Do We Need Spiritual Practice?

Upon awakening, are your thoughts reactive or proactive?  Are the first thoughts of your day full of gratitude or negativity.  Do you approach your day with excitement and promise or dread?  What you do in the first moments of awakening sets the tone of the day.  We all have a spiritual practice, what is yours?

Sharing a smile, enjoying your morning cup of coffee with someone special, sending your children off to school with hope and love, countering the chaotic world news with thoughts of gentility, gratitude and hope, watering your plants and flowers, wishing your partner a good day, waving hello to your neighbor, patience in morning and evening rush hour traffic, holding the elevator door for another are spiritual practices.

 

There are many venues to travel on a spiritual journey, it is a highly individual experience and begins with inquiry, the rudimentary quandary of life’s purpose. It is a desire to seek soul fulfillment, to understand one’s place and gifts, the soul becomes a student, a seeker, a disciple delving into union with the Higher Self, the Universe, the Higher Power, Divine Providence, God.

The path is full of tests, lessons, and experiences that lead the aspirant to higher levels of awareness and consciousness.  There are no polar opposites in this quest, both light and darkness is employed to prod the seeker on to elevated understanding in basic and simple laws of the universe.

In Orthodox traditions, spiritual practice is a given, it is fundamental.   In nondualism the intention is key.  It asks the question of a spiritual practice, what do you want?  The noumenal isness of what you are, your true nature, awareness, to be or not to be cannot be practiced, it just is.

Is the committed daily practice of prayer, contemplation, self inquiry, meditation, Kundalini yoga, devotion, emanating love, selfless service, and consciously mirroring God in others productive? Do you program your day?

“The highest spiritual practice is that your presence should remind people of God. What bigger and more powerful miracle than that can there be, that by your very presence you can invoke godhood in people? “ –Yogi Bhajan   Being the creatures of habit that we are, intention, discipline, focus and diligence are essential daily requirements to transmute our human nature to a higher state of being.

 

 We are bombarded with distractions daily that interfere communion with our inner self.  The still small voice is gentle and does not attempt to overpower the outer planes of sub appearance.

Sub appearance is simply the outer world designed by the separate thoughts, beliefs, perspectives, opinions and negative emotions of mankind.

Just contemplating and acknowledging your spiritual essence does not produce the needed change.  Many of us are negligent in committing to spirit. Similar to physical/brain exercise, education, gardening, cleanliness of environment, child rearing, diet, progressing in business or career, etc.; there is a daily program with goals to be met, a daily ritual in place.

The act of giving thanks is the great attitude.  The energy invoked when one is in gratitude is the most magnetizing force on the planet.  The blessings we acknowledge and are thankful for increase and multiply.  Acknowledge is not just knowledge, it is acting on the knowledge of our focus.

Therefore a daily diet of gratitude is sure to be one of the most productive spiritual programs along with increasing light in every cell, the more we align with the Christ within, the more luminous our being becomes and hence the more powerful our field.

As we strengthen our conviction of developing our spiritual nature, an inner knowing and understanding anchors within the soul.  We are cognizant of the messages and coincidences that present themselves as we move through our pain, anxiety, doubt and fear.

Journeying on a spiritual path organically detaches us from our emotional, physical and mental attachment to the unreal earthly realm.

Just like well-intentioned exercise programs, we slip from our spiritual path and look for solutions to regain our union with spirit.  The other side of slipping away is spiritual bypassing.  This phenomenon is the flip side of the coin, an obsessive attachment to anything spiritual in order to avoid confronting one’s own issues and problems.

A departure from your path occurs when you feel misaligned, stressed, anxious, angry, fearful, displaced emotions and out of balance.  The most important step is to not feel any guilt shame or remorse.  These emotions keep you in the hamster wheel with no light at the end of the tunnel.

Perhaps your ritualized practice is no longer working for you.  There are so many mediums to choose from to regain solid footing.  Do not overlook the glory of the body as it relates to spirit.  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God?” (lCorinthians 6:15

All forms of body work: reiki, massage, reflexology, acupuncture, yoga, polarity therapy, osteopathic work, etc., also martial arts: tai chi, aikido, chi kung, exercise, hatha yoga, etc., dancing, sports, jogging, hiking, walking meditation, along with breathing, music, toning, facilitate the spiritual warrior in bringing the body to peak performance. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God?” (lCorinthians 6:15

Sallie McFague states, “The most prevalent spiritual disease of our time is not wanting to be here, not wanting to be in a physical body.”

Our body is our honorable friend, a trusted messenger, a guidance system, the body navigates the way and decodes all for our highest good.

When we are overwhelmed and uptight, with tension in our muscles, joints and bones, sweaty palms, irregular breathing, clenched jaws, etc., our body is informing us that we are in unhealthy patterns, identifying with chaos and trauma, spiraling into a familial abyss.

Spiritual practice assists in grounding ourselves when we incorrectly attach ourselves to the overwhelming experiences, wrongly perceiving that we are those experiences.

Do you remember the Bear Hunt story heard as a child?  The chorus line is, you can’t go under it, can’t go over it, you must go through it.

We must walk straight through the storms of life, confronting the fear and going beyond it, facing the frightening and painful memories, the baggage and valley of tears, moving past them to higher ground.

The key is to remain open minded, in trust and faith, be vigilant for messages and signs, within these are necessary lessons, be aware that all that comes our way is a step to climb out of the valley of the shadow of death to the grandeur of the mountain of spirit.

No one has any say in your journey and choices.  We live in a free willed sphere and the journey is a sacred relationship between you and God or the title you choose to identify the Highest Power.  It is the inner voice we must follow and heed and no other.  Dust off your mirror of Divinity and let your light so shine that others will do in kind.

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