By George A. Boyd © 2016
Spiritual development begins with behavioral training, and progresses through seven stages. These seven stages, with their seven key components, are described below.
I. Behavioral Training – This is where you learn rules and etiquette, and the moral rules for living like the Ten Commandments or the Yama Niyama of Yoga. You get this training from your parents, teachers in school, supervisors or mentors at work, drill instructors in the military, and from religious clerics and priests.
- Learning proper behavior in the home (parents)
- Learning proper behavior in public spaces and other people’s homes (parents)
- Learning proper behavior in school (teachers, school counselors, and principals)
- Learning proper behavior in work (supervisors and mentors) and the military (drill instructors)
- Learning proper behavior in government (aides to government officials) and courts (attorneys and judges)
- Learning proper behavior in religious institutions (clergy)
- Learning to internalize moral guidelines and live them
II. Etheric Training – This introduces you to body-mind methods like hatha yoga and martial arts, breathing methods, and beginning contemplation on chakras. You get this training from hatha yoga teachers, martial arts instructors, and New Age and Psychic counselors and coaches
- Practice of hatha yoga or martial arts
- Learning meditative breathing (Pranayama)
- Chanting and invocation, using prayer and the spoken word to commune with spiritual beings
- Introduction to meditating on chakras, gaining an understanding of their functions
- Contemplation of objects of meditation (External Tratakam) and internal chakras (Internal Tratakam)
- Introduction to activation of chakras through sound, light, and repetition of seed sounds that stimulate the chakras (chakra bijas)
- Learning to raise the Kundalini into the brain chakra to bring about the state of illumination or enlightenment
III. Emotional training – This trains you how to master your emotions, gain self-discipline, and cultivate purity and virtue. You learn this from saints and other spiritual teachers who are emotionally polarized (e.g., they focus their teaching and ministry upon human and spiritual emotional experience). Some people may also learn certain of these methods from undergoing psychotherapy.
- Encountering passions, cravings, desires, and fears in the unconscious mind, and learning ways to deal with them
- Learning about the law of love, and establishing positive, loving relationships
- Learning how to change your attitude so you can receive spiritual instruction, guidance, and correction; Learning how to change negative feelings into positive ones
- Cultivating virtues and good character through changing thoughts and beliefs, introspection, and prayer
- Learning to sublimate and transmute emotions into their higher counterparts
- Activating the unconditional love of the Soul; practice of selfless service
- Becoming an instrument for bestowing the Holy Spirit (Comforter)
IV. Mental training – This level trains your attention to meditate and use the tools of meditation. Schools of Raja Yoga and Vipassana teach this. Mudrashram® teaches these methods in its beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses.
- Learning to isolate your mind stuff—this is also called the attention or the inner witness—from the sensations coming from the external world and the body (Pratyahara) and to be present with the content arising into awareness in the present time (mindfulness)
- Learning to move attention and fix it upon inner focal points (Dharana or concentration) and to become aware of the content arising in that focal point (contemplation or Dhyana); with sustained practice, the meditator can enter a state of union with the object of meditation (meditative union or Samadhi)
- Learning to move attention to activate the three immortal centers—the attentional principle, the spirit, and the Soul
- Interacting with the Subconscious and unconscious mind to produce change; these include the techniques of autohypnosis, affirmation, and process meditation
- Interfacing with the Subconscious and Superconscious mind to elicit intuitive information; these techniques include reflective meditation, receptive meditation, and other creative and dialog methods
- Experiencing union and identification with spiritual essences (Atma Samadhi, Gnosis, Enlightenment)
- Using transformational methods to actively unfold the essences of consciousness
V. Higher Mental Training – This trains the attentional principle [or the spirit in some traditions] to commune with a spiritual guide and carry out spiritual ministry. Integral meditation, Raja Yoga, and Nada Yoga [e.g., schools that train the spirit to open the inner channels of Light and Sound and travel back to God] traditions incorporate these methods. Mudrashram® teaches these methods as part of its Light Sitting program, and in its intermediate and advanced meditation courses and its teacher training programs.
- Learning direct projection: how to unite attention with the attentional principle and to travel in full consciousness through the inner Planes of the Superconscious mind up to the Soul; this confers Soul Knowledge (Atma Vidya)
- Learning to recognize the landmarks of the Continuum of Consciousness and traveling in full consciousness through those realms; this builds intuitive wisdom and insight and ultimately constructs the bridge of illumination (Antakarana); it confers Path Knowledge (Dharma Vidya)
- Learning to commune with the guide form of your Master Teacher; here you contact the guide form of your Master on the inner Planes and travel with him or her, and receive direct instruction
- Learning to minister the Light through the attentional principle [in some traditions, this attunement is made through the spirit]
- Learning to guide the attention of others
- Learning to guide the attentional principle and spirit of others, and manifesting a guide form to work with them
- Learning to bestow the Light that unfolds the Soul and activates the essences of mind and consciousness; this grants the ability to initiate and empower others
VI. Soul Learning (Initiation) – This training occurs as the Soul unfolds its spiritual evolutionary potentials through Initiation. Mantra Yoga, Kriya Yoga, and Guru Kripa Yoga schools teach methods to bring about transformation of the Soul. We teach this in Mudrashram®, giving students a complete map of the Great Continuum of Consciousness in the Mudrashram® Correspondence Course. We give students a transformational mantra that unfolds the Soul through these levels and we perform Light Immersion attunements that speeds the development of the Soul.
- Completion of spiritual development in the Subtle Realm, and reunion of the Soul Spark with the Soul
- Development of mental and psychic powers on the Biophysical Universe, Abstract Mind Plane, and the Psychic Realm
- Development of wisdom and discernment on the Wisdom Plane; inculcation of moral values and knowledge of scriptures during the First Exoteric Initiation; and cultivation of holy virtues and the ability to minister the Holy Spirit during the First Mesoteric Initiation [one becomes a Saint at this stage]
- Learning to understand symbolic teachings in the First Esoteric Initiation and activating the power of the spoken word (decree) through the Mighty I AM Presence in the Second Initiation
- Development of the ability to contemplate seed thoughts, to radiate the energies of the Illumined Mind, and to concretize ideas from the Manasic Plane during the Third Planetary Initiation
- Development of the ability to intuit, express, and channel the radiant knowledge of the Buddhic Plane during the Fourth Initiation
- Reunion of the Soul and the Monad, conferring the mantle of the Adept upon completion of the Fifth Planetary Initiation
VII. Higher Octave Development – This unfolds the spiritual essences in higher bands of the Great Continuum of Consciousness—the Transplanetary, Cosmic, Supracosmic, and Transcendental levels of the Continuum. Traditions anchored at these levels specialize in development at their octave. Mudrashram® introduces students to these higher octaves in our advanced meditation training and the Mudrashram® Correspondence Course, and gives a transformational mantra and other transformational methods to unfold through each of these seven highest levels.
- Unfoldment of the Monad to stages of Transplanetary Mastery and Liberation
- Unfoldment of cosmic consciousness to become a Yogi Preceptor [the nine Yogi Preceptor lineages at the top of the First Cosmic Initiation teach this] and to enter into Liberation at this level (Kaivalyam)
- Unfoldment of cosmic soul awareness to become a Light Master or to return to Liberation in the Ain Soph of the Cosmic Kabala during the Second Cosmic Initiation [Light Masters train how to do this]
- Unfoldment of the Astral Soul through all five Cosmic Initiations to become a Cosmic Master or gain Liberation in the Brahma Jyoti at the top of the Cosmic Sphere (Pari Nirvana) [Cosmic Masters train how to do this]
- Unfoldment of the Supracosmic seed atom and Supracosmic Soul upon one Supracosmic Path to become one with the Supracosmic Master (Guru) [Gurus of Supracosmic Paths train how to do this]
- Unfoldment of the spirit and its ensouling entity on a Transcendental Path up to the origin of the spirit [Sat Gurus of T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, and T7 train how to do this]
- Completion of all tasks on training levels III, IV, V, VI, and VII and training one to become a Multiplane Master (Adi Sat Guru) on the upper reaches of the Bridge Path, T6, and T7.
Mudrashram® offers a comprehensive system for mental training, higher mental training, Soul learning, and higher octave development. These trainings are now available online on our website, or you may opt for in-person versions of these courses with a live instructor, or augment your online course experience with group and individual coaching.
We now have in place coaching modules, in addition to our existing studies, which are designed to help individuals move from emotional level training to mental level training, where they can perform the deeper work of meditation. Available coaching modules for the general public includes Life Coaching, Dysfunctional Family Coaching, Cult Recovery Coaching, and Addiction Recovery Coaching.