The first guideline in living as an Everyday Mystic was to have a daily spiritual practice, which you can read about here. The second guideline is to have a weekly sabbath time to recharge your batteries. There are several ways that you can structure your weekly spiritual time, including the following:
1. Communal Worship - Many people find that a church, synagogue or other religious service is helpful in living a spiritual life. In communal worship, we not only find connection with Source but with other people who may be companions on the Way. For some, worship may be a walk in the woods with their dog. For others, it might be a prayer or discussion group.
2. Work sabbath - In this 24/7, always-plugged-in world, it is hard to conceive of a day without work. For some, this may mean disconnecting the Blackberry or cell phone, not logging into email or closing the laptop for a day. I try to be email-free for at least one day during the weekend. Some enlightened companies are realizing the need for an email sabbath and have declared Fridays no-email days. Can you imagine that people might actually have to talk to each other on Fridays?
4. TV sabbath - You might consider turning off the TV for one day each week. Think of the other things that could get done! When my children were young, we did a variation of this idea - we turned off the TV from Monday morning until Friday after school. Then the kids could watch as much TV as they wanted for the weekend. Now that the kids are older, I miss the peace that the no-TV rule created in our home. Even if you don’t turn off the TV completely, ban violent shows and news for one day. And, to ensure peaceful dreams, think of skipping the nightly news right before bedtime.
5. Reading sabbath - Several spiritual disciplines, such as the Artist Way and the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, ask adherents to take a sabbath from reading any non-essential material for a period of time. This serves to clear the mind and one’s life of distracting inputs.
6. Mindfulness Day - Thich Nhat Hanh recommends taking a day every week to be completely mindful of everything you do. This is way harder than it sounds! Being completely mindful of everything you do means that you are not making to-do lists in your head while showering, not thinking of the next meeting when you’re in THIS meeting. You know what the weirdest part of doing a mindfulness day at home for me is? It’s using the toilet without reading something - being completely aware of what your body is doing instead of using the bathroom as the "reading room". OK, there you have it - true confessions of the all-too-human Everyday Mystic!
What is your weekly sabbath practice? The Everyday Mystic encourages you to find something that works for you. By feeding and nourishing your interior life, you keep the exterior life much freer, more peaceful and more productive.