The Five Pillars of a Spiritual Life - A Spiritual Primer

The Five Pillars of a Spiritual Life

Saints have a very positive and optimistic view of us. Though they may note our predicament, our current situation, what they really see is what we can become. They know that each person can become a perfect being, full of light and joy. They also know that most of us are unaware of this fact because our minds have been clouded by worldly attachments and scattered by wrong activities to such an extent that we have lost sight of where we can find real peace and joy.

Once we understand our great potential, we will naturally apply ourselves to developing what is lying dormant within us. We will make sure that we take positive actions that nourish spiritual growth, and avoid negative or destructive actions that stunt it.

To help us avoid the many pitfalls that lie between us and our goal, the saints advise us to concentrate our efforts on five main points:

  1. To follow the instructions of a true living teacher
  2. To abstain from eating meat, fowl, fish and eggs
  3. To lead an honest, moral life
  4. To refrain from taking drugs and alcohol and using tobacco products
  5. To practise meditation for two and a half hours a day

These are the five pillars that will support and sustain our spiritual nature. These are the practices which will protect and develop our self. Without them, we would find it difficult to realize if we were going astray. Like the railroad tracks or the painted lines on a highway, they help us keep on spiritual track and stay on the right road. They give direction to our life. When we step outside these practices, we can be sure that we are going away from our goal. These five principles provide an excellent and practical guide to safeguard, strengthen and increase our spiritual development.