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    Thread: Spiritual practises

    1. #1
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      Default Spiritual practises

      I was curious, and thought this would make an interesting thread. What spiritual practises do you use and how do they help you? I should really be the first person to answer since I started the thread, but I'll let someone else answer first

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      ooh, maybe this wasn't such a great idea for an interesting thread after all! LOL

      Oh well, since no one is biting yet, I guess i'd better answer my own question, which I have been reflecting on the past few days.

      I find the term ‘spiritual practise’ a bit funny really; practising for what, I wonder? It is nevertheless something I’ve found invaluable, a life-life to sanity in an insane world. The predominant level of human consciousness makes this a difficult world to live in and it’s so very easy to get lost in mind-crap and egoic dysfunction. It’s all around us and it’s really easy to unconsciously identify with the madness of our own mental patterns and those of others. You just need to switch on the television and you’re immediately bombarded by the sticky ickiness of this low level of consciousness. I said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s SO easy to get lost in it. And it just takes us further and further away from what we really are.

      I’ve found having a spiritual practise immensely helpful in transcending the best part of the mind-created madness that we perpetuate for ourselves and others. I think the goal of any spiritual practise is really to take us out of the mind and all its many layers of conditioning, conceptualising and stories and to take us back to the original source of simply being; stillness, transcendence, oneness, call it what you will (some might use the term God, but I'm not comfortable with that term).

      Re-immersing ourselves in our natural state of being is the greatest healer there is, on every level. It’s the difference between being in a state of separation or a state of oneness; a state of disparity and chaos or a state of cohesion and harmony. For me, it’s reconnecting with what I truly am, and not simply being swept away by the movements of my mind.

      The practises I’ve found most helpful are

      - Meditation. I sometimes think I’d be insane if it hadn’t been for the fact I’ve regularly practised meditation ever since I was about 16. I can’t get through the day without it; I keenly miss it if I don’t take even just a little time out to still my mind and senses and dive into the pool of deep peace that’s always just beneath the surface level. I’ve done many different kinds of meditation, including TM at one point, but I’ve found it’s best not to get too hung up on technique. A meditation technique is not to be confused with meditation; at best it’s an invitation to enter meditation, which is a state of being, a state of openness and non-grasping awareness. I found Adyashanti’s ‘True Meditation’ book very helpful as it made me realise that true meditation is when we don’t have a goal in mind and aren’t chasing after experiences, even the experience of feeling at peace. This state of openness brings me into harmony, without me even having to try. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for technique at all; I still like to enter the meditative state by following my breath and resting in the still pace between inbreath and outbreath; I find that an incredible portal to deep stillness.

      Meditation has made me a lot calmer and has helped me to detach from my thoughts, feelings, beliefs and interpretations, which would otherwise have consumed me. It’s enabled me to see that I am more than the content of my mind; I am more the witness of my mind, and still above and beyond that; the space in which it all happens. This zen-like state of consciousness is where all true insight, wisdom and creativity arises. This has been the greatest gift in my life. I don’t have much outwardly to show for anything in this world, but inwardly I have one of the greatest accomplishments (if you can call it that) of all; the ability to see beyond my thoughts and limited viewpoints and not to be imprisoned by them. Not to say that it never happens, because it still does, but meditation invariably always brings me back to sanity.

      - Mindfulness: just sitting down to meditate for a few minutes once or twice a day isn’t entirely sufficient, so I embody mindfulness whenever I am. This is something that is growing and developing, as during daily life I still tend to get pulled along by the mind. But mindfulness is, to me, being fully present where I am; engaging my senses fully and being entirely aware of what’s going on around and within me, without imposing judgements and getting lost in mental interpretations. I find this state of presence tremendously liberating; it makes me feel more alive, more connected and in harmony with life. Regularly stopping throughout the day to reconnect with my breathing helps me sustain this and ‘re-awakens’ me.

      - Self enquiry: according to the direct path of Self realisation, the greatest tool to awakening is self enquiry. It was spoken of in great detail by Ramana Maharshi in particular, and in simple terms it is asking yourself ‘who am I?’ and directing your awareness into itself. If you enquire genuinely and with persistence, it strips through the layers of mind, conditioning and peels away this fictitious entity called ‘myself’ (aka the ego, or conceptual self). When you really, honestly look within yourself, you simply can’t find the ‘me’ you have always taken yourself to be! Ultimately there’s just awareness; vast, open and unbounded. Awareness becomes aware of itself...again, this is a profoundly liberating state of realisation and I believe it may indeed be one of, if not THE most important keys to Self Realisation. This practise might not come easily at first, but with diligent perseverance it’s incredible what opens up. I intend to come back and write more about this.

