Spiritual practice is something you want to do everyday. Want is the key word. Want it with all of your heart. When we are spiritually awake or awakening, our daily promise to ourselves to allow space and time to rest in our own true nature, is a gift to ourselves and humanity. Practice can be structured or creative and flowing; just be sure that whatever you pick, it is something that you really love to do. Also, be certain that it harms no one (including yourself) and benefits someone.
Your daily spiritual practices may evolve over time. You may choose to walk, dance, sing, write, paint, garden, sculpt, pray, contemplate scripture, etc. You may start with a basic meditation routine, or a mindfulness practice of observing your breath or sitting and experiencing a pleasant emotional state. The list of possibilities is endless. Be certain that whatever you choose it is uplifting and feeds your soul. If you are not sure where to start, remember a time when you experienced effortless joy as a child. What were you doing? Thinking? Feeling? Do that!
Some teachers may suggest a structured routine to help train your mind to establish a firm habit of practice. That is fine. Just be sure you love whatever you do. If you don’t, pick something else. Keep trying different techniques until you settle into one like a cozy, comfortable chair that you never want to leave. Once you have picked your favorite, do it everyday for a long, long, long time. Be sure to do it everyday without a break and with all of your heart. Up to this point, you may notice that you are putting effort into focusing your attention during your daily spiritual practice or making an effort to remain neutral or non-judgemental.
The next phase of your spiritual journey inward toward your true nature just happens. Suddenly, one day you begin your spiritual practices and a moment later an hour has passed. It is suddenly effortless (and you didn’t fall asleep). Now you are really doing it! An effortless awareness and acceptance of what is, now, naturally arises from within. When you notice this happening, it is a good time to set an alarm when you being your daily practice routine or ask a house mate if they will gently bring your awareness back to the external world. Otherwise, who knows how long you will be absorbed. This is a fantastic phase; you feel immense freedom and all effort is gone. You may still require a few moments of concentration at the beginning of your sessions to allow your awareness to naturally flow into this state. Also, you may move in and out of this type of experience for a while, enjoying the natural ebb and flow of the manifest world.
Once your effortless practice becomes a firmly grounded habit, you can bring that experience with you into your daily life. Become absorbed doing the dishes, writing an article, grocery shopping, playing with your children, caring for your pets, etc. Allow that effortless awareness to become part of your daily life. This is usually when your family, friends and acquaintances notice that there is something different about you. There is more to share, but let’s do that later. For now, enjoy your spiritual practice with all of your heart!