Why we ought to do spiritual exercises

In these current times it is of the utmost importance to clearly see and understand why it's necessary to do techniques that can help us heal and get to know our inner self. For most people, meditation, mantras and yoga are simply some kind of a foggy superstitions. A huge and sudden jolt seems to be needed in order to make us start doing them, especially for the very first time.
"The wise person learns from others' mischief." That's true. The really clever and smart ones don't wait until their life starts to decline, including physical and mental health, but by using other people's lives as an example, aim to keep their well-being at a good level. Most of us are interested in how we can bring out the best of our life; to answer that question we must say it has a lot to do with how we spend our spare time and energy.

Many people think that life is equal to constant development and improvement: "time heals all the wounds", but if we take a look around, what we see is quite different. If it was really true, the world would be full of super-conscious elderly people constantly bursting out with laughter and joy. In every Eastern and spiritually-developed culture, Time and Idleness are considered an enemy; something that needs to be subdued, something that hinders and blocks the ascending of our soul and being.

The very moment we are born, cosmic waves reach our body and instantly burn some kind of a code in it. We can consider it the DNA of our soul. In every case it is in accordance with the experiences from our past lives, stored in our unconscious mind. This code is better known as our natal chart. Our chart has a higher and a lower level, technically a whole scale.

Without consciously working on our inner self most of the time (unfortunately) we live the lower perspectives of it. The main events of our life come to existence when the planets of our natal chart come in alignment with the actual planetary positions. This is what most people want to check in their chart: "What's going to happen?" and "What's in my destiny?".

Nevertheless a synastry (in astrology, a concurrence of starry position or influence) can only show tendencies, not specific events. This tendency can appear in thousands of forms, and it's effected by the actual condition of our mind and inner self.
If we really want to improve the quality of our life it is useless to keep on asking an astrologer if he/she sees good times coming.

Obviously, knowing our natal chart can give us an essential map about ourselves, and without it we can roam in our inner work with no results for years or (literally...) decades. It's like looking for a city without having specific directions. We need to have that 'map', but we still have to take steps to reach our destination.

Good times come along with good states, and good states come when we pay time, effort and attention to taking care of our soul. And it is a constant job. We brush our teeth every day, we take a shower every day. It seems these days that only our soul is highly neglected. As long as we are in our physical body we collect karma, and our being is at the mercy of non-visible effects that shape our life indeed. Many people do spiritual exercises while things are going well, but as we face the first setback we tend to stop doing them. This is a big mistake. Those are the times when you should put more effort into it so that the negative effects can cease immediately.
There is a wonderful story I heard in India:

"Once, two brothers visited their childhood village after a long absence because it was their parents' wedding anniversary. They had plenty of time so they visited the village priest who had taught them when they were small. He was really happy to see them again. Since it was their parents' anniversary he advised the boys to go around the Shiva temple clockwise 108 times and chant a specific mantra. The elder boy gave up believing in such things long ago. He willingly started to walk in the opposite direction, whistling to himself. The younger boy took a few deep breaths, calmed his mind, and humbly started to walk and chant the mantra; just as the priest had instructed.

After a few rounds, he accidentally stepped on a broken glass tile that deeply cut his foot. He didn't stop, but kept on walking and chanting the mantra. During this very same round, on the opposite side of the temple, the elder boy found a hundred-rupee note. He put it in his pocket triumphantly and walked forward, whistling. When the 108 rounds were completed they stepped in front of the priest at the same time. The younger's face was in pain but expressed in humility, while the elder was in his full of glory. He said scornfully: "What is the reason for your superstition? I did everything the other way and found some money. My brother did it properly and got nothing but a cut foot."

The priest excused himself, and silently disappeared in his hut. After ten minutes he stood in front of the boys again and said: "I still have your natal charts from your childhood, and I quickly checked them. "For you," he said to the elder boy, "it was written in your destiny that today, this morning, you are going to win the lottery."

"And for you, younger brother, the planets said a car was going to hit you and you will lose one leg. You see, that is why we follow these rituals properly."

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