I believe strongly in the benefits derived from having a daily spiritual practice. I have seen it transform my own life.
I’m a morning person. Currently I wake up naturally at about 5 a.m., well before 6 when my phone alarm is set to go off. Perhaps having a spiritual practice early in my day comes more naturally to me than it would to a night owl. It’s a nice way to start my day. If you really cannot do this in the morning, and you could if you schedule it for later in the day, then by all means schedule it when you can devote the time. The most important standard is to actually do it every day, not when in the day you have it on your calendar.
The first part of my daily spiritual ritual is walking my dog. It took me a while to recognize this time as a walking meditation. I love getting outside, especially in the morning when the world is quieter. Even in the rain it’s a treat, as long as I have on my big yellow poncho. Nature is waking up, and it’s especially beautiful at that time.
My dog, Boomerang, keeps me present. I’m always watching him, to see what piques his interest, sometimes it’s a smell, sometimes a sight. When I know what it is, I know whether to let his leash out or to reel him in.
As I walk, I monitor my thoughts, too. I’m curious as to what subject pops into my head. I do spend a few seconds exploring topics that come up, but I don’t hold on to them. When a new one comes to me I start contemplating it, dropping the other easily.
At the half-way point of our walk I stop and sing a bit. I sing the first four lines of “Oh, what a beautiful morning!” I thought about sharing a video clip of my singing, but I sound better in my head than I do recorded. I’m not much of a singer, but it still feels good to do it. I end with the statement “Wonderful, wonderful me!” I feel empowered, lighter and more connected to Nature as soon as I finish this ritual.
When I get home from the walk, I meditate. Some days this is more readily accomplished than other days. I set a timer, but sometimes I don’t go the entire time, and sometimes I go longer.
Then I go about my day. I feel grounded and in tune with Nature. When I don’t, all I have to do is take some measured breaths in and out. I have cleared my head of most of my concerns, having disarmed them by not running from them, nor hanging on to them.
Try it, you’ll like it! Om!