How to Fit Spirituality into Your Schedule

Find inner peace by making time for mindfulness, prayer and meditation

From dealing with traffic to meeting deadlines, the everyday world can steal the peace of even the strongest of us. With so much working against our inner-tranquility, how can we afford not to fit spirituality into our schedules? Here are some ways to consistently nourish the spiritual part of you, even for those with busy, active lifestyles.

Step1: Pray or meditate, even if it's just for a little bit

Just take a few minutes to clear your head. Cyndi Lee, yoga teacher and author of Yoga Body, Buddha Mind, says that if you're not someone who meditates regularly, start out by trying it just for five minutes a week. Even though instinct might tell you that doing anything for a mere five minutes a week can't really improve any part of your life, she argues that even the smallest amount of time can help you be more mindful of yourself. And, if you notice results, five minutes a week can easily turn into five minutes twice a week, or maybe five minutes each day. Or, if you have something specific on your mind, simply take a moment to pray about it right away and release the circumstance to your higher power. You can pray in your car or the bathroom, or just about anywhere.

Step 2: Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness can be practiced even while participating in everyday activities. As opposed to putting your mind on "automatic-pilot," mindfulness encourages you to be fully aware of and grateful for each of your daily tasks. Simple things like eating and walking down the street can be spiritual experiences if your mind is paying attention to what you see and hear.

Lama Surya Das, a renowned Buddhist teacher and author of 12 books, including Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be, claims that even shoveling snow or washing dishes can be spiritually beneficial while practicing mindfulness. Instead of worrying about tomorrow, allow yourself to focus on the taste of your lunch, the sound of children laughing or the sight of a tree gently swaying in the wind. Even when something negative happens, mindfulness can help you to break reliance on automated responses based on instincts and habits.

Step 3: Keep a mantra or inspirational saying in mind

Mantra meditation involves focusing on a word, phrase, quote or scripture and repeating it mentally. But a mantra can be brought to mind at any point during the day.

A Buddhist may keep in mind a quote from Siddhartha Gautama, a teacher considered the founder of Bhuddism, such as, "Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment," in order to remind himself to focus on the here and now. Likewise, those who struggle with worry may meditate on the words of Jesus: "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Simply recalling words of spiritual wisdom and applying them to daily living is an easy way to enhance spiritual development that won't take up additional time.

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