Our mind is a temple. Our hearts are a temple. As our hearts and minds become more in tune with each other we start to live a more meaningful and balanced life. In a nutshell, that’s all a spiritual life is- a more balanced and peaceful life.
Becoming a more spiritually sound person isn’t nearly as complicated as you might think. We don’t have to sign up for a 3 year course on mindfulness meditation in the Himalayas to learn single pointed concentration. Learning to love our neighbors like we love ourselves doesn’t require we learn Koan Greek or Aramaic and study the Gospels for decades.
All the spiritual path requires is a earnest desire to be a better person today than we were yesterday. Once we’ve made the decision to be the best version of ourselves we can be we start with small things that we can do with relative ease.
ANCHORING AND ASSESSMENT
We set aside 15-30 minutes each morning and begin developing our inner discipline. We sit comfortably in a meditative posture. A few minutes of deep breathing naturally relaxes us. Once we’re calm we can begin.
*I split my morning routine into three parts:
- 01) cultivating attitude of gratitude
- 02) mindfulness meditation
- 03) prayer setting my intention
Cultivating gratitude is simple. Just go through the alphabet from A-Z and come up with something that starts with each letter we’re grateful for. Let those feelings flow through you. Once we’re full of gratitude turning our attention to our breath and relaxing comes with ease.
By focusing on our breath coming in and out of our nostrils we are training ourselves to be present in the moment. Afterwards, we may add in a prayer that resonates with our highest ideals as means of setting our intentions for the day.
Afterwards, we give thanks for the quiet time and move forward. That’s our anchor.
I call it an anchor because it gives us a place to return to throughout the day. Our breath is always with us. If a stressful situation arises we can turn to our breath and recall the tranquility we felt in the morning. When someone pushes buttons and we feel our anger seething we can return to a line from our morning prayer as a reminder of how we intend to conduct ourselves.
We bring that awareness with us everywhere we go.
Alternatively, adding 15-30 minutes of quiet to our evening gives us the opportunity to see how we’re progressing. Like, we can create a questionnaire to ask ourselves mentally or maybe start a spirit journal to check in on each day. They could be simple questions like:
- How aware of my thoughts and emotions was I today?
- Was I kind and patient to the people I met with?
- Do I owe anyone an apology?
- Did I focus on my wants and needs or did I consider others and what they needed?
- Did I give someone a reason to smile today?
- What can I do to be better tomorrow?
Having a good understanding of our strengths and weaknesses shows us exactly where we need to improve. Like, if we tend to lack feelings of loving kindness in larger crowds then we could spend 15 minutes practicing metta bhavana in the evening. Or, if we’re inclined to feelings of lust we can incorporate a practice of mediating on impermanence and work through that each evening.
No matter what your spiritual goals are, having two 15-30 minute practice scheduled each day can help you reach it. Anchoring ourselves every morning is a fantastic way to reinforce our desires to be more kind and compassionate. By closing each day with a personal assessment and meditation to aid our growth we are actively working towards being the change we want to see.
Given enough time we realize….