One of the things which has made the biggest difference to my health has been the slow movement towards having a daily spiritual practice.
What is a spiritual practice?
For me, it is about participating in an healthy activity which is part of my daily life for the benefit of myself.
Why do it?
In the pursuit of calm; to gain a sense of space; to quieten my chattering mind; to come to terms with the past; to discover the way ahead; to focus… there are many reasons.
What do I do?
I do different things on different days: sometimes I sit still or do yoga; swim or go for a walk; write in my journal or go to an art exhibition; contemplate by a river or practice Tai Chi or Chi Gung (Standing Like a Tree). It depends on my mood, and what I have recently read that has inspired me, or who I have spoken to.
Not always alone
I find it really useful to be in a group sometimes. It is so supportive to meditate with others, to benefit from a teacher who can introduce me to new ideas and encourage me to be disciplined, and to learn from others in a workshop situation.
How do I know it is worth the time and effort?
There are 2 reasons:
Firstly, if I stop I notice I feel more flustered, less able to relax, and I react to life’s stresses and strains in ways that do not make me feel proud of myself. I also begin to feel the niggles in my lower back, and sleep poorly.
Secondly, I miss it. I have grown to love the stillness and contemplation, and I believe I need this to keep coming up with new ideas, learn more about myself, and continue to develop into a better human being.
I recommend a daily practice