Tuesday, April 26, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 121

This is the daily exploration for Saturday, April 30, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE PRACTICE OF DEVOTION


+ This post is longer than most as we begin the exploration of the practice of Devotion.  You could bookmark this post if Devotion and Body are spiritual explorations you want to work on. 

+ Ed Bastian’s Spiritual Style #4 > “The Devotee” > The Way of Devotion >
The Devotee is naturally loyal and lovingly committed to a job, a relationship, a set of principles, a way of life, a daily routine, a religious teacher, a spiritual tradition or a life goal.

·         Are you more prone to faith than skepticism?
·         Are you are naturally loyal to a job, a person or a community?
·         Do you yearn to be dedicated to a greater cause or higher principle?
·         Do you long to be committed to a spiritual teaching, teacher or higher power?

MANY OF OUR MOST important life-goals are virtually impossible to achieve without commitment and dedication. Whether the goal lies in the fields of athletics, academics, the arts, society or spirituality, we need to be devoted to our objective, to our teacher, and even to the founder of the tradition of our teacher. Why? Because, in practical terms, devotion helps us to be steady, consistent and determined. Simply put, devotion is a practical psychological tool for accomplishing any life-goal.

+ There are many ways to be devoted and I suspect that you are devoted to a variety of people, organizations, causes.  For some, devotion comes very naturally.  Others have to work on it. I am sure that those of us who are doing these spiritual explorations are devotees either naturally or because of a desire to become devoted in some way. 

Each and every one of the twelve spiritual styles Ed Bastian describes in his InterSpirituality Mandala Process are important.  The ones that come naturally can be over-emphasized if we don’t work on the ones that don’t come so naturally.  Each style becomes more effective as we use other styles to support our efforts.  Here is how Ed puts it: “it is important that we recognize and utilize our dominant styles as beginning points, then include and harmonize our other styles to fully actualize our spiritual potential.” I intend to explore all of Ed’s styles and questions later this year in these Spiritual Exploration posts. 

For some reason Devotion is the only one of my 12 and his 12 that we have in common specifically.  We really have a lot more in common but his model comes at it from a different angle than mine.  His other styles are: Arts, Body, Compassion, Imagination, Meditation, Mysticism, Nature, Prayer, Reason, Relationships and Wisdom.  You can find out more at http://spiritualpaths.net.

The spiritual style of the Body, however, is clearly related to this exploration since I am calling this portion of spiritual practices the Journey of the Body.  And so, here is more from Ed:

+ Ed Bastian’s Spiritual Style #2 > “The Kinesthete” > The Way of the Body >
The Kinesthete uses physical movement as a primary mode of learning and experiences subtle emotional and spiritual states of consciousness in various parts of their body.

·         Does your need for physical activity make it difficult to sit still?
·         Do you like to explore and express your spiritual insights through movement?
·         Do you feel subtle emotional and spiritual states through your body?

THE KINESTHETE takes pleasure and finds satisfaction in physical movement and ‘listening to the body.’ But when a kinesthetic or somatic learner becomes physically inactive, they can easily lose emotional balance and mental sharpness, and thus also lose confidence and begin to suffer from stress. If your style is the Way of the Body, you learn and practice spirituality physically, kinesthetically, or somatically. You may find it difficult to sit still through long periods of meditation, prayer, study or ritual. You may be drawn to Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, or physical labor, walking, running, climbing, cooking, serving tea, or even eating. You might even find that the focus of physical exercise helps you to achieve a single-pointed, tranquil, endorphin driven bliss, or you’re your greatest epiphanies arise when your body is engaged in just the right form of movement. 

+ Whether it comes naturally or not, taking care of our bodies, indeed loving our bodies, is a very important spiritual discipline.  We need to devote ourselves to affirming both our earthly body and our heavenly body.

+ Spirituality & Practice offers many resources on the spiritual practice of Devotion.  You can explore even more with this link to “Devotion” on their search engine. You will find 2153 items as of 4/26/16.  And, of course, there is a Twelves Gallery of Memes on Devotion.  The Body also gets a lot of attention from S&P as you can see if you go to this link to “Body” on their search engine. You will find 1611 items as of 4/26/16.

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post on this practice or any practice.  And, I have work to do on my Devotion page.   Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Devotion” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

+ You can always find a link to any of the Spiritual Explorations posts by going to http://abundancetrek.com/sepostsaccess.html

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