Friday, October 22, 2010

Everyday Spirituality

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All my posts and my general methodology is intended to be practical. At heart, my philosophy is to help people find the spiritual tools that meet their needs within the restraints of their given situations. Whether those restraints can be bent, changed, or broken isn't the point initially to building a spiritual practice. Those types of changes come later.

What Is Everyday Spirituality?
Everyday spirituality essentially says this:

  1. There are already plenty of great spiritual practices and religious systems.
  2. Everyone is different and has different needs and affinities.
  3. Spirituality should meet an individual on their level in a meaningful way and be practical in a person's everyday living.

Everyday spirituality blends together different spiritual traditions depending on what is useful and is needed for someone. For instance, someone who needs to open up their voice and better express themselves may do really well with Kirtan chanting or joining a church choir. If someone lives in an area without any groups doing Kirtan chanting, then it's silly to tell the person that they have to open up their voice using that tool. There are lots of ways of doing this, and perhaps there's an opening to sing in a local church choir that could meet that need.

Integrating Heart, Body, Mind, and Soul
Integral yoga systems have shined a light down this corridor, and I am interested in taking spirituality further in this direction. So many spiritual systems stay focused on the mind or high state experiences, but the gift of being a fully embodied spiritual being is to be awakened throughout your whole being: heart, body, mind, and soul. To this end, my teaching and our work together is intended to fully integrate your soul with you in the physical world.

Everyday Spirituality Is Not a New System or Dogma
My goodness there are so many systems out there, and there are so many new systems springing up to deal with the awakening going on globally. We don't need another system. We have plenty of pieces to the puzzle. We just need to put them together in meaningful ways. I have no interest in creating another doctrine or dogma to mold people in. I have no interest in telling anyone to do it the way I prescribe. I am offering what I've experienced, what I know to be true, and what I intuitively know to be true. My gift is in seeing people clearly and offering the tools that I am aware of so that they can create their own system. In creating their own systems, it's important to understand that those systems will be temporary. A spiritual practice or system is scaffolding; it helps to build your connection to the divine. When the connection is fully made, the scaffolding can be removed.

Spirituality Is Not One-Size-Fits-All
You know, I don't know who clothing is designed for. As a tall guy, so much of it doesn't fit me right. I'm sure you've had the same experiences with clothing, and you may have had the same experiences with religion and spirituality. I encourage you to mix and match your spiritual outfits. Do a Buddhist meditation in the morning, have a tantra sexual practice in the afternoon, and then consult a psychic in the evening. On the weekends, go to a moving meditation class and then practice mindful eating through those two days. There are so many different tools, and they all lead back to the same deeper sense of presence in the moment and connection to the divine. If you are fortunate enough that one spiritual tradition meets all your needs, then that's absolutely fantastic. There's nothing wrong with that, so enjoy. You've found your new spiritual community.

Connecting With Me
If what I write resonates with you, please feel free to connect with me on this link. I teach and guide through the phone and online (and in person if you happen to live in Northern California). I really am interested in you discovering your path, but I do understand how confusing and intimidating "spirituality" can be because of misperceptions and society's rigidity. I am happy to help you find what you need to get clear and get started, but the other part of all this practicality is that you have to do the work. Without the regular effort and intention, little can manifest in your life. Working on yourself helps you get to the doorway of awakening.

In a book called, "The Sufis," the author describes how important it is to get the right understanding and spiritual framework. Within that framework, you create the crucible for awakening. Awakening you cannot force. It's a sacred reaction--an awe-inspiring alchemy that happens at the direction of the divine. But if nothing else, in working with me, I hope we can create a healthy spiritual practice that allows you to feel more connected to your life, your work, your family, to the universe, and to you.

If you're just starting out, you can read more blog posts to help you build that spiritual framework and cultivate an awakening on this link.

The photo comes from my friend and reader, Becky Stiller. You can check out her beautiful work on her flickr link.
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