When I’m working with people for the first time, one of the questions I ask is this: What is your spiritual belief system?
Most people are happy to talk very clearly about their relationship to God/One/All/Divine/Universe, or whatever name they might use for the infinite ineffable.
It is lovely to hear profound, well-considered manifestos from people all over the globe:
“I used to be this religion, now I follow my own path.”
“I believe in God, but not the way I learned it as a kid.”
“I know there are Divine beings who help us.”
“I believe I am fully supported by the Universe.”
“I don’t know what I know, but I know there is more than me.”
“Everything is one infinite soul.”
I love these statements of belief!
But my next question: ‘Do you have a regular spiritual practice?’ often meets with a sort of head-hung, I’m-so-ashamed kind of response.
People feel guilty if they don’t meditate every day.
People feel guilty if they have trouble sitting still to meditate.
People feel ashamed if they don’t pray regularly.
Sometimes people think that having a spiritual practice means having a consistent, daily practice: prayers and study at dawn, yoga every day, a particular diet or routine. This is a path for some.
Others think that having a true spiritual practice leaves no room for anything else. That to be spiritual means to live as a renunciate: to leave behind family, friends, interests and move into monkhood high in the Himalayas. This is a path for some.
But for most of us, spiritual practice is the aspect of life that we somehow squeeze into the hubbub of everything else in our lives. We’re “householders,” in the Hindu term: doing our dharma in the every day of work, family, chores, community… the big ALL of life.
Now, my question is never meant to invite shame or guilt over what we’re doing or not doing the “right” way.
And it is true: some people are very consistent in their habits: Some do yoga at break of dawn, every single morning. Some read daily, studying the teachings of the great mystics, saints, and sages. Some are true bhakti: they sing and dance and celebrate daily, a regular part of their lives. Some go to community services weekly or more.
But for most of us… spiritual practice is often catch-as-catch-can. And I’d like to say—with one small caveat—that this is a fine way to run your spiritual practice.
That instead of thinking about your spiritual practice as something you “should do,” or as something that must be done “a certain way” or at a “certain time,” instead consider your spiritual practice as your way of being.
Not something separate from yourself. But how you show up in the world.
Not what you do at a certain time or in a certain place. But how you are all the time, everywhere.
You are Divine, all of the time.
In this way of being, of living from consciousness, of living as a luminous, radiant, being of love, you would naturally be drawn to all the practices that help you to open and expand: studying, reading, praying, meditating, walking, journaling, singing, dancing, being in nature… all of it… because these are all the ways that help us open our true Self, and become One with our oneness.
You would naturally be drawn to connecting with the Divine beings and helpers who are continually surrounding us in other dimensions, layers, and levels of Universal vibration.
You would naturally be committed to learning the language of the cosmos, because this is the language of living from Soul.
You would naturally be curious about ways to “open” into more presence.
And of course, in leaning toward the Light, you automatically notice yourself leaning away from the dark.
You would naturally begin to turn away from all those things that shut down consciousness: many habits of modern society, so many old belief systems that belong to others and to you, and certainly anything that brings you shame or guilt or unworthiness.
When you begin to think of spiritual practice as the way you are being in the world, it becomes a great joy to create space for things that help you to feel yourself as one of One.
Divine inspiration for seekers and soul travelers
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