My spiritual practice is not glamorous. It can seem mystical and enchanting from the outside. But once you get into it, once you do it every day, it becomes mundane.
It’s like brushing your teeth. It isn’t particularly exciting to do, but you realize the importance of it, and your day just wouldn’t feel quite right without it.
One thing I often remind myself is that consistency and a steady focus is important if you want to get anywhere in life. If you start digging for water in one spot, after some time, you will get there. But often what happens is that we dig for a few hours, and then think “Hmm that spot over there looks better” and run over there and start over. After some time has passed, we decide we need better digging tools. Or we see a friend who seems to be making great progress in their spot with their tools and technique so we rush over to see if we can try it too. With all these changes in direction, we will never get to our water. Well, we might, but it will take a very long time.
You don’t need to change worry about changing the tools you have. The only thing we need to concern ourselves with is deepening desire for it.
Everything else – the teacher, the tools, the technique – will fall into place. At least, that has been my experience.
If you feel like your meditation practice has become a little stagnant, then I have some tips for you.
A 2 minute refresher
Before you begin meditating, spend 2 minutes reminding yourself of why you meditate. What do you do this for? Do you do it for a little slice of peace or do you do it for your enlightenment? Whatever it may be, remind yourself of your why.
You can also think about some teachings of concepts that have resonated with you recently, and dwell in those thoughts for this time. I have felt that Kriya tends to magnify what is within me, so spending 2 minutes before starting consciously filling myself with the reminders of my intentions and concepts that I want a deeper experience of has been really beneficial to my practice.
A meeting with your guru
While you meditate – imagine you are sitting in front of your guru. If you do not have a guru but are seeking one, simply allow a space to exist with a teacher like energy can collect. Imagine you are sitting in front of the powerful presence of your guru – even if you do not know them and thus cannot envision them. Can you feel them? If you seek a guru, but have not found one yet, they already exist – I believe you just haven’t been re-introduced in this lifetime yet.
If you are not seeking a guru, simply imagine you are sitting in front of whatever being you consider is the highest being you aspire to. God, your future self or even a loved one.
Being in the presence of your guru is an electric experience.
Being in the energetic presence of your guru will intensify your meditation by intensifying you.
Consume Thoughtful content
End your meditation by consuming some kind of thoughtful content. You could do this before you meditate too, but I find that when I do that, my thoughts are more active during meditation, so I prefer to do it afterwards.
Meditate after exercise
I love the experience of meditation after exercise. After intense physical exercise, my body gets real quiet. When my body is quiet, my mind quietens too, allowing another dimension of me to emerge freely.
I have also noticed that the energy within me rises and travels within me so much easier when my body is in this state.
It’s a wonderful state to meditate in.
If you’ve noticed that your bustling thoughts are getting in the way of a deep meditative state, this might be a good one to try!
Find ways to incorporate Spirituality into your day
Don’t see meditation as something you need to tick off your to-do list at the end of the day.
I don’t want my spiritual practice to be contained neatly in a 30 minute block of my day. I want it to seep into everything I do. I want my life to be my spiritual practice. If you make your meditation just another thing to tick off, it will be just as rote and as tedious as anything else on your to-do list.
What has worked for me is to add things slowly, and not suddenly and all at once. Those kinds of changes have a high failure rate. Experiment with one new thing at a time, see if it works for you, and if it does, do more of it! And if it doesn’t, let it go.
Two things that have helped me expand my practice into every corner of my day are:
- A monthly focus:
On a daily, weekly or monthly basis, set yourself a spiritually oriented intention or focus for yourself. I do this monthly. At the beginning of my month, when I set my goals, I meditate on a focus that I would like to experience deeply in the coming weeks. I remind myself of this focus every single day. I need to see a visual reminder every day, sometimes multiple times a day, to remind me of the sacred thread of focus and awareness that is running through my day. It’s so easy to lose it in the the daily busyness of our life.
For example, my focus for March was Deeper Connection, April was centered around becoming more of an observer of life rather than constantly asserting myself into it. This month, I am focusing on leaving things a little bit more beautiful than when I found it. Having these focuses really help me keep in mind how I conduct myself throughout my day and the kind of energy I infuse into everything I do.
Let me know if you find these suggestions helpful. What helps you come to your spiritual practice more fully and with intensity?
Thanks for this post Malavika!
As always your tone is gentle, lovely and insightful.
I have been struggling with my Sadhana becoming a chore in self isolation, this post comes right at the time when it is most needed. 🙏
I am so happy to hear this and thank you for your kind feedback.
I know what you mean about sadhana feeling like a chore at times. I mean – that’s why I felt called to write this blog post in the first place, because I had to try different things to bring myself back to full intensity. Let me know if you try any of these out and if they work for you. Intensity is created and subdued within us. It is our choice is life is a chore or if life is an intense and wonderful experience. It’s a very subtle mindset shift that we make, but one that makes a huge impact. Let me know how it goes!