Daily Spiritual Practice

Time and time again I hear spiritual teachers saying that a regular daily practice is one of the most important things we can do to maintain our connection with our spiritual path. It needn’t be long or involved. It can be as simple as a sitting meditation each morning before work, or a breathing exercise to help make that connection with all life. The effectiveness lies in its daily regularity.

It’s true. Many of the people I know who have had a kind of spiritual crisis are often the ones who haven’t made space in their lives to regularly connect with their Source. It’s something that is so important to me that there is now a void when I don’t make that commitment each day. I know that finding time is hard, but I think most of us find time for Facebook, or TV, so why not replace some of that time, just 5 or 10 minutes each day, for our own spiritual well being?

I created a very simple movement prayer that I’d like to share with you here that I do every morning to greet my day. It’s simple, quick, yet deeply effective in making that daily connection. I go out into our garden, and take a conscious deep breath of the fresh air. Then:

I face the east and say, “I face the east, place of air. Bring me inspiration and clarity of thought on this day.” I acknowledge the east with a bow.

I turn to the south and say, “I face the south, place of fire. Bring me passion and intuition on this day.”  I acknowledge the south with a bow.

I turn to the west and say, “I face the west, the place of water. Help me to understand my deep emotions on this day.”  I acknowledge the west with a bow.

I turn to the north and say, “I face the north, the place of earth. Bring me stability, and groundedness on this day.  I acknowledge the north with a bow.

I turn back to the east, place my hands on my heart, close my eyes, and say, “And in my Spirit, where they meet, may I be blessed, may the Earth be blessed. So may it be.”

A few moments feeling and acknowledging that connection, and I’m ready for the day ahead.

With all of the other things in our lives that pull us, and demand our attention, make sure you make your spirituality as important, and create your own simple daily practice.

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Stillness and the Born Survivor

When we moved into our home back in February 2001 there was a massive shed in a pretty small back garden and trapped behind the shed was a very sad and misshapen Willow. The deconstruction of the shed brought more space, but when it had gone we saw that the fence that had been behind the shed was rotten, so that had to be replaced. When it came to taking away the old fence it became apparent that the roots of the small Willow had grown through the concrete of the original fence post. It all had to come out, and subsequently even the roots of this poor tree took a beating. When it was finally out of the ground it looked like a couple of branches with a ball of root. Both me and Cerri were really sad as there seemed to be something about this poor tree that held the Spirit of Place. The new fence was put in, and we re-planted the Willow, giving it pride of place in our newly developing garden. Although at the time neither of us new if it would survive, or wither and die.

I’m sitting on our sofa now, and as I type this I can see the Willow. Bird feeders hang from its branches, and blue tits, starlings, sparrows, blackbirds, doves, and even the occasional peregrine falcon and sparrowhawk, have hopped around in its branches. The bare branches have now been covered in big seed pods that attract bumble bees in the early Spring. And soon, as I sit in our garden, the wind will blow through a canopy of leaves that give off the sound of the forest in our little suburban patch of Tir na Nog. And although we have 12 Ogham trees in our little garden, to me it is the Willow that stands as sentinel, as Guardian of our home.

As Druids we know we can learn much from the example of trees. The Willow is a born survivor. Yet it remains still, allows the birds to run through its branches, is caressed by the wind, and is kissed by the Sun. And as I stand outside each morning during my daily meditation, it is this lesson I take from my friend. That some of the greatest lessons come from stillness, from observation and inner contemplation.

Let the rest of the world move around us. For a while each day be a Human Being, not always a Human Doing.

DruidCast Episode 39a – Special edition – Wild Wisdom Meditations

Shownotes for DruidCast Episode 39a

This is a special edition of DruidCast that features a guided meditation on all four elements taken from the album Wild Wisdom Meditations and led by Philip Carr-Gomm. Music is by Nigel Shaw (http://www.seventhwavemusic.co.uk). There are four more meditations in this series and they are available on the album Wild Wisdom Meditations from either iTunes or CDBaby.com.

iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/wild-wisdom-meditations-earth/id377293139
CDBaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/PhilipCarrGomm

I hope you enjoy the journey!

Direct download: http://c3.libsyn.com/media/18840/DruidCast_SHOW39a_OBOD.mp3