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.
I have been contemplating what would be most helpful to write about during this time of adjusting to our new normal. I decided to share with you some simple practices (other than daily meditation/kriya) that I keep in my emotional and spiritual wellness toolkit that have always serve to anchor me during all seasons of life, and especially this one. Here are 3.
During my 6 week stay in India, I decided I would immerse myself in another shambhavi mahamudra mandalam – where the kriya is practiced twice a day for 40 days. I was first initiated into this kriya in 2016, and have been practicing it on and off since then. Off – because I spent a large part of these two years pregnant twice, and found this kriya aggravated my morning sickness – making it very hard to complete. I wrote about the first time I did a 40 day practice here. Reading back on that account, I realized that I mostly just shared my experience with Isha’s Inner Engineering, but didn’t speak much on the actual kriya itself. I guess I just didn’t have much to say, because if I did, I probably would have said it! All I can say now is that this 40 day experience was a completely different experience to the first time I did it – which only demonstrates to me how each time you engage in your spiritual practice, it has the potential to become deeper and more saturated. My first 40 day cycle was really a beautiful introduction into a new direction of being and life, and I have maintained this direction for the last 2 years. It changed my life. This 40 day cycle went deeper, somehow. It changed my life in a different, more potent way. It changed me.
Since mid last year I have had my heart set on finding an authentic rudraksha mala. And finally, I have found one and it has found me! Thank you to my husband, who gifted it to me from the Isha Shoppe, after sathsang last saturday.
What exactly is spirituality? I define spirituality as your relationship with your internal self, that is – your relationship with everything that goes on within you.
Your spiritual practice should overflow into every aspect of your day
Sometimes we can make the mistake of spending 20 minutes in meditation and calling it “spiritual”, and then go about the rest of the day where nothing is spiritual.
We feel that from 9-5 we are trapped in the unspiritual reality of real life and responsibilities. And then when we get home, we may sculpt out 30 minutes of our evening for some attempt at “mindfulness.”
But spirituality is not something you do when you are home from work and then feel like a terror or act like a terror for the rest of your day.
I feel like the idea of meditation is so glamorous these days, but after doing it for a short while, you come to realize that there isn’t anything glamorous about this, and we lose hope and inspiration. In fact, I haven’t found any of my spiritual practices glamorous. But, I have found them hugely rewarding.
Lately I have noticed that I experience a new kind of happiness in my life. With some contemplation I have put together a list of a few things that I believe have helped create this happiness. I would love to hear from you. What makes you a happier person?