Beginning a Spiritual Journey

A spiritual journey is our path of waking up our awareness to the larger reality of which we are a part. It is simpler than we think. It is so simple, that if we don’t pay attention, we can miss it entirely. I invite you to experiment with me:

Start by noticing the energy level wherever you are at this moment, both around you and within you. Are you alert? Restless? Calm or anxious? Tense or relaxed?

Now, sit up as erect as you can without straining. Notice how the energy level changes.

Now I invite you to breathe deeply, breathe all the way down into your belly. As you breathe in and out, let go of whatever might be on your mind, and let yourself relax and recharge. Just pay attention to your breathing in and out, as you sit quietly for a minute in the silence.

Now pay attention to the energy around you and within you. Do you notice any changes?

The very beginnings of a spiritual journey are in the practice of paying attention to the energy of the present moment. When we are first born, we see and hear everything around us without definition or understanding. Gradually, we come to assign meaning to shapes and colors and sounds. We say mama, or daddy, or ball, or doggie. We separate the world into smaller objects that we can name and grasp. Perhaps we learn about God as a kind of separate object that we might name and grasp.

But once we assign such names, once we divide the world into objects, we sometimes forget to see what is actually before us. When I was in high school, I took several drawing classes. Our first lesson was to stop drawing objects, and to start sketching out shadows and light. In order to draw, we have to see at a different level from the level of objects. To pay attention, spiritually, is like that. We are shifting our consciousness from small separate objects to larger connecting energies.

Shadow & Light

Photo by Margy Dowzer

I learned the awareness meditation from Starhawk, in her book, The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess.

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