Learn How To Receive Spiritual Guidance
Spiritual guidance is a term we often hear but what does it really mean? Can you receive help with a problem from beyond? If the answer yes, how can you make this happen?
As a shaman and spiritual counselor, I’m often asked these types of questions, particularly from people in recovery from an addiction. Perhaps you can relate?
My hope in penning this piece is to help provide answers while dispelling common myths. Hopefully, by the end of this piece, you will have a deeper understanding of what spiritual guidance means and how to receive it.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- A working definition of spiritual guidance.
- A brief history of spiritually based direction.
- Suggestions for receiving spiritual guidance.
- How to better receive messages from your higher power.
- How to enact the wisdom imparted to you from beyond.
- Several resources for enhanced learning.
Spiritual Guidance Defined
At its core, spiritual guidance is the process and experience of receiving wisdom from the divine.
The practice of establishing contact with a higher power has been with humankind throughout the ages and can be found in nearly every belief system (Dunn & Horgas, 2001).
Divine Guidance and Example Religions
Example religions that subscribe to the ability to receive assistance from a higher power, include:
- Chinese Traditional Religion
It would be a mistake to believe that spiritual guidance can only happen if a person belongs to a specific religion.
In truth, any person can receive divine assistance when you look at the passage of wisdom through the prism of karma (Castro, 2013).
Divine Guidance and Example Non-Religious
- Indigenous Native Indians
- New Agers
- Believers in Lore and Astrology
How To Receive Spiritual Guidance
The reason you arrived on this page is to find out how to receive spiritual guidance.
I’m going to share with you detailed specifics on exactly what to do. But first, I ask only one thing: keep an open mind.
The hard truth is I do not have all the answers. Nobody does. All I can do is pass on the insight that has been gifted to me from the elders of my tribe.
One thing is for sure – nothing will happen if you insist on empirical evidence or scientific “proof”. I wish that I could provide you such things, but I can’t.
What I can do is encourage you to lean into whatever belief system that holds meaning to you and ask that you keep faith.
And so, without further ado, let’s examine ten powerful ways to receive spiritual guidance.
1. Openness Meditation
One practical approach for receiving guidance from the divine is to meditate. In this way, you clear your mind of extraneous material and focus your thoughts on the here and now.
While attending to your meditation, repeat the mantra, “I am open to whatever message the universe might send me.”
If you wish to replace the word “universe” with “God” or the name of your higher power, that’s completely OK. The idea is to use terms that are meaningful to you.
If you have never meditated or aren’t sure how to do this, I encourage you to start with this step by step body scan.
Your openness meditation can occur at any time. Some people report optimum results in the following ways:
- Morning meditations before rising from bed
- Evening meditations before sleep
- Outdoor reflections like in a public park
- Meditating near water, such as a lake or river.
- Meditating on a mountain or an elevated area of land
2. Practicing Loving Kindness
In the traditions of Buddhism, a person can clear their mind and spirit by practicing loving-kindness (LK) (Pannyavaro, 2019). Essentially, you are transmitting positive energy from chakras to a stranger without ever speaking a word.
Transmission of LK can occur through contemplation or a walking meditation. As you pass by a stranger, you merely look at them and say in your mind: “I wish for this person to be happy”.
By giving away positive energy to people you do not know, the ancients tell us you paradoxically create space for a message from the creator.
As an aside, the clinical evidence tells us that partaking LK can create a state of calmness while boosting happiness.
Variations of Loving Kindness
- I wish goodness upon this person.
- May joy fill this person’s heart.
- Let love embody this person today.
- I wish for this person to be joyful.
3. Studying Your Dreams
Universal energy that comes to you from beyond does not always make contact during waking states. Instead, divine communication may come to you in dreams.
If you subscribe to Christian beliefs, you likely know that the bible is replete with stories of God visiting people as they slept. For example, God spoke to Solomon with the famous offer: “Ask what I shall give you.” [1 Kings 3.5].
And it is in this way that higher-power energy has visited humanity throughout the ages. We see God has used dreams as a form of communique with my peoples – including the people of my tribe.
But we also see this energy at play from the time of the ancients, such as Greek and Roman mythology.
Some believe that when you fall asleep, you enter a realm that is not of this place and time. It has even been said that the dead can message us while unconscious.
The way to know and understand if spiritual guidance is being offered to you while sleeping is to become mindful. This means being aware of your dream imagery and looking for themes.
After each dream, it’s essential to record the things that you’ve seen and identify metaphors and patterns.
Dream Journaling Suggestions
- Focus on faces, voices, people, and words.
- Don’t stress if you can’t remember every detail.
- Write down the material you have seen and don’t try to make sense of it.
- Once you’ve captured the content on paper, take time later in the day to reflect (meditate) on the imagery.
- Ask yourself what it all means to you. In many cases, the first organic response your mind offers is spiritual wisdom.
- For insight, consider getting the book Dream-Talk: Could God Be Talking To You In Your Dreams? (Amazon).
4. Read Spiritual Material
The written word is a powerful conduit for spiritual guidance. In many ways, it is a medium for messaging that is unique to each receiver.
But to hear a cosmic voice, we must actively engage our minds in spiritual lessons. This means reading about different versions of God throughout the ages and doing away with restrictive thinking that confines us to just one deity.