      Other practises I also use with some regularity:

      Chanting: I don’t generally gravitate to the devotional path that much, but I do find great power in reciting mantras and surrendering to the flow of them. The main one I use is the familiar Buddhist compassion mantra: om mani padme hum, and also on occasion I use another Tibetan mantra: om ah hum vajra guru padma siddhi hum. I have a mala and enjoy using that as I recite these.

      Writing: I write in a notebook, stream-of-consciousness thoughts, for 3 pages as many days as I can. I learned this from Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way book. It’s great for emptying the contents of my consciousness onto paper, where they are externalised and can be put into perspective. I often spontaneously access a deeper state of wisdom, where the answers and guidance I need simply flow onto the page. I find great inspiration from this practise and find it an effective form of therapy to boot. I think it’s always important to keep the psychological levels of being balanced and harmonious and this is a good way for me.

      Visualising energy: I have a background in Reiki and I believe that energy follows thought. I regularly use my mind to visualise light flowing down, around and through me, as well as sending it to others and the planet. I’ve experienced the almost miraculous power of this light on innumerable occasions, and know it has the ability to heal, remove blocks, elevate energy and even help situations and circumstances. I see this entire reality of ours as one giant field and interplay of energy. I believe that working with and directing in higher energy can transform lower energies. The connection between energy, light and thought fascinates me; it has yet to be measured and understood by the physical sciences (and may never be - for the physical sciences are, after all, limited to that which is physical and physically observed), but I know in my own experience that so much more goes on here than we yet understand. I keep working with this.

      There are probably other things I could add here, so I may come back to it.

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      Sorry Rory I have only just seen this thread...dunno how I missed it.

      Hm..spiritual practises eh?? Its a hard one for me to write down as I just do....

      I guess because I was brought up in a strict religious household, for me, the whole idea of just being....was really the winner. Connecting with nature in many forms...walking, sacred rituals whatever is probably foremost.

      Its not so much about the practises as more my state of being. As I said, growing up where everything was dictated to by either the Bible, the religion, parents etc. the idea of doing nothing, and just being....yes, thats it in a nutshell really...just being... me. Its about my intention and learning to go with my instincts instead of following blindly what others told me to do and what they said was 'right'.

      Yep...thats about it and using whatever tools I feel guided to use at any given moment. being open to new experiences and new ideas.

      Probably could list out all the various things I have used in the past but I think this is the essence of where I am at now.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Kiran View Post
      Sorry Rory I have only just seen this thread...dunno how I missed it.

      Hm..spiritual practises eh?? Its a hard one for me to write down as I just do....

      I guess because I was brought up in a strict religious household, for me, the whole idea of just being....was really the winner. Connecting with nature in many forms...walking, sacred rituals whatever is probably foremost.

      Its not so much about the practises as more my state of being. As I said, growing up where everything was dictated to by either the Bible, the religion, parents etc. the idea of doing nothing, and just being....yes, thats it in a nutshell really...just being... me. Its about my intention and learning to go with my instincts instead of following blindly what others told me to do and what they said was 'right'.

      Yep...thats about it and using whatever tools I feel guided to use at any given moment. being open to new experiences and new ideas.

      Probably could list out all the various things I have used in the past but I think this is the essence of where I am at now.
      Thanks for your reply Lorri! As you said, its not so much about the practises as your state of being and that's absolutely what it's about. The practises are at best doorways into being. Some people don't need the regimentation of practises but many do, it's finding what's right for the person I guess. Once we each reach the tipping point, where Being becomes second nature to us, then the practises are probably unnecessary.

      Of course Michael said something wonderful to me, specifically that everything is a spiritual practise. I like that a lot and that's what it's all about really

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      Default A side note;

      This thread is exceptional in the growth and understanding that occurs through such sharing. I certainly 'feel' this to be a spiritual practise, as with all else. And Rory, my good friend your expressed energies are truly inspirational.
      I will take a short break to compose my initial reply, then return to post it here in.
      May others sense the true bennifits to be found in this 'practise'.

      ...


