Why Spiritual Practices?
Why do we have Spiritual Practices?
There are many practices that all of us use as we walk along on our spiritual journey. In talks given by almost every inspirational speaker I’ve listened to, there is reference to practices they find meaningful. Inspirational literature from ancient texts to present day authors share ideas with their readers on what practices make life meaningful for them. I always find it fascinating that there are so many unique and different styles, emphasizing the creativity that we all know lives with us.
But, have you ever really stopped to ask yourself, is it important for me to have Spiritual Practices? And if it really is important to my life, why is that?
Let me start with listing just a few spiritual practices so that you can see the vastness of possibilities before trying to ask yourself WHY do we create Spiritual Practices for ourselves.
- Meditation of every type and kind imaginable. You can reference many types in our book The Light GAP: God’s Amazing Presence on pages 177-182.
- Absorbing unconditional love through nature.
- Qi Gong or Tai Chi
- Deep Breathing Exercises
- Reading Inspirational Literature
- Gratitude Walks
- Rituals like candle burning
- Random Acts of Love
- Healing Sessions
- Mindful eating
- Just BEING love
- Getting lost in a symphony of beautiful music
- Group meditation and healing exercises
I know that LOVE is the answer … so all I need to do is ask, what is my question?
I know for years I thought I was meditating or being in nature with the goal of SEARCHING to have another spiritual experience. That expectation is usually followed by disappointment, and so many people simply stop meditating.
So WHY do we crave meaningful spiritual practices?
I believe it is to find the LOVE and JOY that lives inside of all of us. We tend to think that we are there to “work” on ourselves, thinking we’ve made mistakes and would like to be absolved of the worry that comes with them. From our human self comes critical thinking of not only ourselves, but others as well. So, if God is pure unconditional love, where are all these critical thoughts coming from? They are coming from our own mind. And who is creating these thoughts that the mind is listening to? We are. Chances are most of those thoughts have absolutely no reality to them, we made them up!
” To appreciate the purpose of spiritual techniques, you have to realize that you are addicted to your mind. You are more addicted to your mind than people are to drugs. In fact, the reason many people start doing drugs is to get away from their mind’s incessant chatter ~ the mind can be impossible to live with. In Essence, your mind is your guru, and you need to back off from that relationship.”
~ Michael Singer Living Untethered: Beyond the Human Predicament pg. 169.
We do try to make things too complicated. When we realize there are simple answers to most of our challenges, we wonder why haven’t been working on our minds earlier. I have been reading newest book by Michael Singer for quite some time. I finished it, but I’ve gone back to do some re-reading recently reminding me there are such wonderful simple thoughts for us in there.
Michael Singer goes on to talk about how changing our relationship with our mind is a major part of our spiritual journey! We can’t change the relationship with our mind if we are constantly letting others dictate our thoughts and allowing those ideas to fester inside. We find ourselves actually fighting our mind instead of allowing it to move THROUGH us, learning from the experience.
We begin understanding the triggers we might have living inside of ourselves previously unnoticed, and we can learn to simply let go of them! Other people call these blockages that show up in our body causing disease, because we aren’t allowing the flow of LOVE to simply take them away! Blocked energies inside are going to build up and need release if you don’t deal with them. Instead, they show up through anger, sadness, or depression.
“You must be able to withdraw your attention from the mind, even when the mind is talking. The easiest way to do this is to pay attention to something else. One very common very simple technique is watching your breath. You then see how addicted you are to your mind…The entire purpose is to practice gaining control of your attention so that it becomes yours again. What you pay attention to determines your experiences in life. “ ~ Michael Singer
So, why do we have spiritual practices?
It’s simple! They help us take back the CONTROL of our mind! If we stop thinking it is to bring us to spiritual experiences, we relax and ENJOY the peace and calm that comes over us. LOVE has that power. Now go back to the top of this post and read the list of practices again! Can you visualize how each and every one of them could help you have a better relationship with your mind? Spiritual practices help us to pay less attention to our over active mind, and instead relax into the pure consciousness (soul) that is the real YOU waiting inside.
Helping this happen during spiritual practices helps us move into the FLOW of allowing that to happen even as we are totally engaged in daily life. A strange thing begins to happen…happiness simply seems to move in for no particular reason! And all of a sudden out of the blue at an odd time and place arrives a spiritual experience! This is often what people are talking about when they talk of staying in the present moment, which most of us cannot do for very long without some practice!
I’m going to repeat a statement from above. I wish I knew where I heard it. I wrote it down once and put it up in front of me during some particularly difficult times! It really helped me. I hope it might help you to realize the POWER of love to shift your mind into acceptance of that love for yourself and others you know.
I know that LOVE is the answer … so all I need to do is ask, what is my question?”
All problems you face today are going to go away, unless you worry them to stay. If you worry enough about it, however, you can be sure that it will stick around. So, just do your best around all this…then …turn it over to God. Yes? “~ Neale Donald Walsch.