If you are Christian, you should be open to learning about the teachings of Buddha. In this same way, if you are agnostic, be open to reading about the Islamic God, Allah.
Suggestions When Reading
- Search your feelings when studying spiritual material. Ask yourself if it speaks to you.
- Find a different spiritual lesson from a belief system outside of your own and see if it resonates.
- Look for any patterns when studying religious or spiritual teachings. Some say the takeaways are a form of a communique from a higher power.
5. Be With Nature
Nearly all forms of organized religion hold that a deity created the earth. Moreover, most of these same religions believe our planet is a gift from the creator.
When you are in nature, you become one with all that is living around you, such as the trees and grass. In turn, this puts you in a powerful place to receive guidance.
On an intrinsic level, doesn’t this make sense?
Spiritual books are filled with stories of how God spoke to someone in the woods, by a river and even a burning bush.
- Focus your awareness on your surroundings using your five senses.
- Ask yourself what you are intuiting from the environment.
- Work on enhancing your situational awareness.
- Do not discount any messages that arrive at your subconscious, no matter how strange they may seem.
7. Bond With Animals
It has been said that God has many faces. A lot of people assume those faces are human. But the wisdom from the ancients tells us that animals, too, can be manifestations of the Almighty.
In ancient Egypt, for example, baboons and monkeys were considered deities (Balaji, 2018).
Jewish mysticism urges us to respect all animals because they are gifts from the creator. Additionally, this same line of teaching suggests that all living creatures are animated by God and have the power to impart wisdom.
When you show compassion for animals, you place out yourself in a commanding position to receive whatever graces are conveyed by your higher power.
Study the animals in your environment. Observe your pets. As the ultimate creatures of mindfulness, it is very possible they are trying to tell you something unrelated to their needs.
- Let animals naturally approach you at their own pace.
- Intuit any messages they may be trying to send you.
- Should a creature of nature have a calming presence, do not ask why but instead, accept it as a divine gift.
8. Daily Prayer
This pathway to receiving insight from the divine is an obvious one but needs to be discussed all the same. The mistake folks make with prayer is making it a one-way conversation.
If your goal is to obtain a message from the creator, allow periods of silence.
Over time, as you tune into the universe, various words, images, and visions will appear in your consciousness.
Whatever is revealed to you, embrace the material as sacred.
- Believe that the creator will speak to you.
- Accept that you are worthy of communication.
- Focus on things you are grateful for instead of making a request.
- Repeat the mantra, “I am open to your message”.
“Animals, too, can be manifestations of the Almighty”
9. Identify Your Spirit Guide
In the traditions of the Indigenous Indians, spirit guides exist as gifts to impart wisdom from the creator (Blumenthal, 1990).
You may refer to these energy forms as angels, guardians or protectors. Regardless of how you label them, recognize that you have one.
As you enhance your karmic skills, your spirit guide will make themselves known to you. The critical thing to remember is that you do not choose your guides. Instead, it chooses you.
I’d like you to take a deep breath and scan your memories now. Since childhood and through the present, has there been an animal [or representation of an animal] that has been part of your life?
Examples might be monkeys, elephants, wolves, deer, birds or bears? If the answer is yes, there is an excellent chance that is a symbolic sign of your guide.
Establishing contact will require you to tune into universal energy and become an open receptacle.
Spirit Guide Suggestions
- Read all that you can about spirit guides
- Listen to the audio-book: How to communicate with your spirit guide (Amazon).
- Look for symbols and identify and patterns, tracing back to your childhood.
10. Change Your Routine
If you are like most people, there’s a good chance that your routine is the same each day. Over time, your pattern can become some engrained that it becomes ritualized.
While there’s nothing wrong with this, it can create a barrier to receiving spiritual direction.
It is hard to experience divine intervention when your mind is stuck on auto-pilot.
To hear a message from the creator, it may be necessary to change your routine. Doing so frees stale energy you may be holding and creates space for new energy – and insight.
Suggestions for Change
- Take a different route home from work.
- Buy perfume or cologne that’s not your norm.
- Make a dish that you’ve never tried before.
Bringing It All Together
Raising your consciousness and receiving the gift of spiritual guidance can happen for you.
In fact, it’s very likely the creator has been speaking to you for some time. But you probably already know this, deep inside.
For now, I encourage you to focus on what’s been shared here and ask yourself the following: How can I make myself more open to spiritual direction?
I’ll turn the mic over to you now.
Balaji, A. (2018, May 1). Primates of Ancient Egypt: The Deification and Importance of Baboons and Monkeys. Retrieved from Ancient Origins: https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/primates-ancient-egypt-deification-and-importance-baboons-and-monkeys-part-021888
Blumenthal, S. (1990). Spotted Cattle and Deer: Spirit Guides and Symbols of Endurance and Healing in “Ceremony”. Retrieved from American Indian Quarterly: www.jstor.org/stable/1184963
Castro, J. (2013, November 22). What Is Karma. Retrieved from Live Science: https://www.livescience.com/41462-what-is-karma.html
Dunn, K., & Horgas, A. (20001, December 1). The Prevalence of Prayer as a Spiritual Self-Care Modality in Elders. Retrieved from The Journal of Holistic Nursing: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/089801010001800405
Pannyavaro, V. (2019). Loving Kindness Meditation. Retrieved from Buddha Net.