Monday, January 31, 2011

daily beauty

I forgot to mention in my last (that is, my first) post that I also feel that my time at the gym-- a practice that my partner and I have recently re-taken up for the new year-- is certainly a spiritual practice.  I find it's easier to let my mind wander and clear itself if my body is occupied, and getting my heart rate up for a while just feels good.  It makes me feel alive, connected to existence, and (eventually!) makes me feel more energized.  It's also a celebration of the power of choice, an example of a positive trajectory for life, that I feel strong and grateful to be able to do, both in terms of will power, schedule, and finances.  

But what I really wanted to get out there tonight was the idea of the Daily Office.  I've been fascinated with monastic life for years, and this morning I learned in a class I'm taking at BU that in this context the word "Office" apparently means "Beauty."  I think this is just lovely.  

It is something I think anyone would welcome.  Imagine taking time every day, in a disciplined way that works for you, to remind yourself and others of the beauty of existence.  This is naturally what the purpose of these monastic offices are, to remind the monks that God is there, and we are here to commune with God.  However, bringing the idea out of the monastery and into our contemporary lives, and interpreting God as anything beautiful, lovely, or (when it comes down to it) anything and everything that exists, seen and unseen, felt and thought-- it makes sense to consider making a spiritual practice out of noticing the beauty all around us on a regular basis-- daily beauties.  

I feel spiritual practice is necessary, and I believe it comes in as many forms as there are people.  The trick is to figure out what form yours needs to (or already does) take and, as Joseph Campbell advised, follow your bliss.   

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