All 12 step programs are spiritual programs. God is in every step—especially the first step of surrender. So He begins guiding and molding those of us lucky enough to find Him and the 12 steps. The process of surrender has to be done every morning and throughout the day so our hearts, minds, and souls can be brought into the right way of living and loving.
How do we practice the spiritual life? In this overview, we will list the spiritual practices we may explore over the next few months here at Emotional Sobriety.
The best website for learning about spiritual practices is Spirituality and Practice. For an overview of the individual practices you may need, use the spiritual Rx prescriptions chart.
We will study all these practices found at this site. From Spirituality and Practice, the first practice is attention.
“Attention is also known as mindfulness, awareness, concentration, recollection. It is a primary practice, and not just alphabetically. We must stay alert or we risk missing critical elements of the spiritual life — moments of grace, opportunities for gratitude, evidence of our connections to others, signs of the presence of Spirit. The good news is that attention can be practiced anywhere, anytime, in the daily rounds of our lives.”
“Begin by doing one thing at a time. Keep your mind focused on whatever you happen to be doing at the moment. It is through the mundane and the familiar that we discover a world of ceaseless wonders. Train yourself to notice details.”
Mindfulness is written about often. Some thoughts about it:
“When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh
From The Easier, Softer Way:
On a daily basis, we find ourselves falling victim to our habit energies, running through our day on autopilot. We have things to do, people to see, places to be, and rush to get from one activity to the next. If we don’t take time to slow down and practice mindfulness, we find the days rushing by, and before we know it is it time for sleep.
One of the many beauties of mindfulness is that we are able to make our days last longer. We move slowly through the day, taking time to enjoy each moment. For the most part, we do not stay mindful all day long, and are bound to fall into our habit energies. However, we take certain activities and make them into mindfulness practices. Walking, eating, drinking, and driving are great examples. Slowing down during these activities is often the first step toward mindfulness.
The path of conscious awareness is no bed of roses… It is difficult for everybody; that is something we have to face. We may not always be willing to receive the kindness that is there; we cannot always experience what happens in our practice as compassion. When we are in the middle of learning a hard lesson about our own selfishness or arrogance, it does not feel like compassion. Having an attachment ripped from deep in our being does not feel kind. Yet when it is gone, when the wound is healing, we can see that the process was one of pure compassion. – Cheri Huber
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
From So, You Want to Be Like Christ? Eight Essentials to Get You There, Rev. Swindoll defines the eight essentials we need to practice as:
- Intimacy: Deepening Ours Lives
- Simplicity: Uncluttering Our Minds
- Silence and Solitude: Slowing Our Pace
- Surrender: Releasing Our Grip
- Prayer: Calling Out
- Humility: Bowing Low
- Self-Control: Holding Back
- Sacrifice: Giving Over
Huber and Rumi are both good to read. Thanks!
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