Friday, December 15, 2006

Practice: Define “Spiritual Practice”

This question led to some interesting discussion on the teleclasses. Everyone agreed that his/her definition of “spiritual practice” had evolved over the years to become much broader. Almost everyone felt they had originally equated spiritual practice with whatever was included in their religion such as attending weekly services, reading scriptures, prayer, etc. Most people had since, and especially in light of the module, had added many more items to their list of what connects them.

Two other ideas flowed from this discussion. The first is people felt quite aware that certain practices help them connect much faster and more directly than others. Certain particularly inspiring authors (Dr. Wayne Dyer for me), listening to Mozart, and skiing down a mountain in Colorado for one participant, are direct links to our higher selves. Think about your own practice. What is the best part of your practice, the part that connects you fastest? Do you know?

The other idea was concerning the efficacy of your practice. How do you know it is working? Everyone agreed they knew if there practice was working based on how they feel. How everyone felt, though, was different. One person felt her practice was working when she noticed she wasn’t trying to “be” a certain way. Another person commented that she feels more love. Another felt less judgmental. Another said she has noticed that she reacts and is different in situations that come up regularly such as being with her family. I can tell by my level of negativity.

I love this question because it is important to make sure your practice is working. How do you measure success?