A little reminder that living a satisfying spiritual life doesn't come from a loud booming wake up call (at least not for most).
We often hear stories about seemingly overnight spiritual transformations. It's easy to get the impression that it happens . . . all at once! Whether you recall stories from the Bible or Siddhartha under the bodhi tree, you would think that enlightenment comes in an instant.
Most spiritual journeys occur differently. I know this because I don't meet a lot of pious, holy people. Do you?
It isn't that we are either spiritually awake or asleep. We just spend most of our time in the in-between place I refer to as Spiritual Hynagogia.
Hypnagogia is the transitional state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. I would call it a spiritual "twilight" but that has connotations of decline.
The State of being "spiritual"
What does this mean? You might say it means feeling connected to something larger than (beyond) oneself. The Earth, Heaven, God, Spirit, Source, the Great Mystery, your ancestors, etc..
Spirituality also includes a lot of quality characteristics, like being charitable, honest, compassionate, and patient (to name a few).
For me, feeling "spiritual" is a state of being comprised of peace, compassion, and acceptance. I don't spend a lot of time basking in this. Unfortunately, the events of the day toss me around. I find constant pressures hard to accept and I spend more time in judgment than I would like to admit. This is my creation.
5 Ways to spend more time being awake
1. Put down your devices
Taking from the Gospel of Thomas
27. "If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the (Father's) kingdom."
Taking a break from news, media, gossip, and busyness can make space for the great mystery.
You can either sit quietly and do nothing but watch your thoughts float by like clouds, or participate in a guided mediation. There are many different types of meditations on YouTube. Some have music like manta chanting, and some are verbal guidance as with yoga nidra, etc. I am drawn to ones that are Hindu, Shamanic, and Buddhist in nature, but any relaxing music or words can be meditative.
Any activity you do (even washing the dishes) can be meditative if done intentionally with a peaceful heart.
3. Take daydream breaks
I used to get in trouble for this as a kid. I would just look out the window and it felt satisfying to stare off into space. Letting your mind wander is a great way to make space for intuition and the unexpected.
4. Go outside
We need the earth as much as it needs us. Connecting with nature IS connecting with yourself. It's one giant book of metaphors and allegories teaching us all we need to know to live in harmony.
5. Stay in possibility and welcome evidence for heaven on earth
What if the "kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it." How would you see it? Paradise is within each of us. Even when we think living in physical paradise is the answer, we can easily see how our internal state could squander the opportunity to be fully be present and appreciate all we have. Creating a paradise within is equally important as creating one in our external environment.
These are very simple things intended to open you up to being more present to life. These tips for living a more spiritual life are not about consuming MORE, doing MORE, or even being MORE. It's about slowing down and savoring life.
The abundance you seek is located in the slow.
I write about wellness, spirituality, psychology, and metaphysics so others have a home to explore these topics.