Spiritual Practices (RC)

I encourage everyone to commit to a regular spiritual practice for the duration of Faithful Meetings no matter how much or how little you participate in other aspects of the program. What do we mean by spiritual practice? Well, it could be something structured like contemplative prayer, lectio divina, Brown skinned parent sitting in lotus position next to a lighter brown skinned child who is also holding a yoga pose. Both look serene.meditation, or yoga. Many people have found a formal daily practice to be invaluable for their growth. When you think of the practice required to improve at anything, it makes sense that doing something everyday would help one grow. And pushing through the really hard times can lead to insights that one may not otherwise find.

But not all of us are built to be good at routine. I’m not. My Attention Deficit Disorder causes routine to often be the opposite of enlivening to me. I have found, though, that I can do something every day if it is creative, changing, or variable. A spiritual practice designed by a friend several years ago works for me. In this practice, I get in touch with my heart’s deepest longing in this moment. Once I’ve held this longing in the Light or in prayer, I do something creative to express it. Often I journal or create a still life that I photograph. I might instead write a poem, dance, sing or hum, form clay, or draw or paint.

A simple and quick practice that helps shift my perspective is to wish for others what I want for myself. Going about my daily life, when someone does something to cause me consternation, I think about what I want for myself in that moment and “offer” it or wish it or pray for it for the other person. For instance, when someone cuts me off in traffic, my impulse is to refer to the driver in unkind terms. With this practice, I interrupt the negative by asking myself what I want for myself in that moment. It may be as simple as “to arrive home safely” or “to get some food in my belly”. I consider it and then I send that desire to the other driver. Doing so gives me the sense that the other driver and I are companions on a journey rather than enemies competing for resources. This grounds me and moves me into a sense of connection and openness.

The way I understand it, spiritual practice helps me get the needs of my ego out of the way so I can be more aware of what is holy around me (hint: it is everything). Almost anything I do has the potential to be spiritual practice if I bring that intention to it. Walking my dog, listening to music, being with friends, caring for children or elderly relatives, even housecleaning can all be spiritual practices if I am doing them with intention to draw closer to God.

What is your relationship with spiritual practices?
What are spiritual practices you would like to try out?
Will you commit to engaging in a regular spiritual practice for the duration of Faithful Meetings? What might that look like for you?

Respond to these questions or share your thoughts about the “Spiritual Practices” quotes or resources in the forum.

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