5 Stages

The 5 stages of spiritual development are really the stages of wisdom that come as you move through your spiritual practice.

Saram Pad (the novice) – When you are introduced to a spiritual path.  You may be called to do, learn or explore something new.  It is the honeymoon phase when we are happy and everything seems fresh and new.

Karam Pad (the apprentice) – The daily practice you are to do on the spiritual path.  It is all about the action, doing, and practice.  It is a time of redefinition and development and experience.  Aligning with deeper practice.  We work on ourselves.  Rub up against discomfort.  Each piece is assigned by a mentor.

Shakti Pad (the craftsman or practitioner) – This is where you confront your ego.  You experience wonderful things and work through neurosis or head into hard to bare realms.  This is where you either decide to keep going, stay at an apprentice level, or quite altogether.  This is where you choose to follow your own desires or the higher values of the path you are studying.

Sahej Pad (the expert) – You become infinite and aligned with your destiny.  You are in flow.  It is a stage of ease, balance, and grace when everything fits together.  The expert learns by teaching.

Sat Pad (the master) – Gone through the process of purification.  Living a life of service.  When the observer dissolves.  There is no separation…just transcendence.

How do these relate to my own life and development?

When I look back through my Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training (KYTT) journal I can see clearly the early excitement I had of starting something new.  I felt called to take the KYTT and it was a fresh journey to embark on.  I see a distinct shift when I really was questioning everything and rubbing up against parts of myself I thought I had healed or had not revealed.  I was past the honeymoon phase and felt a deepening.  I stayed there up until the last class.  I moved to apprentice after I started a regular practice.  Everything seemed to fall into place and more work began on myself.  It has redefined so much in my life.  Strange to look back and wonder who that old me was.  I am working in this zone and wonder what will happen when the mentor disappears.  That is where I will see where the rubber hits the road.  Will I choose to teach?  Will I decide to keep going?  Will I quit?  Will I have enough discipline to continue on without knowing things are due for the next class?  For now, I keep working through it day by day and moment by moment…paying attention and letting the next stage emerge.

In my non-yoga time:  These phases apply to all aspects of life.  At some point what you do is new and you move through it or onto the next thing.  Interesting to look at it outside of the yoga part.  Although more than ever it is all yoga…the yoga of life.  It ain’t just what happens on the mat anymore.  I feel like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz…I’m not in Kansas anymore.  I wonder if clicking my red shoes would work on the mat?

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