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The Spiritual Journey’s Discipline—Daily Meditation

By Michael Ketterhagen



Whether we like it or not, we are all on a spiritual journey. Whether we are interested in our life being a spiritual journey, or not interested in that idea at all, our spirit has a purpose for being a human in this time and in this place. 


Even though I am convinced that I am on a spiritual journey to fulfill a purpose, it is often frustrating for me because of my lack of determination. I want my spirit to blossom, as my yoga teacher Rolf Sovik says, but my self-discipline is inconsistent in my pursuit of the “kingdom of God” within. My regular practice of meditation, which “is a blossoming of spirit” (Sovik), often gets interrupted by the other aspects/desires in my life—waking up later than I wish, hurrying off to a task for one of our children, or just feeling lazy and wanting to just do nothing.


According to the Yoga Tradition and Christian spiritual practice, faithfulness to one’s practice is essential in the unfolding of our spirit. “Meditation asks us to take a seat and quiet ourselves. Then [the spirit] whispers to us about how to be creative in life, about what is true and not true, about how to heal and how to mourn, and about the joys that come from simply being, rather than trying and wanting” (Sovik).


All this is the spirit, our spirit, blooming throughout our mind and heart. But we need to take the time, commit to a practice, both from the yogic and Christian perspectives, to make ourselves accessible to that spirit. It takes discipline.


That quiet time demands that we still our “monkey minds,” move away from the noise of the television or radio, setting aside the social media for a while, maybe 10-15 minutes, often at a time when we usually desire to stay connected to the outside world. Or what sometimes happens when we do put ourselves into a quiet place, the mind wants to find out what may be happening to our friends or we get a bleep from the phone. It takes will-power, self-discipline, to say to ourselves, “I’ll get it later.”


For us to know our inner self and to let our spirit speak to us means setting aside a regular time to do this quieting.


All that takes discipline. Not punishment-style discipline, but training-style discipline just like an athlete would train him/herself/themself to perfect a skill. We would be perfecting the skill of “listening” to the blossoming of our spirit.


Interestingly enough, there is more to training the mind than just sitting. We will pursue that in the next blog.


I bow to the divinity within you!

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Thank you for this article. It is inspiring. As a former school teacher/administrator, I've found that the word "discipline" is not readily welcomed by many. Many parents and students alike, interpreted "discipline" as a punishment or consequence - and sometimes it was. I welcomed the word, using the definition of "discipline"; to teach. As the disciples were teachers, discipline was to teach - as the article states: to train.

Thích
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