As I’m ageing I’m more interested in using things like Buddhism. I want to calm my busy days down but I’m so busy I never get time to meditate or anything. Do you have any tips for finding time to be spiritual?
Dear Timeless Seeker,
It may be worthwhile to begin by examining the unconscious assumption that our regular lives are separate from our spiritual lives. Doesn’t it make more sense to your soul that everyone’s spirituality would most ideally be alive in each and every moment?
It can be a powerful reality when we sense that our spirituality exists all around us, like some energy we breathe in along with air. If we’re alive, we’re being spiritual.
The only question then is, how conscious are we? Do we realize that our business dealings have a spiritual nature? The way we raise children and interact with friends is spiritual in nature. Even the way we drive is spiritual.
A lot of the issues we all struggling with are generated during those times in which we are perceiving our spirituality as being distinct from the rest of our lives. In reality, our lives are the spiritual manifestations of our internal intentions, whether we are conscious of that thinking or not.
The fact is, we all have ample time to be spiritual, we just have to understand spirituality in a different sort of way so we miss our opportunities. For instance, it is a prayer to show patience. It is a spiritual offering to be generous. We are expressing love when showing heartfelt tolerance.
Tonight, in bed, rather than re-hashing our days or planning our tomorrows, we can instead choose to develop a quiet mind. We can be conscious and choose to meditate on the sources of gratitude that naturally exist in our lives. And that will reduce the stress we really feel. But we must intend for that to happen.
Kindness, friendship, compassion, appreciation, laughter, joy, creative work and especially love are all very spiritual acts. Rather than thinking about other things while we do other things, we can be spiritual simply by investing ourselves completely in an act itself, rather than reserving some of our consciousnesses for judgment of that act or thoughts of some other place or time.
The only self-talk debates we should be having would be to self-debate/meditate ourselves out of a state of ego. If we want to use our thoughts to put ourselves back on track that’s fine, or to use self-talk to help to understand a spiritual concept —those are all worthwhile uses of the mind for meditation. But the rest is simply our egos judging and wanting and complaining about what is.
Rather than cove our spirituality into parts of our day, let us all endeavour to have our day emerge from our spirituality. Yes, it will feel odd at first to prioritize things like patience or assistance or generosity, but if that objective is in our consciousness we will act in alignment with it because the ways we act have always been the product of our thinking.
Things like a status, power or wealth are often enjoyable to have, but none of them are things that exist on a spiritual plane. There are no coffins with storage spaces for our reputations, titles or our money. They are things we have or control, but our spirit is who we are.
There are no coffins with storage spaces for our reputations, titles or our money. They are things we have or control, but our spirit is who we are.
An ego feeling good can be a very nice sensation. But it does not come close to the profound sense of satisfaction that comes from having our spirit’s presence being invested in helping us to fully realize who we fully are.
I do hope you will consider trading a daily desire for more awareness into the spiritual time you currently think you do not have. And if you do so, I wish you every good fortune in your meditation exercises. You can even make it a game, as you search out and identify more and more ways and times in which you can be consciously involved in your spirituality.
Let us be more consciously spiritual by allowing rushed people ahead of us in line-ups. We can work on being kinder, and develop healthier relationships with co-workers, or we can spend our lunch being quiet-minded rather than being on social media, getting busy-minded.
Rather nicely, your email to me, asking this question, is a good example of you enacting your spirituality. Now we all need to go do that with the rest of our days. Let’s all do less thinking and instead let’s focus on absorbing the world itself with what we perceive are our five senses.
Rather than the output of babble from our yakking monkey-mind, we are better to absorb all that is going on around us. If we pay enough attention, we will often find opportunities that others are likely to miss, including our opportunities to help their lives by simply providing the example of being ourselves.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own overthinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.