Maintaining Spiritual Practice

Uptoone

Registrant
Does anyone else find it difficult to maintain a spiritual practice that makes you feel good, like meditation? I know I am more centered and secure when I do it but often put it off until I'm in a crisis or panicked situation.
 
I am convinced my well-being is direct result of Spirit-centered living. Practice what is personal for you! Sing HU, repeat a mantra, mix things up. I say gratitudes while doing tasks that I don’t particularly enjoy...dishes (I’m grateful I ate, grateful I had a plate, grateful for hot water). No reason to compare or think there is a right way! You are on your personal path!
 

Uptoone

Registrant
I am convinced my well-being is direct result of Spirit-centered living. Practice what is personal for you! Sing HU, repeat a mantra, mix things up. I say gratitudes while doing tasks that I don’t particularly enjoy...dishes (I’m grateful I ate, grateful I had a plate, grateful for hot water). No reason to compare or think there is a right way! You are on your personal path!
You are right! I forgot about speaking mantras and gratitude statements during unpleasant tasks. Thank you!! Quick Question... What is HU?
 
You are right! I forgot about speaking mantras and gratitude statements during unpleasant tasks. Thank you!! Quick Question... What is HU?
I sound sung either aloud or silently, as “aum” in some meditation practices. During the Light and Sound gatherings in ECKANKAR, the HU aligns to Spirit which for me takes me out of Ego. When I’m discontented, fearful, or anxious....I’m being expectant of an outcome from which I should be detached. Balance, peace, harmony comes to me on the “Middle Way”.
 
I agree that a practice doesn't have to be elaborate to yield benefit. I have a yoga bolster and mat on the floor that I'll occasionally lie against to open my chest. I do spiritual reading most days. This morning I spent forty minutes virtually with a teacher I've known for 35 years. Occasionally, I watch a video of a teaching, a teacher, a sacred place. I'm off in a few minutes for a walk in nature. Washing dishes, making the bed, putting away clothes can all be done with openness. I've done such things in the past with impatience or anger. It is very different doing these things with an open heart. As an occasional student of Taoism I'm wearing a yin and yang medallion around my neck... there are multiple altars in my home, multiple Buddha statues... favorite quotes on my refrigerator. I appreciate the line that we're all spiritual beings having a human experience... Have a lovely day everyone. The sun is shining and the trails beckon.
 
I agree that a practice doesn't have to be elaborate to yield benefit. I have a yoga bolster and mat on the floor that I'll occasionally lie against to open my chest. I do spiritual reading most days. This morning I spent forty minutes virtually with a teacher I've known for 35 years. Occasionally, I watch a video of a teaching, a teacher, a sacred place. I'm off in a few minutes for a walk in nature. Washing dishes, making the bed, putting away clothes can all be done with openness. I've done such things in the past with impatience or anger. It is very different doing these things with an open heart. As an occasional student of Taoism I'm wearing a yin and yang medallion around my neck... there are multiple altars in my home, multiple Buddha statues... favorite quotes on my refrigerator. I appreciate the line that we're all spiritual beings having a human experience... Have a lovely day everyone. The sun is shining and the trails beckon.
Blessings! Peace! Thank you
 

Uptoone

Registrant
Thank you Visitor & Peaceful Warrior. I am hesitant to buy into a religion yet I need/benefit from a practice. I appreciate you two sharing what works for you.
 
Religion that is organized isn't likely going to support a deep exploration of our own spirituality... it will be trying to convince us that they have all the answers and the solution is in believing them. Spiritual practice is really about opening our hearts to this moment. On my hike yesterday there were wild irises blanketing the hillsides. NO church, no religious service could come close to the beauty offered up by those flowers free of charge, free of dogma. I'll take a hike in the woods every day before an hour in any church unless it is a great cathedral I visit to witness the architectural splendor.

Many years ago I encountered Wendell Berry's Sabbath Poems. His wife went to church and he rambled around his farm to marvel at the natural world. I typed out this poem of his... enjoy. Even a fallen tree can be beautiful if we look closely enough.

Coming to the woods’ edge
on my Sunday morning walk,
I stand resting a moment beside
a ragged half-dead wild plum
in bloom, its perfume
a moment enclosing me,
and standing side by side
with the old broken blooming tree,
I almost understand,
I almost recognize as a friend
the great impertinence of beauty
that comes even to the dying,
even to the fallen, without reason
sweetening the air.

I walk on,
distracted by a letter accusing me
of distraction, which distracts me
only from the hundred things
that would otherwise distract me
from this whiteness, lightness,
sweetness in the air. The mind
is broken by the thousand
calling voices it is too late
to answer, and that is why it yearns
for some hard task, lifelong, longer
than life, to concentrate it
and make it whole.

