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Author Topic: Spiritual down time: how do you cope with it?  (Read 640 times)

Eastling

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Spiritual down time: how do you cope with it?
« on: July 24, 2018, 02:30:38 pm »
Last year I was swept up in a whirlwind of mystical activity for the first time, and I got used to regular divine contact--both inside my head and via signs in the outside world.

Lately, though, a number of factors in my life have lessened the feedback I get from my practice. My job interferes with my regular Sabbath observance, and I've been struggling with insurance to get the medications I need for my mental health. I feel much more disconnected from the divine. I still do a couple of regular devotional acts--I perform a nightly meditative kala ritual, and every other Saturday I go to a local bar and perform karaoke for my gods. But I've had trouble observing feedback from this and feel lost.

I'm sure I'm not the only one to struggle with this issue. What do you do when the circumstances of your life leave you feeling disconnected from the divine? When your practice is at a low ebb and you wish it were higher?
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Redfaery

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Re: Spiritual down time: how do you cope with it?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2018, 03:51:41 pm »


Last year I was swept up in a whirlwind of mystical activity for the first time, and I got used to regular divine contact--both inside my head and via signs in the outside world.

Lately, though, a number of factors in my life have lessened the feedback I get from my practice. My job interferes with my regular Sabbath observance, and I've been struggling with insurance to get the medications I need for my mental health. I feel much more disconnected from the divine. I still do a couple of regular devotional acts--I perform a nightly meditative kala ritual, and every other Saturday I go to a local bar and perform karaoke for my gods. But I've had trouble observing feedback from this and feel lost.

I'm sure I'm not the only one to struggle with this issue. What do you do when the circumstances of your life leave you feeling disconnected from the divine? When your practice is at a low ebb and you wish it were higher?

Honestly this sounds like it could almost be me. (Except for the karaoke.) Ever since I've moved back in with my parents, my sense of spirituality has been at a low ebb. The only thing I can really do is pick my goals carefully and try my best to meet them. Regular practice has helped me maintain a toehold, even if it's not a foot in the door.

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Sobekemiti

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Re: Spiritual down time: how do you cope with it?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2018, 10:31:25 am »
Last year I was swept up in a whirlwind of mystical activity for the first time, and I got used to regular divine contact--both inside my head and via signs in the outside world.

Lately, though, a number of factors in my life have lessened the feedback I get from my practice. My job interferes with my regular Sabbath observance, and I've been struggling with insurance to get the medications I need for my mental health. I feel much more disconnected from the divine. I still do a couple of regular devotional acts--I perform a nightly meditative kala ritual, and every other Saturday I go to a local bar and perform karaoke for my gods. But I've had trouble observing feedback from this and feel lost.

I'm sure I'm not the only one to struggle with this issue. What do you do when the circumstances of your life leave you feeling disconnected from the divine? When your practice is at a low ebb and you wish it were higher?

I've been in fallow time for a few months now, so I feel your pain, but I don't mind so much. My spiritual life has been so intense for the past few years, it's nice to have the time to just indulge in mundane fannish things for once. I didn't necessarily see it coming, but I do appreciate it now that it's here. I haven't had a big one like this for a long time. It really set in after winter solstice in June, but it had been hanging around the edges since about May, I think, but I spent so long redoing my bedroom and rebuilding my shrines, and I think I just crashed.

I've done a bit of practice and ritual here and there, and I still meditate every single morning, but that's about it as far as practice goes. I'm just feeling the need to do some srs ka-feeding and self-care work at the moment, to focus on me, rather than the gods. I suspect it's actually essential on my part, bc how can I do self-care work when I'm so focused on doing things for the gods? I need to be in the mindset to focus on me, and that's what this time has been very useful for. Because I am That Servant of the Gods, and I will put Them first no matter what, so I suspect this is all Their fault to force me to focus on me and not Them for once. So I appreciate that space.

