Practical spirituality means consciously living with spiritual awareness. Spiritual awareness comes through the recognition or realization that I am more than my body. My first experience of this mystery happened during the practice of Tai Chi, a moving meditation in which I spontaneously felt the flow of energy through my arms as I was performing some of the postures. Intrigued and excited with this sensation, I was compelled to understand more about what I had felt. Since that sensation and realization, I have been fascinated by spiritual awareness. Free from any religious bias, not having been raised in a particular faith, I read and explore texts on spiritual practice and living, as well as steadily practice transcending my mind-made world through meditation. My personal experiences of this transcendence are many now, and this developing awareness of existence beyond “my self” has been exciting and rejuvenating. My life is so enriched by living with practical spirituality that I no longer consider anything without it being in the context of spirit as well as material form.
Practical is the key word in this writing because it indicates practice. Daily I practice meditation and prayer. Remaining fully available to the moment without being caught up in “shoulds” or “musts” is an on-going practice; with these practices I move from reacting to life, to observing and accepting, then choosing action thoughtfully. Daily, through examination of my mental process, I search for limiting thoughts that contain restrictive messages causing me distraction from my intentions, holding me back from all the possibilities that exist. If I find a limitation, I practice dissembling it with new beliefs about my creative force through clear intention and new thought.
There are so many benefits in practical spirituality that I find it impossible to list them all here. The ones I currently appreciate daily are:
• I am aware of an inner calm to be experienced at any moment through attention • In situations that could become stressful, instead I practice adopting an attitude of cheerful indifference, trusting that the outcome will be just right according to a higher order of life • Consistently I am aware of my authentic inner power that calls me to use it for the highest good • I find life an adventure to be lived and enjoyed • As my awareness becomes more vast, I feel more connected to all that is • I do not fear death
The contemplative books that I have read most recently discuss the science of spiritual living. The common themes relate back to the following core practices: finding stillness within, prayer and freeing oneself of self-imposed limitations. These three main practices can result in living with a sense of authentic power and personal freedom. Through these actions we may become available to the power of the Universal Mind, which knows no limitations.
Practice, practice, practice; enjoy the fruits of your labor.