But where is the all-welcoming
all-consecrating Sabbath
that would do the same? Where
the quietness of the heart
and the eye’s clarity
that would be a friend’s reply
to the white-blossoming plum tree?


Wendell Berry
The Sabbath Poems
1987 - I
 
I don’t ascribe to a religion. Look within. You are a Sovereign being. You and only you can choose your path. What’s right for some is wrong for others, vice versa. Universal Law. Love IS JUSTICE.
 

OCN

Registrant
Does anyone else find it difficult to maintain a spiritual practice that makes you feel good, like meditation? I know I am more centered and secure when I do it but often put it off until I'm in a crisis or panicked situation.
I can agree with what Peaceful Warrior wrote
I am convinced my well-being is direct result of Spirit-centered living
For me a big change was to realize that for me spirituality comes first. That insight helped me to create balance in my life. Before that i was considering spirituality as something separate from everyday life and work. After that, i realized i just needed to re-arrange the order. Spirituality now can go together with everyday life and work. It was a matter of priority.

To come back to your question, i can give you a little bit of advice from my own experience. First find out what helps you to stay centered and focused and what you like for a spiritual practice. And then make it a habit. Even doing a practice only as little as five minutes a day can transform things. With a continious effort, it eventually becomes much more easy to access this inner source of wisdom when you're in a difficult situation. So if you find something that works for you, stick with it!

And be gentle with yourself if you're in a crisis. Life will remain a bumby ride, but slowly but surely you can learn to ride the wave instead of crashing from them. It can help if you realize that everything changes continously. One moment you're happy, next moment you're grumpy. Same with good fortune. Eventually good luck runs out and then you suffer for a while. If you prepare yourself for this, next time a crisis hits, you can recognize what's going on and then you can snap out of it more easily.
 

Uptoone

Registrant
That find out what helps you to stay centered and focused and what you like for a spiritual practice. And then make it a habit. Even doing a practice only as as five minutes a day can transform things. With a continious effort, it eventually becomes much more easy to access this inner source of wisdom when you're in a difficult situation. So if you find something that works for you, stick with it!

And be gentle with yourself if you're in a crisis.
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Thanks! I get anxious that what I'm doing doesn't work (or won't work often). I will worry that it's not enough or that it's "wrong". I end up wanting someone to tell me what to do, which I struggle against because I struggle with giving others power over my life. I struggle with not having a parent to guide me. They only pointed out my mistakes and weakness. I need to be praised and told that I am doing good... That I am good. I feel helpless and vulnerable at times. Like I'm lost without being told what to do, where to go, what to be.
 

Uptoone

Registrant
Religion that is organized isn't likely going to support a deep exploration of our own spirituality... it will be trying to convince us that they have all the answers and the solution is in believing them. Spiritual practice is really about opening our hearts to this moment. On my hike yesterday there were wild irises blanketing the hillsides. NO church, no religious service could come close to the beauty offered up by those flowers free of charge, free of dogma. I'll take a hike in the woods every day before an hour in any church unless it is a great cathedral I visit to witness the architectural splendor.

Many years ago I encountered Wendell Berry's Sabbath Poems. His wife went to church and he rambled around his farm to marvel at the natural world. I typed out this poem of his... enjoy. Even a fallen tree can be beautiful if we look closely enough.
Great poem! Its been many years since I attended church but I still link it with spirituality. You and some of the others here, speak with such confidence about your beliefs and approach. It is reassuring. I know feeling reassured is a part of my need for an authority figure. I hate that about myself. But I will move forward.
 
...Thanks! I get anxious that what I'm doing doesn't work (or won't work often). I will worry that it's not enough or that it's "wrong". I end up wanting someone to tell me what to do, which I struggle against because I struggle with giving others power over my life. I struggle with not having a parent to guide me. They only pointed out my mistakes and weakness. I need to be praised and told that I am doing good... That I am good. I feel helpless and vulnerable at times. Like I'm lost without being told what to do, where to go, what to be.
What you missed, as did many of the men here, is the kind of parent that would have helped you to inhabit your body with confidence so you might feel safe in the world. Without that we're left to struggle through the kind of confusion you speak about. It is wonderful that you can share those struggles here and engage with other men who are working hard to find their way. In that process you can develop your own confidence. We experiment and assess how things are working, exactly as you are doing. Hang in there. This is the healing journey and we're doing it together.
 

Uptoone

Registrant
What you missed, as did many of the men here, is the kind of parent that would have helped you to inhabit your body with confidence so you might feel safe in the world. Without that we're left to struggle through the kind of confusion you speak about. It is wonderful that you can share those struggles here and engage with other men who are working hard to find their way. In that process you can develop your own confidence. We experiment and assess how things are working, exactly as you are doing. Hang in there. This is the healing journey and we're doing it together.
Thank you. I will take in that reminder. I'm focusing too much on the goal of completing the healing journey.
 
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