What is a spiritual practice?
The first time you begin examining your life is the beginning of your spiritual practice. You will notice a need to do it again and to deepen your exploration each time. A spiritual practice involves anything that has to do with the spiritual aspect of your life-all that is unseen, all that is felt at a core level, the intangible, the unexplainable.
Having a spiritual practice is creating the opportunity to examine, explore, and engage with the parts of us that are not material but are spiritual, it’s the time we take to step away from doing so we can focus onto being. The focus on the formless or the opposite of form.
Why should we have a daily spiritual practice?
- to maintain our emotional hygiene, to let go of the thoughts and feelings that do not serve us and to maintain our emotional health and balance. Just like a garden needs to have its weeds removed on a regular basis so we need to focus on the spiritual aspects of our life.
- to create a balance between our focus on form and our focus on the formless (spiritual)
- to remember what matters most
- to help us focus on what matters most
- to hear our inner voice
- to connect with our intuition
- to still our overactive mind
- to reduce anxiety
What are some ways we can do to connect with the spiritual every day?
– enjoyment (in joy (mo)ment): every time we do something we like we tend to be more present. Take the time to do something you love every day and be mindful of the effects it creates on your body and mind
– observation through living meditation: Living meditation is the opposite of multi tasking it’s dedicating your full attention to the thing you are doing at any particular moment. It’s being extra tuned into your body, your surroundings and your actions. Be the watcher. You know how present you were at any particular moment by the intensity of your memories. If you cannot remember what you did with your keys you know you checked out completely as you were handling them. Some of my favorite every day living meditation opportunities are: eating (paying full attention to the taste, aroma and texture of my food), taking a shower (I love to feel the water on my skin) and sky watching (I love laying down on my porch and watching the clouds roll over me)
– be grateful- take time to say thank you: this form of mindfulness is particularly helpful for difficult times. Sit down and start writing all the things that make your life pleasant. Start with the smallest things and pay particular attention to the things you tend to take for granted like being able to breathe easily, not having to worry about your next meal or being able to think for yourself.
– pay attention to your intention! Ask yourself: why are you doing what you are doing? A return to intention always helps us to go within and connect to the spirit of our work. When you reconnect to your purpose you get a lot of insight on your alignment to what is. For me asking myself “Why are you doing this?” always slows me down and relaxes me.
Other common ways through which people create their own spiritual practice are: prayer, communing with nature, creative endeavors, yoga, meditation, tai chi.
Scientific data that proves that mind wandering and unhappiness are directly correlated.
Here is an article on succesful people who meditate on a regular basis: