It’s been more than a year since I last wrote a summary of my daily spiritual practices, and they have evolved a bit, so I thought I would post a quick update.
Meditation and Scripture
I still begin the morning with a card draw, which gives me a suggestion concerning the energy patterns afoot for the day. Currently, I’m using the Thoth Deck, and finding it to be especially helpful in navigating life’s schedules, encounters and activities.
A morning silent mantra meditation is next. Of late I have been using an alpha wave audio from BrainSync along with repetition of the mantra for twenty minutes each morning and evening. I have also been doing some pranayama at the beginning of each session (usually four rounds of box breathing and a couple minutes of breath of fire). The morning meditation helps to clear my mind and calm my spirit for the day to come, and the evening meditation acts as a “reset” from the stresses of the work day, helping me to be more present for study or time with family.
Next is scripture reading and reflection. It is now a firm daily practice for several years to pray with the Catholic Office of Readings and Lauds in the morning, and Vespers in the evenings. I also read Unity’s Daily Word each morning, and take a few moments to reflect and make an entry into my gratitude journal.
Nearly every morning I still tune in to Devadas with his Kirtans from Brooklyn. I have also taken up the habit of chanting a round of Mahamantra japa in the morning, and one in the afternoon or evening. Lately, I’ve been using a Tulsi Mala and bead bag that I received from the ISKCON store in Florida.
It might be good to include a quick mention here of something I have found to be true, at least for me, at least at this time. Although all of the practices that I keep each day are important to me, there are only two that I would consider to be absolutely essential. I would find it hard to function without the silent mantra meditation and some sort of devotional chanting (either Kirtan or japa). If I did no other spiritual practice, I would hope to at least practice these every day, and preferably at the beginning of the day. Meditation gets us in touch with the unified field of consciousness from which everything in the universe springs. Devotional chanting gives us a better sense of our own place in that universe.
I think that a good “starter program” of spiritual practice for anyone would be five or ten minutes of meditation and one round of japa of some sort. If using a small wrist mala of 27 beads, these two practices would only take about fifteen minutes a day, and the positive changes that can be brought into one’s life with the investment of those fifteen minutes are inestimable.
Reading and Satsang
Throughout the day, I find it helpful to keep in touch with others who are on a spiritual path. This can be through inspirational music, or the vast array of websites and social media groups focused on religion, philosophy and spiritual practice. One of the most beautiful online communities is Deva and Miten’s Gayatri Sangha. There are lots of sweet souls, inspiration, mutual support and virtual gatherings to be found there.
Reading spiritual classics and wisdom literature is also an important part of my own spiritual development. If you’re interested in what I’m reading and studying, I post occasional reviews or updates here.
Do you have thoughts or questions? Would you like to share your own favorite practices or daily routines? I’d love to read your comments.