All of Life as a Spiritual Practice
I had a conversation a few months back with one of my most "spiritual" friends. He said he wasn't doing a regular spiritual practice anymore. I was shocked. No morning meditation? No intentional reading of spiritual book? No walks to notice the beauty of nature?
Nope. None of it. His life was his practice. Something about that sounded right. If we're doing life right, shouldn't every moment of life be spiritual?
One of the greatest gifts that Christianity offered humans is it's understanding of the incarnation. Usually we think of the incarnation as only applying to Jesus (the divine becoming incarnate in Jesus), but we are all incarnate. We all have a spiritual or soulular (my word, but it should be real) aspect that is incarnate in our individual bodies.
Every experience we have is mediated through our bodies. Including any spiritual experience. Our bodies are intrinsic to who we are.
So when we consider 'what is spiritual?', or 'what is a spiritual practice?' it can be helpful to consider what is human. What is human? What is a human practice? Most of us don't practice being human because we just take it as a given, but we already are spiritual beings. We don't have to work at it. We just have to live life, and consider where and when we felt most alive. When did we feel most connected to ourselves, others, and whatever we consider of ultimate importance? And then, do more of that.
When we consider all moments of our lives as spiritual because we are inherently spiritual, we can stop putting the spiritual on an artificial pedestal that often leads to fundamentalism, asceticism, and holier-than-thou-ism (all things that lead us to separate ourselves from our inner knowing, others, and as a result the Divine). Let's start to embrace whatever's happening now as spiritual, because it is. Life is our "practice."