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Author Topic: Making the Mundane Sacred  (Read 5043 times)

Aisling

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Making the Mundane Sacred
« on: July 04, 2011, 02:48:44 pm »
I've never been good at keeping up with a regular worship, devotional, or ritual schedule.  The closest I come to any religious routine is a quick morning petition of "Bless, guide, and protect me on this day and all my days."  I also manage to mark the seasonal changes, but hey, those are hard to miss.   :D

In lieu of regularly scheduled practice, I try to find ways to incorporate the sacred (spiritual, divine, whatever-you-call-it) into my day-to-day activities.   My daily walk becomes a time less focused on exercise than on connecting with the local land spirits.  Stitches in sewing projects are set to the rhythm of chanted prayers and blessings.  Specific flowers and plants are put in the garden as offerings.  I think you get the picture.

Does anyone else do this?  In what ways to you turn seemingly mundane acts into spiritual/religious ones?

Do you think that this sort of multi-tasking diminishes or enhances your spiritual/religious experience?  Should religious/spiritual activities be separated from those that are mundane?  Or should just the opposite be true - that we should try to integrate our mundane and spiritual/religious lives as much as possible?
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Harzgeist

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Re: Making the Mundane Sacred
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2011, 03:09:35 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;771


Does anyone else do this?  In what ways to you turn seemingly mundane acts into spiritual/religious ones?

Do you think that this sort of multi-tasking diminishes or enhances your spiritual/religious experience?  Should religious/spiritual activities be separated from those that are mundane?  Or should just the opposite be true - that we should try to integrate our mundane and spiritual/religious lives as much as possible?


I think you should try to make your daily life more spiritual, especially when you've got little time for full-blown daily rituals.

However, I find it very hard to do myself. Though I've tried cleansing, when I'm standing in the shower in the mornings, all I can think about is my bed and how much I'd like to go back to sleep ;) Same with cooking - I can't seem to focus on spiritual thoughts and keep track of how long my noodles have been cooking already.
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Aisling

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Re: Making the Mundane Sacred
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2011, 03:15:42 pm »
Quote from: Harzgeist;791
Though I've tried cleansing, when I'm standing in the shower in the mornings, all I can think about is my bed and how much I'd like to go back to sleep ;)

 
:)  I know what you mean on that one.  I'm not a morning person at all and my day job starts at 7 am.  I'm amazed when I remember my morning petition before getting out of bed.  Never mind getting anything else accomplished.
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Re: Making the Mundane Sacred
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2011, 03:25:47 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;771
Does anyone else do this?  In what ways to you turn seemingly mundane acts into spiritual/religious ones?

Do you think that this sort of multi-tasking diminishes or enhances your spiritual/religious experience?  Should religious/spiritual activities be separated from those that are mundane?  Or should just the opposite be true - that we should try to integrate our mundane and spiritual/religious lives as much as possible?


To me this is sort of in line with the question of "Do we allow electronics/modern technology in our sacred spaces?" and for me the answer has always been "Why not?" (Excepting cell phones; they have no place in the sacred world as they are rude and disrespectful to the people and/or spirits/gods you're working with.)

I don't see much of a line between sacred and mundane, to be honest, and that's why you'll see rocks and sticks and sea glass and barbies and christmas lights on my altars, side by side, existing in perfect harmony.

I mean, I might not always be totally in tune with Spirit but I do believe that I'm a spiritual being having a human experience, not the other way around. So if something feels like it could be spiritual, it is.

I often light a candle dedicated to Brighid (and located on my stove) while I'm cleaning my house or cooking. Wearing my combat boots is pretty much always connected to Morrigan in some way. Sometimes when I'm eating dinner I get poked by one of Them as they say, "Hey, I want some of that!" and so part of my dinner goes on the offering plate and I go back to whatever I was doing. I often knit or crochet and that's a dedication as well. As is my writing.

I mean, just because it's not always intensely spiritual doesn't mean it's not always spiritual. If that makes sense.
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Re: Making the Mundane Sacred
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2011, 03:29:45 pm »
Quote from: Morag;819
To me this is sort of in line with the question of "Do we allow electronics/modern technology in our sacred spaces?" and for me the answer has always been "Why not?" (Excepting cell phones; they have no place in the sacred world as they are rude and disrespectful to the people and/or spirits/gods you're working with.)

