The work day/school day parameters are useful ones for us all, although they never delineated any of the concerns of the soul (nor were they meant to when originally constructed); in their absence, however, we may be realizing that having those structures in place helped to obscure the fact that most of our days were never portioned out to address soul work in any meaningful way. With that stripped away–the commute, the office hours, the trappings of a busy life–what’s left is a void staring back at us. When we say time has lost all meaning what we are uneasily stating is that without our rituals, of movement, of place, of doing, the meaning of what we do with our time is reorienting itself.
In the circadian life of all the Abrahamic religions, certain established hours are set aside at defined times of the day as calls to prayers, to contemplation, to stepping away for a moment from the concerns of the ordinary day and into those of the spiritual. They are a way for the practitioner to focus back on the work of the spirit; the regularity with which they happen lends both cadence and meaning to the day within which they happen. They strengthen the bond between worshipped and worshipper, a bond that is meant to carry back out into the world, into the mundane sphere, permeating its ordinary hours. Thus does the entirety of experience become infused with the divine.
A daily practice does not in itself need to be something of a traditionally spiritual nature to effect tangible benefits to the spirit itself. Walking, for instance, can be a vital daily practice–the exercise is of benefit to the body, yes, but is an especially effective meditative tool, and regular walkers (and runners) report heightened sensations of both emotional well-being and creativity from their physical exercise; there are many reasons for these effects, which I will explore with you in future blog posts. Meditation is another popular practice, and for good reason: in my own work I have taught numerous people how to meditate, and for those who have embraced the practice, they have found the teaching beneficial. Yoga is a common daily practice, as is journaling. I know one woman who, every few years, makes a practice of writing a poem every day for that entire year. And a musician who does the same thing with her songwriting.
The point of a daily practice is to exercise your muscles of awareness and attention. The secret of a daily practice is this: the repetition, the consistent attention, the imprinting of it onto the template of your everyday life, will ultimately lead to transcendence.
But, most of us are never going to live within those parameters; many of us do not subscribe to the traditional religious beliefs that come with these practices ready-made. But what we can do to start cultivating this same kind of soul work is to choose a daily practice, and commit to it.
Your continual attention to and application of a daily practice will have created one pathway for you to follow to your Higher Self. In order to create this, there are a few elements that need to be brought into your practice and in the next blog post I’ll outline those, to help you lay the best groundwork for a successful daily practice of your own.