers or chanting we make promises to our chosen deity, this could be, I will not lie or I will not hurt anyone or cheat on any one etc.. We make that promise to ourselves as well as to our chosen deity. If we keep breaking those promises or affirmations we've made then we are not just lying to someone else but we are lying to ourselves as well. There is a part of us that watch us and learn from our thoughts and actions and that part for sure knows that we cannot be trusted as we keep lying to ourselves and others with these activities. There is no accountability or owning to these promises that we make, they are empty words that does not serve us and every time we do it we are making ourselves liars.
Sometimes things happen and we make mistakes and the promise we made to the deity and ourselves was broken. This is fine, we all have our lessons to learn but continually doing the same thing and not making a real effort to make ourselves accountable for the promises that we make ourselves and others make us not trustworthy. Does it not? When we are at the temple or church we should really think about what we are promising to ourselves.
Most of us talk about many types of teachings and how great they are but when it comes to using them, practicing them in our lives we lack the desire to do that or the teachings are an inconvenience to the lives we live.
Observe where you are with your spiritual practices, and if you are someone who leans the teachings and talk about it among others and go to the temple daily but not live it in your life, then you might be lying to yourself about your spiritual practices as you are not really evolving spiritually with them.