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Meditation on Religion and Spirituality
Ten people can be practicing ten different religions, yet share the same spiritual experiences and understandings.
Religion, with its guidelines and rituals, provides form and format for living a spiritual life; the practices act as aids to reach the goal of living a spiritual life spontaneously.
What is spirituality? I think it is an underlying basis of pure unconditional love, arising in format of caring acts.
Meditation for reflection
Choose a quiet place to sit and begin even and regular breathing such as 2 counts to breathe in and 2 counts to breathe out. Keep up this even rhythm throughout your meditation without concentrating on the counting.
After reflection write out any new insights in your journal for contemplation at a later time and for future review.
For reflection: Pure unconditional love is the spiritual basis of religion. It is when we act with caring love - unconditional love at all times - that we feel joy and peace. Symptoms of joy and peace are an energized body and harmonious thinking.
Religious tools are the means by which we dig into the depths of our mind and soul through devotional and service-full practices, nurturing our character into a full-blown flower of wisdom.
A spiritual life is a most practical life. Practical, because acting from an energized body with harmonious thinking reaps results for our good and the common good most efficiently, most easily. And isn't what is done for the highest good, the most efficiently, the most practical approach?
Religions may seem to have many differences at first glance but the common goal is spiritual enlightenment. Our upbringing, culture, personal tendencies may draw those ten people in a room to ten different religions, but the goal of each person is joy in living by the easiest route.
Spiritual practices common to many religions:
1. A form of supplication, prayer for intercession;
2. A time of listening quietly for the answer in reflection, meditation;
3. An interval for giving thanks, appreciation for new insight;
4. A time for action in the world based on new insight.
The church, temple, mosque, hut, cave, or quiet corner of a room, or stillness alone at night, provide a setting for soul searching.
Religion in its meaning of re-alignment leads us to realign with our beautiful, radiant and spiritual selves, that we may most happily and harmoniously lead fulfilling daily lives - spiritual lives.
"Devotional practices awaken a sleeping heart
when energized with dedication.
Life itself becoming a prayer
when lived lovingly."
Giving thanks, being devotional, becomes a life-long habit when begun early.
Giving thanks can be in the form of prayers or devotions from religion, leading to uplifting thoughts arising spontaneously at any time.
Prayers and devotions can generate feelings of appreciation.
When we are devoted to our religious practices the rewards show in our daily life as increased clarity of mind springing from the awakening of a pure heart of love - love developing from dedication and self-giving of our time and energy to even thoughts of love preceding acts of love.
When we feel appreciative we are feeling happy and peaceful in that moment. In times of stress, taking time to remember one thing we do have, with appreciation, helps us see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Daily life has moments of ups and downs; the downs more easily transformed into sweetness by an appreciation, uplifting verse or thankful thought.
"Devotions to religious practices of our choice
are a way to open our heart, our lives
to love's inception, reception
creating an easy mind
to most easily act for the highest resolve
of the issues in our lives."
Article and photo credit of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France by Susan Kramer
For offsite reading
Meditation for Teens and Adults
More than 70 offerings, from guided meditation techniques to on-the-go stress relief and relationship meditations interspersed with verse, and a section of special occasion prayers. 114 pages.
Meditation for all Kids
Sitting, walking, dance and group circle meditations, along with positive affirmations, verses and benefits of meditation for kids of all ages and abilities in a 100 page book with illustrations.
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