Friday, August 21, 2009

trying to find a spiritual practice

The week that I spent at Religious Educators Leadership School convinced me that I want a daily spiritual practice in my life. At RELS, we had 1/2 hour each morning for personal spiritual practice, and all along the hill we were staying on there were folks spread out doing their practices. Because I don't have a practice, yet, I tried many different ones throughout the week. I did yoga on the first morning, then I joined a circle for reflective poetry reading the next day. I did walking meditation on the trail around the camp one day, and then on a morning that seemed really noisy in the camp I retreated to my ipod and did a "reflective music meditation" by journaling as I listened to music. On the final day I just journaled, as I tried to process the week and think about re-entry into my "normal" life.

A spiritual practice can be anything that someone does with the intention of deepening their spirituality, so it is deeply personal and can take many forms. There are people who swim laps as a spiritual practice, or run, and there are people who have very formal practices with chants or prayers.

I still don't know what is right for me. My minister and I have talked about it, but of course I can't just do what he does - his spiritual practice is what is right for him but we are very different people. He says I'm "still fishing", which reminds me that I think fishing could be a practice for some people.

This week I have done 10 minutes of yoga every morning, using segments from a couple Shiva Rea DVD's.

Things I love about this practice: it gets rid of all the morning stiffness I feel when I get out of bed in the morning, I'm awake and present to my body afterward, and it gets my metabolism revving for some breakfast.

Things I only just like: the music feels nice, and I like the balance of being gentle with myself and challenging myself that yoga entails.

Things that are missing: my mind is bored (maybe that's the point, though?), and I crave more insight and very little comes this way.

I'm going to continue the yoga. Maybe I don't need a more cerebral practice in my life since I have plenty of other cerebral activities already. Maybe the real answer will be that I need a couple different practices. But the yoga definitely makes me feel good, and it is a beautiful way to start the day.

I'm still fishing.

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