Exploring Spiritual Practices
Using the Tree of Intention
We live in a world of permanent white water and it seems that the only time we slow down is when we get sick or injured. We hear a lot of talk about trying to create a balanced life. However, Jack Fortin in the Centered Life points out that in a balanced life we try to stay in control and life never works that way, plus it keeps us self-absorbed. He suggests that a better way is to create a centered life.
Not only are spiritual practices centering, they also give us space to explore who we are and who we are called to be in the world.
What makes something a Spiritual Practice?
Almost anything may be understood to be a spiritual practice when done with a foundation of intention, awareness and growth.
AT THE ROOT OF THE TREE
There is awareness, intention, and growth;
the foundation that can make almost any activity
a spiritual practice.
Awareness of inner conflict or peace; of your surroundings; of the presence of Holy Mystery
Intention as you do these things for the purpose of growing spiritually
Growth is the inward journey toward peace and compassion
These foundational pieces are intentionally general so they may transcend the differences in religious traditions. This allows room for including practices which have originated in other faith practices. Much like a recipe, we can take the specifics from one practice and adapt it to make it our own.
EACH LARGE BRANCH
Represents a different type of spiritual practice.
Social Justice focuses on practicing compassion and offering hope to all of humanity & creation.
Creativity focuses on using creative expression as a source of inspiration and healing.
Ritual Celebration focuses on practices that create a space for reflection, remembrance and/or healing
Relational focuses on connecting with others, fostering relationships and understanding that we are part of a global community.
Contemplative focuses on quieting the mind and body in order to develop calmness and focus. These practices may also be used to inspire thoughts of devotion or compassion.
Movement focuses on connecting our physical self with the contemplation of our soul and mind that moves us into deeper, more complete reflection.
Nourishment focuses on our personal health, but there is more. As our spirituality deepens, it shapes who we are in the world and the thing that connects all of humanity is food.
Spiritual Practices cultivate deep reflection and in turn:
Create empathy and compassion
Motivate us to make positive changes
Help us to recognize Divine presence in our life
Prompt us to consider the world around us
Connect us with a purpose in life
Reduces stress and anxiety
Encourage us to implement a healthy lifestyle
Awaken us to the sacred in the ordinary stuff
The Tree of Intention
EACH SMALL BRANCH
Represents a specific activity within each type of spiritual practice. This is where you can choose which practices work best for you and which ones you would like to learn more about.
Contact Missy if you would like to meet to explore how the Tree of Intention can enrich your spiritual life.
Life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us closer to the here and now. Thich Nhat Hanh