MD

2011-12-12

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Advertise with us »

December 11, 2011 - 11:03pm

Everyday Spirituality: Daily practices

BY CHRIS ANDERSON

Hey everyone, so we’ve discussed a wide variety of topics so far — light topics such as the breath and taking a rejuvenating minute, to more complex ones including conscious/unconscious roles, guilt and life purpose. This week, I’d like to list off some helpful tools that can be used any or everyday. Pay attention to any that intrigue (or repel) you. It may be worth checking out:

Morning Meditation: I can’t tell you what a difference this makes. Typical mornings begin with an intrusive alarm, jolts of caffeine and newsfeeds or every kind. No wonder we’re overwhelmed by the afternoon! It can be meditation of any kind (I plan on writing more on this at a later date); simple breathing works wonders. By quieting the mind, we increase the brain’s capacity, rewiring it to handle our daily crazy with increased grace.

Dream Journal: Before you even meditate, a dream journal can provide profound insight. Most of us forget our dreams within minutes of waking. Dreams happen when the unconscious mind speaks to us in a language of metaphor. A deeper part of consciousness pieces together what the waking mind can only grasp at. Keep a notebook beside your bed and jot down any thoughts right as you wake up. You may notice a motif in your life or perspective on an issue you’re dealing with.

Avoid Stimulants/Depressants: Doesn’t get more cliché than this. But in all practicality, us students do ourselves a disservice going from alcohol to caffeine to sugar. While a little in moderation is fine, these can become a vicious cycle of stimulants and depressants we’re probably better off without.

The “Check In”: Emotions are our indicators as to when something is off track. Many times, we get anxious or stressed about something we can’t even name. If this happens, just take the time to pause and ask yourself what’s up. Pay attention to where you’re holding tension, or what in your subconscious is trying to tell you. Validate what’s happening, without judgment, and let it go naturally.

All these have been personally helpful at some point. While doing any kind of “spiritual” practice doesn’t make you “better” than others, these are good for eliminating distraction and increasing overall awareness. I’d advise sticking with a practice for at least a couple weeks for best results. You may be pleasantly surprised, peaceful, or enlightened.

As always, please reach out: cjpa@umich.edu to give feedback, comment or discuss. All is welcome!


|