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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Your spiritual practice

There you are stuck in traffic.
You have everything packed. Your gym bag is fit securely in your back seat. Your coffee mug is full. Your folder with your "big presentation" was placed carefully in your office bag. You brushed your teeth, took a shower and told the wife that you loved her. What are you missing? 

Suddenly a sharp icy feeling shoots down your spine. 

You forgot to meditate! You forgot to do your breathing exercises and you forgot to do your light yoga stretching. Let's not forget, that you also forgot to think of what you're grateful for. Oh the horror. 

You have been putting off all these spiritual practices with a great deal of procrastination and resistance. You say that you don't have enough time. We all know that's not right. You have plenty of time. You had plenty of time to slump on the couch and watch a couple episodes of Golden Girls, didn't you? Yea, I get it. You had a long day at work. We all need out space to relax, unwind and recenter. 

You have these spiritual practices to improve yourself and grow spiritually. Why does it seem so hard and daunting? Why are you seeing them as impeding tasks? 

Ponder this. 

" Yes, I want to go to happy hour with you, but I have to rush home and meditate for 20 minutes, first." 

Sound pretty absurd, right?
If you go out of your way just to meditate, doesn't it defeat the purpose? 

Meditation has such a vast spectrum of practicing techniques. There is no right way to meditate. You can integrate meditation into your day, by returning to your breath or simply focusing on your awareness. Integrating meditation and breathing techniques throughout your day may be more effective then compartmentalizing meditation like the way we schedule or gym time or meal times. 

We want to integrate spiritual and mindful practices into our daily routines. Sometimes those intentional routines get lost in with the habits we have become accustomed to. 

Do these spiritual practices become dull and ineffective when we see them as tasks, habits and means to ends?

Are we trying to be spiritual to improve our lives are we trying to pursue a spiritual identity?

If you are trying to be more of a "spiritual person", doesn't it make it kind of ironic? Trying to identify with a certain label is rooted in the sense of self and the ego. All identities focus on the act of trying to become something. It plays into the illusion of separateness. Simply trying to be "more spiritual" misses the mark of what spirituality actually is or what can be. 

All these buddhists are so attached to the concept of non-attachment. 

The dogma attached to spirituality has misrepresented the core of what spirituality is. It requires no disciplined practice or club. It's only prerequisite revolves around your inner peace. How does that inner peace and stillness influence how you act or react with the world around you? 

A spiritual practice can be anything. A small task. A chore. An obligation.
If something is done with presence, awareness and with the totality of your being, it becomes spiritual. 

Are you sweeping your living room?
Or are you thinking about how you have to pay your electric bill while you sweep? When you aren't fully with that you are doing, you are not being mindful. You are acting unconsciously.

The small act of making your bed or doing dishes can turn into a mindfulness exercise that allows you to live fully. To live in the present.

A true spiritual practice doesn't need to revolve around a strict disciplined practice or technique. Its only requirement is attention and presence. 

So what exactly is your spiritual practice? 

It's legitimacy revolves the ability to question it. Does it cater to your dependencies? Do you feel angry or out of wack if your don't meditate? 

Look at it.
Let it breathe.

At every moment, you have the potential to actually live presently and in tune with what is existing for you. 

Quit the compartmentalization and embrace the integration of being "spiritual" with every moment you are alive. 


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