Spiritual Practices

Spiritual Journal

 Keeping a journal can be a very spiritual thing. If this is something that is new for you, try not to be discouraged if you find that at first you don’t have much to say or have too much! It can go either way. The most important thing is to not overthink it too much. Prepare a relaxing space to spend a few minutes (I suggest starting with 5 to 10 when beginning) with a simple focus in mind. Sometimes a phrase, a word, some scripture or even a question can be all you need to get you started. The idea is to allow yourself to purge some of your free flowing thoughts. Who is God? When do you feel closest to God or furthest away? What kind of a relationship with God do you desire? Why?  

A New Serenity Prayer

   A new version written by James Martin, SJ in 2012, A New Serenity Prayer:  God, grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, which is pretty much everyone, since I’m clearly not you, God. At least not the last time I checked. And while you’re at it, God, please give me the courage to change what I need to change about myself, which is frankly a lot, since, once again, I’m not you, which means I’m not perfect. It’s better for me to focus on changing myself than to worry about changing other people, who, as you’ll no doubt remember me saying, I can’t change anyway. Finally, give me the wisdom to just shut up whenever I think that I’m clearly smarter than everyone else in the room, that no one knows what they’re talking about except me, or that I alone have all the answers. Basically, God, grant me the wisdom to remember that I’m not you. Amen    

Prayer Beads

   Prayer, Mala or rosary beads are used for reciting repetitions of prayers or chants called "mantras," and help to facilitate ritualized meditation practice. They have been used for thousands of years in Tibetan, Indian, Chinese, Buddhism and Hinduism. Prayer beads in different forms are used in Christianity and Islam as well.  You can choose a phrase or scripture or different prayers for different beads. The time spent with prayer beads can allow you to focus with something tangible to hold onto as you work through your concerns and cares for whatever you need.   

A Cup of Blessing

  Find a quiet place for solitude and decide whether you would like to use some music or just sit in silence for a few minutes. Use a simple cup (without a handle) and hold it in your hands. When you are ready to begin, try to slow down your breathing and relax. Notice the rim of the cup. It is circular, no beginning or end, a symbol of wholeness, all connected to form oneness. Like a cup, our physical, psychological, and spiritual shape is unique to each of us. Be conscious of you, as a blessing cup held in God’s hands. Accept your uniqueness and goodness created with LOVE. Sit for a few minutes and rest as you focus on the cup. As you finish find a special space to place the cup as a reminder of your uniqueness to the world.       

Meditation Worship Box

  Many of us are often traveling or on the move throughout our daily lives. I like to have a small shoebox size container in the trunk of my car for the moments when I have an opportunity and the time to be with God.   It has many things in it that speak to me spiritually. It allows me to create an altar or worship space wherever I am. I always make sure to put it in my suitcase when I go on vacation too. The basics are simple: a cloth, a candle, and other symbols that mean something to you. Sometimes for me, just opening the box gives me a sense of peace and wellbeing.        

Meditative Walk

  Sometimes a good walk that has a spiritual focus can be just what our body and soul need.  Try to spend a few minutes preparing for your spiritual walk. Decide what you would like to focus on. Will you walk with some music or in silence? What do you need from the world today? Is the weather nice enough for you to take your shoes off and feel the ground breathing beneath your feet? Try to spend the first few minutes concentrating on your breathing and allowing yourself to relax while you walk. Try not to overthink on your focus of your walk, rather use the time to gently carry it with you and allow the earth and what is around you to give you the strength and resolution to move you along. If something catches your eye during your walk, you might want to pause and spend a few minutes just noticing all the things about it that drew you to it. As you finish your walking time, take a moment to remember the most beautiful part about your walk and use that as your inspiration today. If you get a chance you might even feel encouraged to journal about it now or at another time.