A 10-step guide to starting your own spiritual practice. (No church required.)

Brian Mann via Unsplash.com
Brian Mann via Unsplash.com

Are you serious about your spirituality? Would you belong to a church or religion if you could just find one that wasn’t tied to stale traditions and dogma or an out-of-touch holy book? It may be time to start your own spiritual practice.

If you classify yourself as “spiritual but not religious”, you may have also found there’s a void in your life. You have a spiritual or religious yearning that goes unfulfilled. You may have even tried to satisfy that yearning by going to new churches or houses of worship, perhaps trying on a new religion for size. And still you come up empty.

The key to scratching this spiritual itch might well be starting a regular spiritual practice routine that can both enrich your spiritual awareness and strengthen your faith. This practice becomes your religion and in turn, an integral part of your life.

In his book A Religion of One’s Own, Thomas Moore lays out a blueprint by which you can develop your own spiritual practice or set of rituals that you practice each day. It’s his belief that “we need a new way to be religious, a really new way. A way that honors the traditions of the past but moves on.” (Note: Thomas Moore is now writing a marvelous column here at Patheos Spirituality titled Soul & Spirit.)

Among Moore’s recommendations is that we take the idea of ritual a step further and schedule our days like those of a monk. This means setting specific, simple tasks to accomplish throughout the day. This both grounds us and reminds us that there is more to life than our daily chores or work. Moore advises:

Instead of just letting your days unfold spontaneously or being at the mercy of an inflexible busy schedule with family and work, you might set up a few regular activities, like meditation before breakfast, listening to music before lunch, being quiet after 10 p.m., eating simply in the morning and taking a quiet walk afterward.

Moore has also served up a 10-step guide that offers guidance in building our own spiritual practice, while sparking our imagination as to what spirituality really means. It lays out the keys to developing your own spiritual practices and offers a glimpse of what a “spiritual but not religious” life can be. Click on the “Continue” bar below to see more.

Note: This is a longer version of a story that appeared earlier this year. For a shorter, single-page version click here.

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