We cannot underestimate the value of a spiritual practice. Preparing the ground so the physiology can support higher stages of development is key. This benefits both this life and those that follow as development of Sattva and Atman are cumulative.
And yet, our practices themselves don’t bring the primary openings of a spiritual unfolding. Those come through Divine blessing.
You may not be comfortable with the idea of the hand of God playing a role in your life. Largely, this comes from false concepts of God we’re brought up with. Debates about belief or non-belief. However, that’s just mind.
When direct experience unfolds, the Divine becomes self-evident and then directly experienced. This can arise in form, undefined form, fundamental principle, and then pure Divinity itself.
Yet with the most important shifts, it’s not about you at all.
You will never awaken. We awaken from the ‘me’ into our cosmic nature. Some value of a person remains to function in the world and complete our life. But this is no longer the center.
The trick with blessings is in letting go, in allowing what is to unfold. This requires some trust so we’re not holding on too hard. Trust comes from experience.
Not that we can stand in the way of the Divine. If required by the whole, the Divine can blast through any impediment. Generally though, blessings flow when we get out of the way enough that they can move.
Even if we spend lifetimes in a less effective spiritual practice, the effort itself will be recognized. We can be drawn (receive the blessing) to a more effective path.
Some traditions emphasize tapas, or warming, to prepare the ground. Sometimes, this is taken to extremes, like standing on one foot or fasting for long periods.
Yet as I was discussing in a comment recently, the key is attention. The effectiveness of any ritual or yagya or prayer is based on the level at which we perform it. If we simply go through the motions, results will be minimal. But if we sync the heart, mind, and actions with focused presence, we’re enlivening all levels.
However, I’d recommend you keep it simple. The most profound results come from samadhi (transcendence) and shifting our habits of being to support healing and growth. And in doing these in a regular and sustained way. As Vasishtha told us, all arises from self-effort.
This doesn’t mean control, it means consistent application.
This results in blessings for quality of life, healing, and enlightenment.
In the end, it’s all the Divine.