And, honestly, my gods have been fine with it. Sobek's been very patient with me, and every time I try to reach out to Him, He lets me know it's okay, and They'll be here when I'm ready to come back to practice. So that really helps me just go with the flow, and just be for a while, and the gods will be there when I'm ready to go to shrine again.
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Jainarayan

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Re: Spiritual down time: how do you cope with it?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2018, 11:15:17 am »
I'm sure I'm not the only one to struggle with this issue. What do you do when the circumstances of your life leave you feeling disconnected from the divine? When your practice is at a low ebb and you wish it were higher?

I roll with the punches and try not to overthink it or force the issue. There are days I cannot do my morning puja (worship ritual), even though it's only 12 minutes (yes, I timed it). There are also stretches of days I don't do it. This morning was one of them. From the Hindu perspective it's the devotion one has towards their particular God or Goddess that is most important. This morning I was dragging my butt. It's been a bad and emotional week, what with the wake and funeral of my best friend's sister. I've known the family for 33 years. That meant that I really should have done puja to spend time with God. But I didn't have the right energy and mindset, knowing I would flub the entire thing, being mentally distracted. So I simply approached my shrine and mumbled something like I wish I could spend more time with you, and I apologize. I'm sure he was just as pleased with that. Tomorrow will probably be better and I'll be able to do my puja.
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Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

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Re: Spiritual down time: how do you cope with it?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2018, 04:09:35 pm »
Last year I was swept up in a whirlwind of mystical activity for the first time, and I got used to regular divine contact--both inside my head and via signs in the outside world.

Lately, though, a number of factors in my life have lessened the feedback I get from my practice. My job interferes with my regular Sabbath observance, and I've been struggling with insurance to get the medications I need for my mental health. I feel much more disconnected from the divine. I still do a couple of regular devotional acts--I perform a nightly meditative kala ritual, and every other Saturday I go to a local bar and perform karaoke for my gods. But I've had trouble observing feedback from this and feel lost.

I'm sure I'm not the only one to struggle with this issue. What do you do when the circumstances of your life leave you feeling disconnected from the divine? When your practice is at a low ebb and you wish it were higher?

I just have to say I love the idea of Karaoke for the gods!!! I do often offer up chants/songs in private, but I may have to do more in public too.

My personal practice definitely has a lot of ebbs and flows.  Sometimes I feel like I'm hardly doing anything, while other times it feels like I am doing a whole lot. 

I almost never get feedback, I don't have a lot of the deeply moving experiences that many people talk about.  For me, it is a much quieter thing, and sometimes I need to just take a moment, step out of my constant doing and just stop. 

I actually did this today.  I have been super angry and sad lately, and just completely off balance.  One of the groups I belong to sends out daily inspiration posts, and today's was to sit in silence.  I read it and thought, "that sounds amazing...but I so don't have time today, I have to blog, and we are having people over later, and I just have too much to do."

And then I had to stop myself.  Perhaps I didn't have time to spend an hour in seclusion, but I could absolutely stop for a few minutes.  And, I knew that if I did, I would feel better, that I would be able to go back in and do the things I needed to do with better focus.

So, I grabbed an end of bread (to offer to my land and the birds), and went and sat outside on the back porch.  We are in an apartment, so there might have been neighbor kids or dogs running past (there weren't today!), and the air conditioner was on, so big electronic drone.  But I sat there and just breathed for a bit, until it started to feel too hot (Kentucky here, so it's over 80 degrees, and if I sit in the sun more than a few minutes I burn).

And then, back inside and to work, and yeah, it helped a lot.  I also have been playing music that helps me reset myself today, because I don't want to be in a mood when people come over later.

When I'm feeling super disconnected, I like to read things to help me tune back in.  Two things really help remind me that I'm part of something bigger, and that my personal path is working.  Firstly, I often will read back over my own writing about what I do.  I sometimes forget that I have a decent daily practice, because I've been doing most of it for so long, it's just a part of my life.  But when I try to explain 'what I do every day' to other people, it takes a while.  And that is comforting to me.  It means that I'm not just forgetting my own path.

Secondly, I like to read about other people's practices.  I have a few books that are mostly full of just testimonial type articles, or I will read stuff online.  But I like to read about how other people are doing things, because it makes me feel like part of something bigger.  Often, the things I read about are totally not my style, so it's never something I would do myself, but reading about it lets me step into the other person's shoes for a moment and have that experience, which is lovely.
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