Spirituality is an overarching attitude that values everything, including our selves and the universe, as ultimately meaningful and purposeful. Spiritual experience is fundamentally simple but difficult to maintain in our ordinary busy lives. The experience is fostered and maintained by a quiet mind and an open heart.
What helps us quieten our minds?
- A regular spiritual practice: meditation, contemplative prayer, devotion, fasting, surrender and letting go—not an intellectual activity
- Time when we retreat—hold back the demands and pressure of life, face our fear of not-doing, allow whatever needs to arise in us
- Being in nature or involved in an activity that has the quality of “flow”—relaxed engrossed and engaged without stimulating the mind
- Being with someone whose presence is soothing, who allows us to be ourselves, who lets go of expectations, who can also be quiet inside.
What helps us open our hearts?
- Having compassion for ourselves and treating ourselves with patience, respect and consideration
- Developing self-discipline that holds in check our ego desires: selfishness, need to control, need to judge, need to be special
- Practicing loving feelings toward others on a daily basis: openness, generosity, patience and benevolence
- Showing generosity, care and kindness to those close to us every day—then practicing with friends and strangers
- Recognizing our fear of being unappreciated, taken-for-granted, duped, controlled, disliked, disregarded that causes us to remain separate or drives us to be over-involved
- Listening to the quiet promptings of our soul.