The Hows and Whys of a Daily Spiritual Practice
“Let each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday.” Baha’u’llah
The modern world is fully of busy people doing a lot of things all the time, but one of the things that few people have is a daily spiritual practice where they are consciously working on the purpose of life which is to acquire more positive qualities (virtues). If you don’t have a daily spiritual practice, you put your life into the hands of cultural forces for your development. They tend to make you materially minded and focused. A daily spiritual practice keeps you in a continual process of growth that can counter the detrimental effects of cultural pressure to act in ways that are against your true nature. What are the steps?
Everyone’s spiritual practice may look different. The key aspect of it is that you do it everyday and it actually helps you to make a lot of changes. If it doesn’t work, don’t use it.
- Prayer. Prayer is the process of lowering yourself in humility in relation to the divine. It is the nature of the spiritual dimension to be benevolent to you, but it requires that you be in state of where you are as nothing and the divine is as everything. This puts you into a state of openness for the divine forces to work in assisting you to change in ways that are best for you. When you are in this state, it is much more possible to make rapid growth. When you are in the opposite state, it is as if you are trying to be God which doesn’t work at all. Try using prayers that ask for the divine will rather than your own because you cannot help but have selfish motives in your own prayer. “O God please buy me a new house,” may or may not be what the divine has in store for you.
- Read from Holy Inspirational Writings. These have a great deal of positive influence on your spirit. Take your time when you read and reflect on their meaning. These are universal divine truths that apply to everyone such as loving your neighbor.
- Meditation/Reflection Work. There are as many ways to do this as there are people on the planet. My criteria for myself is whether or not it produces change. The key dual processes are detachment from the negative forces in your life and in yourself and attachment to the specific spiritual energy you need right now. The hard part is the detachment which is why it is the emphasis in almost everyone’s method. I start with recognizing where my biggest issue is in my life. I recognize it by what negative emotion is the most pressing on me right now. For instance, the issue may be fear of poverty or worry about your appearance or sadness of the loss of a partner. The issue and emotions generate behaviors in the category of flight or fight. If you fear poverty, you may avoid spending on yourself or others. If you worry about appearance you may avoid being around certain people or become someone else around them. Once I know the issue and behavioral pattern, then I start the attachment phase which is going to be in the positive opposite direction to the issue and behavior. For instance you can be generous in how you spend your time and energy with people, practice what it is like to be free of thinking others are looking at you, or being enthusiastic about the new people you are going to meet.
- Try out the new solutions in the world. If you have done the work correctly, then the solution will work in the outer world. The action will give you feedback of what changes you need to make the following days. The next day you start all over. If you have been following my blog, you know that I also rely heavily on my dreams for the guidance about the issues.
This is a summary of the steps. They can get a lot more sophisticated at each step. Try not to get hung up in thinking one is that much better than other. Do what works which is what makes the most change.