Choose A Path
“Every tradition offers multiple paths for the spiritual life, and we take the one that resonates with our temperament, capacity, understanding, and maturity. No hard and fast rules determine the best path; no how-to manuals apply to everyone's situation—or even one person's...Books and teachers can be wonderful aids at certain stages in our inner development, but our own nature must determine the best path for us.”
Wayne Teasdale (The Mystic Heart, pg.79-80)
My friends, Harry and Sharon, and I facilitate a Spirituality Group together, so we often converse about spiritual practice. They meditate every day, and observe holy days by fasting. They study the writings of the masters in Taoism, Hinduism, Sufism, and interpretations of Christian scripture from those points of view. They belong to a group that meets regularly with a teacher for long days of meditation and instruction. That is their spiritual practice.
Several friends belong to a Shambhala meditation group, another follows the Diamond Approach and goes every New Year's Day to a sweat lodge. I have two friends who meet weekly with Centering Prayer groups, and one who goes regularly on pilgrimage to an ashram in India. “The paths are many, but the goal is the same.” (Hindu) That goal is to acknowledge Divine Presence in your life, and to actively engage with it in a disciplined way. That is the definition of spiritual practice. It is a regular practice that puts you in touch with the Holy.
I am most connected to the Source when I immerse myself in the natural world, and write from that place of grounding. I don't travel to distant sites, to holy shrines, or to places of particular harmonic convergence. I just sit on my porch every morning at sunrise, and listen to the birds sing, or take a walk and watch the trees dance. A spiritual practice does not have to be difficult, or distant, or transcendentally mystical. It can consist of closing your eyes and dropping deeply into prayer. What is important is not the means, but the connection; the openness to Spirit's guidance on a daily basis. That alone is transformational.
In the Spirit,