Growth, fulfillment, and happiness require a daily spiritual practice, along with taking care of ourselves and loving others. Unfortunately, while our culture encourages daily exercise for the body, it does not always encourage daily exercise for the spirit.
With some exceptions, we are all spiritual beings, whether we are religious or are atheists. Most of us have experienced wonder, mystery, beauty, oneness, unity, and a sense of being part of something much greater than ourselves, at some time in our lives. Some people experience the sacredness of life and live in gratitude on a daily basis. Others taste these spiritual gifts only on occasion. Some people go through life as if in a trance, lost in thought, while others have the ability to be present to the experience of life so as to savor the simple gift of existence.
Traditionally, spiritual practice has entailed prayer, meditation, yoga, or the reading of spiritual literature. Some, however, who have an aversion to the dogma of religion, have no ready vehicle or framework for their spiritual growth. In either case, I offer the following as a framework and method for your daily spiritual practice.
The first step is to take time, every day, as many times as possible each day, for silence and stillness, for it is in stillness, free from thought, that the greatest spiritual insights arise.
Second, it is useful to meditate or pray, contemplatively, on the three pillars or our spirituality: purity of heart, clarity of vision, and strength of purpose. I offer the following meditation as a tool for keeping yourself spiritually grounded and centered in your daily life. It is best to print this prayer—even laminate it—and silently reflect upon it at the beginning of each day:
“For this day, may I be…
Pure of Heart
- Loving and kind towards myself and others, knowing that we are all in need of nurturing, support, affirmation, and validation.
- Acceptant of Reality as it is, letting go with humility of any expectations that people or situations should be any different than they are.
- Understanding, that we are all struggling with hurt, fear, and anger as best we can, and that those in the grips of destructive emotions suffer greatly.
- Tolerant, of the differences and seeming imperfections of this perfectly imperfect Universe.
- Patient, realizing that all things happen in their own time, and not according to our desires.
- Forgiving, remembering that we too have harmed others, and that resentment hurts ourselves as well as others.
- Surrendered, doing what is true and good for its own sake, regardless of the outcome, recognition, or reward.
Clear of Vision
- That all things and all beings are sacred.
- That life is a miracle, and our consciousness a mysterious gift.
- That life is precious, resilient but fragile, and fleeting.
- That this moment, whether painful or pleasurable, too shall pass.
- That we can only trust others to do what they perceive to be in their own best interest, knowing that our highest interest is selflessness.
- That only we are responsible for caring for ourselves and protecting ourselves.
- That love begets love, and anger begets anger.
- That each moment we have a choice to live out of love, or out of hurt, anger, and fear.
Strong of Purpose
- To be a channel of love
- To savor life
- To nurture life
- To help others
- To make the world a better place”
This prayer is just a template designed to spark your own Truth. If you wish, you can modify this prayer. What does purity of heart feel like for you? What clarity of vision do you most need in your life? How does your purpose in life manifest itself?
Spiritual Growth is a gradual, life-long process. With daily practice, you will experience a subtle transformation of your life over time and find peace, happiness, and fulfillment. May this practice serve as an effective tool for your spiritual growth.