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Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies




Taking Care of Basics


By George A. Boyd © 2005

Some seekers begin their quest for enlightenment and spiritual development before they take care of basics. We ask that you inspect the following list and see which of these areas you have handled. You may wish to label these according to the following coding system:

5 - Mastery, competence, full satisfaction, all objectives met

4 - Major progress in this area, a few objectives to be met

3 - Some progress in this area, several objectives to be met

2 - Little progress in this area, many objectives to be met

1 - No progress in this area, area of major lack or deficiency

Actualization Needs

  • Spirituality - Enlightenment - Actualization

  • Meaningful commitment - Service

  • Ethical standards - Integrity - Recovery

  • Training in Prayer and Meditation - Study of religion, philosophy, and psychology *

Esteem Needs

  • Esteem - having dreams come true, honors, recognition

  • Mental enhancement - education, career training *

  • Beauty - having beautiful things, beauty and harmony in your environment

Love and Belongingness Needs

  • Love and Belongingness - spouse, family life and children

  • Friendship, support network

Security Needs

  • Financial security - savings, insurance

  • Livelihood, regular income *

  • Physical safety and security - locks and alarms

Survival Needs

  • Medical and dental care, health promotion

  • Transportation

  • Housing, protection from the elements, clothing appropriate for the weather

  • Food, adequate nutrition and water

Items marked with a * are key elements to allow you to progress towards higher order objectives.

  • Livelihood is essential to meet basic survival and security needs. Stable livelihood is key to raising a family and being able to share entertainment and meals with friends, and also may allow you to meet your higher order esteem needs for beauty, recognition and having your dreams come true.

  • Education and career training are important to meet higher order esteem needs and to increase livelihood.

  • Training in meditation and prayer and study of the literature of wisdom and insight (religion, metaphysics, philosophy, and psychology) allows you to begin to pursue your higher order actualization needs.

We encourage seekers to make an honest inventory of these 16 areas and to evaluate their progress in each area dispassionately. Progress in each area is possible if you make it a priority to find solutions to the obstacles that impede you in these areas and make effort at improving yourself.


The schema of Actualization, Esteem, Love and Belongingness, Security and Survival Needs are drawn from the works of Abraham Maslow on the hierarchy of human needs. From Maslow, Abraham (1954) Motivation and Personality, New York: Harper and Row.


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