Everything we do is practice for the next time. When we cease to practice, we lose our fluency, and memory becomes imperfect. Some things are practiced by default- when did you last consciously practice eating? Other things require conscious effort. My handwriting is slow and laborious. I type without thinking.
As urban westerners we live in a profoundly artificial environment. It is possible, even easy, to avoid the outside world for days at a time! Enter the garage by an inside door from the house, drive out using the automatic door opener, drive to the underground car park. Leave before it is properly light, and return home after dark. We live in a world which we think we control. In truth, we are irradiated with uncontrolled advertising and other stimulation, rarely alone enough to be in silence, and uncomfortable if we are. We live in a noisy, crowded and driven world, which is the anathema of all that our spiritual ancestors learned is necessary for health. We have stepped out of reality into an artificial place.
The spiritual disciplines are designed to bring us back into the real world from our artificial place. They create time, silence and space for us to re-engage with the depths of life. They patrol the corridors of the mind, as someone has said, re-minding us of what is really important. Religion without practice becomes merely an idea, caught in the currents of the ideas round about, without the anchor of reality.
This Lenten season you are invited to engage in the daily disciplines of spiritual practice, and a guide has been prepared to help you. In this guide you will find both daily and weekly practices, to enter the day with intention. Click this link for the pdf file >>>> lent 2016