Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Spiritual Practice . . . YES!

There are as many spiritual practice possibilities as there are people practicing at any given time. Here are some questions I’ve heard over the years:

How do I learn to sit still and meditate?
How do I choose a mantra?
How do I put meaning into prayers I say every day?
How do I create affirmations?

The list could be endless. Actually, the list is endless.

If you are a person, (and if you’re reading this, I have to assume you are), there is a simple way to choose a spiritual practice. Answer this question:

What makes you feel like the best you?

Some days it might be sitting meditation. Other days chanting. Other days, repeating a mantra. Candle-gazing. Spiritual mind treatment. The Lord’s/Lady’s Prayer. Walking meditation. Tai Chi. Writing affirmations. Doing Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages. Creating your blog entry. Again, a list of endless possibilities.

How to choose? First, check in with yourself. How are you? What are you feeling? What thoughts are predominating? How’s your body? Is there inner truth asking to be let out?

Then, let your own being guide you. Some days you’ll walk. Others, you’ll sit.

For myself, after more than a quarter of a century of daily spiritual practice, I use a one-word model that guides my every choice—in spiritual practice and in quotidian choices. I ask myself one question:

How can I say yes to whatever is happening?

This “technique” has evolved over many years. It’s based on a simple notion of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s: what we resist persists. A long time ago I realized that whenever I’ve got “trouble” in my life—on any level, of any kind—it always involves me being in some kind of resistance to something or someone.

I decided that resistance was taking up too much energy in my life, and that the best spiritual practice for me was a simple yes. Yes, this, whatever this is, is happening. Yes, I am present in it. Yes, it is showing me something for my growth and my good. Yes, I am willing to grow. Yes, I receive the good.

As for whatever spiritual practice you choose, and I’d highly recommend varying them as often as you feel you want variety. If you can choose a theme for your practice—like my yes—then the how will take care of itself.

So, spiritual practice, dear one? By all means, yes.

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