In this video we will be discussing daily spiritual practices for beginners. While these practices are a suitable foundation for any beginner, daily prayer, meditation, and study are the foundation of any spiritual life. To start with it is useful to develop a “rule of life” which is a reflection of your commitment to doing certain daily spiritual practices. A rule of life is a contract between you and yourself that reflects your commitment to spiritual evolution.
A rule of life can be as formal or informal as you like, and as specific or general as is necessary. People needing a little more discipline may find it useful to write out their rule of life as a commitment to perform a set of spiritual practices every day.
Below is an outline of a rule of life and spiritual practices that will serve as a strong foundation for anyone on the spiritual path. Our daily spiritual practices carry us through the good times and the bad and help us continually move upward to higher states of consciousness.
Start by creating sacred space within your home. Dedicate a room, corner, or even closet to spiritual practice, prayer, and meditation. Your alar will be the physical manifestation of your relationship with the divine. This is where you will place pictures, statues, iconography and/or crystals that you find spiritually significant. Your altar will change over time and become more spiritually potent as you perform daily spiritual practices before it.
To start with your altar can be as simple as a candle with some incense and a picture or object of whatever you most closely associate with the divine. This will serve as the focal point for your spiritual life and will become a place of spiritual renewal and power. Keep this space clean and don’t use it for any other purpose. This is the temple within your home.
Prayer is central to spiritual life. I begin and end my days in prayer and pray throughout the day at each meal. The commitment to prayer is a commitment to commune with the divine. You may pray in whatever way you desire, to whatever you most closely associate with the divine. If you do not like to pray to an externalized conception of deity, you may affirm by your “I AM Presence.” This is the aspect of your awareness that is forever and always one with God.
Prayer is simply connecting with the divine and expressing your gratitude and intentions. A commitment to prayer is a commitment to remembering the divine. It is a commitment to being grateful for this precious human birth. It is a commitment to expressing your desires to the universe for a happy and prosperous life and positive spiritual evolution and growth. Prayer is just another name for deliberate manifestation and gratitude. By engaging in regular prayer you are regularly telling the universe what you prefer, and will attract more of it into your life.
Meditation should also be central to any rule of life. Through effective meditation we purify the mind and form deeper connection with the soul. Commit to a daily meditation practice that you can realistically sustain. It is best to meditate in the morning or at night. Some people may feel called to meditate twice a day. I prefer to meditate between midnight and 1am.
An effective meditation technique is to use mantra. The mantra “so hum” can be used by any beginner. This is the Sanskrit word for “I am that.” When using this mantra we breath in “so” and breath out “hum.” By focusing on the mantra and breath we give our mind something to do so that it is less inclined to wander. Any two syllable mantra can be used as the object for your meditation practice. Breathe in the first syllable, breathe out the second syllable.
Meditate for at least five or ten minutes a day and try to work your way up to twenty to thirty minutes a day. Do not try to meditate for longer than you are able. Effective meditation is the most important thing. Spend part of your meditation period trying to focus on awareness without any thoughts. If your mind is wandering throughout the majority of your meditation practice try a shorter period. The key is to consistently meditate at the same time each day in the same place.
Initially you may choose to meditate five out of seven days a week, and give yourself the weekends off. Meditation will naturally become more pleasant and you will want to meditate more frequently for longer periods of time.
Set aside five or ten minutes a day for spiritual study. This can be reading a book or listening or watching something you find to be spiritually inspiring. Many people gain benefit from reading sacred texts each day to attune their mind to the vibration of a particular spiritual tradition or lineage.
By attuning to a particular tradition or lineage you are connecting to the morphogenic field of that community of practitioners. That connection will strengthen your own commitment to spiritual practice and evolution.
In summary create and altar in your home for daily spiritual practice. Upon waking pray, express gratitude and your intentions for the day and at night do the same. Also express gratitude and bless your food at each meal. Also meditate at least five to ten minutes five days a week with the goal of meditating thirty minutes a day seven days a week. Create a rule of life that reflects your commitment to daily spiritual practice. Revise your rule of life at least yearly to embody greater commitment to daily spiritual practice and evolution.