Simple Spiritual Practices for All Ages
Since many people only participate in structured religious growth and learning activities about at hour or so a week at church, here are some resources to aid families in establishing some religious practices during the week.
A few simple spiritual practices anyone can do at anytime include embracing wonder and awe, expressing gratitude and practicing mindfulness.
During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season it is easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of additional activities and events. How can we step back and appreciate the blessings we have in the midst of this?
One simple idea is to have family members express gratitude for one or two things each day. This could take place at the breakfast or dinner table or in the car or last thing before bed. Offering a daily prompt to recall and express positives that occur each day can actually make a big difference in outlook and perception.
Embracing wonder and awe is the simple practice of simply noticing and acknowledging the beauty around us. Anything from a beautiful sunset to the light reflecting on the snow on the pine trees. By stating it out loud and/or bringing a moment of attention to beauty whenever we see it can uplift our hearts and minds.
The latter ties into practicing mindfulness which can occur during those moment of awe as well as in the simple moments that can be considered mundane until we bring mindful attention to them. Thich Nhat Hanh says when we wash the dishes, fully attend to washing the dishes. Notice the warm soapy water on our hands, recognize the gift of knowing that to wash dishes means we have dishes and food to eat on them and we can be grateful at least for that.
I hope each of you can find some regular religious practices to help keep you grounded and spiritually connected and uplifted during this holiday season!
Blessed Be, Diane Melvin, Religious Education Director
As someone who was raised in a Christian home, our family said grace before each meal and before bed at night. Many of us threw out the baby with the bathwater as we left the faith of our childhood. I think there is value in expressing gratitude for the food we eat and in taking a few moments to mindfully pause each evening before bet to review each day and offer thanks.
Here are a few ideas of prayers and graces you may wish to use in your home:
Earth, who gives to use this food,
Sun, who makes it ripe and good,
Dear Earth, dear Sun, by you we live.
To you our loving thanks we give.
Thank you for the world so sweet
Thank you for the food we eat
Thank you for the birds that sing
Thank you, Spirit of Love, for everything.
May we have grateful hearts
and may we be mindful of the needs of others. Amen
May I be kind,
Strong and brave,
Joyful, useful, loving,
Honest and healthy.
by Meg Barnhouse
There is a love holding me.
There is a love holding you.
There is a love holding all.
I rest in this love.
by Rebecca Parker