I don't see much of a line between sacred and mundane, to be honest, and that's why you'll see rocks and sticks and sea glass and barbies and christmas lights on my altars, side by side, existing in perfect harmony.

I mean, I might not always be totally in tune with Spirit but I do believe that I'm a spiritual being having a human experience, not the other way around. So if something feels like it could be spiritual, it is.

I often light a candle dedicated to Brighid (and located on my stove) while I'm cleaning my house or cooking. Wearing my combat boots is pretty much always connected to Morrigan in some way. Sometimes when I'm eating dinner I get poked by one of Them as they say, "Hey, I want some of that!" and so part of my dinner goes on the offering plate and I go back to whatever I was doing. I often knit or crochet and that's a dedication as well. As is my writing.

I mean, just because it's not always intensely spiritual doesn't mean it's not always spiritual. If that makes sense.

 
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Waterfall

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Re: Making the Mundane Sacred
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2011, 03:46:26 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;771

Does anyone else do this?  In what ways to you turn seemingly mundane acts into spiritual/religious ones?

Do you think that this sort of multi-tasking diminishes or enhances your spiritual/religious experience?  Should religious/spiritual activities be separated from those that are mundane?  Or should just the opposite be true - that we should try to integrate our mundane and spiritual/religious lives as much as possible?

 
That's what I do. I've never really been one to do any kind of ritual on its own. To me, it just feels like I'm wasting too much time trying to do something that I really don't think my gods care about anyway. So I do my religious stuff while I'm doing normal stuff.

The biggest one for me is when I'm playing hockey. It's actually one of the few times I feel like I can talk to Thor. These days, playing hockey feels more "spiritual" than pretty much anything else I do. Before games, I also give thanks to my grandfather since he was a hockey player too and I imagine I got some hockey genes from him.

Then there's driving and gardening and cooking and painting and writing... At times, those things are pretty much my form of worship. And tonight, I'm incorporating religious stuff into my fireworks display. Of course, since it's in honor of Loki, I feel I should have illegal fireworks. Oh well.

I don't think that it really enhances my religious experiences. It enhances the regular stuff. I've never had so much fun driving down a freeway as I did when it felt like Loki was right there with me. For me (and the gods I worship), mixing the two together works. I really couldn't even see myself taking time to separately do any sort of religious stuff. But for some people, keeping them separate works. I don't get it, but then, I don't imagine they would really understand my way of doing things.

Jenett

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Re: Making the Mundane Sacred
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2011, 08:37:55 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;771
Does anyone else do this?  In what ways to you turn seemingly mundane acts into spiritual/religious ones?

Do you think that this sort of multi-tasking diminishes or enhances your spiritual/religious experience?  Should religious/spiritual activities be separated from those that are mundane?  Or should just the opposite be true - that we should try to integrate our mundane and spiritual/religious lives as much as possible?

 
I do it all the time. Partly, because while I've mostly had a (sometimes entirely overactive) group practice throughout my Pagan life, it was the way to balance personal practice at home. And the past 2 years, it's been the way to manage stuff when there were days when more structured ritual (much as I love it) just wasn't in the health/energy cards.

(For a good chunk of that time, doing structured ritual meant planning the house cleaning out over 2-3 days, so I'd feel it was tidy enough to manage and not distract me without being overwhelmingly exhausting, a full afternoon + evening free at home without other commitments, and then some time to manage the tidying up after.)

More pragmatically, I tend to think that a life where religious aspects *aren't* integrated is eventually going to fail. That doesn't mean that everything you do has to have religious or spiritual significance - but that as you make choices about your day, you get to choose whether you're going to bear your beliefs and practices and most important values in mind or not.

On the most fundamental level, I very much consider librarianship, for me, to be part of my religious vocation (especially the part about connecting people with information, or helping them find tools that help them make their own choices more effectively, easily, and joyfully.) So, disconnecting the two tends to make me very unhappy and cranky.

