Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spiritual Practice

Three elements of spiritual practice are becoming present and aware throughout the day, seeing your personality in action, and not acting on your impulses.
-From the Wisdom of the Enneagram

Much of my life, until I was in my 30’s or 40’s, I really didn’t get the spiritual life. I say this despite my Catholic education, my seminary training, and even after living in a monastery. The spiritual life started making more sense to me when I began to understand the deep connection between psychology and spirituality. I was well into middle age before I had a true awakening about my own nature. When I had this experience it was a true aha moment and for the first time most of my life made sense to me. I began to understand why I think and act like I do. I began to understand why some people are attracted to me and I also began to recognize my own dysfunctional behavior. This awakening continues and I suppose it will continue until I die. All of this is part of discovering your true self. Your true self is who you are in God. Some people call this “doing your inner work”. I recently had a discussion with someone about why so many people stop going to church. I think people stop going to church because they never have an experience of God in a real and meaningful way. Going to church can be like going to the gym every week without getting in shape or losing any weight. It would be a rare person who continues exercises that produce no results. Self-knowledge is part of the spiritual journey and it creates spiritual awareness. Awareness produces openness which in turn produces an attitude of receptivity to life and to the experience of God.

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