Mechanics of Spirituality

At 4.30am each morning the monks commence their 4-hour spiritual workout – a dedicated regime, 365 days a year. To an onlooker it may seem monotonous and mechanical; a holy ‘boot camp.’ Seasoned spiritualists, however, will testify that these tried and tested practices open up an internal world of bottomless depth. As we progressively upgrade the quality, becoming more conscious, attuned and reflective, fresh and new experiences surface. Spiritual tools are timeless and limitless.

Yet the mechanics of spirituality can also degenerate into a monotonous ritual. When we neglect to invest our heart in these simple acts of devotion, we start tending towards being dogmatically religious rather than dynamically spiritual. Here are some classic symptoms of mechanical spirituality:

• I ‘fit in’ my practices as opposed to prioritising a suitable time of day.

• I ‘multi-task’ my practices as opposed to giving them exclusive focus and attention.

• I have no serious plans (or desires) to increase and enhance my practices.

• I look for excuses and justification to neglect my spiritual practices.

• I lack quality remembrance of the goal and purpose while performing my spiritual practices.

• The mind frequently wanders during my practices, and I happily let it travel.

Would you answer ‘yes’ to any of the above? Why may this situation have arisen, and what can you do to rectify it?

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