Hi, Happy Holidays!
How do you sustain your spiritual life? Do you use a church, a temple? Do you read authors who have what you are headed towards? How do you deepen your spiritual practice?
Is it easy? Or does it ebb and flow like most of life?
I ask these questions because most of us struggle at times to keep our spiritual life alive and growing. There is benefit to the structure of a religion that tells you what to do.
For instance, when in the 1970s, I practiced NSA Buddhism we were directed to sit and chant every morning and every evening. Very specific parts of the Lotus Sutra were said to hold the key to enlightenment so that's what we chanted. The structure and the wisdom of those who practiced before us gave us direction and that worked for me then.
Having the freedom to choose to do a unique individualized practice built upon inner guidance means I might be guided to sit very quietly for longer than usual and at another time it might mean reading someone's book and trying their recommendations for meditations. Jack Kornfield's books included guidance for meditations that had a positive influence on me. Deepak Chopra's books and guided meditations with Oprah did too.
I'm ok with living such an undefined path today as long as I feel connected or close to
Source, as long as the quiet is accessible within, as long as my awareness continues to grow and expand.
I appreciate those who chose a religion or system that gives direction. There's a lot of benefit to that.
This is more like living from the seat of your pants. Paying attention to outer signs and inner nudges then living an approximation of "Peace in Every Step". I don't mean to minimize or to aggrandize my spiritual life while at the same time my spiritual connection, awareness and expansion are vital to my happiness. Without a spiritual practice, life is not satisfying.
So besides sitting for meditation, besides attending church to listen for guidance I can in every moment be aware of my infiniteness, be aware of the quiet within, mmmm and know bliss and joy. It is almost just moving my attention from the distractions of life to emptiness and spaciousness.
Forgive the barrage of questions at the beginning. I do wonder how it is for others.
Living a less traditionally defined spiritual life leaves me with questions at times and without firm measurable assuredness and still "the path least traveled" really appeals, really satisfies. So here is to continuing, to deepening, to knowing the love of the greater consciousness within.