Desperate Times Call for ...
Our Best Spiritual Practices
By CSW Director Rob Field
You've probably heard the aphorism, "Desperate times call for desperate measures."
For those with no control over Coronavirus or mandatory stay-home orders, I'd like to propose an alternate saying:
Desperate times call for our best spiritual practices
With all the changes in the past few weeks, I've found it hard to stick to my daily meditation practice. After comparing notes with family and friends, I've discovered many of us are finding it hard to maintain a consistent daily routine. Sound familiar?
Spiritual teachers and psychologists tell us this is a common occurrence in times of crisis, high stress, or momentous change. At the very time most of us need a way to find inner peace, create balance, or connect with a higher power, we find it harder to do so.
What to do?
1. Good spiritual practices such as meditation, prayer, yoga, and lectio divina are designed to help us stay in touch the best part of ourselves and the world around us. A simple act of remembering why we maintain our spiritual practice can motivate us to return to it if something throws us off balance.
2. Think of your spiritual practice as a medication prescribed by a medical professional. Fr. Thomas Keating, the late Trappist monk and founder of Contemplative Outreach, encouraged Centering Practitioners to think of their daily "sits" as a dose of antibiotics. For the "medication" to be effective, the cumulative effects have to build up in our system over time.
3. Consider a change in your practice or try something new. When circumstances beyond our control throw us a curve ball, it might be time for a different response. If a baseball player anticipates a curve ball, he will swing at it differently than some other pitch. Consider: might it be time to modify your practice or try something else? Luckily, there are many kinds of practices available. Some, like the Welcoming Prayer, are easy to learn and begin practicing.
The mission of Center for Spiritual Wisdom is to support all seekers in deepening their inner lives through spiritual practices. During the Coronavirus outbreak, we are adapting some of our services to continue our outreach, and postponing others until a safer time. When the worst of the crisis is over, we will again gather people in groups, workshops, conferences, retreats, and pilgrimages to engage the things that help us stay sane, centered, and balanced.
Meanwhile — peace and blessings to all!