From The Universal Laws of Spiritual Development as listed in The School of the Blue Dakini Textbook (Peace Through Understanding) from 1994:
LIVING TOGETHER SKILLS AND INNER LIGHT CONSCIOUSNESS TECHNIQUES (OR ANY SPIRITUAL TECHNIQUES FRESHLY LEARNED) ARE NOT FINISHED IN ONE CLASS. IN TIME, BY PUTTING THESE CONCEPTS AND EXERCISES INTO PRACTICE WE BUILD CONSICOUNESS OF OUR INNER LIGHT AND MASTERY OVER OUR LIVES.
Recently I heard that the baseball batters who hit consistently at 95 + miles an hour are estimated to have swung a bat 30,000 times to perfect their speed and accuracy. Wow, 30,000 times. That makes perfect.
The staff of the Peace Through Understanding evening school for spiritual seekers in Oslo discovered this:
In Year 1: An “aha” happened when students were first introduced to techniques the first semester. During the second semester the tools settled in a bit and students took opportunities to experiment tentatively with the techniques which often shocked their friends and family. They became excited about sharing their experiences with the tools in class.
In Year 2: In the first semester students were becoming surer of themselves when using the techniques and they became even more excited about sharing their experiences in class. During the second semester the tools and techniques of spirituality really became their first reaction when presented with challenges. By this time, they didn’t think of their spiritual skills as an outside thought to be applied. The skills were internalized and becoming natural by the end of the year. Their friends and family were becoming interested in the techniques or at least weren’t balking so much at the change in positivism in the network.
Year 3: Advanced students had the opportunity then to teach the skills to each other and give feedback. By this time, the skills were theirs. And today I guesstimated that dedicated students would have racked up:
1000 uses of dream work
1000 uses of journaling and self awareness
1000 notes or letters to the Inner Teacher
1000 + uses of converting negative emotions to positive emotional choices
3000 + choices of healthy communications
Unlimited consultations with the Inner Teacher (Noble Self, Heart Self)
All of this use of the spiritual tools in three years does not come close to those 30,000 times of the batter in training which probably happens over 16 years. And yet, if we (hopefully with a supportive community) do keep using our spiritual tools: breathing, doing exercises for increased lightness and energy, meditating, using dream techniques, applying mastering emotions skills, sharing healthy communication techniques, etc. we can become closer to “batting 100” as spiritual beings.
A supportive community is so important in developing a good batter (that’s a lot of pitches and shouts of approval). It is equally important in developing a spiritual adept with discussion, “shouts of approval” and prayers.
Practice does make perfect!