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Does checking Facebook count as Daily Practice?

Sure it does. It may however not count as Daily Spiritual Practice (DSP). Perhaps it depends on who shows up on your newsfeed there. I have some pretty decent friends who post some wondrously deep articles, graphics and posts. Farming them out of the humongous heap of political angst and LOLcats can be a bit hard. (Except I secretly think Ceiling Cat counts.)

DSP is something I’ve struggled with over the years. I waivered between, "I am on this thing!" and, "How long has it been?" Lots of people want to know how to start a DSP and stick with it. Others are fearful they haven’t picked the right thing, or it isn’t complicated enough. Sometimes the concern is that it has become rote and therefore meaningless. Here are my answers: How you start is unimportant, starting it – any it – is the thing. There is no wrong thing and complexity is a non-issue unless you make it one. At times rote is the most important thing.

These are all good answers. These answers were all unhelpful as I tried to develop a DSP that worked for me. I suffer from easy boredom syndrome. Any DSP was going to become the bane of my existence. I thought perhaps <font scary voice of the Gods>That Was My Lesson </ font>, to learn to tolerate monotony. I tried really really hard to learn that lesson as I was moving toward initiation. One of my challenges was a DSP that involved quieting the mind in meditation. I thought it was the perfect time to conquer this boredom beast.

I was wrong. You see, it wasn’t just boredom I was fighting. I don’t like being told what to do even when it is me doing the telling. I don’t like unmovable boundaries. I feel as if I am suffocating with them. I need flexibility to breathe deeply. I need change to stay engaged. I attempted (after this grand realization that I Was Doing It Wrong™) to mix it up by doing one thing for a month, then another. Didn’t work. I kept "forgetting". I shortened it to a week of this and then a week of that. This worked a little bit better, but consistency was still not my virtue.

Then I learned what I’d been trying to teach myself all along. Rules are stupid. I’d learned this as a kid and forgotten it as an adult. Now I hear you making noise about some rules and some times and some situations and yeah yeah blah blah I get it. Arbitrary rules however are always, well, arbitrary. That had been my trap. My purpose (my purpose, not necessarily your purpose) of a DSP is to stay engaged. Engaged with my body, engaged with this reality, fully feeling this incarnation while allowing my spirit to explore beyond it, tethered and not. Once I understood my purpose the rest was easy. I simply do _whatever_ on any given day. My DSP varies: dance with attention to how intricately the body parts work together, running the Iron Pentacle, lighting incense and feeling the smell in my core, quiet mind while stretching, lucid dreaming, tarot pull, singing, etc. ad nauseum.

So there ya have it. How I conquered the Daily Spiritual Practice block. Like I said, I found my purpose and the rest was easy. (I didn’t say always consistent, but one can’t have everything.) And "easy" is a relative term. It became easier. Which for me counts the same. Once I figured out what my block actually was and that it wasn’t what I was doing, but how I was doing it I slid into a routine that stuck.

So that is what worked for me. Perhaps it will work for you. Or not. The beauty of it is that it doesn’t really matter if you hold to a daily practice. What matters is that you puzzle out what is most useful to you, for you, and go from there. And know that "most useful" is a changeable thing, sometimes daily so. I find that to be the best part.

This entry was originally posted at http://pj.dreamwidth.org/364348.html. Please comment here or there there using your LJ ID or OpenID.

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