Simplicity as a Spiritual Practice
Something both great and small has shifted in my heart over the winter months that I was unaware of until just this morning.
I sat with my morning coffee in hand, perusing upcoming events at local studios and clicked into a workshop that caught my attention. It was a training to deepen your meditation practice but as I read more into it I was taken a little aback. The curriculum sounded juicy and perfect but then there was this one thing (ok, a few things) that made me think twice. As part of the workshop participants would learn to build altars and circle spaces, work with crystals and tarot cards, and over all turn your meditation or meditation class into quite the experience for yourself and students. To my heart it felt like this all detracted from the core teachings of meditation.
Now- before you think I am being hyprocriticial it is very true that not all that long ago that I was joyfully and fully showing up in sacred circles, creating elaborate ritual, working closely with Oracle cards, crystals, and everything in between. Basically I was learning, cultivating, and then teaching all these practices and tools that are uber trendy in the spiritual community right now. I own that, and I really resonated with it at the time.
My realization was not about the tools per say- but when I immediately had an aversion to learning and experiencing this list of spiritual accoutrements in a meditation class it made me pause and ask why?
And the truth is, over the winter, as the earth was stripped back to her bareness I too experienced this process of stripping back in my own life without realizing it. In the last few months I have dedicated myself to studying just two complementary spiritual texts in my morning devotions instead of hopping around between many. My moon rituals have gone from elaborate evenings of candles, oracle card spreads and drumming to a journal, maybe a card or two, and me. Now that I am working outside the home my morning ritual has gone from an hour of many different practices to 30 minutes of reiki and meditation. Because of this stripping down, I can honestly say that I have found much more depth in my practices and growth- and to me, that is everything.
Later that same morning I was talking with a girlfriend and shared this realization. She too, was becoming aware of the amount of production (her perfect word) and distraction we have cultivated in our cultures pursuit for spirituality. But I think it is important to remember that all that glitters is not gold, and at the end of the day the only thing that withstands the test of time is you with your spiritual practices.
For me, dusting off some of the ‘crystal glitter’ has proven to be a key element in knowing myself better, trusting my intuition more fully, and digging deeper into the teachings I am guided to study.
Simplicity has truly become my daily spiritual practice.
But of course, when I feel like being an Earth Goddess you will find me dancing around a fire bowl on the Full Moon, howling, and pulling all the Tarot! It all just doesn’t feel essential to the process of growing and unfolding on my journey towards Truth anymore.
If you are new to a Practice
If you are just beginning in practices like meditation or divination then having extra tools, set up, and intentional sacred space can assist you in transitioning from who you were into who you are becoming through the practices. Since my initial coming-into-awareness moment years ago I have embodied many an archetype even to help me shed old layers of who I no longer felt connected to (Priestess, Witch, Oracle…). Over time, these archetypes no longer needed expressed so radically because they integrated and simply became part of who I am. Though I thank each of them for their guidance in reclaiming hidden parts of my divine Feminine nature.
This goes the same for tools and fanfare around the practice at heart. If you need to circle yourself with crystals, wear a gold pyramid on your head and drink a fancy elixir before you can meditate then by all means- ritual it out to your hearts content. But just remember, that the most powerful of that practice is the time you spend in silence with just you, the divine, and silence. Everything is temporary, conditions will change, but the peace you carry within will always be what continues with you.
Perhaps simplicity in your practices will sneak up on you as they did for me, or perhaps this sparks a curiosity to explore going deeper by putting less between you and your growth. If you have experienced the stripped back joy of a simple practice I invite you to share in the comments and maybe your journey can support anothers!