I was chanting this morning in my morning sadhana (spiritual practices) and it occurred to me how much creating a painting is so much like growing on the spiritual path.
When you create a painting you have to to see all of the subtle nuances so you can bring life to the painting and I have found the same is true in your spiritual practices.
I have found with each painting I create there is a spiritual lesson I learn with each one. God Rays was a lesson in patience and practicing peace as I tried something new. I had never painted a seascape so I had to be willing to try things and experiment with what I was doing. I actually had started one on a previous canvas and found I had done so many things that didn’t work I decided to start on a fresh new canvas. Painting is an experiment with taking an idea you have or I like to say a Divine inspiration you receive, and bring it to some form of physical manifestation. You’re not always sure it will work, but the willingness to give it a go and do it is part of the spiritual growth.
In a painting in order to bring life to the painting you have to notice all of the subtle variations in tone or what some call value. In this painting that I call God Rays in order to bring depth and life to the seascape I needed to see and paint in the graduating changes in tone that our eyes see when we view a seascape.
I have found in order to bring life to your spiritual practices you need to notice the subtle nuances. Bringing life to your practice is what keeps you consistent and is what helps you grow spiritually. I chant and meditate every morning and evening and I’ve been on a spiritual path for about 30 years. Every morning and evening I get up and chant and meditate. When my wife first met me and found out I had been doing a consistent spiritual practice (at that time I had been practicing for about 15 years) morning and evening, she wanted to know how I kept myself doing it every day. I told her – “It’s not like I never have any resistance to doing it. I just remind myself that I ALWAYS FEEL BETTER after I do it and that gets me to sit down and practice.”
So how do I keep it fresh and alive so I always feel better at the end?
By being aware of the subtle nuances that help me to feel a little more joy, a little more peace, a little more love which is feeling your divine connection to God (whatever name you prefer Buddha, Allah, Universe….) I always chant and meditate, but to keep it alive I incorporate other spiritual tools that enhance my ability to feel more of my connection with Spirit. I notice when I do a pranayama (breathing technique) how that can help me to more quickly feel just a little more peace then when I don’t do it. Or I will do a different yoga posture and notice certain postures help me to open my heart and feel just a little bit more love in my heart. I might read some spiritual text that inspires me to do something different in my life and brings me more joy.
Noticing, acknowledging and being grateful for those subtle nuances that bring me just a little bit closer to experiencing more peace, joy, love or any other aspect of the Divine is what keeps my spiritual practices alive for me.
I hope this inspires you to find a way to keep your spiritual practice alive and living by experimenting with what will bring life to your spiritual practices. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me I love to hear from you.