In Search of a Daily Practice
Pat has her daily practice with AIP – Awakening Into Presence – a morning and evening practice. Catholics have the opportunity for daily Mass. Christians in general often have daily prayers and devotions. For 25 years (age 30 to 55) I would read the bible and reflect on what I read – not a deep engagement by today’s standards, but it brought me into contact with Spirit on some level. Muslims are faithful to their five daily prayers and their fasting during the month of Ramadan, etc. So what are my practices as a Pathworker and why do I long for a deep daily practice? Is something still missing?
First I notice that when I began each day with the bible for those 25 years in my thirties and forties it was only partly out of a sense of duty. Actually I greatly enjoyed my time with Scriptures. That is important to notice and honor. And to notice that this was not true with family devotions growing up or that my wife and I led with our own three children. These family devotions had much more of a feel of coming from sense of duty, as did prayers at mealtime or even going to church for Sunday worship. So somewhere in me there is a hunger for things spiritual – but in substance, not in form. In fact, I loathe form without heart and substance.
For the past year I have been involved in a daily practice with EmbodyBeing, a time to begin each day listening to a guided meditation with Mary Stokes. For this year I have done this practice early in the morning at the same time Pat would do her AIP practice. These practices are generally 45 minutes and have seemed to have an effect on me for the positive. But often it has been a faithfulness to the practice rather than a natural longing for the practice that has motivated me to do it, never really sure of “cause and effect.” But then I do not know if feeling cause and effect is important in such spiritual practices. Perhaps the practices work at a level transcending this feeling of cause and effect.
And at the end of each practice I take ten to fifteen minutes to bring to mind those people who make up my world – the various group members, then family members and friends, and finally those in particular need – all one-by-one and supported by photos I keep spread out on my altar. This closing time of remembering folks in my life feels important to my practice.
The first year of EmbodyBeing is complete, but I still do the EmbodyBeing Practice, just not as regularly. And I am wondering about it. Is it still a duty, a trusting in its efficacy even though I do not rationally understand how it works? Should I try something else, or complement this with something else more directly related to Pathwork?
Daily review – taking time out to examine my daily moments of disharmony – happens for me as an in-the-moment experience. It is a challenge to remember at the end of the day all the disharmonies (or times of deep harmony for that matter). So for me this daily review practice is more of being present to what is going on in me in the moment and not a daily practice per se at the beginning or end of the day.
What does seem to work well for me these recent days is to spend a few moments with one or two paragraphs of a Pathwork lecture and then go into meditation and see what arises. Or to take a situation or topic and go into meditation opening to help arising from within or from wherever. Yesterday I did this with a topic of “opening to the possibility of it being a reality that God works in and through me, the possibility that at my core God manifests, that Divinity is my Essence, and my job is awareness and intention to remove blocks and defenses against that manifestation and flow.” This theme led to a powerful and inspiring meditation.
The day before it was on “The truth of Jesus Christ for me.” Again very powerful and insightful. At the end of the meditation I was on fire, enlivened by a deeper understanding of what is true for me regarding Jesus Christ AND being totally OK with what is true and what is not true. This led into a beautiful session with my helper Moira Shaw and brought me to a deep peace regarding what is true and not true for me. Now this process feels like LIVING!
So maybe I’ll try more of the latter as my daily practice – allowing Spirit to inform and inspire me with what is True in me. And perhaps blend it from time to time with EmbodyBeing practices. Flexibility seems more alive than a fixed practice at this time.
With love, Gary