How Do I Know whether I Am Making Spiritual Progress?


How would I know that I am on the right track and progressing.

How would I know on what point I stand for achieving realization and what I need to achieve to reach my goal.

—Michel Metni, Lebanon


Dear Michel, Swami Kriyananda used to give this illustration, when he was asked your same question. He would answer, “Spiritual progress is like a nail hammered into a thick board. When you want to get a hammer and use it to pull the nail out of the board and you are unsure about how long the nail might be, you just have to apply steady energy and keep pulling. Eventually it will come out, but you can’t know how long it will take to happen. You just have to keep trying!”

There is great joy in to be found in our spiritual journeys, perhaps even more than actually reaching the goal. Everything keeps getting better and better for us, all the way along. So enjoy your journey, every step of the way! This has been my personal experience also! Yes, there can be some set-backs, but just resolve keep going, no matter what happens or doesn’t happen!

A few signs spiritual progress are when you have or are striving to have:

1) The willingness to seek out the Truth, no matter what. The courage to follow your heart instead of what friends, family, society, or even your own mind and cultural conditioning are telling you to do or not do.

2) Willingness to re-evaluate or change your “first principles” in life, if necessary, in order to know the truth. Simply put, this is a sincere willingness to learn, change, and grow.

3) An understanding that life is a school and that every event, good or bad, involves a lesson to be learned.

4) A real desire for freedom, in body, mind, and soul.

5) True compassion for others including both close, loved ones as well as everyone in the whole world.

6) As little as possible a focus on “I, me, and mine.” Being expansive and unselfish in your thinking.

7) A high level of self-acceptance or self-esteem, through understanding who and what you really are — a soul, a child of God, ever-perfect, ever-free.

8) A deep love for beautiful things, for light, fresh air, and nature.

9) A constantly creative spirit — focusing on the solutions rather than the problems.

10) An attitude of perseverance. No matter how many times life knocks you down, you get up and try again, as joyfully as possible.

11) A desire to be happy in the truest sense of the word, that is to have true, unchanging, unshakable joy—and then to be willing to include others in your happiness.

12) Evenmindedness and cheerfulness under all circumstances.

13) This important attitude: “I will never, never, never, never give up!” Yogananda says: “You have to live anyway, so why not live rightly, with ever-deepening attunement to God, Guru, and your own higher Self.”