I started my spiritual journey at 17. I really didn't call it that, I was just looking for comfort in a world I couldn't understand. I couldn't afford to go to a Yoga studio. In fact, there was no such thing where I lived, or in much of the country.

Still, my hunger for knowledge, which I would now call awakening, drove me forward and I eventually found what I needed to complete my journey.

In the cave in India, where Sri Ramana Maharshi used to meditate, I found my truth. Filled with blue light and completely cool in a space that was humid and more than a hundred degrees, I was shown the sanskara (internal patterns of thoughts and behaviors) that prevented me from awakening in this life in such detail that I was able to let go.

By seeing my life as it was, in contrast to the world of Maya (sustained ilussion), and by seeing that most of my difficulties had come from doing what was right instead of wrong, I realized I was worthy to be free. I also knew that I would carry that energy into the world with me.

Many of us, in this society, have been taught that we are sinful and unworthy, or that we have to prove we are worthy before we receive any thing. We are told we have to be perfect by one segment of society, blocked from being perfect by another, and convinced to pay to become perfect by another.

This is Maya. We are in an unworkable situation. Even if we seem to temporarily, we will never win. One can only escape this trap through an internal shift that first takes place in the mind, and then in one's perceptions.

If you are like I was growing up, without the resources to pay some great teacher to help your mind shift, there is still a way. It could take more time, or less.

This little secret: Follow whatever religious path you are on by learning from the mystics of that path and only the originator, will lead you on your way. Resist the thoughts and behaviors that are contrary to that path, as given by the originator and the mystics.

Measure your internal attitudes, the ones that cannot be measured with psychological surveys or even through the use of words, by monitoring your own behaviors. And then, through the power of your mind and intent, with the heart of the warrior, destroy the subconscious attitudes that cause you to do what you do not desire.

There are many ways to do this. It took me more than 35 years and more than $100,000 worth of education and a lot of suffering and uncertainty. You can shorten the time and lessen the costs, emotional and monetary, by finding a real teacher who can guide you while you do the work. This teacher should be Awake.

A teacher can only lead you to the level they have attained. Slick ads and certifications don't mean a thing. Nor does the ability to suffer a long boring practice year after year. To be a teacher one has to be kissed by the Beloved. One must be in love with God while realizing that everything and everyone is God.

John Gilmore's Next Step Coaching specializes in practical spirituality and self empowerment. We provide simple exercises, techniques, and educational materials that can get you to the end of your journey fast. They are probably others who do this, but I must say that such people weren't their for me when I needed them most.

My guess is that those in the "Spirituality Business" will not be there for you either. There are many gifted, talented teachers in the world, some with slick ads and prices and others without.

Many are sincere but do not have the time or resources to help everyone. The cost for some of their workshops are just too much for some people so if you don't have the money you don't get the personal teaching. That is just the way of the world nowadays.

Doing the necessary work, finding a real teacher, and trusting the universe after you have developed the capacity to hear it instead of the voice of your ego and the collective ego, can help with this and will take you exactly where you want.

Author's Bio: 

Om Prakash is a writer, lecture, workshop leader, body worker, and life coach. For more info visit www.nextstepcoaching.4t.com where you will find a link to our Blog Talk Radio broadcast on Practical Spirituality.