What does spiritual practice conjure up for you?
Meditation? Prayer? Prostration? Mantras? Other?
When Life nudged me to wake up I knew I needed to meditate. And so began a twenty year crossed legs (not quite the full lotus, but close) almost daily practice.
Not to waste time (I was a serious seeker), I also delved into prayer; silent, petitionary, healing. It was all good. Hatha yoga was in the mix too.
I share this not to ‘qualify’ me, but to offer this; there came a time when each practice dropped away.
Not because I was fed up or bored or disillusioned (I’d cycled round those feelings many times) but because I knew it was time to drop trying to connect to God/Love and experience that I and we are not separate from Love/God.
If you have a spiritual practice I’m not suggesting you drop it. I still enjoy yoga, prayer and meditate from time to time. Rather, I invite you to be more attentive to what your practice is pointing to, not to doing your spiritual practice ‘right’.
At best spiritual practice is like a sunrise. Making it clearer and clearer that we are not separate from what we seek. Our true nature is already happiness, love, clarity and peace.
After each practice dropped I noticed that living life IS a spiritual practice. And inner spiritual postures revealed themselves that, like the dawn, refresh each moment. Moment to moment.
These are my top three (non) spiritual practices that do me rather than the other way round.
The mystic, Meister Eckhart said:
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough”.
More than a word I say silently this practice is an inner attitude of appreciation.
No matter what my mind think doubt what I’m experiencing I inwardly thank the moment for no reason.
A willingness to be thankful regardless of what our personal mind thinks, prefers or wants, upwells gratitude for simply being alive.
Imagine a young child in a brightly colored play room for the first time.
Notice how they go from toy to toy. Not knowing what too expect. Not having a preference or plan. Not in the least bit interested in playing the ‘right’ way.
Children have an open, non judgmental, accepting and inclusive mind and heart.
An open mind has no baggage, expectations, success to achieve or past to hinder performance.
When we cultivate curiosity every interaction and experience is fresh.
With practice curiosity keeps us open to loving each moment as it is and expands into an experience of wonder and awe.
In world that puts a premium on knowing where we’re headed and what our five year plan is. Allowing ourselves not to know can be uncomfortable because this posture goes against all conditioning.
But when we stick with this inner practice we get past discomfort and our deep intuition reveals itself.
Allowing ourselves not to know weens us off our beliefs about who we think we are and how life works, and opens us to the miracle of being Life waking up to itself.
From the space and place inside of not knowing, the clarity of our true nature illuminates our mind and path through life based on love and understanding.
Let’s welcome living as a spiritual practice. Let’s be the dawning sunrise. Be the fresh joy of a child in the playroom. Be silent gratitude for simply being.