(This is not to say I bring this up at work, because that'd be bad in all sorts of ways. But I do use it as an internal reminder of how I want to respond when answering a question for the 10th time that day, or fixing a broken copier, or whatever.)

I also do tons of little stuff:
- I choose desktops for my computer that reflect my current goals and religious interests. (recently, they've been very simple, as part of a desire to get back to core basics and values, but I've done series of seasonal ones, or ones that remind me of a particular magical goal.)

- I do the same thing for regularly changed passwords (such as at work): I pick a password that reminds me of a current goal or focus.

- I have playlists on my computer for each Sabbat, and for other religious interests/goals. (I had playlists both for job hunting and for untangling some complicated emotional work around a lot of changes, for example.) It's music I like, obviously, but there are also times I'll pause and a particular lyric will catch my brain and spark something.

(Basically, I'm giving the universe, and my deities, and whatever else might be worth listening to, a chance to catch my attention on a regular basis.)

- I pick some of what I read as what I refer to as 'processing reading' - stuff my brain's working with on a subconscious level. Not all of it, but about a quarter of my reading (sometimes higher) runs that way usually.

- Plus general informative reading of various books, both Pagan and non-Pagan, and blogs/websites/etc.

- I have an up-all-the-time shrine that includes both deity iconography and materials, and ongoing workings (in particular, a prosperity focused statue and a professional-ancestor statue I made.) I don't spend a lot of formal time there, but I pay a brief bit of attention every time I walk by.

- I also pick jewelry based on a particular day's focus or goal: I have a lot of pieces that have personal meaning to me, but that are not obviously religious in any way. (And I tend not to wear stuff just because I like how it looks, so pretty much any time I wear something, it's for some reason connecting with my spirituality.)
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Aisling

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Re: Making the Mundane Sacred
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2011, 10:45:10 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;1048
- I also pick jewelry based on a particular day's focus or goal: I have a lot of pieces that have personal meaning to me, but that are not obviously religious in any way. (And I tend not to wear stuff just because I like how it looks, so pretty much any time I wear something, it's for some reason connecting with my spirituality.)

 
This is something I do frequently as well.  I have several pieces that I've made specifically with spiritual focus in mind and wear them as the need arises.  It's one of the reasons I started making jewelry.  I wanted to create 'charged' pieces for specific purposes.
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Aster Breo

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Re: Making the Mundane Sacred
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2011, 01:29:08 am »
Quote from: Jenett;1048

(Basically, I'm giving the universe, and my deities, and whatever else might be worth listening to, a chance to catch my attention on a regular basis.)

 
I hadn't thought of it in quite this way before, but yeah, that's what I'm doing, too.

Also, I've never felt comfortable with an "only on Sundays and at Christmas and Easter" approach to religion.  I'm much happier when the various aspects of my life are more integrated.  There are some things that are explicitly and exclusively religious (like prayer, certain songs, the lamp I light each night for Brighid), but most of my activities are spiritual AND mundane, at least at some level.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what my life would look like if I could choose to completely devote it to Brighid -- in the sort of way that a nun or monk devotes hir life to his/her God.  Haven't got it all worked out yet, but it's an interesting thought experiment.
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Re: Making the Mundane Sacred
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2011, 01:42:38 am »
Quote from: Aisling;771

Does anyone else do this?  In what ways to you turn seemingly mundane acts into spiritual/religious ones?

Do you think that this sort of multi-tasking diminishes or enhances your spiritual/religious experience?  Should religious/spiritual activities be separated from those that are mundane?  Or should just the opposite be true - that we should try to integrate our mundane and spiritual/religious lives as much as possible?

 

I think you've hit the nail on the head here.  One of my favorite quotes, although I don't know the originator, was "being in church on a Sunday doesn't make you any more (insert religion here), than standing in a garage makes you a mechanic". It's what you do the rest of the time that truly shows your beliefs and who you are.  Incorporating the spiritual into the mundane in the highest goal you can have, ironically. At least in my humble opinion. :)
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Re: Making the Mundane Sacred
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2011, 04:38:38 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;771


Does anyone else do this?  In what ways to you turn seemingly mundane acts into spiritual/religious ones?

