Social Anxiety Support Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Just me being me
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been trying for a while to establish a consistent spiritual routine or practice to do daily. However, it's been so difficult to discipline myself to do this. I was just wondering how other people manage to incorporate their spirituality into their lives daily. Whether you consider yourself religious or spiritual, how do you connect daily with your higher power?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
19,437 Posts
I follow a non-mainstream religion. I do nightly prayer, which lasts about 10-15 minutes. I have a shrine to one of my deities set up in a corner above my bed for ease. Usually, I light a candle and burn a small stick of incense to accompany my prayers. (I use the Japanese kind, because it's not that smokey, and doesn't have a stick, so it can be broken up to accomodate the amount of time I have available). I also "offer" what I consider beautiful pieces of music - usually classical. Creates a really nice atmosphere.

Prayer can be as simple as a few words of thanks, to reading a short hymn. Sometimes I just talk about my day. Larger "rituals/services" I perform every one to two weeks, depending my schedule... usually on a Sunday.

If you have a complicated life, the key is to simplify. Better to do a little something, than nothing at all. It really depends on what you want to get out of your spiritual path, too. Will it benefit you and/or your god to have more regular "spiritual time?" Or will it stress you out to adhere to a scheduled routine? Maybe it's better for you to be spontaneous?

One thing to remember, if you believe in deities, then it's your intent behind your prayers/actions that matters most, big or small. IOW, what's in your heart - quality over quantity. (Of course, that's just my opinion...but I think most theists will agree.)

Probably not what you were expecting as answer. But hey, you asked! :lol
 

·
Just me being me
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Neptunus said:

Probably not what you were expecting as answer. But hey, you asked! :lol

Neptunus, no this is perfect. Exactly what I was asking. All thoughts are welcome. Thanks for sharing this.

And spontaneity doesn't work for me. That winds up being no practice at all, so I think it's a discipline issue. Thanks for your input, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,012 Posts
I'm Christian. For years I followed various formalized prayer systems, like the Daily Office of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer or the Roman Catholic Breviary. But I eventually gave them up as not being conducive to my individual spirituality (they were designed, after all, for group use). So lately I've been spending thirty minutes in the morning in meditation--either reciting a mantra like the Jesus Prayer or maintaining mindfulness of breathing--and in the evening I'll read a few Psalms. (I get drowsy meditating at night.) I think this is working out better.
 

·
Just me being me
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey, shyshiso...what type of meditation technique are you using?
 

·
Lost in New Babylon
Joined
·
86 Posts
I follow a non-mainstream religion. I do nightly prayer, which lasts about 10-15 minutes. I have a shrine to one of my deities set up in a corner above my bed for ease. Usually, I light a candle and burn a small stick of incense to accompany my prayers. (I use the Japanese kind, because it's not that smokey, and doesn't have a stick, so it can be broken up to accomodate the amount of time I have available). I also "offer" what I consider beautiful pieces of music - usually classical. Creates a really nice atmosphere.

Prayer can be as simple as a few words of thanks, to reading a short hymn. Sometimes I just talk about my day. Larger "rituals/services" I perform every one to two weeks, depending my schedule... usually on a Sunday.

If you have a complicated life, the key is to simplify. Better to do a little something, than nothing at all. It really depends on what you want to get out of your spiritual path, too. Will it benefit you and/or your god to have more regular "spiritual time?" Or will it stress you out to adhere to a scheduled routine? Maybe it's better for you to be spontaneous?

One thing to remember, if you believe in deities, then it's your intent behind your prayers/actions that matters most, big or small. IOW, what's in your heart - quality over quantity. (Of course, that's just my opinion...but I think most theists will agree.)

Probably not what you were expecting as answer. But hey, you asked! :lol
Sounds really cool, actually. I could see myself doing something like that. Right now there are just certain times and situations in which I do such things and no daily pattern. Maybe that should change.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
19,437 Posts
jook said:
Neptunus, no this is perfect. Exactly what I was asking. All thoughts are welcome. Thanks for sharing this.
You're welcome!

Sounds really cool, actually. I could see myself doing something like that. Right now there are just certain times and situations in which I do such things and no daily pattern. Maybe that should change.
Thanks! Glad I inspired you. :)

jook said:
And spontaneity doesn't work for me. That winds up being no practice at all, so I think it's a discipline issue.
I find it helps to induce a "prayerful state" by having a designated prayer/ritual place. Examples being the top of a small bookcase, a shelf, or a corner on a bureau. Its function is to act as a tool - a focus point - to help separate the spiritual from the mundane; sort of like the beautiful decorations in many churches.

