Spiritual Progress (Q. 305)

Q: What are some indicators of progress on the spiritual journey? Is witnessing consciousness an indicator of progress? (Oct. 2010)

A: Most people actually don’t go along with the idea of ‘gradual’ progress. The enlightenment ‘event’ if you like (akhaNDAkAra vRRitti) is rather a catastrophic reorientation of the mind (in the mathematical sense of course, rather than the emotive!)

The progress indicators are rather in terms of mental preparation, as in sAdhana chatuShTaya sampatti. We notice that we are less prone to emotional disturbance, avoid emotional reactions, see issues more clearly and make right decisions without selfish motive and so on. And maybe we have increasingly frequent glimpses of the unity and increasing conviction of the truth of the teaching. If, by ‘witnessing consciousness’ you mean seeing what is going on around you with a dispassionate eye, yes – that, too.