Do you think that this sort of multi-tasking diminishes or enhances your spiritual/religious experience?  Should religious/spiritual activities be separated from those that are mundane?  Or should just the opposite be true - that we should try to integrate our mundane and spiritual/religious lives as much as possible?

 
This is a great topic.
     I have found my (old) study of Catholic Mystics like Teresa of Avila and Francis of Asissi to be pertinent in some ways.  In that I try to offer up , say, my gardening to Mother Gaia and be totallty mindful in my weeding - listening to the wind, the birds, the earth, etc.  
When I cook at work (and when it occurs to me)  I often bind a Rune of Health to a soup or what have you and put a healing intent in for those who partake.  
I also try to give thanks to the Green and Red beings who gave themselves to be my food, and to those who prepared it, from the underpaid farm workers to the underpaid preparers.
     When my head is in the right space, I make most of my day an offering.  

(Of course the trick is to get my fat head in the right space a lot more of the time.)

Aisling

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Re: Making the Mundane Sacred
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2011, 04:44:53 pm »
Quote from: Bugscuttle;7453
(Of course the trick is to get my fat head in the right space a lot more of the time.)

 
I know that problem all too well. :)
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Juniperberry

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Re: Making the Mundane Sacred
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2011, 07:28:26 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;771
I've never been good at keeping up with a regular worship, devotional, or ritual schedule.  The closest I come to any religious routine is a quick morning petition of "Bless, guide, and protect me on this day and all my days."  I also manage to mark the seasonal changes, but hey, those are hard to miss.   :D

In lieu of regularly scheduled practice, I try to find ways to incorporate the sacred (spiritual, divine, whatever-you-call-it) into my day-to-day activities.   My daily walk becomes a time less focused on exercise than on connecting with the local land spirits.  Stitches in sewing projects are set to the rhythm of chanted prayers and blessings.  Specific flowers and plants are put in the garden as offerings.  I think you get the picture.

Does anyone else do this?  In what ways to you turn seemingly mundane acts into spiritual/religious ones?

Do you think that this sort of multi-tasking diminishes or enhances your spiritual/religious experience?  Should religious/spiritual activities be separated from those that are mundane?  Or should just the opposite be true - that we should try to integrate our mundane and spiritual/religious lives as much as possible?


The ability to infuse my life with a deeper meaning was one of things that really drew mean in when I became heathen. There's a saying that it isn't a religion, its a lifestyle. And it really is; it changes your worldview, it informs your decisions, it gives depth to your relationships with people and law and things. And it isn't really religious or working with gods or anything- its all you and your experience with it. I'm deeply connected to something bigger than myself, I have roots and meaning in everything I do...not by assigning spiritual activities to my life, but just by living.
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Re: Making the Mundane Sacred
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2011, 10:03:31 am »
Quote from: Aisling;771

Does anyone else do this?  In what ways to you turn seemingly mundane acts into spiritual/religious ones?

Do you think that this sort of multi-tasking diminishes or enhances your spiritual/religious experience?  Should religious/spiritual activities be separated from those that are mundane?  Or should just the opposite be true - that we should try to integrate our mundane and spiritual/religious lives as much as possible?


This is the biggest part of my path - I incorporate magic, worship and the spiritual into as many aspects of my life as possible. I cleanse my home, magically, when cleaning, I bless and ensure to thank the gods for each meal I eat, I pray when I get up and when I go to bed (and of course anytime in between that I need to)... I'm sure you get the drift!

I do think that some worship, spiritual or magical activities should be special and not mixed with the mundane - such as celebrating the Sabbats but I dont think "multi tasking" is a bad thing at all. It's a good thing in my mind! Gives me even more chance to connect with nature, magic and the divine.

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Re: Making the Mundane Sacred
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2012, 09:02:52 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;771
Does anyone else do this?  In what ways to you turn seemingly mundane acts into spiritual/religious ones?


I've been praying a lot more, myself. And what's amazing is that my prayers are being answered almost immediately most of the time. :)
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