As I mentioned, I have a small shrine, which is set up on one of those corner shelving units. It has an incense cup with images of my god painted on it, a couple of miniature, brass swans (since the swan is one of the symbols of my deity), and a beautiful votive holder. For privacy reasons, I have designed it to fit in with the rest of the decor in my bedroom. It just looks like a pretty decoration.

If you can't do that, then you can make a portable prayer kit. A Catholic friend of mine (who lives in a dorm, and is very private about her religion) made one out a cigar box. Inside, she keeps her rosary beads, a candle, matches, an incense bowl, frankincense, a small Bible and a hymnal book. She has images of the saints, Mary and Jesus taped on the inside lid. She sets it up every evening for prayers, and has it packed away before her roommate gets back from classes.

Setting up prayer time to "flow" with your regular routine also helps with procrastination. I do mine every night before I go to sleep. I used to have a set time (mostly to coincide with a radio program that played beautiful music), but I found that to be too stressful, as I had such an irregular schedule. So now I just do it whenever I decide to go to bed. It's much easier, and my devotionals almost always get done.

Of course, these are just suggestions - prayer aids - geared more towards those who follow a theistic path. As we know, it's bringing your heart to prayer time that matters most. :)
 

·
Just me being me
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I find it helps to induce a "prayerful state" by having a designated prayer/ritual place.
Thanks for the reminder of the importance of a "prayerful state." I do have a small table with candles on it that I use as a shrine.

In my case, I have a small shrine, which is one of those corner shelving units. It has an incense cup with images of my god painted on it, a couple of miniature, brass swans (since the swan is one of the symbols of my deity), and a beautiful votive holder.
That's what's missing! I need to personalize my shrine. All I have is candles right now and no symbols of my spirituality to help bring me into prayer time. I need to create that space that separates the spiritual from the mundane.

Setting up prayer time to "flow" with your regular routine also helps with procrastination. I do mine every night before I go to sleep. I used to have a set time (mostly to coincide with a radio program that played beautiful music)
Another great suggestion. Find some way to have prayer time coincide with something pleasant like music or even sunset perhaps.

Of course, these are just suggestions - prayer aids - geared more towards those who follow a theistic path. As we know, it's bringing your heart to prayer time that matters most. :)
Thanks so much for this thoughtful, helpful and inspirational reply. I'm going to get about finding my prayer items for my prayer table!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
19,437 Posts
No problemo! Happy you like my ideas! :)

There are lots of fun things you can do to personalize your shrine: print pictures from online, make your own "altar" cloth, add real or silk flowers, buy decorative candle holders... it can be a lot of fun! A great place to find things is at thrift stores. I've acquired many lovely, quality picture frames and solid brass candle holders that way for very little money; much better than spending buku bucks at department stores for made in China crap!

For further inspiration, here are some examples of some home shrines. Some are quite elaborate!

Pic1- Orthodox Christian
Pic2- Hindu
Pic3- Santeria
Pic4- Neo Pagan Kwan Yin shrine
Pic5- Buddhist/Shambhala
 

Attachments

·
Just me being me
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Neptunus: thanks for those pics! and ideas on how to find items.
I notice the shrines all have religious themes of some sort. I don't claim any particular religious, I've just adhered more to eastern philosophy but get something from all the religions.

Interestingly enough, just thinking about what I would put on my shrine/altar is also causing me to try and get clearer on on what I believe. A symbol has to have meaning to me to be useful and I give it that meaning by what I believe. So this is an interesting spiritual exercise in and of itself.

I'm excited to see what this shrine turns out to be!
 

·
Still Running
Joined
·
387 Posts
A god of our own understanding is an idea that I have recently adopted that allows me to take my learned concepts in religion and take out all of the hypocrisy and crap and form my God to be what I want him to be. It seems to be working in helping me form a more spiritual daily life to some degree, I have only been at it for a month so I am going to keep practicing the concept and pray before every major decision in my life. I have noticed results in my moods, my relationships, and my overall daily life
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,836 Posts
No problemo! Happy you like my ideas! :)

There are lots of fun things you can do to personalize your shrine: print pictures from online, make your own "altar" cloth, add real or silk flowers, buy decorative candle holders... it can be a lot of fun! A great place to find things is at thrift stores. I've acquired many lovely, quality picture frames and solid brass candle holders that way for very little money; much better than spending buku bucks at department stores for made in China crap!

For further inspiration, here are some examples of some home shrines. Some are quite elaborate!

