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Complementary practices in personal and spiritual development

By: Dr Claus Springborg, August 2022, Copenhagen

Pranayama, centring prayer, meditation, yoga, tantric practices, Holotropic Breathwork, mindfulness practice, positive affirmations, vision quests, cacao ceremonies…

The list goes on. We have endless personal/spiritual practices – but limited time. So, how can we select which practices to engage with?

A good way to approach this question is to divide the spiritual practices into a few complementary categories and work with one practice from each. 

At Sensing Mind Institute, we work with four types of practices which complement each other. 

  • Inquiry
  • Meditation
  • Embodiment
  • Flow

Inquiry is the examination of our moment-to-moment personal experience through carefully crafted questions and thought experiments. Through inquiry, we can gain deep experiential insight into the nature of ourselves and reality.

Meditation is taking time to rest with the great natural peace and to let our hearts drink in the nectars of life that flow from this great natural peace. In meditation, we rejoice in peace, joy, gratitude, compassion, vitality, appreciation, love, etc.

Embodiment is the act of grounding the concepts we use when interacting with life in the insights from inquiry and the embodiment of the nectars from meditation. In this way, our whole world becomes the embodiment of these nectars. 

Flow is “embodiment in action”. The time we spend living in touch with the nectars is the time that brings maturation of our soul and unfoldment of our potential as human beings. 

Complementary practices
Each of the four types of practices supports spiritual development in a particular way. And each of them, when practised exclusively, can result in a particular kind of stagnation.

Inquiry is great for dispelling confusion that otherwise would hamper spiritual development, but when practised exclusively, it can become very dry.

Meditation is wonderful for nurturing oneself and soothing excessive thinking, including worries and trauma, but can become a form of escapism when practised without the clear-sightedness of inquiry.

Embodiment brings our spiritual development into life and helps us retain connection and clear understanding in challenging situations, and Flow is the harvesting of the fruits by discovering our potential through the living of our lives. But neither Embodiment nor Flow can be practised without Inquiry and Meditation providing the insights and awareness of the nectars we embody and flow with. 

Sensing Mind Institute’s education

If you would like to learn more, you can check out Sensing Mind Institute’s education Essence of Life

If you think the education might be something for you, feel free to reach out on info@sensingmind.com. I’m always happy to have an informal chat with you and answer any questions you might have.