Season on Flourishing – Spiritual Practice

This is week seventeen of the Season on Flourishing.

The psychological dangers through which earlier generations were guided by the symbols and spiritual exercises of their mythological and religious inheritance, we today… must face alone, or, at best, with only tentative, impromptu, and not often very effective guidance. This is our problem as modern, “enlightened” individuals, for whom all gods and devils have been rationalized out of existence.” – Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

We are speaking here of no more and no less than the development of good habits. The lives we want to lead are sometimes difficult to approach directly, so various semi-arbitrary commitments can be incredible stepping stones. That is what we mean by talking about spiritual practices. Such practices might be as esoteric as an actual devotional practice (devoting yourself to living well or to the Good) or as mundane as cleaning your apartment. To be a spiritual practice, you just need to conceive of it as something which you do specifically to make yourself a better person, to enrich your life and the lives of others.

Start a practice of learning, perhaps by reading for a half-hour every day or committing to going to a museum once a month.

Start a practice of reflecting, perhaps by sitting alone with yourself and your thoughts once a day or by journaling.

Check out the list of spiritual practices on this website devoted to them. Not every practice will make sense for you to try, but some will.

Start a practice of helping others, perhaps by doing something good for someone else without accepting a reward (or even without their knowledge).

What spiritual practices do you find helpful? Let us know!


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