Maintaining a Spiritual Practice
1. Reflect on your beliefs.
Rather than being a passive believer, maintain your spiritual health by questioning, affirming, and revising the principles of your faith.
- Write down the things you hold to be true, and write a little bit about them.
- If something is troubling you, don’t hide it from yourself. Share it with someone you trust, and discuss your concerns together.
2. Meditate and pray.
Prayer and meditation are activities you can engage in daily, or many times a day. By incorporating it into your daily routine, you can maintain your spiritual health in the same way that you maintain your physical health. Pray or meditate by yourself or with a group.
- Join a prayer group at your place of worship.
- Gather with a yoga and meditation group in parks and other natural places.
3. Take monthly or yearly excursions to reconnect to your spirituality.
It’s important to have a daily routine, but you don’t want to just go through the motions. To break your habits and get a new perspective, go to a new place and spend a longer time working at your spiritual practices.
- Go on a silent meditation retreat.
- Take a trip with a church group.
- Make a pilgrimage to a holy place.
4. Study core texts and contemporary takes.
Read the earliest texts of your faith tradition, like the Torah, the Tripitaka, or the Qur’ran. Try reading a little every day. Join a reading group or get a study buddy to keep you on schedule.
- If you are interested in spirituality across religious faiths, read texts from many faiths.
- Read poetry and song lyrics inspired by the core texts of your faith.
Connecting with Creation
1. Spend quiet time in nature.
Connect with the natural world by going on hikes and walks. Find quiet places to sit and observe the plants, animals, and clouds. Turn your phone off so you can quiet your mind. Don’t check your texts or take pictures.
- Give thanks for the beauty of all that you behold.
- Bring a journal along and write a few things if you are so moved.
- Take camping trips so you can wake up far from civilization.
2. Foster empathy for others.
Develop empathy towards all people by paying close attention to the people who surround you. Listen closely during conversations, and ask yourself how the person is feeling and what it is they want. Expand the empathy you feel for those you know to encompass those you haven’t met—people in the street, or people you read about in the paper.
- When you find yourself feeling contempt, disgust, or hatred towards others, take a deep breath and try to see things from their perspective. Think of what they may have suffered, of what they fear, and of the things that bring them feelings of joy and safety.