What Are Spiritual Practices?

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

From: Spirituality and Practice Website

Spiritual practices have always been at the heart and soul of the world’s religions, and they are also key elements of today’s less organized spirituality movements. They help us discover our deepest values, address our longing to connect with the divine, and propel us on the journey to wholeness — all aspects of spirituality.

Spiritual practices are specific activities you do to deepen your relationships with the sacred and the world around you. Practices help you connect to God (or whatever name you use to describe that “something more” beyond yourself). They enable you to become actively engaged with your inner or “true” selves — the depth of your being. And they expand the breadth of your experiences, encouraging you to relate in a particular way to other people and the whole creation, including animate and inanimate beings.

“We are what we practice,” Jewish writer Avram Davis observed. “If we become angry a lot, then essentially we are practicing anger. And we get quite good at it. Conversely, if we practice being joyful, then a joyful person is what we become.” So we practice all kinds of things all the time, but the decision to do spiritual practices is intentional. These activities have meaning and purpose, and they influence how we live our lives.

Practices are usually very concrete and practical. They specify just how you can walk your talk. Sometimes before you can act, however, you may need to clarify your values and beliefs. Asking and living with questions is a kind of practice. Some practices require setting aside a special place and time, but most of them can be done in the midst of your daily life.

A spiritual practice does not have to be hard. It rewards presence, not effort. Some practices do yield an outcome, but many are done simply for their own sake. And practice does not make perfect. Don’t expect to overcome all your weaknesses and fix all your problems. Indeed, difficulties are to be expected and can be used as aids on your journey.

Practice is a process, and it changes over time. You may make a commitment to do a specific activity for years or you may get what you need from it in a day.

Read More at spiritualityandpractice.com

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