To be willing to inquire and do your due diligence with all elements of your life makes for a better life. Especially your inner/spiritual/religious/mindful life. To be clear, thoughtful and engaged inquiry is essential in these times. So many traditions, belief systems, and psycho-spiritual methods have infiltrated our modern culture that to discern what any one offers or has the ability to deliver becomes instrumental in you consciously choosing to participate in the direction of your life, ultimately impacting the lives around you.
When we begin to engage in a slow spirituality, we open the pathways to genuine inspiration and insight. We begin to find our way into an authentic engagement with the questions of life’s meaning and purpose, thus cultivating a true appreciation and enjoyment of being human. This can happen because we now are actually awake to the journey and not following some rote pattern. Just as the slow food movement attends to every detail of an edible life, the slow spirituality movement tends to the depth and breadth of a truly devout life. It’s not that we attend a few meditation retreats or read books on mindfulness and we are good to go. That’s not the point. The point is to slow down and enjoy the journey, to be present in this moment while staying connected to the inherent mystery of all that is.
When I settle in, the first sense of what I might later decide to call gratitude is an experience of awareness. This awareness is directly focused on the breath that is breathing me. I realize that my breath is the first gift bestowed upon me. My breath was given to me by some mystery whose existence is before and beyond my capacity to even court its generosity. This unearned kindness tells me that, contrary to popular belief, I’m inherently worthy and loved. I’m not breathing because of something I did or did not do, some request I petitioned for or a promise I made. I’m breathing because the source of breath deemed that I should breathe. Period.
I remember when it all came tumbling down on me—the moment when I collapsed in a heap under the realization that I was not real. I had already suspected this was true, but knowledge can’t touch the inherent truth of what is. I was completely obliterated.Read more
The practice of meditation—sitting still in a quiet spot, with no distractions—is an effective method of strengthening this observing consciousness. Though I did not know it when I began my years of intensive practice, over time I came to realize that the great blessing of developing this ability was so that I could apply it to life. Not in order to escape from life.