      Growth Through Adversity

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      Quote Originally Posted by BlueStar View Post
      Thanks for your reply Lorri! As you said, its not so much about the practises as your state of being and that's absolutely what it's about. The practises are at best doorways into being. Some people don't need the regimentation of practises but many do, it's finding what's right for the person I guess. Once we each reach the tipping point, where Being becomes second nature to us, then the practises are probably unnecessary.

      Of course Michael said something wonderful to me, specifically that everything is a spiritual practise. I like that a lot and that's what it's all about really
      Yes Rory and I feel that is where I am at to some extent...its no more about rituals as such as about the intention. I like what you quoted Michael as saying and I guess if we take everything back to basics, then yes, in truth, everything is a spiritual practice. HUGS

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      When I was a child we were always in church. It was more like practicing to be like everyone else... I saw church as a way to compete with other people... was I wearing the right clothes, hanging out with the right group, doing the right things.... As I am now quite a bit older i do not think of church as the way I use to... To me Practicising religion is how you connect with the spirit of god. It is the choice of being together with something bigger than yourself. Without that belief.. I would never have made it this far in life.... I know I am where I am because I am not the one in control... It is so much easier to let go and let God... I still have a responsibility to take some actions on my own but I will prevail with the help of my higher power. I will post more as it comes to mind ... thanks for such a wonderful subject... love MW

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      Thanks for your comments guys, I find it an interesting subject and love hearing people's different interpretations and approaches. I'm gonna come back to this, as I keep ruminating on the subject and finding new ways of thinking about it

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      great thread by the way : for the now in relation to embracing the spiritual OR ( spirit - rituals) . i am minful of what i am thinking and that it is positive not only for myself and those in my surrounds but that of the world.
      Journal of self reflection : writing so that i may decifer the messages in all that touches my life positively and negatively. and to have an action plan to work through this.
      meditation : be it purposly quieting of my mind and tapping into what it is my body is telling me energetically or physically or listening to music that makes me feel moved in some way , or watch a movie that does similar.
      Eat : im re connecting to really cooking experimenting with spices and raw ingredients,breaking my pattern of style of eating ..medicating with food.
      Connecting : that is talking with people about their journeys in person or like Rory said coming to the MW ..to share thoughts and feelings.
      Reast : ive learnt that for me to be happy i need to have moments of absolute peace and purpose sort rest which i do often when im home and just thinhk nothing at all but relaxing.


      for now this is much ..but ill come back if there is anything ive left off xxx









      " BE PRESENT "

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      Thanks for sharing, Rana, sounds like a very holistic approach, and those are the most effective

      I've been thinking about this more, and I realised that for me the most important thing about any form of spiritual practise and the ultimate aim, is to create a gap - a gap in the space of the mind, which otherwise tends to consume us 24/7, filling our heads with disconnected thoughts and spinning the virtual-reality we mistake as being reality itself. Creating a gap, a space in the mindstream, actually takes us to stillness. I don't think it's the case that spiritual practise makes us more than we already are, or is about reaching some future state of perfection...for me, it's about piercing the obstructions of the mind and realising that perfection that is already there, that is our true essence...

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      Simply Being...


      Growth Through Adversity

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      I heard a great Zen story about a Zen master who was quite strict in ensuring his students diligently attended to their spiritual practises (specifically meditation). And yet one day, he admitted to his students that "when enlightenment happens, it is by accident." One of his students was quite confused by this. "If enlightenment happens by accident, then what's the point of all this spiritual practise?" The master replied, "Spiritual practise makes us more accident prone."

      Amusing story that sums it up quite beautifully for me.

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      Love it Rory. Good truth.


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      Quote Originally Posted by BlueStar View Post
      Thanks for sharing, Rana, sounds like a very holistic approach, and those are the most effective

      I've been thinking about this more, and I realised that for me the most important thing about any form of spiritual practise and the ultimate aim, is to create a gap - a gap in the space of the mind, which otherwise tends to consume us 24/7, filling our heads with disconnected thoughts and spinning the virtual-reality we mistake as being reality itself. Creating a gap, a space in the mindstream, actually takes us to stillness. I don't think it's the case that spiritual practise makes us more than we already are, or is about reaching some future state of perfection...for me, it's about piercing the obstructions of the mind and realising that perfection that is already there, that is our true essence...
      yes i agree here .. to add ive done alot of work with a gifted shaman (wayne) so id add that into what spiritual practices do i have. .









      " BE PRESENT "

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