Practical Ideas for Spiritual Development
There are many things you may want to know about yourself as well as the world around you. You may be wondering why you are alive and what your purpose on this earth is.
As you go through your daily activities, many opportunities for spiritual development will occur. Here are some ideas that will help you move toward your spiritual goals.
Meditation does not have to include New Age music, a yoga contortion or burning incense for you to reap the many spiritual benefits of practice; true meditation needs nothing at all. Meditation is closing your eyes and embracing everything around you through your senses.
Moving past amplified sounds, find a focal point in your mind by picturing a flower or a color that makes you feel warm, or imagine a place you have been. Clear your mind of any thoughts and only just focus on what you have chosen. Stay in this “place” for several minutes and increase your time by a couple of minutes each week. You can do this exercise anywhere you go; on a busy, crowded train, during your lunch break, or somewhere in nature.
With increased practice, do not be surprised if ideas or pictures suddenly pop into your head; clarity and insights are some of the many benefits you will experience. With daily meditative practice, spiritual insights will become a normal part of your life, rewarding you with understanding and inspiration.
Give What You Want to Receive
People showing love.
In order to grow spiritually, you must let go of ego and open your heart to compassion. Mahatma Gandhi said it best. “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” A positive, loving mindset toward humanity is a gift you not only give to others, but nourish within yourself.
Instead of getting angry at the person who is hogging the condiment table while you wait to add sugar and milk to your coffee, practice patience and see him as a part of your lesson toward compassion. Smile at others before they have a chance to smile at you, or hold the door open for that older man and not just the pretty girls.
Give of yourself without expecting anything in return; just spending time with someone or having a telephone conversation are ways to give selflessly of yourself.
Be Thankful for What You Have
Many of us go through each day with the purpose of acquiring something, whether it be a certain amount of money, an ultimate career goal or a dream that is yet to be fulfilled. Being angry or suffering for what we do not have is fruitless; instead, think of what you do have.
Think of people close to you and prepare a mental list of who you are thankful for. If they do not know how you feel, why not tell them? Think about the things you have accomplished and all the things that have happened to you that you are grateful for.
Taking a moment to be thankful feels right because it makes us hopeful and aware of possibilities. Being grateful increases optimism and positivity, which in turn affects every facet of our lives.
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