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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in daily practice

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Fierce, Sweet, Wise

Mercury retrograde is a time for introspection and examination. This MR, I decided to take this to heart, and experiment with deepening my practice. I know that sounds hoity toity and whatnot, but in reality what it means to me is that I’m looking at how to deal with my PTSD and how it affects my practice. Symptoms come and go, but when it’s bad, I have avoidance symptoms, particularly emotional numbing. If you’re unfamiliar with the terms, avoidance symptoms are the mind’s way of avoiding the emotions involved in the trauma; emotional numbing is exactly what it sounds like; you feel distance, not happy, not sad, just…nothing. It’s not “meh” either, because it’s not indifferent, unless you’d count “well I haven’t engaged in self-mutilation, that’s good, right?” as meh. Mild depression might be a better descriptor.

I have bouts of this off and on, some more severe than others. December 2014 was bad; I had two major deaths in the family that year. My grandmother I expected, because her dementia had been worsening for several years. My father – he had PTSD himself, and he disappeared a year before he died, so there was no goodbye, there was just him, gone who knows where, a stranger on the phone telling me that they had my Daddy at the morgue. So vacillating between depression, mourning, and emotional numbing is how I spent my holidays. Not that it was all bad – Loki’s been very patient with me. For all that people talk about Him, chaos, blah blah, He is a God Who understands grief. I get the impression that sometimes people think if you’re involved with a Deity that your life will be perfect and you’ll never have any problems. No one’s life is problem-free, and being involved with a God does mean that I have better tools to deal with my issues than I’d have on my own. I’m grateful for that.

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  • Catherine Miles
    Catherine Miles says #
    This is so perfect and spot on. Thank you so much for sharing it. You have given me hope, and I feel that he, Loki sort of drew m
  • SunRain MoonFire
    SunRain MoonFire says #
    Thank you!
Daily Practice - Doing that one thing over and over again

Right as the clock struck midnight and 2015 was upon us, people started talking about their daily practices. I suppose it's a natural enough time to review what we do or don't do every day. Mostly it becomes a bit of a wish list for how we'd like our lives to be less mundane and more spiritual and as we have the clean slate of the new calendar year to help us, why not give it a bash.

Here's the not so good news - Daily practices, for the most part, are mundane. It's about doing the same thing, the same way each and every day (or as many days as you can). Whether you are communing with gods, or tending to an altar, or sipping a cup of tea or sitting in silence it's about doing that thing when you say you are going to do it. But mostly it's about doing that thing over and over again, recommitting to a practice without the expectation of reward. Occasionally I've had that "aha!" moment but more often than not, I do my thing, my day stops for a few minutes and I then move on.

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  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Thank you for your comment Editor B. You know, I added Yoga into my daily schedule about a year ago. It didn't stick, not because
  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    Hey Gwion. Mark Green shared this link and got me here. I like the perspective you articulate. It's particularly useful as I'm org
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello Mark, Thank you for the comments. I took a peek at your link. I like the concept of your "rosary", even if the name gives m
  • Mark Green
    Mark Green says #
    I like this piece (and I'm sorry for your loss). In our ADD world, it IS hard to keep doing that one thing, every day. For mine,
Letting Go: The Practice from Hostage to Hopeful

My daily tarot card had been a series of reversals. The Lovers in reverse, the Death card in reverse, everything pointing to letting go of a past that seems to hold me hostage. Hostage to the doubt of not being good enough. Hostage to a body I did not wish to have. Hostage to a heartache that never seemed to abate. Hostage to past mistakes where the universe had let go, and yet I still lived in a vortex of fear, subterfuge, and suffering.

How many of us are living our lives like this?  Were we are a captive hostage attached to suffering!  Why is letting go, and moving on so hard? And how can we develop that into a stillness of heart and mind to lead us from suffering and into sweetness?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_9228.JPGDaily Practice helps me from going crazy. No, seriously, in a world where so little is in our control, seemingly less filled with compassion and more filled with injustice, my daily practice allows me to sink into the safety of the only thing constant in my life, the breath.

I encounter people everyday, whether direct or in passing, and wonder… are they breathing? I mean, really breathing? With faces intently locked onto phones, harnessed at the computer, walking briskly, or rapidly talking, I wonder are these people breathing? What might it look like for them to simply acknowledge the breath within their body. The simple, yet realchemizing breath that fills our lungs to energize our blood and move toxins, like stress, out of the body.

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  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Oh Erick, This is just what I needed to read this morning. I am drawing a bath right now. I will tend to my outside altar and then

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Date with a Tree

I love rituals. I mean, I really love rituals. I'm enchanted by the very act of drawing a temenos line between this moment and that moment. Time itself seems to stand still or speed up or shift in some way that doesn't seem quite congruent with the way I understand the universe to usually work on an otherwise ordinary Monday afternoon. I find there's a fluidity of speech and movement. The words and actions take on a life of their own as if they themselves are animated for the sole purpose of co-creating this exact moment of devotion.

I've found that effective ritual practices don't have to be elaborate or on a grand scale. Although, let me just say that I'm partial to a thrumming mass of Pagan-type folk all gathered together for the expressed purpose of being in consensual ritual practice together. I've had the pleasure to attend and help create the magic for the annual Reclaiming Spiral Dance in San Francisco, which is now in its 35th year. There's a variety of rituals from every imaginable Pagan tradition at events like Pantheacon. I thoroughly enjoy being a little thrown off by rituals that use a different lexicon than my own tradition; rituals that have their own distinct meter and rhythm.

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  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Thank you Lizann.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    So good to see your spiritual/virtual/creative presence here!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Living It As One

In my quest to bring my Paganism into my daily life, there are many challenges. I'm sure if you've tried it, you've also experienced some interesting obstacles that you never considered when you first started out. I think I've found the best "trick" to actually make it work, although it's taken a lot of reflection to actually figure out that I did it, and it that it also worked.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Yes indeed!!!
  • James M Taddeo
    James M Taddeo says #
    We are creating the "path" as we go no matter where we go. The idea that our spirituality is separate from our emotionality is sep

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_candles_sm.jpgWhat do we do in the darkness – either literal or metaphorical – when our bodies or souls convulse with pain, and our minds can’t stop spinning? This is when we need a spiritual practice. The habit of a achieving a quiet mind and sense of purpose is like any other habit or skill (which is not to say they are functionally different), it is one we must practice.

I’m not talking about monthly rituals here, I’m talking about some form of daily practice, which was once referred to as piety. Piety got itself a bad name when, in the context of Christianity, it became a reference to rigid behavior that justified abusive acts. My grandfather ran away from home (permanently) because he was getting beaten for not saying his catechism correctly. But piety is simply showing reverence for deity in a consistent manner. In other words, some form of daily prayer.

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