Living the life of an Everyday Mystic takes commitment, awareness and an open heart. Commitment to a spiritual practice that works for you, awareness of the synchronicities and blessings that grace your life’s journey, and an open heart to the lessons of the Spirit. From several sources, I’ve heard or read the following guidelines for living a spiritually integrated life, and I’d like to share them with you today:
1. Daily, engage in a spiritual practice that suits your temperament
2. Weekly, worship with a community, meet with a group of like-minded seekers or engage in a special spiritual time
3. Monthly, seek guidance from a spiritual director or coach
4. Yearly, participate in a retreat to rejuvenate your spirit
5. Once in a lifetime, make a pilgrimage to a spiritually significant event or place
I will discuss each of these guidelines in subsequent posts this week, so check back regularly to learn more about each one.
I knew it was time to write about these guidelines as I sat in church this morning listening to a wonderful sermon. The universe whispered in my ear that it was time to finally compose these posts!
The sermon was entitled "Come Be My Light", referring to the eponymous book of Mother Teresa’s private writings, edited by Brian Kolodiejchuk. The minister cited several of the rules for the Sisters of Charity (the order that Mother Teresa founded). One rule was a daily mandate to meditate for 30 minutes, do the full rosary and do 30 minutes of spiritual reading. Her rules continued with #37, which states, "The Sisters shall spend one day in every week, one week in every month, one month in every year, one year in every six years in the Motherhouse, where in contemplation and penance together with solitude she can gather in the spiritual strength, which she might have used up in the service of the poor." (page 345, Come Be My Light, Mother Teresa & Brian Kolodiejchuk.)
No one in "regular" life can give that much time to contemplative pursuits, but the point is that Mother Teresa recognized that the soul must 1) have a daily discipline to shape it, and 2) be nourished by regular solitary retreats. In comparison, the five guidelines I cited, above, for living a spiritually integrated life seem easy.
We’ll explore just how easy these guidelines are in the upcoming posts here at The Everyday Mystic!