Meditation Chat 18 June 2013 * give yourself credit

beautiful day to you

I would like to talk a bit more about some meditation techniques and tips, and share something that might broaden your perspective about your spiritual practices.

Here is something to consider... There are things that we recognize as spiritual practices... sitting at the altar, repeating a mala of your mantra, doing selfless service at a center, worshiping at a church or temple, etc. Yet, we then seem to only count those things as spiritual practices and sometimes do not acknowledge or recognize when we are deeply into practicing to develop ourselves spiritually. And if we do not recognize it, then we don't give ourselves credit.

What are some of the things which you might not recognize as part of your spiritual practice?

Do you really see that repeating your mantra in situations not at all looking like spiritual settings in no way diminishes the strength of your practice. Like those times when you are repeating your mantra while driving or taking the day on a walk or doing the dishes or in the shower. In fact, it can actually make the practice more powerful and effective. Thiruvalluvar, a great south Indian sage, wrote that the married life is a higher and more powerful spiritual practice than the monk's approach. He explained that having someone close gives you the opportunity to address challenges, brings forth your issues which must be dealt with, opens you to both giving and receiving love, and keeps you ever in a situation where you can serve... a very high spiritual situation that is sometimes not recognized.

Priti: ...reflecting on the innate quality of pure consciousness leading to a tranquil mind! Its a beautiful day for a hike and walking meditation. Enjoy:... feeling connected...

Good morning, Priti. Yes, a lovely day for a hike It is true that being out in nature can and often is a rich spiritual experience for us. Have fun!

I love your expression of an "innate quality of pure consciousness." That is just the thing to remember. Once we have a clear experience of that, with an understanding that it is actually our innate nature rather than something we need to build or get to, then we will find that we are either aware of it or called to remember it.

Though we feel how useful and right it is for us, we sometimes do not see it as part of our spiritual practice when we are being considerate of other people, creatures and the sacred earth. But when consider it this way, we do understand that this is practicing spiritually. Saint Francis, Mother Theresa and so many others are great examples for us.

When we find ourselves pausing to let someone else ahead of us in the grocery check-out who has fewer things or seems to be hurrying, we may not understand that our actions like this are some of the most effective to help us come to our fullness. There are many little opportunities that present themselves for us. And when we do act in service and love, it is good for us to feel how right this is, how much it serves us, to have such an opportunity, and be thankful for that opportunity to serve, too.

There is an enigma or danger in recognizing this. If we are doing it as "practice" rather than loving service, it can become selfish and have little effect. Jesus said that we should not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing. He was explaining that when we are doing charitable acts they simply need to be done because it is the right thing to do. If we are inspired to do it to get something, then it is no longer a charitable act, but tainted by selfishness. The sacred texts again and again tell us that we are to do our actions without looking for selfish results.

This is another way that the spiritual diary can be such a useful tool to help you move forward as you would like. At the end of the day take a few minutes to review your day. Have a list of things you would like to be part of your life, things you would like to see yourself doing, and check what things you have and haven't done during the day. I have found over the years that this keeps me on track. Though there are some things I do to complete my checklist, they eventually become how I am with no effort or selfish consideration. It is fine to do it initially to “get” something – doing the practices because I want to come that place of full awareness, peace, Self-realization, yoga. But if we keep at it, it eventually becomes what we are. We do what seems right to do – no longer to get something, but simply because we are like that. It is how we are. It is then that we experience fullness and freedom. So, stay with your practices, never stop. They will simply change from practices to how you are. Effort will become freedom.

Give yourself credit for all the things you are doing that are truly useful to becoming everything that you are May you both experience life in fullness and express yourself in fullness, too - for the benefit of all.

You are wonderful, beautiful, powerful, bountiful, generous, loving, inspired and inspiring. Have fun.

love always