Spiritual Practice

practiceUnless you’re in a spiritual group where practice is a communal activity, finding your your True North can seem like a never-ending trek through a pathless jungle. Let’s face it, living “in the world” can demand huge amounts of one’s time—and money—which requires even more time.

The old Piscean strategy of escaping from the world doesn’t work anymore. Monasteries are not an option for most of us. And simply calling the world “evil” no longer works either, not in a spiritually viable way. No, there is only one way to get to heaven now—we must bring it to earth.

Service is the surest way to thrive spiritually. Just as the body needs to eat in order to be healthy, the spirit thrives through giving. Giving is living, spiritually speaking (see Service 1 – Paying Attention). But the main benefit of service can only be obtained if it is done with the consciousness of God. So you have to be continually working at raising your consciousness while you are getting out of the way in order to help people. This leads to the most important spiritual practice of all—meditation.

Meditation is a senseless, egotistical activity unless it is sanctified in and by the presence of God. Otherwise, you will find yourself wandering the aisles of your own limited mind. How do you know if you’re in God’s presence? It gets real quiet, real fast. If the word “holy” mystifies you, you haven’t experienced the presence, because once you do, you will know what holy is.

Once there, you won’t feel like there is anything else or anything left to do. All you want is to bask in it. But there’s good news and bad news about that. The bad news is that the unholy parts of you are going to get agitated and will start to work their way to the surface, where you will then have to give them up. The good news is that this is only as difficult as you make it. Okay, maybe that’s bad news too, given how attached most of us are to our underbelly. But the really good news is that we have lots of help—if we ask for it—because God is always ready to jump in and lend a hand to anyone who asks.

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One Response to Spiritual Practice

  1. Fr Damian Kuolt says:

    Thought you might like this – from an ‘enlightened’ Spiritual Father on Mount Athos.

    From – Spiritual Counsels of the Blessed Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos +1994

    “Everything starts from good thoughts. This is what elevates a person and changes him for the better. One must reach a point of being able to see all things in purity. It is as Christ said: ‘Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.’ (John 7:24) And, having acquired this, man can reach the point of seeing everything with spiritual eyes, not physical eyes. All things can be justified, in the good sense of the term.”

    “A single good and pure thought has more power than any ascetic exercise. For example, a young man is tempted by the devil and has impure thoughts; and he undertakes vigils and three-day fasts, in order to be rid of his impure thoughts. But one single good and pure thought, which he manages to bring to mind, can have greater effect than the vigils and the fasts; it can be of more positive help to the young man in overcoming his problem. … For when man can see all things with good thoughts, he is purified and filled with the grace of God.”

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