Pic1- Orthodox Christian
Pic2- Hindu
Pic3- Santeria
Pic4- Neo Pagan Kwan Yin shrine
Pic5- Buddhist/Shambhala
I really like that idea of a space with some decor! I think I am going to dedicate my stuffed animals as symbolic as some of my spiritual values I strive for. Now I have reason to get more without guilt.
 

·
Just me being me
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A god of our own understanding is an idea that I have recently adopted that allows me to take my learned concepts in religion and take out all of the hypocrisy and crap and form my God to be what I want him to be. It seems to be working in helping me form a more spiritual daily life to some degree, I have only been at it for a month so I am going to keep practicing the concept and pray before every major decision in my life. I have noticed results in my moods, my relationships, and my overall daily life
Odicepaul: Just wanted to wish you light and guidance as you start your journey, seeking to know God as you understand Him/It/Her. In my own experience it was when I got to that place that spiritual things begin to become clearer.

Also wanted to post here that one spiritual practice that I have is taking a day of spiritual retreat from time to time. It's never planned, I'll just feel like today I need retreat. During this time I read books by authors I've found enlightening like Eckhart Tolle, Emmet Fox, or Analee Skarin (She wrote an interesting book called Ye Are Gods). I listen to New Age music, journal, or just get still. It's a nice gift to myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,836 Posts
I have only 4 stuffed animals now. Every once in a while I see a cute something or other and I want it but I give them away eventually for various good reasons. I record things, and pray. I read the bible and psychology books.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
I also have really big discipline issues. I get into the mentality where "I don't feel like doing it" for whatever I have decided would be good to do daily. I took yoga for a while, twice a week, but have yet to be able to get myself to do it at home on my own. I feel I should journal every night, but of course I can't bring myself to do that for whatever reason. I don't always feel like reading (I feel I need space for a different feeling than the one of reading). And for a long time I have been meaning to get into meditation practice, but it just never ever happens. Of course I expect discipline to be something that "will just happen to me" rather than something I have to do. I'm ridiculous!

Anyway, the one thing I am doing right now, that is really easy and improving my mind, is lighting a candle and a bit of white sage every night, and some mornings, to build a very clear space for myself. White sage really is a clearing tool, and I find it so easy to really be mindful of my breathing before I fall asleep. I tend to read or write if I can, but if I don't feel like it, just laying down to breathe for a moment before sleep. I have been really remembering my dreams every night lately because I'm so much more mindful I think. So I've found that it is something very simple, with subtle effects which are just enough to keep me really balanced after the day's imbalances have brought me down.
 

·
The Tragic Princess
Joined
·
719 Posts
I read a chapter of my Bible at night and pray before I go to bed. Haven't been able to read for a bit cus I had double vision from MS, but before that I did it every night. I don't try to put any must dos in my time with God. I just talk with Him from my heart and tell Him thanks for what I got and what I need. I believe it's more meaningful the less technical you get about it. I just wanna develope my relationship with Him. It's always nice to be alone with Him and just talk.
 

·
Just me being me
Joined
·
1,124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I also have really big discipline issues. I get into the mentality where "I don't feel like doing it" for whatever I have decided would be good to do daily.
Yes, I can relate to that. Then it begins to feel like a chore. I think you answer this dilemma well though in the following:

Anyway, the one thing I am doing right now, that is really easy and improving my mind, is lighting a candle and a bit of white sage every night, and some mornings, to build a very clear space for myself. White sage really is a clearing tool, and I find it so easy to really be mindful of my breathing before I fall asleep. I tend to read or write if I can, but if I don't feel like it, just laying down to breathe for a moment before sleep. I have been really remembering my dreams every night lately because I'm so much more mindful I think. So I've found that it is something very simple, with subtle effects which are just enough to keep me really balanced after the day's imbalances have brought me down.
That's the key, I think. To find something that feels "easy" and right for you instead of trying to follow someone else's script about how you "should" do it. Thanks for sharing this as a reminder.

I've been just lighting my candles and standing or sitting before them for a few moments. Sometimes I read a prayer of graditude that I wrote. That's what feels right for me, and not forced at this point. I think anything you do is fine. It's the turning of your attention to the Supreme and making that connection that's important.

Also, ditto what Illlaymedown said:

"I don't try to put any must dos in my time with God."

(maybe somebody will send me a PM on how to do multiple quotes:))
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
My daily ritual is started with confession, because we all sin unfortunately, and I ask for forgiveness that is in my heart, and I meditate to an extent to where I feel relaxed, deep breathing really helps and at night I pray for 15 minutes of more.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top