“Your mind is like this water, my friend. When it is agitated, it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear.” - Grand Master Oogway
Engaging in daily spiritual practices such as meditation, yoga and prayer are excellent ways to calm the mind, relax the body, and reduce stress and anxiety in your daily life. However, spiritual practices and traditions have been performed for thousands of years for a deeper purpose: to help us journey inward and connect our soul with Spirit. The goal is to move from our conscious, waking mind, to perception and listening to our unconscious/inner mind.
Most spiritual practices are designed to make you gradually feel more comfortable operating in a realm that you cannot control. By engaging in these practices on a daily basis, you slowly improve your ability to release your thoughts from the conscious world and allow your mind to journey inward at your pace. Through encouraging your mind to settle, you learn to become more receptive, allowing the answers from your unconscious mind to become clear. You begin to embrace and invite the feelings and messages into your conscious mind in order to benefit your daily existence. This is the pathway to mind-body-spirit integration as you allow your Self and your Soul to work together in this life, opening that pathway between the conscious and inner mind so you can live more authentic life (meditation, dreamwork, altered states)
The type/duration of practice is up to you. It can be a 10 second daily ritual of just saying thank you to Spirit when something goes your way, or you can embark on a much deeper exploration like a 10-day food restriction fast or vow of silence. Here are just a few examples of spiritual practices that can aid your journey inward:
- Mindful Meditation – Mindfulness is a form of meditation that encourages practitioners to remain present rather than “losing oneself” during the practice. Instead of dwelling on the past or anticipating the future, mindfulness fosters awareness of the existing environment. The key is to remain conscious and aware of the thoughts and messages that come to you while placing your mind and body in a state of relaxation. Listen to the thoughts that cross your mind and listen without judgment. This is when you may receive messages from your Soul, Spirit, and your guides.
- Gratitude -A practice of expressing gratitude can serve two key purposes. First, focusing on all that you are grateful for in your daily life will serve to minimize your focus on that which is undesirable, leading to a more joyful experience in the present moments of your life. Second, if you give thanks for that which is already here and that which you know is coming, you are planting the seeds of manifestation and soon enough you will be able to reap the abundance. You can practice this by simply starting and ending each day with a heartfelt statement of gratitude for that which you have and that which you know is on the way.
- Affirmations - A simple, positive statement in the present tense leads the mind to perceive a different reality. If you maintain a positive attitude about yourself, as well as the events and circumstances around you, you attract more positive energy and joy in your life. Try to rephrase negative comments and self-talk in terms of positive affirmations and you will soon see your mindset shift to view most things in the world with a “cup half full” point of view. That is how you learn to live in infinite abundance.
- Giving and Receiving -Conscious participation in the Law of Circulation, and more importantly, actively seeking out opportunities to complete karmic circles clears blocked energy and provides opportunities for enlightenment. You often are not aware of certain blockages that your energy is experiencing due to the uneven flow of giving and receiving in the relationships in your life. Participate and feel the balance return to your life.
- Sacred Service (Selfless Service) - Sharing our unique gifts with others is how we remain connected to our soul and to Spirit.
- Forgiveness - Intentional practice of compassion and the process of releasing expectations and judgments (of ourselves and of others). Forgiveness is understanding that anger, fear, and trauma only serve to limit our ability to live an authentic life in service of our soul’s purpose. By practicing forgiveness, you actively release that which is holding you back in life. There is no fear if we choose to look forward and release the past.
- Journaling – this is a wonderful way inward for those that enjoy creative expression. You can record experiences from meditation or other spiritual practices, or you can “free-write” and allow yourself to surrender to the thoughts and messages that come from your inner mind.
- Walking in Nature – a remarkable way to connect with all that is Spirit. You will begin to appreciate and admire the simplicity of life, as well as observe the complexity of patterns that comprise the laws of nature. The goal is to connect to that pure energy around you and remember all that is “real” in this world.
- Sexual intercourse with a loving partner – engaging in a shared physical experience with the intention of achieving an altered state of consciousness through euphoric pleasure. Brings about spiritual connection on a “soul level”, as well as helping each other experience a true “mind-body-spirit” event.
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